A year ago, UT's Kameisha Bennett opened the outdoor portion of her rookie season with a 2:18.94 clocking in the 800 meters.
What a difference a year makes. The sophomore from Dayton, Ohio, made her first appearance outside in 2001 and did so in impressive fashion, claiming victory in 2:09.83 at the Yellow Jacket Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
Running on the George C. Griffin Track at Georgia Tech, Bennett went out strong and maintained a lead for the entire first lap. She surrendered it briefly on lap two, but then exhibited her typical strong kick and left the field behind. She was just over two seconds off the NCAA provisional standard and was 3 1/2 seconds off her PR. Tennessee volunteer assistant coach Maureen Ferris crossed the line second behind Bennett in 2:11.04.
Indoor 5000m All-American Sharon Dickie also made a successful outdoor debut, placing sixth in the 1500m. In her first-ever collegiate race at that distance, the Grand Blanc, Mich., native circled the track in 4:38.83, approximately 15 seconds above the NCAA's provisional mark.
Junior Samantha Coulson registered a personal best by a second in the 400 meters, navigating the oval in 56.37 to place sixth.
Freshman Denita Miller improved her season best in the javelin by four inches and climbed a little higher on the NCAA provisional qualifying list with a fourth-place finish Saturday afternoon at the 74th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
Miller, from Liberal, Kan., entered her sixth and final throw of the day with only a mark of 145-9/44.42m. She was able to put it all together on her last attempt, however, and wound up with a measurement of 154-5/47.06m.