March 17, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The national champion University of Tennessee women's track & field team had six student-athletes earn eight total All-America honors at the recent NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Tuesday.
Two Lady Vols picked up a pair of honors at the meet. Senior Sarah Bowman and junior Phoebe Wright were honored individually for winning the mile and taking second in the 800 meters, respectively. Bowman set NCAA meet and UT records in the mile in 4:29.72, edging Texas Tech's 11-time NCAA champion Sally Kipyego at the finish line by 3/100ths of a second to become UT's first-ever national champ in that event. Wright, meanwhile, nearly won the 800 meters despite battling the effects of a sinus infection, finishing second in 2:04.38, a mere 11/100ths of a second behind the victor.
Bowman and Wright joined sophomore Brittany Jones and freshman Chanelle Price to collect honors in the distance medley relay as well. Not only did the Lady Vol quartet win the event for the second year in a row and the third time in school history, it broke a 21-year-old world record and toppled American, collegiate, meet, facility and school records in the process with its readout of 10:50.98.
Senior Celriece Law and sophomore Annie Alexander also earned All-American distinction. Law earned hers by clocking a lifetime best of 8.04 to take second in the 60m hurdles with the best UT short hurdles finish since LaVonna Martin won the 55mH in 1988. Alexander, meanwhile, had the finest NCAA Indoor shot finish in school history and the best national outcome since Rose Hauch won the AIAW Indoor title in 1982. Alexander matched her school record with a third-place toss of 57-2.
With their indoor awards from the USTFCCCA, Bowman, Wright, Law and Jones improved their career totals of college All-America kudos to eight, five, five and three, respectively. Alexander and Price were first-time honorees.