UT tracksters off to speedy start at SEC Indoors

(UTSports.com) -- The third-ranked Tennessee men’s track and field team opened competition strong Friday at the SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Team captain Jangy Addy leads the heptathlon after the first day with a personal-best opening day score of 3,421 points.

“Both of our athletes had solid days,” head coach Bill Webb said. “Jangy is right where we want him. I’m happy when he’s healthy and he’s also on pace to qualify for nationals, which is our main goal. If he wins the event in the process, great, but that is not our focus. In addition to qualifying in the heptathlon, we want to get him to the finals of the 60 hurdles here.”

Addy holds a 294-point lead in his bid to repeat as the conference heptathlon champion after extending his first day PR, set at last year’s SEC indoor meet, by 27 points. Freshman Michael Ayers ended the first day in fourth place with 2,847 points.

Addy began the day by winning the first three events on the schedule. The senior tied his personal-best time of 6.88 seconds in the 60-meter dash before recording a mark of 24 feet, 0 1/4 inches in the long jump. Addy then moved to the shot put, where he unleashed a winning throw of 51-9 3/4. The Norcross, Ga., native finished his day with a season-best high jump clearance of 6-5, just one inch short of his personal-best mark in the event.

Ayers opened his first conference championship competition with a personal-best, 7.13 clocking in the 60 before recording a leap of 21-1 1/2 in the long jump. The Nashville native earned a mark of 36-9 1/2 in the shot put before clearing the high jump bar at a personal-best height of 6-5.

“Anytime a freshman comes in (to a conference meet), you just want him to compete,” Webb said. “He had a really good first event and rebounded well in the high jump. He is in the mix for some big points.”

The SEC Indoor Championships continue Saturday with the weight throw at noon Eastern Time. The heptathlon concludes with the 60 hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 starting at 3:10 p.m. Live results can be found at UTsports.com throughout the championships.