The Tennessee track and field teams wrapped up action at the Pepsi Florida Relays on Saturday by winning one event and checking in with top-five finishes in five others at James G. Pressley Stadium at Percy Beard Track.
The Lady Vols, who have made a name for themselves by sweeping NCAA and SEC Indoor titles in the distance medley relay the past three seasons, came out on top in that event once again outdoors. Sophomores Brittany Sheffey and Ellen Wortham, and seniors Phoebe Wright and Jackie Areson left no doubt as to the outcome, winning by a little more than 24 seconds over runner-up Florida in a time of 11 minutes, 10.48 seconds. That mark ranks the quartet as the ninth-fastest in school history.
The UT men’s 4x800m relay unit just missed cracking the program’s top 12 in that event, placing third in 7:25.50. Carrying the stick for the Big Orange were sophomore Emerson Peacock, junior Peter Sigilai, freshman Breon Dixon and sophomore Joe Franklin. Penn State (7:18.72) and Alabama State (7:21.46) finished ahead of the Vols.
The Vols’ 4x100m relay unit produced the nation’s sixth-fastest mark this season, checking in at 39.93 to place fourth. Carrying the stick were seniors Kyle Stevenson, Evander Wells and Samdi Fraser, and sophomore Desmond Brown. Florida, anchored by Jeff Demps, finished a second ahead of UT to claim victory.
The UT men also got a pair of fourth-place individual outcomes and took fifth in the distance medley relay. Seniors Matt Maloney (217-9) and Brad Holtz (17-2 3/4) took fourth in the javelin throw and pole vault, respectively, while the DMR quartet of senior Mike Brodsky, sophomore Deaundra Dailey, redshirt freshman Spenser Tipton and junior Chris Rapp wound up fifth in 10:02.83.
Other noteworthy efforts for the Lady Vols included junior Holly Kane’s personal-best throw of 142-10 to place sixth in the javelin and the seventh-place effort of the 4x200m relay combination of sophomore Ashley Harris and freshmen Nyosha Bryant, Martinique Octave and Kia Jackson in 1:35.99.
The Vols and Lady Vols will return home and prepare to play host to the 44th-annual Sea Ray Relays, which will take place Wednesday through Saturday at UT’s newly refurbished Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium.