June 9, 2007
The Tennessee men's track and field team collected 30.5 points during the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif., and finished fourth after competition ended Saturday.
"We had a good day today," head coach Bill Webb said. "Any time you finish in the top-five at the NCAA championships you have to be happy. We had a couple of near-misses in a few events where our guys finished ninth, but overall we had a great meet. Today was a great conclusion to the season."
Florida State won the team title for the second consecutive year with 54 points. SEC foes LSU and Auburn placed second and third with 48 and 34 points, respectively. Southern California scored 27 points to round out the top five. Tennessee's fourth-place finish is the team's highest since placing second in 2002 and is the 15th time in program history the Vols have placed in the top five at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Junior Rubin Williams earned his 12th All-America certificate and third of this year's championships by finishing second in the 200 with his time of 20.72. Williams also finished second in the 200 at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The San Jose, Calif., native earned All-America honors in the 100 and 4x100 relay during competition Friday.
Freshman Evander Wells ran to his third career All-America certificate with his fifth-place, 21.03 finish in the 200. Wells finished sixth in the event at the indoor national championship meet and also ran on Tennessee's third-place 4x100 relay team Friday.
"Rubin ran right with (collegiate record-holder) Walter Dix for most of the race," Webb said. "Evander ran a great race to place fifth out of lane nine. It was such a powerful 200 final and both of our guys performed well."
Senior Carjay Lyles moved to fifth on Tennessee's all-time performance list in the triple jump with his third personal-best mark in as many meets in the postseason. Lyles recorded a leap of 52-4 3/4 in the finals to better his previous personal-best mark in the event by seven inches. The Lithonia, Ga., native tied for seventh to earn his first All-America honor. Lyles finished his Tennessee career by extending his triple jump PR by two and a half feet over the last month of the season.
"Carjay has definitely come on at the end of the season," Webb said. "He was exciting to watch and he just had a phenomenal last month of the season."
In action late Friday night, pole vaulter Michael Hogue earned the second All-America certificate of his career. After finishing fifth in the event at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the junior from Germantown cleared an outdoor personal-best height of 17-6 1/2 and finished seventh after a five-way tie was broken at that height. Also late Friday night, sophomore Matthew Maloney just missed scoring as his mark of 220-11 placed ninth in the javelin.
"I feel good about where our program stands right now," Webb said. "We have a bunch of our scorers from the SEC champion team and NCAA scorers returning next year."
Tennessee returns to Knoxville with eight All-America performances earned by eight athletes including all four members of the 4x100 relay. The Vols earned All-America acclaim in six events and claimed the most All-America performances since 2002 when Tennessee finished second behind nine All-America honors.
Women's Championships/Lady Vols
Sophomore Sarah Bowman closed out the University of Tennessee Lady Vols' stay at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Saturday, finishing 10th in the 1500-meter run and collecting All-America honors at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.
A native of Warrenton, Va., Bowman ran in the middle of the pack for most of the race but was unable to go with the lead group when the pace quickened near the midway point. She ended up covering the distance in four minutes, 25.08 seconds and as one of the top eight U.S. finishers was accorded All-America status. She now has three certificates after earning A-A kudos indoors this season in the mile and distance medley relay.
Bowman, the first UT 1500m All-American since Jasmin Jones in 1991, became the sixth Lady Vol to earn A-A distinction at this meet. She joins junior Shanna Dickenson (Cincinnati, Ohio), who earned accolades in the discus and hammer throws, as well as 4x100m relay finals participants in juniors LaTonya Loche (Bastrop, La.) and Cleo Tyson (Huntsville, Texas), sophomore Celriece Law (Denver, Colo.) and freshman Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.).
With nine points, the Big Orange women wound up tied for 27th in the team standings. Arizona State won the women's title with 60 points, followed by LSU (53), Michigan (36), Texas A&M (34) and UCLA (30) rounding out the top five.
Today's action concluded the collegiate season, but several Lady Vols may return to action later this month at the USA Senior and Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Those meets are scheduled for June 20-24 in Indianapolis, with top finishers earning berths on U.S. squads that will compete this summer at such events as the World Championships.