BERKELEY, Calif. - Tennessee piled up 227.5 points on 11 wins and ran away with victor's laurels Saturday at the Cal Invitational against the likes of Washington (139 points), Stanford (129.5), Cal (102), Kent State (66) and Cal-Davis (61).
With high finishes up and down the line, the Vols kept their outdoor scored-meet victory streak alive with an exclamation point at Cal's Edwards Stadium. A 15th-place finish in the 2000 NCAA Championships at Duke marks the last time Tennessee didn't win a team-scored meet outdoors.
"We were glad to see someone besides the SEC," head coach Bill Webb said. "It was a cool day again and threatened to rain. We were able to focus and get some good things done. We were glad to go up against the Pac 10 and come away with a big victory. We can now focus on a big Gatorade meet in two weeks. We're looking forward to coming back for some SEC competition and warmer weather."
While Tennessee's 11 individual victories punctuated the Cal Invitational win nicely, the Vols piled up the score by placing two or three finishers in the top four in several events.
Tennessee dominated the short track. The Vols swept the top three spots in the 100M dash without the services of defending NCAA champion Justin Gatlin (who ran the high hurdles and 4x100M relay instead).
Leonard Scott opened his final outdoor season for the Vols with a first-place, 10.40 finish. Sean Lambert (10.55) and Jabari Greer (a career-best 10.82) rounded out the Vol 100M dash sweep. In the 200M dash, dropping down from his natural 400M dash and running into a headwind, Gary Kikaya won anyway with a 21.23 timing. In the same vein, 800M man Marc Sylvester dropped down to take the victory in the 400M dash courtesy of a career-best 47.46 finish. Dwayne Bell Jr. nabbed silver with a 47.89 in his trademark 400M dash.
The Volunteer hurdle contingent proved every bit as dominant. In the 110M hurdles, Karl Jennings clocked in at 13.88 to match his career-best time and sneak in a provisional mark, as well.
Jennings also reached the tape first in the 400M hurdles, courtesy of a 51.90 finish. The Vols enjoyed strong depth in the hurdles. Gatlin tried his hand at the 110M hurdles and walked away with second in 13.94. Co-captain Hassaan Stamps took third (14.23) to complete the 110M hurdles sweep and raced around the track in 52.20 to earn runner-up honors in the 400M hurdles.
The Tennesseans fared well in the field, as well. Co-captain Tim Bell won the high jump with a 6-8 3/4 leap. Rocky Danners continued his strong junior campaign with a 17-7 1/4 clearance to best the pole vault field and notch a provisional mark.
After missing the indoor season because he only has outdoor eligibility remaining, Camron Howard responded with a 24-6 1/2 winner in the long jump.
Greer, who improved his personal best by nearly two feet at 24-3 1/2, and co-captain Stephen Harris (23-3 1/4) put the wraps on a Tennessee 1-2-3 sweep in the long jump.
Returning All-America Leigh Smith offered up a season-best, 220-8 mark to slip in under the provisional cutoff in the javelin and take first. In the triple jump, Rondell Mershon went 48-4 3/4 for second place.