The ninth-ranked University of Tennessee women's track and field team managed to bring home four new NCAA regional qualifiers from a pair of meets in California over the weekend.
At the Mt. SAC Relays, rainy and windy conditions subsided just enough late Saturday evening to allow three qualifying marks in the middle distance events. Junior Nicole Cook, the NCAA Indoor champion in the 800 meters, made her outdoor debut at that distance a successful one, easily winning the University Open division.
Cook, who won her sixth-straight 800m race after going 5-0 indoors, joins teammates Leslie Treherne and senior Lindsay Hyatt to form a trio of UT 800m runners who have earned trips to the NCAA Mideast Regional meet in Baton Rouge, La., on May 28-29.
Senior Kameisha Bennett and redshirt freshman Mindy Sullivan also competed in the same race as Cook but neither logged a time worthy of qualifying. Bennett took a tumble after being pushed from behind and displayed great resolve in finishing hard in 2:12.12 (23rd), while Sullivan checked in 44th.
Hyatt added another qualifying mark to her resume, earning a trip in the University Open 1500 meters on Saturday night along with sophomore Brooke Novak. Hyatt clicked along to a career-best clocking of 4:19.74 to place seventh, while Novak also notched a personal record via an 11th-place result of 4:22.80.
Junior Dee Dee Trotter charted her first qualifier in the straight sprint this season, crossing the line 11th in 11.73.