Oct. 12, 2009
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Phoebe Wright walked away with four awards and Sarah Bowman snared three Sunday night, as the University of Tennessee women's track & field and cross country teams celebrated their highly-successful 2008-09 school year with a banquet at the Lauricella Center at Neyland Stadium.
With taped telecasts from the Lady Vols' NCAA and SEC Indoor Track & Field Championship victories playing on the numerous flat screens displayed around the room, Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark recognized the tremendous efforts of his student-athletes. Those performances ranged from world records, national championships and league titles on the oval to Academic All-Americans, National Scholar-Athlete of the Year and National Scholar Team of the Year in the classroom.
For the third straight season, Bowman claimed Lady Vol Most Valuable Performer distinction. The Warrenton, Va., senior also added MVP for Indoor Track and Co-MVP for Outdoor Track to her haul after winning an NCAA Indoor title in the mile, anchoring UT to victory in the distance medley relay and helping the Lady Vols win their second NCAA Indoor team title in the past five seasons. She also fueled their run to the SEC Indoor crown with victories in the mile, 3000m and DMR, and added a 1500m title outdoors to boot. Additionally, she was an All-American and All-South Region and All-SEC honoree in cross country.
Wright, from Signal Mountain, Tenn., shared Co-MVP for Outdoor Track accolades with Bowman as a junior after completing an SEC season sweep in the 800 meters outdoors, finishing fifth at NCAAs and third at the USA Championships, and lowering her career-best time to 2:00.40 to rank as the fastest collegian of 2009. She also was presented the Scholar Award, Most Improved for Outdoor Track & Field and the Ilrey Oliver Sparks Memorial Competitive Award, which annually goes to the person who best displays the tenacious attributes possessed by the late Lady Vol sprint great.
Annie Alexander, from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, was named Most Valuable Performer for Field Events, indoors and out, as a sophomore. She earned that recognition by garnering third-place NCAA Indoor and Outdoor finishes and matching her school record indoors in the shot put. She also won the shot competition at the NCAA Mideast Regional and finished second in the discus, and posted top-three finishes in SEC competition in the shot put and discus.
Track & Field Freshman of the Year accolades went to Ellen Wortham of Maryville (indoors) and Chanelle Price of Easton, Pa. (outdoors). Wortham finished fifth at SEC Indoors in the pentathlon and ran the 400m leg on the victorious distance medley relay. Price was an SEC scorer indoors and out in the 800m and an NCAA Indoor champion and world-record-holder in the DMR. Among other performances, she also ran on UT's outdoor 4x1500m unit that set a world record as well.
Senior Celriece Law earned Most Improved - Outdoor Track & Field, while sophomore Brittany Sheffey of Bellport, N.Y., was chosen Most Improved - Cross Country. Law wrapped up her career by sweeping the SEC Indoor and Outdoor 60m and 100m hurdles titles and placed second and fifth at the respective NCAA meets. Sheffey, meanwhile, was an All-SEC and All-South Region runner on the trails.
Rounding out the award recipients were sophomore Holly Kane of Knoxville (Community Service Award), seniors Amanda Alexander of Nashville and Katie Van Horn of Glendora, N.J. (Coaches Award), and sophomore Brittany Jones of Pompano Beach, Fla. (Lady Vol Spirit Award).
Clark singled out the achievements of five Lady Vols who combined on relays to set two world records, four American and collegiate records, and five school records. The distance quintet included senior Rolanda Bell of Laurelton, N.Y., Bowman, junior Kimarra McDonald of Lumberton, N.J., Price and Wright.
Also, there were recognitions for seniors, NCAA and SEC Champions and All-Americans. Those who concluded their careers in 2009 included Amanda Alexander, Bell, Bowman, Alicia Essex of Purcellville, Va., Law and Van Horn. Set to wrap up in 2010 are Jackie Areson of Delray Beach Fla., Janea Grimes of Newport, Tenn., Chardae Hancock of Denver, Colo., Michele Levy of Rockville, Md., McDonald, Jená Murphy of Memphis, Tenn., and Wright.
NCAA Champions were Wright, Jones, Price and Bowman for the DMR and Bowman for the mile, all indoors. All-Americans included Annie Alexander (i/o shot put), Bowman (mile, 1500m, DMR), Ashley Harris (4x100mR), Jones (DMR), Law (60mH, 100mH, 4x100mR), Lynne Layne (4x100mR), Price (DMR, o 800m), Wortham (4x100mR) and Wright (i/o 800m, DMR). The SEC Champions were Bell (DMR), Bowman (mile, 3000m, 1500m), Fondren (DMR), Law (60mH, 100mH), Wortham (DMR), and Wright (i/o 800m).
2008-09 LADY VOL CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK & FIELD AWARDS
Lady Vol MVP: Sarah Bowman
Ilrey Oliver Sparks Memorial Competitive Award: Phoebe Wright
MVP - Indoor Track: Sarah Bowman
MVP - Outdoor Field Events: Annie Alexander
MVP - Indoor Field Events: Annie Alexander
Freshman of the Year - Outdoor Track & Field: Chanelle Price
Freshman of the Year - Indoor Track & Field: Ellen Wortham
Most Improved - Outdoor Track & Field: Phoebe Wright
Most Improved - Indoor Track & Field: Celriece Law
Most Improved - Cross Country: Brittany Sheffey
Scholar Award: Phoebe Wright
Community Service Award: Holly Kane
Lady Vol Spirit Award: Brittany Jones