June 21, 2003
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Just when you thought Dee Dee Trotter's remarkable season at the University of Tennessee had reached its ceiling, the sophomore raised the roof a little higher. The upstart 400-meter dash standout pocketed a third-place finish in the finals of the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships Saturday and earned a trip to the IAAF World Championships later this summer.
Trotter, from Decatur, Ga., circled the oval at Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field in 51.78 to collect a bronze medal behind winner Sanya Richards of Texas (51.01) and runner-up Demetria Washington of NIKE (51.54). With that top-three effort, the second-year Lady Vol standout secured herself a trip to Paris for the world's most important track & field gathering outside of the Olympic Games. The competition will be held August 23-31 at Stade de France.
"It's been a fantastic season for Dee Dee Trotter," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "She has posted some great numbers in her sophomore season at Tennessee. We return to Knoxville on Monday and will take some time to decide what her future holds over the next nine weeks, as she has been invited to run in several major international meets."
Interestingly enough, Trotter had considered herself more of a 100m/200m sprinter prior to this year's Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships. After talking with the Lady Vol coaching staff, including sprint coach Caryl Smith, Trotter opted to run the 400 at the SEC meet. She would go on to shockingly win the league crown in 51.65 and break a 21-year-old school record (51.71, 1982, Cathy Rattray) in the process.
During the past month, Trotter has added an NCAA Mideast Regional title, a runner-up performance at the NCAA Championships and a third-place finish at USATFs to her list of accomplishments. The UT mark she set has also been lowered, including twice at the NCAA meet, and now stands at 50.66
Another Lady Vol will attempt to join Trotter on the French excursion in August, as fellow sophomore Nicole Cook competes in the 800-meter final at 1:32 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday. The Petersburg, Va., product has posted qualifying times of 2:05.02 and 2:05.76 in the first two rounds.
Cook will be joined in the championship race by Jearl Miles-Clark and Hazel Clark, wife and sister, respectively, of UT Head Coach J.J. Clark. Jearl charted the best qualifying mark of the semifinals, finishing first in heat two in 2:03.23, while Hazel was second in heat one at 2:04.60 and fifth overall. Along with the now-retired Joetta Clark (J.J. and Hazel's sister), Miles-Clark and Clark were members of the U.S. Olympic 800m contingent to Sydney in 2000 and were coached by J.J. Clark.
After winning the 100-meter dash on Friday night with the fastest wind-legal time in the world this year at 10.93, former Lady Vol Kelli White began her quest to double when she advanced in the first round of the 200-meter dash on Saturday. Her 23.54 output against a wind of -2.1 meters per second was good enough to move her on to Sunday with the number-two reading in heat one. White's schedule on the final day includes the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. PT and potentially the finals at 2:08 p.m. PT.
In a late result from Friday night, Lady Vol strength and conditioning graduate assistant Valerie Fleming finished 12th in the javelin throw with a toss of 148-9. For details on the USATF meet, go to http://www.usatf.org. For results, click on http://www.flashresults.com/2003_meets/outdoor/usaoutdoor.
THURSDAY, JUNE 19
EVENT TIME 800m First Round 6:35 p.m. PT Adv. Nicole Cook 2:05.02p/3rd, ht. 1
400m First Round 7:15 p.m. PT Adv. Dee Dee Trotter 52.63p/2nd, ht. 3
FRIDAY, JUNE 20
EVENT TIME 800m Semifinals 7:15 p.m. PT Adv. Nicole Cook 2:05.76p/4th, ht. 1
400m Semifinals 8:05 p.m. PT Adv. Dee Dee Trotter 52.57p/3rd, ht. 2
SATURDAY, JUNE 21
EVENT TIME 400m Finals 1:32 p.m. PT 3rd Dee Dee Trotter 51.78
SUNDAY, JUNE 22
EVENT TIME 800m Finals 1:32 p.m. PT Nicole Cook
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)