The University of Tennessee women's track and field team opened its 1999

indoor season on Saturday in Blacksburg, Va., with a strong performance,

tying the University of Virginia for the team title with 143 points.

Host Virginia Tech came in third with 135, while North Carolina State (63)

and Mount St. Mary's of Maryland (22) were fourth and fifth,

respectively.

Leading the way for the Lady Vols were three athletes with two individual

victories each. Senior Maureen Ferris grabbed top honors in the mile with a

time of 4:57.76 and in the 800 meters at 2:13.26; freshman Frenke Bolt took

first in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.75 and won the high jump.

Senior Kelli White was a victor in the 60- and 200-meter dashes with times

of 7.43 and 24.50, respectively.

White also ran the third leg of UT's first-place 4x400-meter relay squad,

which navigated the oval in 3:46.38, while Bolt did the same for the "B"

relay unit that came in third in 3:57.37. Those finishes in the final races

of the day helped Tennessee amass just enough points to share top honors

overall. Erica Witter, Janelle Briggs and Lesly Love combined with White,

while Tyangela Sanders, Sara Dalton and Heather Sumpter assisted Bolt on

those relay efforts.

In the pole vault, junior Beth Gehring shot down Leslie Henley's year-old

UT indoor record (11-5 3/4) with a clearance of 11-9 3/4 to take top

honors. That mark also broke the Rector Fieldhouse record of South

Carolina's Kylene Nixon (11-8) and met the NCAA provisional qualifying

standard.

Finishing second behind Gehring was Tracy Carrington with a personal-best

and NCAA provisional mark of 11-5 3/4.

The Lady Vols also got a victory from junior transfer Andrea Pappas, who

won the shot put with a heave of 47-10 1/2. She also placed second in the

weight throw with a best effort of 48-4 1/2.

Worthy of mention was the performance of Heather Sumpter, who returned to

competition for the first time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament

in her left knee two seasons ago.

The junior from Pasadena, Calif., started the day by tying for second in

the 60-meter dash in 7.74 seconds. She later took fourth in the 200 meters

in 25.22 before ending the day as the anchor on UT's third-place

4x400-meter "B" relay team, as mentioned earlier.

The Lady Vols will return to Rector Fieldhouse again next weekend, as they

travel to Blacksburg to compete in the Pepsi Indoor Invitational, Jan.

22-23. Twenty-five teams are scheduled to appear in the non-scoring

meet.