Junior Diane Slinden earned the NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the discus to pace the University of Tennessee women's track and field team at a pair of meets on Saturday.
Slinden recorded a throw of 182-3/55.56m to finish as the top collegian in the field in California. Her measurement was good for sixth overall and betters her previous personal record by more than three meters. Slinden is also the first Lady Vol to automatically qualify for the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The Lady Vols also gave several strong performances at the adidas Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, N.C., where sophomore Mandy Bergey tied for third in the pole vault with a mark of 11-5.75/3.50m, which is just off of her personal best outdoors.
Sophomore Rebecca Collins finished 17th in the first section of the 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 12:51.71. Collins is the first Lady Vol to run the steeplechase in its inaugural season for women in NCAA competition.
CATCHINGS EARNS SPOT ON KODAK TEAM
University of Tennessee forward Tamika Catchings has been named as a member of the WBCA/Kodak All-American Team for the fourth straight year in voting done by eight WBCA district coaches.
Catchings, a 6-foot-1 forward, became only the fourth women's player ever to be selected as a Kodak All-America recipient every year of her career. The former Naismith award winner joins former teammate Chamique Holdsclaw, Cheryl Miller of USC and Ann Meyers of UCLA in the select group of four-time honorees.
I'm honored to be one of the few players ever to be chosen as a four-time Kodak All-American, Catchings said on Thursday. To play just 17 games and still make the team is a feeling I can't describe.
The senior led the Lady Vols in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg) en route to a 16-1 start before suffering a season-ending ACL injury to her right knee during UT's 66-59 win over Mississippi State on Jan. 15.
GILLIAM FINISHES SIXTH AT SENIOR NATIONALS
Tennessee senior Michael Gilliam finished sixth in the 100-meter backstroke at the Senior Nationals on Thursday night in Austin, Texas. The 2001 NCAA 100-yard backstroke champion clocked a time of 56.03 in the championship finals.
On Wednesday, a quartet of Vols placed sixth in the 400-meter freestyle relay. The foursome of Chris Hussey, Justin Hoggatt, Gilliam and Brett Tannhauser reached the wall in a time of 3:30.02.
The Volunteers are fresh off a third-place national finish at the NCAA Championships held last week in College Station, Texas. Several Vols remained in the Lone Star State to compete at the Senior Nationals.
The Seniors National Swimming Championships are serving as the United States qualifying meet for the World Championships this summer.