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Lady Vols Seeking Strong Finish at NCAA Outdoors
Ellen Wortham

Ellen Wortham

June 8, 2009

NCAA Meet Notes Get Acrobat Reader


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The last time the University of Tennessee women's track & field team won an NCAA Indoor National Championship prior to the 2009 campaign, Head Coach J.J. Clark's squad followed that up with a top-five outdoor finish in 2005, placing fourth.  The seventh-year skipper's plan in 2009 is to follow indoor success with success once again, as his squad closes out the collegiate season June 10-13 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
            

On Wednesday and Thursday, the meet will be streamed lived on the internet. Please go to utladyvols.com and click on the live video link on the scrolling schedule on the front page. Friday's action will be televised live by CBS College Sports Network from 7-10 p.m. Eastern Time, with CBS-TV carrying final day events live from 1 to 3 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Clark's current club, which finished third at the SEC Outdoor Championships and second at the NCAA Mideast Regional two weekends ago, travels a squad of 10 competitors to John McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus. The Big Orange will enter as the No. 7 team in the land, according to the most recent United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Poll. A new poll is expected sometime this week.

"It's the NCAA meet, and we want to go there and do the best we can," Clark said. "The rankings to me are not really significant; I just want to go there and see if we can bring some hardware back and see how well we can do in this national meet.

"There's a lot of talent throughout the nation. I feel like we can compete well if we go there focused on what our objectives are, which is to execute and stick to our plan."

Tennessee will have 10 athletes competing in nine events with 10 scoring opportunities. The Lady Vols will have two entries in the 800 meters (Phoebe Wright, Chanelle Price) and single contestants in the discus and shot (Annie Alexander), 100m and 200m (Lynne Layne), 100m hurdles (Celriece Law), 1500m (Sarah Bowman) and 5000m (Jackie Areson). UT also qualified a 4x100m relay, with Law, freshmen Ashley Harris and Ellen Wortham, and Layne comprising that quartet. Senior Amanda Alexander is a relay alternate.

The Big Orange features two athletes with the best marks in the nation entering the meet. Wright, a junior, tops the NCAA in the 800 meters with a best time of 2:02.15. She also topped the indoor list and came away with a runner-up finish at the national indoor meet. Sophomore Annie Alexander, meanwhile, is first in the discus at 188-9 and third in the shot at 56-0. She was the NCAA Indoor third-place finisher in the shot earlier this season.

NCAA Indoor mile champ Bowman, meanwhile, stands fourth among the qualifiers in the 1500m at 4:13.59. She was third a year ago at this meet but would like to wrap up her career by matching her 2009 indoor feat. Still, she ran a school-record 4:07.50 in Des Moines last season that stood as the No. 4 collegiate time ever recorded.

Also entering the meet ranked among the top eight are Price, a rookie with a 2:03.30 readout in the 800m, and Law, a senior with a 13.14 best in the 100m hurdles. Law was second at NCAA Indoors in the 60m hurdles and owns a 2009 outdoor title in the 100m hurdles at the SEC Championships and a runner-up finish to Michigan's Tiffany Ofili at the NCAA Mideast meet. Incidentally, Law was second to Ofili at the NCAA Indoor meet earlier this season and placed seventh at this meet a year ago. Price, meanwhile, is making her first individual NCAA appearance after running the 800 leg on UT's victorious and world-record-setting distance medley relay unit at the indoor national meet. She owns an outdoor career best of 2:01.61.

UT's 4x1 stands ninth at 44.25, while Layne is 11th in the 100m at 11.28 and 13th in the 200m at 23.33. Areson, a junior, ranks 15th in the 5K at 16:11.71.

"We have some youngsters with the top marks (in the field), but they have to go to the meet nice and relaxed, focus on their goals and remember what got them there," Clark said. "They can do that, and I believe they'll be OK.

"Our team has to do the same thing. It's not about your mark when you came here; everyone is starting off at the same point. We have to go and prove ourselves and get the job done at the right time."

That was the case indoors, as Tennessee reeled off one clutch performance after another en route to winning its second NCAA Indoor title in the past five seasons. World records, American records, collegiate records, meet records, school records and personal bests fell as UT turned incredible individual performances into collective greatness. The question is, can Clark and company catch lightning in a bottle for the second time this season at a national meet?

"I don't know how hard it is or isn't to get the team to fire on all cylinders, but that is the goal," Clark said. "Some coaches do it better than others, but we always look to make something special happen. If you are going to win championships, no matter who it is, special things have to happen."

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
Shot Put Qualifying (Regional: 46-11/14.30m) 4:15 p.m.
Annie Alexander
4x100m Relay Prelim (Regional: 45.70) 5:00 p.m.
Celriece Law/Ashley Harris/Ellen Wortham/Lynne Layne
800m First Round (Regional: 2:09.80) 5:30 p.m.
Phoebe Wright
Chanelle Price
100m First Round (Regional: 11.75) 6:00 p.m.
Lynne Layne
100m Semifinal (Regional: 11.75) 7:30 p.m.
Lynne Layne?
5000m Semifinal (Regional: 16:52.00) 8:40 p.m.
Jackie Areson
THURSDAY, JUNE 11
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
Discus Qualifying (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) 10:30 a.m.
Annie Alexander
Shot Put Final (Regional: 46-11/14.30m) 4:45 p.m.
Annie Alexander?
100mH First Round (Regional: 13.92) 5:30 p.m.
Celriece Law
200m First Round (Regional: 23.96) 6:10 p.m.
Lynne Layne
800m Semifinal (Regional: 2:09.80) 7:15 p.m.
Phoebe Wright?
Chanelle Price?
200m Semifinal (Regional: 23.96) 7:35 p.m.
Lynne Layne?
1500m Semifinal (Regional: 4:27.80) 7:55 p.m.
Sarah Bowman
FRIDAY, JUNE 12
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
4x100m Relay Final (Regional: 45.70) 6:05 p.m.
Celriece Law/Ashley Harris/Ellen Wortham/Lynne Layne?
100mH Semfinal (Regional: 13.92) 6:55 p.m.
Celriece Law?
100m Final (Regional: 11.75) 7:35 p.m.
Lynne Layne?
5000m Final (Regional: 16:52.00) 8:15 p.m.
Jackie Areson?
SATURDAY, JUNE 13
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
Discus Final (Regional: 155-2/47.30m) Noon
Annie Alexander?
800m Final (Regional: 2:09.80) 12:19 p.m.
Phoebe Wright?
Chanelle Price?
200m Final (Regional: 23.96) 12:35 p.m.
Lynne Layne?
100mH Final (Regional: 13.92) 12:52 p.m.
Celriece Law?
1500m Final (Regional: 4:27.80) 1:09 p.m.
Sarah Bowman?
All Times Central
KEY
# - 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).

 

 

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