April 7, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The fourth-ranked University of Tennessee women's track & field team enters the Sea Ray Relays on a roll, and head coach J.J. Clark wants to keep it that way as his Lady Vols play host to the four-day meet from Wednesday through Saturday at UT's Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium.
The Big Orange women head into the 43rd edition of this meet with 12 NCAA regional qualifying marks and are coming off a performance last weekend at the Pepsi Florida Relays where they charted nine of those marks and won four events. Those are the types of numbers Clark likes to see, especially coming off an indoor campaign that saw the Lady Vols win the NCAA Indoor title for the second time in five seasons and the SEC Championships for the third time in five years.
"All of these meets right now are for getting things going and trying to get some regional qualifying marks all across the board - from the throws to the sprints to the jumps to the distances," the 2009 USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Indoor Women's Coach of the Year said. "It's very nice to be at home and trying to accomplish our goals at the same time. It is always exciting to compete here, because we don't have many opportunities to do that traditionally.
"We realize that the SEC meet is still several weeks off, but we have to use these meets to propel us forward and perform well. My emphasis for Sea Rays is to stay healthy, to put some regional marks on the board and to keep the momentum rolling forward from week to week."
This year's meet will feature 1,270 athletes from 90 different affiliations, representing small colleges, universities and track clubs from coast to coast. A total of 642 women and 628 men are slated to take part in the four-day affair.
"Back when I was in school (at Villanova), it was called the Dogwood Relays, and it was a big meet then," Clark said. "Even though the name changed with the sponsorship provided by Sea Ray, the tradition of the meet has carried forward. Despite the fact that there are a lot of other events introduced into the mix, people have stayed with it and the meet has stood the test of time. It's a good meet, and that's why people come back."
Among the top women's teams set to compete are the fourth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols, who won their second NCAA Indoor Championship just a few weeks ago, as well as No. 2 Virginia Tech and No. 24 Louisville. Third-ranked Oregon and No. 17 South Carolina won't be sending complete squads, but they will have athletes in competition.
Other schools include Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Diego State, Seton Hall, Villanova and West Virginia. In-state teams from Austin Peay, Bryan, Chattanooga, East Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee, Milligan also will be on hand.
A year ago against that sort of talent, Tennessee won five events, including three relays at the same Sea Rays for the first time in school history. The Lady Vols took first in the 4x100m, 4x200m and distance medley events, and Celriece Law and Annie Alexander were victorious individually in the 100m hurdles and invitational discus, respectively. Alexander also charted a school record of 57-3 in the shot put.
This time around, Alexander (discus, shot) and Law (100m hurdles) look to again be in the hunt for titles. Other Big Orange contenders include eight-time All-American Sarah Bowman in the 800m, Lynne Layne in the 100 and 200 meters, Jackie Areson in the 1500 meters and Alicia Essex in the pole vault. Tennessee's top relay focus will be either the 4x1500m or the distance medley. The Lady Vols will field quartets in other events, but they might not be UT's "A" lineups.
For information on the Sea Ray Relays, including a time schedule and entries, please go to http://www.utladyvols.com/sports/w-track/spec-rel/030509aaa.html. The results page will be http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-track/searay/09/.
|THURSDAY, APRIL 9|
|Open Hammer (Auto: 5,500; Prov: 5,050) 8 p.m.|
|Akeela Bravo, Laquoya Kelly, Holly Kane, Christine Coppola|
|FRIDAY, APRIL 10|
|Open 5000m (Regional: 16:52.00) 12:15 p.m.|
|Open 3000m (Not An NCAA Event) 12:35 p.m.|
|Jackie Areson, Katie Van Horn|
|1500m - Sections 3&4 (Regional: 4:27.80) 1:00 p.m.|
|Elizabeth Altizer, Ally Colvin, Michele Levy|
|High Jump (Regional: 5-8.75/1.75m) 1:00 p.m.|
|Pole Vault (Regional: 12-7.50/3.85m) 1:00 p.m.|
|800m - Sections 4-6 (Regional: 2:09.80) 1:30 p.m.|
|Charity Honeycutt, Kim White, Chelsea Knotts|
|100mH (Regional: 13.92) 2:00 p.m.|
|Celriece Law, Chardae Hancock, Ellen Wortham|
|100m (Regional: 11.75) 2:45 p.m.|
|Lynne Layne, Celriece Law, Ashley Harris, Chardae Hancock, Ellen Wortham|
|Open Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 2:45 p.m.|
|Akeela Bravo, Christine Coppola|
|400m (Regional: 54.61) 3:35 p.m.|
|Phoebe Wright, Ellen Wortham, Amanda Alexander, Ramzee Fondren, Kim White, Charity Honeycutt|
|400mH (Regional: 1:00.82) 4:25 p.m.|
|Ellen Wortham, Amanda Alexander|
|200m (Regional: 23.96) 5:10 p.m.|
|Lynne Layne, Celriece Law, Ashley Harris, Ellen Wortham, Chardae Hancock, Amanda Alexander|
|800m - Sections 1-3 (Regional: 2:09.80) 6:00 p.m.|
|Sarah Bowman, Jackie Areson, Rolanda Bell, Kimarra McDonald, Ramzee Fondren|
|1500m - Sections 1&2 (Regional: 4:27.80) 6:30 p.m.|
|Jackie Areson, Rolanda Bell|
|Javelin (Regional: 142-6/43.45m) 7:00 p.m.|
|Holly Kane, Brittany Napoli|
|SATURDAY, APRIL 11|
|Inv. Discus (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 12:45 p.m.|
|Distance Medley Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 1:20 p.m.|
|Possibility A: Sarah Bowman/Brittany Jones/Chanelle Price/Phoebe Wright|
|Possibility B: Jackie Areson/Rolanda Bell/Kimarra McDonald/Ellen Wortham|
|Long Jump (Regional: 19-8.25/6.00m) 1:30 p.m.|
|Lynne Layne, Celriece Law|
|4x100m Relay (Regional: 45.70) 2:00 p.m.|
|Possibilities: Ashley Harris/Chardae Hancock/Brittany Jones/Celriece Law/Lynne Layne|
|Shot Put (Regional: 46-11/14.30m) 2:30 p.m.|
|Annie Alexander, Laquoya Kelly, Akeela Bravo|
|4x800m Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 3:20 p.m.|
|Possibility A: Sarah Bowman/Ramzee Fondren/Chanelle Price/Phoebe Wright|
|Possibility B: Jackie Areson/Rolanda Bell/Kimarra McDonald/Kim White|
|4x200m Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 4:00 p.m.|
|Possibilities: Lynne Layne, Celriece Law, Ashley Harris, Brittany Jones, Ellen Wortham, Chardae Hancock|
|4x1500m Relay (Not An NCAA Event) 4:40 p.m.|
|Possibilities: Jackie Areson/Rolanda Bell/Sarah Bowman/Phoebe Wright|
|4x400m Relay (Regional: 3:42.00) 5:25 p.m.|
|Possibility A: Brittany Jones/Chanelle Price/Ellen Wortham/Phoebe Wright|
|Possibility B: Rolanda Bell/Ramzee Fondren/Kimarra McDonald/Kim White|
* 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).