NCAA Championship Notes | NCAA Championship Home
DES MOINES, Iowa -- After turning in their finest performance of the outdoor campaign at the NCAA Mideast Regional two weekends ago, the University of Tennessee women will enter the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with their highest ranking of the season. The eighth-ranked Lady Vols are slated to begin action Wednesday afternoon at Drake Stadium.
Head Coach J.J. Clark will have eight athletes competing at the national meet. Automatic qualifiers include freshman Annie Alexander (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago) in the discus throw and shot put; junior Sarah Bowman (Warrenton, Va.) in the 1500m; sophomore Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay; senior LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.) in the 4x100m relay; freshman Jeneba Tarmoh (San Jose, Calif.) in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay; senior Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas) in the 4x100m relay and sophomore Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) in the 800m.
Junior Celriece Law (Denver, Colo.) made the cut as an at-large entrant in the 100m hurdles and will serve as an alternate for the 4x100m relay. Loche, meanwhile, will compete in the 400m dash at the national meet as an at-large contestant in addition to running on the 4x1.
Clark would like to see his squad continue its late season push, which began with a strong final day that propelled the Big Orange to fourth at the SEC Outdoor meet and continued into the Mideast meet, where Tennessee posted its best finish (second) and point total (66) since the Lady Vols won that event in 2005. Coincidentally, UT won the regional competition that season and went on to place fourth at the NCAA Outdoor meet. After finishing 18th and 27th, respectively, at outdoor nationals the past two seasons, the UT coach is hoping for something more in line with the ‘05 output.
“Our mindset, of course, is to always try and win,” Clark said. “Sometimes, though, you need to realize what you have. You just go out there, do your best, hope for good performances and be content with that for now. That’s the position we are in.
“We are going there trying to put some nice marks on the board and see where that lands us. We have a good group, and in order to be competitive in this meet, we’ll have to perform as well as we did at the regional meet and step up in other areas. I look forward to the challenge.”
If the Lady Vols are to move into position for one of the NCAA plaques that goes to the top four finishing squads, the Big Orange will need Alexander and Bowman to perform as they have all season long. UT also will need sprinters Layne and Tarmoh, and relay cohorts Loche and Tyson, to run like they did at the Mideast Regional and for Law, Loche and Wright to deliver personal-best performances in their individual events.
“We’ll have to come to the NCAA meet, compete like we did at the regional meet and step up in other areas,” Clark said. “That would help us tremendously. I believe we are capable of doing that.
“The team has to believe it is capable of going out and having performances that are better or very similar to what they had two weeks ago. That would likely put us in position to finish in the top 10 or maybe higher than that”
Alexander is UT’s top-ranked competitor, entering the meet seeded second in the discus at 187 feet, three inches and fifth in the shot put at 57-3. She recently won the discus at the SEC Championships and Mideast Regional, setting a Trinidad & Tobago national record at the conference meet. She is the UT record-holder in the shot and became the first SEC freshman female in history to sweep indoor and outdoor titles in that event. Alexander will throw in the qualifying round of the discus on Wednesday and the shot on Thursday.
Bowman stands fifth in the nation in the 1500 meters with a career-best clocking of 4:14.06. She won the SEC in that event and finished second at the regional level. A five-time All-American and eight-time SEC champion, Bowman was the third-place finisher in the mile at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships. She is slated to run in the 1500m prelims on Thursday evening.
Layne and Tarmoh burst onto the scene at the regional meet in Fayetteville and could provide the boost UT needs to move back into contention for a top-10 team performance. Layne arrives in Des Moines ranked fourth in the 100m at 11.11 and 14th in the 200m at 23.12, coming off runner-up and third-place finishes at the Mideast meet. Tarmoh, meanwhile, was third and second in those two events at regionals and enters rated ninth in the 100m at 11.21 and 11th in the 200m at 22.94. The first two rounds of the 100m are on Wednesday, while the first two rounds of the 200m are Thursday.
Layne and Tarmoh join Loche and Tyson for the No. 8 4x100m relay quartet in the land. The foursome rolled to a time of 44.16 to place second at the NCAA regional. The 4x1 semifinal is on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Wright ranks 12th in the 800m at 2:04.92, Law stands 15th in the 100m hurdles at 13.23 and Loche rates 19th in the 400m at 52.78. They finished fourth, eighth and ninth, respectively, in those events at the Mideast Regional. The first rounds of the 400m and 800m are on Wednesday, while the 100m hurdles prelims are on Thursday.
|WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11|
|Discus Throw Qualifying 4:00 p.m. CT|
|4x100m Relay Semifinals 4:30 p.m. CT|
|Jeneba Tarmoh/LaTonya Loche/Cleo Tyson/Lynne Layne|
|800m First Round 5:00 p.m. CT|
|100m First Round 5:30 p.m. CT|
|400m First Round 6:30 p.m. CT|
|100m Semifinals 7:00 p.m. CT|
|THURSDAY, JUNE 12|
|100mH First Round 4:30 p.m. CT|
|200m First Round 5:10 p.m. CT|
|800m Semifinals 6:15 p.m. CT|
|200m Semifinals 6:35 p.m. CT|
|1500m Semifinals 6:55 p.m. CT|
|Shot Put Qualifying 7:15 p.m. CT|
|FRIDAY, JUNE 13|
|(Televised By CBS College Sports Network, 7-10 p.m. CT)|
|Discus Throw Final 5:30 p.m. CT|
|4x100m Relay Final 7:05 p.m. CT|
|Jeneba Tarmoh/LaTonya Loche/Cleo Tyson/Lynne Layne?|
|100mH Semifinals 7:55 p.m. CT|
|400m Semifinals 8:15 p.m. CT|
|100m Final 8:35 p.m. CT|
|SATURDAY, JUNE 14|
|(Televised By CBS-TV, 3-5 p.m. CT)|
|Shot Put Final 1:30 p.m. CT|
|400m Final 3:05 p.m. CT|
|800m Final 3:19 p.m. CT|
|200m Final 3:37 p.m. CT|
|100mH Final 3:53 p.m. CT|
|1500m Final 4:12 p.m. CT|
# - 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).