May 27, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A total of 15 University of Tennessee women, including three who own four of the top marks in the field, will make their way to Louisville, Ky., for the NCAA Mideast Regional this weekend. The meet will be held Friday and Saturday at the University of Louisville's Cardinal Park Track & Field Complex.
Action runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time each day, with bids to the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships at stake. The top five individual finishers and top three placing relay teams automatically advance to the national meet, which will be held June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.
"We're coming off the SEC meet, which is always a difficult undertaking," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "We made it through, and we competed with great character. Now we have to move right into the regional meet and be ready to go.
"The team has shown great poise as we have moved through these past several weeks, and I expect the same as we round out the outdoor season with these last two meets. We have some key performers, and I believe everyone going has a legitimate chance of advancing to the NCAA meet. I look forward to each of them giving her best."
Sophomore Annie Alexander, senior Sarah Bowman and junior Phoebe Wright enter with the top marks in their respective events for the seventh-ranked Lady Vols. Alexander stands first in the Mideast Regional and tops nationally in the discus with a best toss of 188-9. She leads the region in the shot put at 56-0 and rates No. 3 in the country in that event. Bowman, the 2009 NCAA Indoor champ in the mile, stands first in the Mideast and sixth nationally in the 1500 meters with a best of 4:15.03, while 2009 NCAA Indoor 800m runner-up Wright leads the region and is No. 1 nationally as well with a 2:02.15 mark this season.
Senior Celriece Law, who swept SEC Indoor and Outdoor hurdles titles this season and was the NCAA 60m hurdles runner-up indoors, ranks third in the region in the 100m hurdles, while junior sprinter Lynne Layne is second in the 100 meters and third in the 200 meters regionally.
"It's Celriece and Sarah's last time at the regional meet," Clark said. "They've done a great job so far, and they'll have great competition in Louisville. They're both coming off winning SEC Championships, along with Phoebe, and we just look forward to getting them and the rest of our team to the meet and seeing what they can do."
Other individual qualifiers for Tennessee, and their regional rankings and times are: freshman Chanelle Price (5th, 2:03.30) and senior Kimarra McDonald (15th, 2:08.43) in the 800 meters, junior Jackie Areson (6th, 16:11.71) and senior Katie Van Horn (14th, 16:37.79) in the 5000 meters, senior Alicia Essex (7th, 13-7 1/4) in the pole vault, senior Rolanda Bell (9th, 4:24.84) in the 1500 meters and freshman Ellen Wortham (12th, 59.08) in the 400-meter hurdles.
In the relay events, Tennessee ranks fourth in the 4x100 meters, with Law, sophomore Brittany Jones, freshman Ashley Harris and Layne posting a best of 44.70 to take third at the SEC meet. The 4x400m relay combination of Price, McDonald, Wright and Wortham stands ninth in the field at 3:38.41, which they ran in placing fourth at the league meet. Senior Amanda Alexander is an alternate for the 4x400m relay.
"We'd like to see everyone duplicate or improve upon the performances that they had at the SEC meet," Clark said. "The key to this meet is advancing. Whether it's finishing first, second, third, whatever, as long as you are in that top five individually, you are going to advance. Same thing for relays, with the cut-off being top three. The key is to advance, and we look forward to trying to do that.
"It's almost like trying to advance through the rounds of a meet to the final. If you are in that top group of competitors, you advance to the next day. In this case, we're trying to advance to the next meet (NCAA Championships). Then, we take it from there."
To make it to Fayetteville, the Big Orange women, who moved from ninth to seventh this week in the USTFCCCA Rankings, will have to battle athletes from several ranked schools to do so. Among the Mideast field are No. 3 LSU, No. 10 Michigan, No. 16 Arkansas and No. 17 Auburn.
"We have a tough region, but it is what it is," Clark said. "We'll get there (to the meet), get some things done and see what we can accomplish."
For live results from the meet, go to www.utladyvols.com and click on "live results" on the front daily schedule or on the schedule page.
|FRIDAY, MAY 29|
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|Pole Vault Final (Regional: 12-7.50/3.85m) 1:00 p.m.|
|4x100m Relay Prelim (Regional: 45.70) 1:30 p.m.|
|Celriece Law/Brittany Jones/Ashley Harris/Lynne Layne|
|1500m Prelim (Regional: 4:27.80) 2:00 p.m.|
|100mH Prelim (Regional: 13.92) 2:40 p.m.|
|100m Prelim (Regional: 11.75) 3:20 p.m.|
|800m Prelim (Regional: 2:09.80) 4:40 p.m.|
|400mH Prelim (Regional: 1:00.82) 5:20 p.m.|
|Discus Final (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 5:30 p.m.|
|200m Prelim (Regional: 23.96) 6:00 p.m.|
|5000m Final (Regional: 16:52.00) 6:40 p.m.|
|Katie Van Horn|
|SATURDAY, MAY 30|
|EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)|
|Shot Put Final (Regional: 46-11/14.30m) 2:30 p.m.|
|4x100m Relay Final (Regional: 45.70) 4:00 p.m.|
|1500m Final (Regional: 4:27.80) 4:20 p.m.|
|100mH Final (Regional: 13.92) 4:45 p.m.|
|100m Final (Regional: 11.75) 5:05 p.m.|
|800m Final (Regional: 2:09.80) 5:25 p.m.|
|400mH Final (Regional: 1:00.82) 5:40 p.m.|
|200m Final (Regional: 23.96) 6:00 p.m.|
|4x400m Relay Final (Regional: 3:42.00) 7:05 p.m.|
|Chanelle Price/Kimarra McDonald/Phoebe Wright/Ellen Wortham|
|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).|