UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior Dee Dee Trotter won the 200-meter dash with the world's fastest time of 2004, breaking the school record and earning an automatic NCAA qualifying time Saturday afternoon.
Trotter, who already owned the Tennesse 400 meter mark, out-dueled Nike's Rachelle Boone and Penn State All-American Connie Moore with a world-leading time of 23.19.
Trotter's handiwork erased Sue Walton's 23.23 Lady Vol mark from the 1995 NCAA Championship meet. It also wiped out Boone's previous record at PSU's Ashenfelter Indoor Track.
"Dee Dee is obviously ahead of where she was last year, and that's very encouraging for her development," Lady Vol coach J.J. Clark said. "The time doesn't surprise me, because her short sprints have been going well.
"She's a very talented, very gifted young lady. We are trying to develop her to be as good as she can be."
Friday night the distance medley relay shattered the school record and the NCAA automatic qualifying mark.
Responsible for the DMR showing of 11:03.42 were sophomore Brooke Novak, who led off with a 3:23 effort in the 1200 meters, junior Dee Dee Trotter, who steamed to a 0:52 leg in the quarter, junior Nicole Cook, who ran a 2:05 count in the 800, and senior Lindsay Hyatt with a 4:41 in the 1600-meters.
To put UT's distance medley race into perspective, the blazing time it posted Friday would have been good enough for second place at last year's NCAA Championships meet. Only North Carolina's 11:00.20 would have been better.
"It is a very talented group, and they ran very fast tonight," Clark said. "I have to say they ran faster than I had anticipated. That is a time that could do very well at nationals."
Helwick shines at Clemson - Chris Helwick may be a freshman, but coach Bill Webb is grateful he didn't perform like one as the Clemson Heptathlon concluded Saturday. In his first collegiate multievent, Helwick captured third place and accumulated 5,210 points, more than 100 points better than the NCAA Indoor provisional-qualifying time.
Helwick will likely need to add some points to make the NCAA Indoor field, but his Clemson performance shines as a promising opener.
"Chris Helwick did an excellent job in his first multievent competition for Tennessee," Webb said. "We had mixed results today. We'll learn from some things.
"We need to go back to the drawing board and be ready for the SEC Heptathlon."
Tennessee returns to action Saturday at the Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.