June 13, 2003
University of Tennessee sophomore Dee Dee Trotter rocketed to a school-record performance in the 400 meters Friday night at California State University, Sacramento's Hornet Stadium, and that effort was good enough to earn her a ticket to Saturday's finals at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Trotter, a native of Decatur, Ga., zipped to a time of 51.60 to break her four-week-old school record, place third in heat one and notch the fourth-fastest reading of the semifinals. The second-year standout clinched All-America status and will be in the running for her first NCAA individual title on the final day of festivities in Sacramento. She is slated to run at 7:20 p.m. Pacific Time.
Running in lane four of heat one, Trotter finished behind Allison Beckford of Rice (51.13) and Hazel-Ann Regis of LSU (51.44) head to head and also qualified behind heat two victor Sanya Richards of Texas (51.41). The SEC and NCAA Mideast Regional champion, Trotter saw a five-race victory string come to an end. Yet, she was still able to topple her UT record of 51.65, which she uncorked in the SEC finals to unseat Cathy Rattray's 1982 mark of 51.71.
"Dee Dee did a good job tonight of taking care of business," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "She earned her first individual trip to the finals and set another school record, so she should be proud of that. Tomorrow, she will have to reload, get back out there and do her very best in the finals."
As with Thursday night's effort in the prelims, Trotter was not completely satisfied with her race. She did indicate, however, that her
advancement to the "money race" is something she personally planned on doing.
??oeI have just expected myself to do what it takes to get to the NCAA finals since I won at SECs, but I didn't really run the race like I
was supposed to today," Trotter said. "I still have time to change that, and I hope that tomorrow will be a little bit better
Despite her high expectations for herself, Trotter acknowledged that making the finals is a very meaningful accomplishment.
"Making it really means a lot," Trotter said. "It is a personal accomplishment, but it is also a team accomplishment and a school accomplishment. Hopefully I will go out there tomorrow night and do what in my mind I'm expecting to do."
Joining Trotter in action on Saturday and seeking to get on the scoreboard for Tennessee on the final day are sophomore Nicole Cook (Petersburg, Va.) in the 800m finals at 8:20 p.m. PT and senior Sharon Dickie (Grand Blanc, Mich.) in the 5000m finals at 8:40 p.m. PT. Cook's presence in the 800 finals guarantees the second-year performer her sixth All-America citation in only two seasons. The NCAA Indoor runner-up in 2003, Cook has achieved All-America status indoors and out in each of her seasons at UT and was a two-time 4x400m relay honoree in 2002.
Dickie, meanwhile, is seeking to cap her career with her second All-America citation. She earned indoor acclaim with an eighth-place result in the 5000m at the 2001 NCAA meet and will be attempting to become the first Lady Vol to attain A-A status indoors and out during her career.
"We have three possibilities for points tomorrow, and our goal coming out here was to be in a position where we could score some points on the final day. I am very proud of this group for rallying this year and for making it to the NCAA finals. I believe that will set the tone and attitude in our program for years to come."
|WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11|
|800m Prelims 11:05 a.m. PT|
|Adv.||Nicole Cook||2:05.21p/3rd, Ht. 3|
|5000m Prelims 9:20 p.m PT|
|Adv.||Sharon Dickie||16:24.74p/6th, Ht. 2|
|THURSDAY, JUNE 12|
|Pole Vault Qualifying 10:00 a.m. PT|
|800m Semifinals 11:05 a.m. PT|
|Adv.||Nicole Cook||2:05.64p/5th, Ht. 1|
|400m Prelims 12:55 p.m. PT|
|Adv.||Dee Dee Trotter||52.52p/1st, Ht. 5|
|FRIDAY, JUNE 13|
|400m Semifinals 8:25 p.m. PT|
|Adv.||Dee Dee Trotter||51.60p!sr|
|SATURDAY, JUNE 14|
|400m Finals 7:20 p.m. PT|
|Dee Dee Trotter|
|800m Finals 8:20 p.m. PT|
|5000m Finals 8:40 p.m PT|
1 - SC Standard For 10-Foot Pit
2 - SC Standard For 12-Foot Pit
DNF - Did Not Finish
DNQ - Did Not Qualify
DNR - Did Not Run
DNS - Did Not Start
f - Facility Record
h - Hand Times
NH - No Height
NM - No Mark
p - Prelims
sr - School Record (Outdoors)
w - Wind-Aided
# - NCAA Regional Qualifier
* - NCAA Automatic Qualifier
+ - NCAA Provisional Qualifier
! - Personal Record (Outdoors)