Tennessee’s track and field team travels to the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta this weekend. Tennessee will see some of the fiercest competition in the country at the meet, including recent indoor national champion, Wisconsin.
“It’s a big weekend,” head coach Bill Webb said, “We’re bringing everybody that’s healthy. We’re going to compete in all of our top events. We’re looking forward to some great relays.”
Relays are one of the areas in which the team is looking to make an adjustment from what they were accustomed to during the indoor season.
The Vols posted one of the fastest times in the country and won the 4x100 relay in 39.65 seconds last weekend in Alabama. However, Webb said that the team struggled with the hand-off, something that they were not used to doing during the indoor season, and he feels that they will improve on that time this weekend.
Other parts of the transition from the indoor to the outdoor season include the addition of the 400m hurdles, 5,000m, 10,000m and the javelin throw. But, Webb says the sprinters have the most difficult adjustment to make.
“You go from 60 meters indoors to 100 meter outdoors. You have to have ‘strength-speed’ instead of just pure speed,” Webb said, making reference to the added element of endurance that the longer sprints demand.
Webb said he feels this weekend is the best opportunity yet for the Vols to showcase their abilities, even though they have already competed in two prior events with relative success.
Two weeks ago, at the Hurricane Invitational in Miami, Fla., they posted four personal best marks. Richard Wooten won the shotput event and produced an NCAA regional qualifying distance in the hammer throw at the meet. Senior Andy Baska also had a good time in South Beach as he set the meet record en route to winning the 3,000m.
Last weekend, at the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa, the Volunteers won three events and added a total of eight regional qualifiers. Along with the relay team, Michael Hoque placed first for the Big Orange in the pole vault, while Yarrick Kincaid and Tyler DeVault finished first and second in the 1,500m, respectively.
Tennessee concluded the indoor season with a 10th place finish at the NCAA championships. After this weekend, they will take a break over Easter before resuming competition at home in the 41st Annual Sea Ray Relays on April 11.