UT's Law Has Breakthrough Day in Hurdles

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- University of Tennessee junior Celriece Law made her trip to the Virginia Tech Last Chance Meet count, winning the 60m hurdles Saturday afternoon in a season-best time and more importantly putting herself into position for an at-large bid to next weekend???s NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Law, from Denver, Colo., rolled to a 2008-topping 8.23 seconds in the prelims before unloading an 8.19 readout in the final that was good for first place. In terms of her season goals, though, the improvement on the national qualifying list from 30th with a time of 8.37 to ninth place with the second fastest readout of her career means most likely she will be in Fayetteville, Ark., next Friday and Saturday, competing in her second national meet in a row at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

As a sophomore, Law posted a career-best and then-Lady Vol record of 8.15 to finish second at the SEC Indoor meet. She also ran 8.25 to take seventh at the NCAA meet in 2007. In 2008, her previous best result of 8.37 had come at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet on Feb. 8. That mark would not have gained her entry into the national meet.

Lady Vol sophomore Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) also improved her time in the 200 meters, but whether it will be enough to punch her ticket to Fayetteville remains to be seen. Her 23.68 performance at Rector Field House bested her 23.72 output from last weekend???s SEC Championships, earning her second place today. She remained tied at 20th nationally, though, after Virginia Tech???s Britni Spruill moved ahead of her by winning in 23.62.

Elsewhere, Law carded a season-best leap of 18-11 3/4 in the long jump with her first attempt to place seventh, while junior Alicia Essex (Purcellville, Va.) was unsuccessful on her opening height of 12-0 and charted no mark in her last chance effort.

???We had a very successful last chance meet,??? Big Orange Head Coach J.J. Clark said. ???Our team is starting to click on all cylinders.

???Celriece ran 8.19 and added another person to our group for the NCAA meet and had a PR in the long jump to top it off. Lynne also improved on her time in the 200; we???ll just have to wait and see on her. It was a good day, and we???re just looking forward now to going to the NCAA meet.???

Senior LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.) had been scheduled to make the trip and compete in the 400m dash, but she opted to stand pat with the 53.22 NCAA provisional mark she recorded at the SEC Championships. That mark ranked her 11th in the nation entering the weekend and will earn her a ticket to the national meet provided she doesn???t have very many others pass her with better times today.

Pole Vault (Auto: 4.20, Prov: 3.95) Noon
nmAlicia EssexMissed at 12-0/3.66m
Long Jump (Auto: 6.35, Prov: 6.10) Noon
7thCelriece Law18-11.75/5.78m!
60mH Pre. (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 12:45 p.m.
Adv.Celriece Law8.23p+/3rd, ht. 1 (3rd)
60mH Fin. (Auto: 8.14; Prov: 8.43) 2:00 p.m.
1stCelriece Law8.19+
400m (Auto: 52.40; Prov: 54.40)b 2:30 p.m.
dnrLaTonya Loche
200m (Auto: 23.20, Prov: 23.90)b 3:30 p.m.
2ndLynne Layne23.68pb+

KEY 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





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