May 21, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- In a year in which the NCAA is utilizing a new qualifying method for the national championship meet in track & field, 22 University of Tennessee student-athletes have made the field for next weekend's NCAA East Preliminary Round. The meet will be held May 27-29 at North Carolina A&T's Aggie Stadium in Greensboro.
A total of 13 Vols in 10 events and nine Lady Vols in seven events will grace the field, which is comprised of schools east of the Mississippi River, with the exception of Louisiana, which comes east, and Illinois and Wisconsin, which go west. Forty-eight individuals in each event and 24 in each relay qualified for the East Preliminary Round. By Saturday night, 12 individuals and 12 relays from the East will join the same numbers from the West Preliminary Round to create the field for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore.
Earning a position in the running events for the UT women are seniors Phoebe Wright and Kimarra McDonald, and sophomore Ramzee Fondren in the 800m; sophomore Brittany Sheffey in the 1500m; senior Jackie Areson in the 5000m; sophomore Ellen Wortham in the 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay team of freshman Martinique Octave, Wortham, McDonald and Wright. In addition to the 22 UT qualifiers, senior Jena' Murphy and sophomore Charity Honeycutt are expected to be the alternates.
Areson and Wright are the Lady Vols' top ranked competitors. Areson rates first in the east in the 5K at 15:51.56, while Wright is second in the 800 with a best of 2:01.81. Both won SEC championships in those events last weekend.
Making the cut of 48 in running events for the UT men are seniors Evander Wells and Kyle Stevenson in the 100 and 200 meters; senior Samdi Fraser in the 400m; sophomores Joe Franklin and Emerson Peacock, and freshman Terrance Livingston in the 800m; junior Peter Sigilai in the 1500m; junior Michael Spooner in the 10,000m and senior John Hewitt in the 400m hurdles. Field event qualifiers include senior Brad Holtz and sophomore Robert Rasnick in the pole vault; sophomore Desmond Brown in the long jump and senior Matt Maloney in the javelin throw.
The top ranked Vols are Wells in the 200m (3rd, 20.45), Maloney in the javelin (3rd, 230-11) and Brown in the long jump (6th, 25-9 1/4).