Tennessee men's track head coach Bill Webb and junior sprinter Leonard Scott earned South Region accolades as Indoor Coach/Athlete of the Year as voted on by the United States Track Coaches Association. The coaches of the South Region who are also members of the 5,700-member USTCA select the recipients of both awards. Webb recently led Tennessee to a third-place SEC Indoor finish, its best since 1997. Two-time SEC Athlete of the Week Scott, whose 21.25 points and double titles at the SEC Indoors were a major reason for Tennessee's resurgence, leads the nation in the 60M dash and 200M dash.
Florida, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Georgia Tech, Florida State and South Florida are just a few members of the South Region. Webb and Scott will be presented the award at the Coaches' Banquet on March 8 in Fayetteville, Ark., on the eve of the NCAA Indoor Championships. The national USTCA Coach and Athlete of the Year honors will be voted on and presented at the NCAA Indoors.
Tennessee's Stephen Harris and Blake Sabo completed their first collegiate heptathlon in ninth and 13th place, respectively, Saturday afternoon at the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Harris, a junior from Norcross, Ga., rallied from 10th on Friday to finish ninth (second among collegiate competitors) with 5,364 points. Harris closed the seven-event competition with a career-best 2:45.59 in the 1,000M run. Sabo fell a bit from his first-day finish of ninth to finish the final day in 13th (fourth among collegiates) with 5,123 points. Sabo's second-day highlight was a season-best 8.41 effort in the 60M hurdles.
Stephen and Blake got some good experience that will help their development, head coach Bill Webb said. They're young and most of the people were seasoned veterans. It's too bad that it's (the pentathlon or heptathlon) no longer a collegiate event. They know what competition is at this level.
Both Vols finished stronger than 2000 Olympic bronze decathlon medalist Chris Huffins (who is not listed in the final results because he fouled in the shot put and did not start the 1,000M run. Harris also defeated 2000 NCAA decathlon winner Bevan Hart, who finished just one spot above Sabo.
Meanwhile, Tennessee long jumper Camron Howard missed improving on his provisional long jump mark with a 15th-place, 22-11 3/4 leap Saturday. Howard finished as the sixth-best collegiate competitor. Howard's season-best long jump of 25-4 at the UT All-Comers Meet Jan. 7 places him on the NCAA Indoor qualifying bubble. However, as it stands now, Howard will probably narrowly miss the final cut.
The NCAA Indoor Championships will be held March 9-10 in Fayetteville, Ark.