Feb. 17, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After winning the Olympic Development 800-meter run at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., over the weekend, and doing so with an NCAA automatic qualifying time, junior Phoebe Wright was named Lady Vol Athlete of the Week Tuesday in a vote by the UT Women's Media Relations staff.
Wright, a product of Signal Mountain, Tenn., and Red Bank High School, cruised to victory in a time of two minutes, 4.71 seconds to earn a victory against a field comprised of athletes from 11 of the nation's top 25 schools. Her career-best clocking earned her the right to compete in the 800m at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, on March 13-14. She had previously earned a trip to the meet in the distance medley relay, with which she was named Lady Vol Athlete of the Week last Tuesday after that group set an American record and logged the No. 2 time ever by women at 10:56.40.
The former walk-on also ran a leg on UT's 4x400m relay unit at the Tyson meet, helping that quartet log a season-best readout of 3:42.54 to finish eighth. She handled the baton second, joining forces with freshman Chanelle Price, senior Sarah Bowman and senior Kimarra McDonald.
Wright ranks third in the SEC this season in the 800m and is among only three women in the entire conference who are NCAA auto qualifiers in running events. She also is part of the SEC's No. 1 ranked DMR. A year ago, Wright earned All-America honors in the 800m outdoors as well as with both of those relays indoors. She placed sixth at the NCAA Outdoor meet in the 800 and helped UT win the DMR and place eighth in the 4x4 at the NCAA Indoor meet.
Wright will return to action on Feb. 27-March 1, when she and her teammates travel to Lexington, Ky., to compete in the SEC Indoor Championships.