Feb. 7, 2009
NEW YORK -- Add another record to the list of accomplishments for the Lady Volunteer distance medley relay quartet. On Saturday morning, it was confirmed that the victorious 10:56.40 readout at Friday night's New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory also broke the indoor American record in that event.
The University of Tennessee tandem of junior Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, Tenn.), sophomore Brittany Jones (Pompano Beach, Fla.), freshman Chanelle Price (Easton, Pa.) and senior Sarah Bowman (Warrenton, Va.) wiped out the previously-recognized American record of 10:59.46, set by North Carolina at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. It is the first American record by any Lady Vol since Tonya Lee posted one in the pentathlon in 1991.
"I did not know that we officially set an American record until this morning," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "I wasn't sure what the actual mark was, and it turned out the actual ratified record was 10:59 and some change by North Carolina. We ran 10:56.40, so that is a great accomplishment for our program to have an American record to our credit."
In addition to the newly-announced standard, Tennessee destroyed the New Balance Collegiate Invitational's 2007 meet and facility marks of North Carolina (11:04.63) and laid waste to the UT-record, 2008 NCAA Indoor Championship-winning time of 11:01.97 that Brittany Sheffey, Jones, Wright and Bowman charted less than a year ago. BYU, which challenged the Big Orange until the final leg in Friday night's race, placed second well back in 11:04.91 in a race that featured five teams that easily met the NCAA auto mark of 11:09.00.
For a recap of the race and other day one Lady Vol finishes, please see the Friday night story from the New Balance meet on the track & field page at www.utladyvols.com.
Photo: Mary DiBiase Blaich/www.wingedfootfotos.com