April 2, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The University of Tennessee women's track & field team will hope to get in a full weekend of competition on April 3-4, as the fourth-ranked Lady Volunteers travel to Gainesville for the 2009 Pepsi Florida Relays at Percy Beard Track.
Among the teams slated to join the NCAA Indoor champion UT women are No. 11 Florida, No. 16 Miami (Fla.), No. 17 South Carolina and No. 19 Arkansas, among others. College action begins at 11:30 a.m. on both days and runs into the evening. The meet also features a large number of high school teams in competition.
The Big Orange officially opened the outdoor campaign last weekend, with split squads going to California for the Stanford Invitational and Atlanta for the Yellow Jacket Invitational. With the bulk of the squad inactive last weekend in Atlanta after the meet was cancelled by thunderstorms, this event takes on added importance in terms of training and earning NCAA regional qualifying marks.
"We wanted to start last weekend and get the ball rolling, but the meet (Yellow Jacket) was rained out," said UT Head Coach J.J. Clark. "Things happen for a reason, so maybe it was better that they (our athletes) just rested anyway. You never know.
"I looked at the forecast, and I see some rain in there for this weekend. Hopefully it is not rained out. Since I've been involved with the Florida Relays, it has been rained out three times, twice while I was at Tennessee and once when I was coaching at Florida. Hopefully, we can get some decent weather, get some work in and not be shutout two weekends in a row."
For Tennessee and the other participating conference squads, the meet also will have other implications for later in the season.
"We're excited to go to Florida, because that is where the SEC Outdoor Championship meet is," Clark said. "It gives us an opportunity to get on the track, similar to the way we went to Texas A&M during the indoor season in preparation for the NCAA Indoor meet. You get the opportunity to see the track, see the facility and get familiar with it. Will it make a difference or not? I'm not sure, but the opportunity is there, we're taking it and will run with it and see what happens."
Tennessee was able to compete six distance athletes last weekend at Stanford, and three of them came home with regional marks. Junior Phoebe Wright met the regional mark in the 1500 meters with a time of 4:24.28, while Sarah Bowman and Jackie Areson made the Mideast Regional meet in the 5000 meters with times of 16:20.78 and 16:27.16, respectively. Clark hopes to add to that list in Gainesville.
Among the hopefuls are several who fared well at the NCAA and SEC Indoor meets. In the sprints and hurdles, NCAA Indoor 60m hurdles runner-up and SEC champion Celriece Law and SEC Indoor 60m and 200m runner-up Lynne Layne will be in action. Law is slated to run the 100m hurdles, while Layne is entered in the 100 and 200 meters. NCAA champion distance medley relay participant Brittany Jones is penciled in to run her first 400 of the season.
In the middle distances, NCAA and SEC mile champion Bowman is entered in both the 800 and 1500m, while NCAA Indoor 800m runner-up and SEC champ Phoebe Wright is ticketed to join her. They, along with 800m entrant and former high school phenom Chanelle Price, may also be involved in either the 4x400m, 4x800m or sprint medley relays that Clark is planning to run.
Sophomore Annie Alexander will swing into action in the throws. The defending SEC Outdoor champ in the discus and shot, and the NCAA Indoor third-place finisher in the shot this season, she is slated to handle both implements in Gainesville.
|FRIDAY, APRIL 3|
|1500m (Regional: 4:27.80) 11:30 a.m.|
|Sarah Bowman, Phoebe Wright, Jackie Areson, Rolanda Bell, Elizabeth Altizer, Katie Van Horn|
|100mH (Regional: 13.92) 12:10 p.m.|
|Celriece Law, Chardae Hancock|
|400m (Regional: 54.61) 1:00 p.m.|
|Brittany Jones, Amanda Alexander, Charity Honeycutt|
|100m (Regional: 11.75) 2:20 p.m.|
|Lynne Layne, Brittany Jones, Ashley Harris, Celriece Law|
|800m (Regional: 2:09.80) 2:50 p.m.|
|Phoebe Wright, Sarah Bowman, Chanelle Price, Ramzee Fondren, Kimarra McDonald|
|400mH (Regional: 1:00.82) 3:40 p.m.|
|Ellen Wortham, Amanda Alexander|
|High Jump (Regional: 5-8.75/1.75m) 5:00 p.m.|
|4x200m Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 5:10 p.m.|
|Possibilities: Lynne Layne, Celriece Law, Ashley Harris, Brittany Jones, Ellen Wortham, Amanda Alexander|
|Pole Vault (Regional: 12-7.50/3.85m) 5:30 p.m.|
|Long Jump (Regional: 19-8.25/6.00m) 6:00 p.m.|
|Hammer (Regional: 177-8/54.15m) 6:00 p.m.|
|Akeela Bravo, Laquoya Kelly, Holly Kane, Christine Coppola|
|SATURDAY, APRIL 4|
|Sprint Medley Relay (Not An NCAA Event) Noon|
|Possibilities: Lynne Layne, Celriece Law, Brittany Jones, Chanelle Price, Phoebe Wright|
|Javelin (Regional: 142-6/43.45m) 1:30 p.m.|
|Holly Kane, Brittany Napoli|
|4x100m Relay (Regional: 45.70) 3:10 p.m.|
|Ashley Harris, Brittany Jones, Celriece Law, Lynne Layne|
|Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 3:30 p.m.|
|Annie Alexander, Akeela Bravo, Christine Coppola|
|4x800m Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 3:40 p.m.|
|Possibility A: Sarah Bowman, Ramzee Fondren, Chanelle Price, Phoebe Wright, Kimarra McDonald|
|Possibility B: Jackie Areson, Rolanda Bell, Charity Honeycutt, Chelsea Knotts, Kim White|
|Invite 200m (Regional: 23.96) 4:10 p.m.|
|Lynne Layne, Celriece Law, Ashley Harris, Ellen Wortham|
|5000m (Regional: 16:52.00) 4:30 p.m.|
|Ally Colvin, Michele Levy, Elizabeth Tiller|
|Shot Put (Regional: 46-11/14.30m) 5:45 p.m.|
|Annie Alexander, Laquoya Kelly, Akeela Bravo|
|4x400m Relay (Regional: 3:42.00) 6:30 p.m.|
|Possibility A: Chanelle Price, Brittany Jones, Phoebe Wright, Ellen Wortham|
|Possibility B: Amanda Alexander, Kimarra McDonald, Kim White, Rolanda Bell, Jená Murphy|
* All Times Eastern
# - NCAA Regional Qualifier, * - NCAA Automatic Qualifier, + - NCAA Provisional Qualifier, ! - Personal Record (Outdoors), dnf - Did Not Finish, dnq - Did Not Qualify, dnr - Did Not Run, dns - Did Not Start, dq - Disqualified, f - Facility Record, fs - False Start, h - Hand Times, nm - No Mark, p - Prelims, s - School Record (Outdoors).