Tennessee’s men’s and women’s track teams were both able to find success last weekend in Lexington, Ky., at the Ron McCravy Memorial. The performance by the 17th-ranked Vols included 14 personal best times, three season best times and two NCAA provisional qualifiers. For the 8th-ranked Lady Vols, two set provisional qualifying marks and three others tallied individual wins.
Men’s head coach Bill Webb pointed out that the team was without three of their top athletes over the weekend. Despite this, he was pleased with the squad’s overall performance, in particular the improvement and potential shown by a few individuals.
“Matthieu Pritchett improved a large amount in the 60-meters,” Webb said of Pritchett’s 6.70 second time, which was good enough for second place. “Andy Lane, in the pole vault, jumped 17.2 meters and had a near miss at 17.7. Our high jumper, Brenard Wilson, had a near miss at seven feet, and he’ll be ready to jump that in conference.”
Wilson finished second in the high jump, but the single victory for the Vols came from senior Jeff Day, who recorded a personal best time of 8:17.11 to win the 3,000 meters.
The Lady Vols recorded wins in the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles. Cleo Tyson set the meet record for the 60 with a time of 7.33 seconds, and Nia Ali’s 8.37 time gave her first place in the hurdles. UT’s Celriece Law finished second in the event with a provisional qualifying time of 8.41. Pavi’elle James, the third Lady Vols runner in the event, placed fourth.
Law, who also finished fifth in the long jump, won the triple jump with an NCAA provisional qualifying leap of 41 feet, 9 and a quarter inches. Sarah Bowman recorded a second place finish in the 800, and her time of 2:08.18 was good enough to make her a provisional qualifier.
Other highlights included a fourth place finish from Rose-Anne Galligan in the mile, Sarah Bowman in the 3,000 and a third place medal from the 4x400 relay team.
“The idea is to qualify as many for the NCAAs as possible, and we were able to qualify five or six more,” Lady Vols coach J.J. Clark said. “As a team, we’re starting to come together, and I look forward to seeing more productive performances this weekend.”
Next up for the Lady Vols is the Penn State Invitational, a meet that Clark says is an important measuring stick for his team.
“Right now, we are about where I want to be, but this weekend will really dictate that,” Clark said.
The men will split the squad over the weekend with 10 distance runners headed to Bloomington, Ind., to compete in the Gladstein Invitational. Meanwhile, the decathletes will be competing in Clemson, S.C.
“Our next big meet is in New York,” Webb said. “We’ll take the whole team; it’s the ‘Who’s Who’ of track.”
Webb was quick to point out that, in the end, it comes down to just two meets: the SEC and NCAA championships.
“The conference championships are in five weeks; that’s what we’re really gearing up for,” he said.
Track posts quality times
Published: Fri Jan 26, 2007 | Modified: Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:39 p.m.