In only her second race ever at 5,000 meters, University of Tennessee sophomore Sharon Dickie became the Lady Volunteers' first indoor All-American in that event with her eighth-place finish Friday night at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at the Tyson Track Center.
Dickie, from Grand Blanc, Mich., recorded a personal best clocking of 16:28.19 to become the 72nd All-American in UT women's track and field history.
I'm thrilled that she was able to compete the way she did tonight, said UT distance coach Rodney Rothoff. She ran a very gutsy race, which is indicative of the attitude she has. She is only going to get better with experience, and I look forward to seeing how she develops in the future.
Dickie, who also picked up an All-America certificate in cross country last fall, was forced into a very quick pace due to the level of competition.
Sharon went out very fast probably faster than what she was able to handle at this point in her training, Rothoff said. She was at 9:39 at the 3000m mark, which is just three seconds off her PR at that distance, so that tells you what kind of pace it was. But, Sharon was tough throughout the race and never gave up. I'm very proud of her effort tonight.
The finish gave Tennessee a point in the team scoring, breaking a one-year drought at the indoor meet.
Both the Vols and Lady Vols begin the outdoor season with a meet against SEC rivals Alabama, Vanderbilt (women) and Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., on March 17.