Members of the Tennessee track and field team are heading to Des Moines, Iowa for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Volunteers who qualified for the event include: sophomore Chase Brannon in the men’s pole vault, redshirt freshman Matthew Hoty in the men’s shot put, senior Brittany Jones in the women’s 200 meter, senior Brittany Sheffey in the women’s 1500 meter, the women’s 4x400 meter relay team consisting of senior Ellen Wortham, sophomore Kianna Ruff, junior Nijgia Snapp, junior Martinique Octave, senior Chanelle Price and senior Ashley Harris.
    
Both the men’s and women’s 4x100 meter relay teams are heading to nationals. The women’s 4x100 meter relay team consists of senior Ashley Harris, Jones, junior Martinique Octave, junior Kia Jackson and Wortham. The men’s 4x100 meter relay team consists of sophomore Reginald Juin, freshman Jamol James, sophomore Jarael Nelvis, junior Arnez Hardnick and junior Desmond Brown. Joining this already extensive list of Vols are senior Annie Alexander in the women’s discus throw and shot put, sophomore Linda Hadfield in the women’s pole vault, Price in the women’s 800 meter Wortham in the women’s 400 meter hurdles.
    
The total number of track athletes going to nationals is 11 women competing in nine events and six men taking part in three events.
    
The track Vols got to the national outdoor championships by qualifying at NCAA East Preliminary Round meet on May 25-26 in Jacksonville, Fla. at North Florida’s Hodges Stadium. Tennessee Director of Track and Field J.J. Clark was pleased with the showing the Vols had.  
    
"Our objective was to come here and advance people to the NCAA meet,” he said. “We advanced men; we advanced women. We had a couple of casualties, people we wanted to make it, but didn't, but on the whole, it was an outstanding day. Our program is moving in the direction we need it to go.”  
    
In particular, Brannon earned a trip to nationals by having his second-best outdoor vault of his career. He soared over the bar at 17 feet, 5 1⁄2 inches on his third attempt to tie for eighth.
    
"I had a good plan coming in, I've been jumping well in practice, and I executed the plan to make it to nationals," Brannon said. "I'm glad I made it on my third attempt. It's very satisfying, because I didn't want everyone to think I was just a flash in the pan making it indoors. I am glad I could do it again."
    
The women’s 4x100 meter relay team had its best outing of the spring at preliminaries by having a time of 44.29 to finish third in the second heat and sixth of the 12 qualifying teams. They are going to the NCAA Outdoor championships for the second-consecutive year.  
    
"We've put forth so much work, so to come here, run a season best and punch our ticket to nationals is exciting," said Jackson. "Ashley got us out to a good start and both Brittany and Martinique kept it going, and I just did what I had to do to get top three. All of us just competed today to the best of our abilities."
    
The Tennessee track team will be competing at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships June 6-9.