DES MOINES, Iowa -- Tennessee’s Phoebe Wright, Sarah Bowman and Annie Alexander did exactly what they needed to do in their respective preliminary events Thursday evening. As a result, they each earned berths in Saturday’s nationally-televised finals at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium.
Wright, a former walk-on from Signal Mountain, Tenn., who attended Red Bank High School, qualified for her first career NCAA individual final in the 800 meters. After running a time of two minutes, 6.10 seconds in Wednesday’s first round, the sophomore kicked it up a notch on day two to chart a career-best clocking of 2:04.38 that placed her fourth in heat one of the semifinals and eighth among the qualifiers. She is in position to earn points for her team and garner her third All-America performance of the season after receiving acclaim with two relays during the indoor campaign.
“It’s a good story, Phoebe not making it out of the regional meet last season and now she’s in the finals of the NCAA Championship meet a year later,” UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. “She’s worked very hard to be in this position, and you have to give her a lot of credit for what she’s done.”
In the 1500 meters, Bowman got the job done and earned herself a spot in her second straight NCAA final in this event. The five-time All-American and 10th-place finisher in this event a year ago picked her way through a congested pack down the home stretch to earn the fourth automatic qualifying spot in heat one in 4:15.79. As it turned out, that heat was the fastest of the two semifinal races, and the junior from Warrenton, Va., enters Saturday’s final with the fourth fastest qualifying mark. She finished third in the mile at NCAA Indoors.
“Sarah has learned how to navigate her way through crowds and not panic when there are a bunch of people around her. She made the finals for the second year in a row and looked very good doing it tonight.”
After struggling and failing to make the trophy round of the discus throw 24 hours earlier, Alexander bounced back on Thursday with her typical strong showing in the shot put. The freshman and school record-holder from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, unloaded a toss of 53-9 3/4 on her second attempt of the qualifying round to finish fifth among the 12 advancers. She will be making her first appearance in an NCAA final after missing out during the indoor season.
“Annie, of course, had a really rough day yesterday in the discus,” Clark said. “She showed a lot of maturity as a freshman today by coming back to make the finals in the shot put.”
In the 100-meter hurdle prelims, junior Celriece Law (Denver, Colo.) took care of business and advanced to Friday’s semifinal round. Her 13.31 effort was good for second in heat four and was 11th fastest of the qualifiers. She will be making her first appearance in the semis in her third trip to the NCAA Outdoor meet.
“Celriece started it off for us today by advancing to the semifinals and taking second in her heat,” Clark said. “That was a good start in getting the kinks out. She’s been sitting around (the hotel) a couple of days, so it’s good to get the race under her belt.”
After bowing out of the 100-meter dash competition in the semifinal round on Wednesday night, sophomore Lynne Layne (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and freshman Jeneba Tarmoh (San Jose, Calif.) came back to the track Thursday hoping to make some noise in the 200 meters. It wasn’t to be for the UT sprint duo, though, as Layne placed 21st overall (fourth in heat four) in 23.92, while Tarmoh was 22nd (fourth in heat five) in 23.93.
“We had some mishaps in the sprints and were a little up and down in that area,” Clark said. “Our open sprinters did not do what we thought they would do, but we’ll move on and look forward to tomorrow’s relay final. They’ll have to execute that stick with precision.”
In addition to Law running in the 100m hurdles semis on Friday, Tennessee’s 4x100m relay quartet will attempt to get the Lady Vols on the scoreboard for the first time this week. The gun goes off at 7:05 p.m. Central Time (8:05 p.m. ET).
CBS College Sports Network (formerly CSTV) will televise Friday’s action live from 8 to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. CBS-TV will carry Saturday’s final day events live from 4 to 6 p.m. ET.
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
4x100m Relay Semifinals 4:30 p.m. CT
Adv. Jeneba Tarmoh/LaTonya Loche 44.15p/2nd, ht. 3 (t5th)
Cleo Tyson/Lynne Layne
800m First Round 5:00 p.m. CT
Adv. Phoebe Wright 2:06.10p/1st, ht. 1 (1st)
100m First Round 5:30 p.m. CT
Adv. Lynne Layne 11.69p (w: -3.2)/2nd, ht. 4 (4th)
Adv. Jeneba Tarmoh 12.05p (w: -6.4)/3rd, ht. 2 (16th)
400m First Round 6:30 p.m. CT
20th LaTonya Loche 54.22p/5th, ht. 5
100m Semifinals 7:00 p.m. CT
9th Lynne Layne 11.62p (w: -0.4)/6th, ht. 2
10th Jeneba Tarmoh 11.64p (w: -0.4)/7th, ht. 2
Discus Throw Qualifying 7:00 p.m. CT
23rd Annie Alexander 155-1/47.26m
THURSDAY, JUNE 12
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
100mH First Round 4:30 p.m. CT
Adv. Celriece Law 13.31p (w: 1.1)/2nd, ht. 4 (11th)
200m First Round 5:10 p.m. CT
21st Lynne Layne 23.92p (w: -1.5)/4th, ht. 4
22nd Jeneba Tarmoh 23.93p (w: -1.5)/4th, ht. 5
800m Semifinals 6:15 p.m. CT
Adv. Phoebe Wright 2:04.38p!/4th, ht. 1 (8th)
1500m Semifinals 6:55 p.m. CT
Adv. Sarah Bowman 4:15.79p/4th, ht. 1 ( )
Shot Put Qualifying 7:15 p.m. CT
Adv. Annie Alexander 53-9.75/16.40m
FRIDAY, JUNE 13
(Televised By CBS College Sports Network, 7-10 p.m. CT)
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
4x100m Relay Final 7:05 p.m. CT
Jeneba Tarmoh/LaTonya Loche/Cleo Tyson/Lynne Layne
100mH Semifinals 7:55 p.m. CT
SATURDAY, JUNE 14
(Televised By CBS-TV, 3-5 p.m. CT)
EVENT (NCAA DIV. I QUALIFYING MARKS)
Shot Put Final 1:30 p.m. CT
800m Final 3:19 p.m. CT
100mH Final 3:53 p.m. CT
1500m Final 4:12 p.m. CT
ADDY, AYERS EARN ALL-AMERICA HONORS IN NCAA DECATHLON
The Tennessee men’s track and field team advanced three athletes to the final in two different events, as well as one to the semifinal, Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. In addition to the qualifiers, Jangy Addy and Michael Ayers each earned All-America honors in the decathlon.
“We had an outstanding day” head coach Bill Webb said. “It was hot and breezy, and we advanced four athletes to their next round, with three already in a position to score points. We had a nice balance between veterans and newcomers contribute today with Yarrick, Rubin and Evander making finals and Charlton making the semis.”
Addy won his fourth All-America honor by scoring 7,916 points and placing second in the decathlon. His 13.74 clocking in the decathlon 110 hurdles broke the meet record of 13.85 and, combined with his collegiate-record run of 13.70 from the SEC Outdoor Championships, gives Addy the top-two collegiate times in the history of the race. The senior team captain claimed his first event victory of the decathlon and moved into the overall lead with a season-best throw of 154-5 in the discus. Addy continued to lead after clearing 14-1 1/4 in the pole vault and after throwing the javelin 172-10. Addy ended his day with a 5:05.13 clocking in the 1,500.
“I’m thankful to get through the decathlon,” Addy said. “I lost to a great competitor who had a great last two days. I want to thank God for letting me do this, because there are a lot of people who can’t. I also want to thank UT’s medical staff, coaches and everyone that supported me.”
Freshman Michael Ayers finished 12th with 7,288 points and earned an All-America honor in his first NCAA meet. Ayers began his second day of competition with a personal-best time of 15.91 in the 110 hurdles before recording a discus throw of 124-4, just two inches away from his personal-best mark. The Nashville native then cleared 16-4 3/4 in the pole vault, his career-best mark for a pole vault within a decathlon. Ayers went on to the javelin, where he unleashed a personal-best throw of 174-10 before ending his first national championship decathlon with a time of 4:41.40 in the 1,500.
“Obviously I didn’t come out like I wanted to,” Ayers said. “I was about 300 points behind where I wanted to be after day one. After that, I figured All-America was out of the question without a perfect day today. I didn’t have a perfect day, but it was still pretty good. I know I have a lot of work to do before next year, and I plan on getting a lot better.”
All-America Yarrick Kincaid advanced to Saturday’s final in the 800 with his season-best clocking of 1:48.05. The Knoxville native continues to run better than his pre-meet ranking. He entered the national championship meet with the 25th-best time on the declaration list, but is now one of only eight runners in the final.
Four-time All-America Evander Wells recorded the second-fastest overall time in the 200 semifinal and advanced to Saturday’s final. The sophomore from Stone Mountain, Ga., ran the first round in 20.92 before clocking in at 20.50 in the semifinal. Senior Rubin Williams also qualified for the 200 final. The 14-time All-America from San Jose, Calif., earned the final spot out of the first round with his 21.07 time, but ran a 20.59 half-lap in the semifinal to advance with the fifth-fastest overall time.
Freshman Charlton Rolle advanced to Friday’s semifinal in the 110 hurdles. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native finished the first round in 13.79 and enters the semifinal race 15th after the first round. Sophomore De’Lon Isom ran to a time of 13.99 and did not advance past the first round.
“Jangy pushed (decathlon champion) Ashton Eaton from Oregon, and both guys had a great meet,” Webb said. “I’m proud of Jangy for holding on to second and beating the indoor national champion (third-place finisher Gonzalo Barriolhet) for second. Michael Ayers had a great meet, and I’m proud of him getting All-America in his first NCAA meet.”
Joseph Berry opens day three competition for the Vols Friday at 4:15 p.m. Central time in the pole vault final. Tennessee’s 4x100 relay team runs the final at 7:15 p.m. and Rolle contests the 110 hurdles semifinal at 8:05 p.m. Live results can be found at UTsports.com.
NCAA Outdoor Championships, Des Moines, Iowa
Thursday, June 12, 2008
1. Ashton Eaton, Ore. 8,055
2. Jangy Addy, Tenn. 7,916
12. Michael Ayers, Tenn. 7,288
Decathlon 110 hurdles
1. Jangy Addy, Tenn. 13.74 MR
22. Michael Ayers, Tenn. 15.91 PR
1. Jangy Addy, Tenn. 154-5 SB
14. Michael Ayers, Tenn. 124-4
Decathlon pole vault
1. Gonzalo Barriolhet, Fla. St. 17-0 3/4
3. Michael Ayers, Tenn. 16-4 3/4
11. Jangy Addy, Tenn. 14-1 1/4
1. Chris Richardson, Long Beach St. 215-8
11. Michael Ayers, Tenn. 174-10 PR
13. Jangy Addy, Tenn. 172-10
1. Mat Clark, N. Iowa 4:17.31
5. Michael Ayers, Tenn. 4:41.40
17. Jangy Addy, Tenn. 5:05.13
1. Chris Dykes, Texas A&M 20.48q
3. Evander Wells, Tenn. 20.50q
7. Rubin Williams, Tenn. 20.59q
200 round one
1. Chris Dykes, Texas A&M 20.76q
8. Evander Wells, Tenn. 20.92q
16. Rubin Williams, Tenn. 21.07q
1. Andrew Wheating, Ore. 1:47.15q
8. Yarrick Kincaid, Tenn. 1:48.05q SB
110 hurdles round one
1. Jason Richardson, S.C. 13.26q
15. Charlton Rolle, Tenn. 13.79q
20. De’Lon Isom, Tenn. 13.99
MR-NCAA Outdoor Championships meet record; PR-personal-best mark; SB-season-best mark; q-qualified for next round