June 11, 2004
University of Tennessee junior Dee Dee Trotter took care of business Friday night in the 400-meter dash prelims, winning heat three and advancing to Saturday's final at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Trotter, who was running in the middle of the pack midway through the one-lap race, closed in strong fashion down the home stretch to best Florida frosh Tiandra Ponteen (51.99) and claim her section in a time of 51.59. The 2003 NCAA Outdoor runner-up's mark rates as the number-three clocking in the prelims and ranks the Decatur, Ga., native behind defending 400m champ and heat-one winner Sanya Richards of Texas (50.86) and heat-two victor Monique Henderson of UCLA (51.53).
"Dee Dee got to the final in good fashion, and that's what we wanted," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "She'll have to gear up tomorrow for a good run. We expect that from her, though, because she always steps up and does her best in these types of situations."
Earlier in the evening, sophomore pole vaulter Jessica Reust cleared two heights and managed a 19th-place finish in her first career national championship appearance. The walk-on, who is a product of Farragut High School, cleared 12 feet, nine-and-one-half inches for her mark of record on the evening. UCLA??TMs Chelsea Johnson ascended to the top rung of the awards stand, clearing 14-1.25 to win.
Vaulting eighth in the 28-woman field, Reust navigated the opening height of 12-3.50 on her second attempt with a helpful tail wind at her back. The next bar, at 12-9.50,
came easily for the second-year performer, as she sailed over it on her first try. In round three, Reust's first two attempts at 13-1.50 appeared to be on target, but she
grazed the bar ever so slightly and it fell to the pad below on each occasion. On vault number three, the SEC champion's season came to a close as she failed to achieve
the necessary elevation.
"Jessica has made really remarkable improvement over the past year," Clark said. "If she continues to work hard and make progress, she'll be a factor at this meet next season. I am very proud of her season - she shows a lot of promise for the future."
In addition to competing individually on Saturday, Trotter will likely anchor Tennessee's 4x400m relay team on the final day of the meet. Trotter joined junior Antoinette Gorham (Glenarden, Md.), senior Kameisha Bennett (Dayton, Ohio) and junior Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) Thursday night as that unit produced a time of 3:30.05 to finish second in heat two and qualify for the finals with the fourth-best time. That same quartet earned All-America acclaim twice in 2002, placing sixth indoors and fourth outdoors at the NCAA Championships. UT also fielded an All-America unit indoors in 2004, but freshman Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.) ran in place of Gorham when the junior came down with flu symptoms after arriving in Fayetteville, Ark., prior to the meet.
|* Nearly All Events Were Postponed Due To Inclement Weather|
|THURSDAY, JUNE 10|
|100m Prelims 5:20 p.m. CT|
|12th||Tianna Madison||11.35pw/5th, ht. 1 (w: 3.5)|
|21st||Toyin Olupona||11.56pw/6th, ht. 1 (w: 3.5|
|Long Jump Finals 6:30 p.m. CT|
|10th||Tianna Madison||20-8.50/6.31m (w: 3.2)|
|800m Prelims 6:45 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||Kameisha Bennett||2:03.83p/1st, ht. 1|
|14th||Nicole Cook||2:07.01p/2nd, ht. 4|
|21st||Leslie Treherne||2:08.88p/6th, ht. 3|
|1500m Prelims 7:55 p.m. CT|
|22nd||Brooke Novak||4:31.68p/10th, ht. 2|
|DNS||Lindsay Hyatt injured, unable to run|
|4x400mR Prelims 8:30 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||Antoinette Gorham/Kameisha Bennett/|
Nicole Cook/Dee Dee Trotter
2nd, ht. 2/4th overall/
|FRIDAY, JUNE 11|
|Pole Vault Finals 6:30 p.m. CT|
|400m Prelims 8:20 p.m. CT|
|Adv.||Dee Dee Trotter||51.59p/1st, ht. 3/3rd qualifier|
|SATURDAY, JUNE 12|
|400m Finals 6:30 p.m. CT|
|Dee Dee Trotter|
|800m Finals 8:35 p.m. CT|
|4x400mR Finals 9:35 p.m. CT|
|Antoinette Gorham/Kameisha BennettNicole Cook/Dee Dee Trotter|