Donning black socks, Jackie Areson won the SEC Indoor 3000m and anchored UT's distance medley relay to victory as well.
March 1, 2011
By Eric Trainer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Record-setting senior distance runner Jackie Areson has been selected the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week for the second time this season after her terrific performance over the weekend at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Areson, who hails from Delray Beach, Fla., picked up a pair of victories at the SEC meet in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday and Sunday, recording meet records in each of those events. Those efforts at the Randal Tyson Track Center enabled her to repeat the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week honors she earned on Feb. 1.
On Saturday night, Areson led a one-two-three finish in the 3000 meters, eclipsing the 24-year-old meet record of Kentucky's Lisa Breiding (9:15.69) with a 9:10.49 readout. The graduate of Atlantic Community School became UT's sixth SEC Indoor 3K winner in the past seven seasons and led the Lady Vols to 24 points in that event, as senior Liz Costello (9:16.14) and junior Brittany Sheffey (9:26.75) followed her across the finish line for second and third places.
Areson returned to the banked oval on Sunday afternoon to collect victory number two. After teammates Brittany Sheffey, Ashley Harris and Chanelle Price staked her to a nice lead, Areson did more than protect that advantage en route to victory. She simply ran away from the field, helping Tennessee not only win its fifth straight and seventh overall SEC DMR title but also qualify for the NCAA Championship meet and snap the SEC meet record with a time of 11:05.37. That mark, which is the No. 5 readout in the NCAA this season, was an incredible 32 seconds faster than that of the runner-up team.
Thanks to Areson and her teammates, the sixth-ranked Lady Vols were able to improve one spot to third place in the SEC team standings from 2010 to 2011. In qualifying the DMR for nationals, Areson and her teammates will travel to College Station, Texas, next week in hopes of charting the Lady Vols' third straight and sixth overall top-five finish in J.J. Clark's nine seasons at the helm. The UT women won the NCAA Indoor meet in 2005 and 2009 and were runners-up in 2010.