Senior Leigh Smith led the Tennessee effort Saturday to close the 110th Penn Relays Carnival with a second-place, 244-10 launch in the javelin.
Extremely productive the last two meets, Smith's 244-10 mark stands as the second-best measurement of his career, behind a 249-5 at the Sea Ray Relays. Smith, who owns the second-best mark in the NCAA, finished runner-up to homestanding NCAA leader Brian Chaput of Penn, who uncorked a 251-9 throw.
"The highlight of the meet was Leigh Smith's second-place finish in the javelin," assistant coach George Watts said. "The fourth-place finishes for Sean Lambert and Aries Merritt were good races. It's tough to run fast times at Penn. Paul Cross also did a nice job on the 4x800 relay.
Senior co-captain Lambert claimed fourth with a time of 10.45 seconds in a competitive 100-meter dash final. The top four finishers were separated by only two-hundredths of a second. Lambert's 10.45 stands as a regional qualifier but not as fast as some of his previous races this spring. After a full weekend of racing, Jonathan Wade chose not to run the 100 final as a precaution.
Freshman Merritt finished fourth in a regional-qualifying 13.90 in the 110 hurdles final. He also finished the 400 hurdles in 53.57 to take 24th. He has run faster in both events earlier this spring.
Saturday saw Tennessee finish 11th in the 4x800 relay in 7 minutes, 31.75 seconds behind the running of Frank Francois, Cross, Kenny Schappert and Marc Sylvester. Cross provided the highlight with a 1:47.4 second leg. The middle distance group also placed 15th in the 4xmile relay with a 17:02.86 time. Rob Cloutier, Dusty Miller, Jeff Day and Tim Kelly passed the baton on the 4xmile relay.
In the finals, Tennessee's 4x100 relay team sprinted around the oval in 40.04, a regional qualifier but not a season best, but was disqualified. Tennessee assistant coach Vince Anderson didn't find out until a couple hours later that the Vols were disqualified for passing the baton out of the zone on the last exchange between the third and anchor leg. The 40.04 time would have placed fourth. The Vols adjusted the 4x100 relay lineup leadoff for the finals, replacing Blake Jones with Robert Boulware as an experiment. The same group of Wade, Lambert and Jak Taylor rounded out the Vol four. Last season, Tennessee called on Boulware in the 4x100 relay to qualify at the Mideast Regional.
Some former Vols enjoyed solid outings at the Penn Relays. In addition to former Vol Anthony Famiglietti winning the Olympic development steeplechase Thursday, Justin Gatlin anchored the 4x200 relay team to gold. In the Olympic development "USA vs. The World" 4x200 relay, Shawn Crawford, Mickey Grimes, Darvis Patton and Gatlin raced to first place in 1:19.62 as the USA 'Red' team. Canada took a distant second in 1:22.15.
However, Gatlin's first relay outing of the day didn't finish as successfully. Gatlin was also assigned the anchor leg on on the USA 'Blue' team in the Olympic development "USA vs. The World" 4x100 relay. However, the team did not finish the race. The USA 'Red' team -- Jon Drummond, Bernard Williams, Darvis Patton and J.J. Johnson - defended the home track to take gold in 38.42.
The Americans made it a relay sweep in the "USA vs. The World" 4x400 relay behind the sprinting of USA 'Red' team members Calvin Harrison, Alvin Harrison, Jerome Young and Tyree Washington. The USA 'Red' team circled Franklin Field four times in an impressive 2:58.93. Another former Vol offered up a respectable showing as Gary Kikaya, who runs for Congo in international competition, got the World All-Stars out of the hole on the first leg of the 4x400 relay. The World All-Stars finished runner-up with a 3:00.76 time. Former LSU star Alleyne Francique ran the second leg, followed by Sophiane Labidi and Felix Sanchez.
Former Vol sprinter Leonard Scott, now racing for Nike, took fourth in the Olympic development section of the 100m dash with a 10.50 time. Nike's Jon Drummond won the event in 10.37.
The Vols return home for Sunday's Knoxville Invitational. The first field event begins at 9:30 a.m. The first track event begins at 1:50 p.m. The last event begins at 4:45 p.m. Admission is free.