March 22, 2007
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The University of Tennessee women's track & field team will open the outdoor portion of its schedule this weekend, as the Lady Volunteers travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to compete in the Wake Forest Open at Kentner Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
UT is the only Southeastern Conference school among the 32 women's teams scheduled to compete as of Thursday. The meet has a decidedly Atlantic Coast Conference feel to it, with the host Demon Deacons joined by ACC foes Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
The Lady Vols are coming off an indoor campaign that saw them win their second SEC Indoor title in the past three seasons and post a top-three outcome at the NCAA Indoor Championships, marking UT's third top-five finish in the past three trips to that meet. Fueling this year's surge were seven 2007 All-Americans who tallied nine total honors.
Three of those athletes who starred at the 2007 NCAA Indoor meet will be in action at Wake Forest. The list includes sophomore Sarah Bowman (Warrenton, Va.) and freshmen Nia Ali (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Rose-Anne Galligan (County Kildare, Ireland).
Bowman, who finished sixth at NCAA Indoors in the mile, and Galligan, who teamed with Bowman and teammates LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.) and Leslie Treherne (Chesapeake, Va.) on Tennessee's runner-up distance medley relay unit at the national meet, are slated to see action in the 800m at 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday and in the 1500m at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Ali, meanwhile, was sixth in the 60m hurdles at the NCAA meet, setting a UT record of 8.13 in the prelims. She is slated for duty in three individual events this weekend, including the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, and long jump.
Also expected to be among the 16-member travel party are 2006 NCAA discus qualifier Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio), 11-time sprint All-American Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas) and American junior record-holding triple jumper Brittany Daniels (Tracy, Calif.). Dickenson is entered in the discus, shot and hammer; Tyson is ticketed for the 200m and Daniels is expected to compete in three jumps events - the triple, long and high.
"Our goal for the outdoor season is just to have another solid campaign like we did for indoors and try to be in the higher echelon of the national picture," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "The most important thing is to qualify people for the NCAA Mideast Regional meet. The qualifying standards aren't that strenuous, so we should be able to put some marks on the board, get people in that meet and not worry about it any more.
"That's something that is important, to get people through (to the regional meet). We believe that everyone we are traveling has a shot of making a regional qualifying mark."
Action is scheduled to run from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.