June 22, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The University of Tennessee will be well represented at this week's USA Senior and Junior Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Ten current student-athletes will be in action at Drake Stadium, while 11 former Big Orange standouts also will be taking part in the national competition, which begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday.
Members of the current squad eyeing berths in the meet include seven Lady Vols and four Vols. Among the UT women are seniors Phoebe Wright (800m - 2:00.87) and Kimarra McDonald (800m - 2:04.19), and sophomore Ellen Wortham (400m hurdles - 57.55), who will compete in the senior level meet. Slated for action in the junior portion are freshmen Aslynn Halvorson (discus throw - 159-10), Jessie Harrison (discus throw - 151-4, hammer throw - 174-10), Kia Jackson (100m - 11.76, 200m - 24.39, long jump - 19-3) and Martinique Octave (200m - 24.02, 400m - 55.20).
The top ranked performers out of that group are Wright, who ranks sixth among the senior level 800m competitors, as well as Halvorson, Harrison and Jackson, who rate among the best in the junior division. Halvorson enters ranked second in the discus, while Harrison is seventh in the hammer and Jackson is ninth in the long jump.
Three UT men will go into battle in the senior championships. Sophomore Desmond Brown (long jump - 25-9 1/4) and seniors Evander Wells (100m - 10.24, 200m - 20.45) and Kyle Stevenson (100m - 10.32, 200m - 20.82) are entered. Senior Matt Maloney found out Tuesday morning that he did not make the cut in the javelin. Wells is the highest ranked of the three at No. 8 in the 200 and No. 11 in the 100.
Seven former Vols and four ex-Lady Vols also are on the list to take part in Des Moines. Male entries with Big Orange ties include Drew Brunson (110m hurdles), Anthony Famiglietti (3000m steeplechase), Chris Helwick (decathlon, javelin throw), Aries Merritt (110m hurdles), Tom Pappas (decathlon), Garland Porter (hammer throw) and Rubin Williams (100m, 200m). The four former UT female competitors include Sarah Bowman (1500m), Tianna Madison (100m, long jump), DeeDee Trotter (400m) and Cleo Tyson (100m).
Among the post-collegiate Vols, three-time Olympian Tom Pappas and Chris Helwick are among the top decathletes with seed scores of 8,569 and 7,779 that rank them first and fifth, respectively. Merritt ranks third in the 110m hurdles (13.15), two-time Olympian Famiglietti rates seventh in the 3000m steeplechase (8:30.84) and Garland Porter is eighth in the hammer throw (237-1) to lead the rest of UT's top entries.
As for the former Lady Vols, Bowman ranks No. 3 in the 1500m (4:05.67) and two-time Olympian Trotter has the No. 4 mark in the 400m (51.23).
Much of the action for the senior level events will be televised. ESPN will broadcast on June 25 (8 to 10 p.m. ET), June 26 (1 to 2:30 p.m. ET) and June 27 (1 to 2:30 p.m. ET). NBC's telecasts will be June 26 (3 to 4 p.m.) and June 27 (3 to 4 p.m.).
To view the event schedule for the USA Championships, please go to: http://www.usatf.org/events/2010/USAJuniorOutdoorTFChampionships/schedule.asp