Tennessee's top-ranked track and field squad put the wraps on a successful Kroger Invitational with two titles by Leonard Scott (200M dash) and Rocky Danners (pole vault) Saturday at Virginia Tech. More importantly, Scott's 200M winning time of 20.89 and Danners' winning height of 17-9 stand as strong provisional qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoors in March.
"We competed extremely hard," head coach Bill Webb said. "I particularly liked our efforts in the mile relay and the two provisional marks by our vaulters (Rocky Danners and Clint Binder). I couldn't be happier with the toughness of our two new quarter-milers (Gary Kikaya and Leon McRae) we just got in at the start of the semester. I look forward to stepping up another notch against great SEC competition next week at Florida."
In his first time to run the 200M dash this indoor season, Scott, a senior from Zachary, La., raced to another early start, as he did in the 60M dash last weekend, to claim the gold in 20.89, just .04 of a second off the NCAA automatic qualifying standard. Scott now, in all probability, has written his NCAA Indoors ticket in both the 60M dash, with an automatic 6.62 qualifier last week in Kentucky, and 200M dash, with his impressive provisional 20.89 clocking Saturday.
With his pole vault victory, Rocky Danners stands in the middle of his most consistently successful three-meet stretch of his collegiate career. The junior from Killeen, Texas, scraped the sky at 17-9, only a 1/4 inch off his all-time best in the outdoor season of 2000, to claim victor's laurels.
Danners' season-best effort at 17-9 lacks only 3 1/2 inches from matching the automatic qualifying standard for the NCAAs. Danners cleared 17-0 and contributed provisional marks in improving each of his three meets thus far this season. In more good news for the pole vault corps, Clint Binder broke the 17-foot barrier for the first time with his career-best clearance of 17-0 3/4. Binder's height tied for third and nabbed a provisional mark.