Tennessee's seventh-ranked men's track and field squad scored 162.5 points to run past South Carolina (134), Georgia (92.5) and Kentucky (82) Saturday at the SEC Quad in Lexington, Ky. The Vols garnered six wins to pace the field. The two biggest wins came in the sprints.
Tennessee sprinters Leonard Scott and Justin Gatlin ruled the day with eye-popping times in the 60m dash and the 200m dash. Leonard Scott, in just his second race this season, sprinted to a blazing 6.57 to win the 60m dash. The time easily qualified him for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Additionally, the time is only .01 of a second off the school indoor record set by Scott in 1999.
However, the junior from Zachary, La., wasn't through for the day as he notched an automatic qualifying time in winning the 200m dash in 20.80. According to head coach Bill Webb, Scott probably leads the nation in both the 60m dash and the 200m dash. Scott also was Tennessee's second-highest scorer with 18 points for his wins.
Freshman Justin Gatlin also got into the act by posting provisional times and placing second in both the 60m dash (6.70) and the 200m dash (20.92). However, his provisional time in the 200M dash on Saturday will most likely put him in the starting blocks in a second event at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Gatlin also won the long jump with a 23-4 1/2 leap.
Tyler Garrett also notched a provisional mark in the shot put with his third-place, 57-9 1/2 effort in a tough field.
Tennessee's distance corps posted another Vol win in the 3,000m run. Farragut native Eric Bell won the event in 8:43.18, just .08 of a second off his PR, as three of the top four finishers donned orange and white.
The field competitors got into the act by also winning three events. In addition to Gatlin's win in the long jump, Rondell Mershon took home top honors in the triple jump with a 46-6 measurement.
Sophomore Rocky Danners also won the pole vault with a 17-0 1/4 clearance on a gimpy hamstring.
Blake Sabo scrapped for points to become Tennessee's third-leading scorer with 14. Sabo scored six points in the long jump (third, 22-10 1/2), four points in the high jump (fifth, 6-8) and four points in the triple jump (fifth, 42-0).
Distance runner Sharon Dickie and pole vaulter Christie Elwin posted second-place outings as the Tennessee Lady Volunteer track and field team finished fourth on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Southeastern Conference Quad Meet at the University of Kentucky's Nutter Field House.
Second-ranked South Carolina took top honors with 165 points, while Georgia and Kentucky finished second and third with 135 and 127 points, respectively.
Dickie, running her first mile race of the season, contended for victory until the final lap, when Kentucky's Caity Phillips pulled away and crossed the line in 4:58.87. The UT sophomore from Grand Blanc, Mich., was second in 5:04.36, while freshman Lady Vol Erin Anderson was third at 5:15.84.
Elwin, meanwhile, secured seven points for UT with her runner-up effort in the vault at 12-0.50. For the first time this season, the Adelaide, Australia, product did not claim the title, surrendering the crown to Georgia rookie Corrie Drakulich. Teammate Mandy Bergey was right behind in third place, tallying her third consecutive personal best of the year with a clearance of 11-8.50.
Tennessee will travel to Johnson City next weekend to compete on Friday and Saturday in the Sprint Invitational/IKON Kroger Invitational at East Tennessee State University.