UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Annie Alexander came through with another victory in the shot put, and the 4x400m relay quartet produced the team’s fifth NCAA provisional of the day, concluding a productive weekend at the Penn State National for the third-ranked University of Tennessee women’s track & field program on Saturday.
All told, the Lady Volunteers won four events during the two-day meet at PSU’s Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track and secured 16 marks that met the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA Indoor Championship meet. Besides the victories, UT also had eight other top-three finishes on the weekend, including four runner-up performances, at a meet that featured five other teams ranked nationally in the USTFCCCA Poll.
“Overall, our team is making great progress,” UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. “I feel good about the weekend and how we were able to get 16 provisionals on the board and win four events. We look forward to going to Kentucky next Friday and Saturday and continuing our development.”
Alexander, a freshman from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, kept her victory streak alive in the throws, winning her third collegiate competition in as many tries this season. The rookie came up with a heave of 53 feet, 3 3/4 inches on her second attempt to win the shot put title. Alexander, who just joined the team the first week of January, triumphed in both the shot put and the indoor discus at the Kentucky Invitational two weekends ago. After taking second in the weight throw on Friday night, senior Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio) settled for 24th in the shot on Saturday at 43-1 1/2. Classmate Amara McKell (Nashville, Tenn.) was 26th at 41-7 1/4.
“Annie had a good throw today to win her second shot put competition of the season,” Clark said. “I am hopeful that she’ll be able to continue to improve and continue these types of performances, because she will be a big part of our program as the season goes along.”
Fresh off running a quality 800m leg on Friday evening for Tennessee’s victorious distance medley relay, sophomore Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) came back Saturday afternoon to cross the line as the top collegiate finisher and take second overall in the invitational 800-meter run. She did so by notching a career best and meeting the NCAA qualifying standard with an effort of 2:08.44 that crushed her previous mark of 2:13.20. Only former Lady Vol Alisa Harvey was faster, breaking her own American masters 41-44 age group record (2:07.23 in 2006) with a 2:07.08 reading en route to victory.
Wright’s teammates, freshman Brittany Sheffey (Bellport, N.Y.) and junior Kimarra McDonald (Lumberton, N.J.) placed third and sixth, respectively, in the 800m. Sheffey’s was an NCAA provisional readout of 2:08.85, whle McDonald came home in a personal best of 2:11.03.
In the 200 meters, sophomore Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) delivered her first provisional of the season in that event, taking second in 23.80. Senior LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.) and freshman Jeneba Tarmoh (San Jose, Calif.) shared third with matching 23.98 readouts, while rookie Brittany Jones (Pompano Beach, Fla.) was seventh in a career-best 24.32 and senior Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas) came in eighth in 24.35.
In the final event of the day for Tennessee, it was a patchwork 4x4 unit snagging that relay’s first NCAA mark of the young campaign. The foursome of Loche, Wright, junior Rolanda Bell (Laurelton, N.Y.) and Jones navigated the distance in 3:39.85 to narrowly dip under the 3:40.00 provisional threshold. Host Penn State was able to hold off the Big Orange, winning in 3:38.21.
Earlier, junior Alicia Essex (Purcellville, Va.) came up with a fourth-place result in the invitational division of the pole vault. She did so with a clearance of 12-4 and now has finished in the top five at four of her past five indoor meets.
Head Coach J.J. Clark’s wife and pupil, five-time Olympian Jearl Miles-Clark, joined Harvey in setting an American masters division (age 40-44) record. Miles-Clark did so in the 400m dash, covering the distance in 57.09 to topple Lesia Batiste’s 2003 mark of 57.40. JMC is training for an attempt to make her sixth U.S. Olympic Team in 2008.
The Lady Vols will be back in action next weekend, as they make their second trip up Interstate 75 this season. They will be in Lexington, Ky., to compete in the Rod McCravy Memorial on Feb. 1-2.
|FRIDAY, JAN. 25|
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|Wt. Throw (Auto: 21.00, Prov: 18.75) 5:45 p.m.|
|Long Jump (Auto: 6.35, Prov: 6.10) 5:45 p.m.|
|60mH Prelims (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 6:05 p.m.|
|Adv.||Celriece Law||8.52p/3rd, ht. 1 (8th)|
|60m Prelims (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 6:45 p.m.|
|Adv.||Courtney Champion||7.36p+/1st, ht. 5 (1st)|
|Adv.||Cleo Tyson||7.36p+/1st, ht. 4 (2nd)|
|Adv.||Jeneba Tarmoh||7.38p!+/2nd, ht. 4 (3rd)|
|Adv.||LaTonya Loche||7.49p/1st, ht. 3 (7th)|
|Adv.||Lynne Layne||7.49p/2nd, ht. 5 (5th)|
|34th||Janea Grimes||8.02p!/6th, ht. 1|
|Inv. 5000m (Auto: 16:08.00, Prov: 16:45.00)b 7:25 p.m.|
|1st||Katie Van Horn||16:41.72b+|
|60mH Semis (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 7:50 p.m.|
|t9th||Celriece Law||8.48p/5th, ht. 1|
|60m Semis (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 8:10 p.m.|
|Adv.||Courtney Champion||7.37p+/1st, ht. 2 (1st)|
|Adv.||Lynne Layne||7.40p+/2nd, ht. 2 (3rd)|
|Adv.||Cleo Tyson||7.44p+/2nd, ht. 1 (4th)|
|Adv.||Jeneba Tarmoh||7.45p/3rd, ht. 2 (5th|
|Adv.||LaTonya Loche||7.51p/4th, ht. 2 (7th)|
|DMR (Auto: 11:09.00; Prov: 11:30.00) 8:50 p.m.|
|1st||Sarah Bowman/Brittany Jones|
Phoebe Wright/Brittany Sheffey
|dnf||Rolanda Bell/Alyssa Bryant|
Kimarra McDonald/Alicia Essex
|60m Final (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 9:55 p.m.|
|SATURDAY, JAN. 26|
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|Unseeded 500m (Not An NCAA Event) 10:40 a.m.|
|Shot Put (Auto: 16.90, Prov: 15.20) 11:00 a.m.|
|Unseeded 200m (Auto: 23.20, Prov: 23.90)b 12:25 p.m.|
|Inv. Pole Vault (Auto: 4.20, Prov: 3.95) 3:00 p.m.|
|Inv. 800m (Auto: 2:05.00, Prov: 2:09.00)b 3:00 p.m.|
|Inv. Mile (Auto: 4:40.00; Prov: 4:48.00)b 3:35 p.m.|
|Inv. 200m (Auto: 23.20, Prov: 23.90)b 4:05 p.m.|
|Inv. 4x400mR (Auto: 3:33.00, Prov: 3:40.00)b 5:20 p.m.|
|2nd||LaTonya Loche/Phoebe Wright|
Jeneba Tarmoh/Kimarra McDonald
|b - Banked Track Qualifying Standard, dnf - Did Not Finish, dnr - Did Not Run, f - Facility Record, fts - Flat Track Qualifying Standard, m - Meters, mr - meet Record, nm - No Mark Recorded, p - Prelims, s - School Record (Indoors), u - Undersized Track Qualifying Standard, * - NCAA Automatic Qualifier, + - NCAA Provisional Qualifier, ! - Personal Record (Indoors), ^ - Oversized Track Qualifying Standard|