Meet Notes (PDF)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Second-ranked Tennessee will simultaneously attempt to increase its total of NCAA qualifying marks and also gain experience competing at the site of the upcoming SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships, as it competes on Friday and Saturday at the Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark.
The site of the upcoming conference and national championships, the venue at the University of Arkansas will play host this weekend to one of the nation’s finest assemblies of track & field talent thus far in 2008. Among the gauntlet of women’s teams slated to be on hand are 18 of the nation’s top 25 teams this week in the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Rankings, including No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Tennessee, No. 3 Michigan, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 Arizona State, No. 7 Arkansas, No. 9 Virginia Tech and No. 10 Penn State.
“Obviously, it’s the best meet we’ve gone to so far,” UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. “You have a lot of the top teams there and a lot of conference teams among them, so it’s just a nice way to see where we are and put some quality marks on the board. At the same time, we have a few freshmen who have never run on the high banks at that facility, and this will give them the opportunity to survey the track and give them a feel and rhythm of how to run on it before we have to come back for the conference meet in two weeks.”
“I think we are in a good spot,” Clark said of his team’s physical and mental mindset entering this meet. “People have been chipping away at the block, and every week something good has been happening, and that’s good. We want to continue chipping away and get everyone ready to move forward for the conference meet.”
The Lady Vols enter the fray with essentially four automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Indoor meet in Fayetteville on March 14-15. That group includes senior Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas) in the 60m at 7.25 seconds, junior Sarah Bowman (Warrenton, Va.) in the mile at four minutes, 37.86 seconds, freshman Annie Alexander (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago) in the shot put at 55 feet, five inches and the distance medley relay contingent of freshman Brittany Sheffey (Bellport, N.Y.), freshman Brittany Jones (Pompano Beach, Fla.), sophomore Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) and Bowman at 11:07.89. Bowman rates number one nationally in her event, while the other three have the third-best marks in the NCAA ranks this season.
Bowman and senior Courtney Champion (Lawrenceville, Ga.) are entered in the most high profile events of any Lady Vols this weekend, as they will take part in Friday night’s two-hour invitational time slot. Champion, a provisional qualifier in both the 60m and 200m dashes, will run in the shorter race at 10:05 p.m. Eastern Time and will take part in the longer race at 10:40 p.m. ET. Bowman is slated to run in the mile at 10:25 p.m. ESPN will have the telecast of that portion of the meet on a tape-delayed basis from 5-7 p.m. ET on Sunday.
In addition to those events, the Big Orange will have athletes competing in the college division of the 60m dash, 400m dash, 60m hurdles and weight throw as well as the championship mile and 5000 meters and Olympic Development mile on Friday. Saturday’s slate includes UT performers in the college division of the 200m dash, 400m dash, 800m run, 60m hurdles, pole vault and shot put as well as the championship 800m and 3000m runs and 4x400m relay, and the invitational 3000m run.
Besides the automatic qualifiers mentioned previously, Tennessee goes into the Tyson Invitational with three provisional qualifiers each in the 60m, 200m and 800m, and one each in the 400m, 5000m, 4x400m relay and weight throw. The highest ranked of those are junior Katie Van Horn (Glendora, N.J.) at eighth in the 5K at 16:41.72 and UT’s 4x4 combination of senior LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.), Champion, freshman Jeneba Tarmoh (San Jose, Calif.) and Tyson, rated seventh at 3:38.61.
“This is probaby the most complete team I’ve had over the years and have ever been a part of,” Clark said. “They just have to stick together and realize their potential as a team. I think, so far, they have been doing that. We definitely have a full package, and hopefully we can use that at the conference and NCAA meets to put us where we want to be.”
Action for UT begins at 11:20 a.m. ET on Friday and concludes around 10:40 p.m., while Saturday’s Lady Vol events get underway at 11 a.m. and wrap up around 6:20 p.m.
|FRIDAY, FEB. 15|
|60mH Pre. (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 11:20 a.m.|
|400m Pre. (Auto: 52.40, Prov: 54.40)b 12:40 p.m.|
|Wt. Throw (Auto: 21.00, Prov: 18.75) 1 p.m.|
|Ch. Mile (Auto: 4:40.00; Prov: 4:48.00)b 2:40 p.m.|
|60m Pre. (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 3:00 p.m.|
|Ch. 5000m (Auto: 16:08.00, Prov: 16:45.00)b 4:20 p.m.|
|Katie Van Horn|
|O.D. Mile (Auto: 4:40.00; Prov: 4:48.00)b 5:00 p.m.|
|60m Fin. (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 5:40 p.m.|
|60m Con. Fin. (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 5:45 p.m.|
|Inv. 60m (Auto: 7.26; Prov: 7.44) 10:05 p.m.|
|Inv. Mile (Auto: 4:40.00; Prov: 4:48.00)b 10:25 p.m.|
|Inv. 200m (Auto: 23.20, Prov: 23.90)b 10:40 p.m.|
|SATURDAY, FEB. 16|
|Pole Vault (Auto: 4.20, Prov: 3.95) 11:00 a.m.|
|200m Pre. (Auto: 23.20, Prov: 23.90)b 11:45 a.m.|
|Shot Put (Auto: 16.90, Prov: 15.20) 1:00 p.m.|
|800m (Auto: 2:05.00, Prov: 2:09.00)b 1:30 p.m.|
|60mH Fin. (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 2:35 p.m.|
|60mH Con. Fin. (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 2:40 p.m.|
|Ch. 3000m (Auto: 9:15.00, Prov: 9:34.00)b 3:00 p.m.|
|400m Fin. (Auto: 52.40, Prov: 54.40)b 4:00 p.m.|
|Ch. 800m (Auto: 2:05.00, Prov: 2:09.00)b 4:10 p.m.|
|Inv. 3000m (Auto: 9:15.00, Prov: 9:34.00)b 4:20 p.m.|
|200m Fin. (Auto: 23.20, Prov: 23.90)b 5:05 p.m.|
|Ch. 4x400mR (Auto: 3:33.00, Prov: 3:40.00)b 6:15 p.m.|