June 2, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The NCAA Division I Track & Field Committee announced its qualifiers Tuesday for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and the seventh-ranked Tennessee women added a pair of at-large entrants into the mix for the meet, which will be held June 10-13 at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark.
Freshman Chanelle Price (Easton, Pa.) and junior Jackie Areson (Delray Beach, Fla.) earned berths in the meet based on where their season-best times placed them on the descending order list in the 800 and 5000 meters, respectively. They each finished sixth at the regional meet, one spot out of automatic qualification. Price enters the NCAA fray ranked eighth nationally with a best time of 2:03.30, while Areson stands 15th on the list at 16:11.71.
In all, Lady Vol Head Coach J.J. Clark's squad will have 10 student-athletes set to compete in nine events with 10 scoring opportunities. The Big Orange won the NCAA Indoor Championship back in March and is hoping to post another top-five outcome next weekend in Arkansas. The Lady Vols are coming off an impressive second-place finish at the NCAA Mideast Regional over the weekend and placed third at the SEC Outdoor Championships on May 14-17.
"Based on the selection criteria, we felt good that Chanelle was going to receive a bid," Clark said. "Jackie's situation was a little harder to predict, but we knew she stood a great chance. It's very good to have both of them onboard, and I believe they both have a good chance of helping our program in this meet."
Automatic qualifiers included sophomore Annie Alexander (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago) in the discus throw and shot put; senior Sarah Bowman (Warrenton, Va.) in the 1500m; freshman Ashley Harris (Austell, Ga.) in the 4x100m relay, senior Celriece Law (Denver, Colo.) in the 100m hurdles and 4x100m relay; junior Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay; freshman Ellen Wortham (Maryville, Tenn.) in the 4x100m relay, and junior Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) in the 800m. Senior Amanda Alexander (Nashville, Tenn.) is going as an alternate for the 4x100m relay.
UT's travel party will depart for Fayetteville on Monday and begin competition on Wednesday on the campus of the University of Arkansas.