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    SEC Track and Field Weekly Notebook

    2011 Indoor Track and Field Weekly Notebook (1/19) Upcoming Schedule 21 South Carolina at Hokie Invitational (Blacksburg, Va.) Tennessee at Hokie Invitational (Blacksburg, Va.) 22 Arkansas (W) at Missouri Southern Invitational (Joplin, Mo.) LSU at Texas A&M (College Station, Texas) Ole Miss at Arkansas State Invitational (Jonesboro, Ark.) South Carolina at Hokie Invitational (Blacksburg, Va.) Tennessee at Hokie Invitational (Blacksburg, Va.) 26 South Carolina hosts South Carolina Indoor Meet (Columbia, S.C.) 28 Arkansas hosts Razorback Invitational (Fayetteville, Ark.) Florida at Texas A&M Challenge (College Station, Texas) Georgia at SEC/Big 12 Challenge (College Station, Texas) Kentucky hosts Rod McCravy Memorial Meet (Lexington, Ky.) LSU at Razorback Invitational (Fayetteville, Ark.) Ole Miss at SEC/Big 12 Challenge (College Station, Texas) Mississippi State at Rod McCravy Memorial Meet (Lexington, Ky.) South Carolina at SEC/Big 12 Challenge (College Station, Texas) Tennessee at Penn State National (University Park, Pa.) Tennessee at Rod McCravy Memorial Meet (Lexington, Ky.) Vanderbilt at Rod McCravy Memorial Meet (Lexington, Ky.) 29 Arkansas hosts Razorback Invitational (Fayetteville, Ark.) Auburn at Clemson Invitational (Clemson, S.C.) Auburn at RAzorback Invitational (Fayetteville, Ark.) Florida at Texas A&M Challenge (College Station, Texas) Kentucky hosts Rod McCravy Memorial Meet (Lexington, Ky.) LSU at Razorback Invitational (Fayetteville, Ark.) Ole Miss at SEC/Big 12 Challenge (College Station, Texas) Mississippi State at Rod McCravy Memorial Meet (Lexington, Ky.) South Carolina at SEC/Big 12 Challenge (College Station, Texas) Tennessee at Penn State National (University Park, Pa.) Tennessee at Rod McCravy Memorial Meet (Lexington, Ky.) Vanderbilt at Rod McCravy Memorial Meet (Lexington, Ky.) Team Notes Alabama Men Alabama opened its 2011 at the Kentucky Invitational by taking top honors in the high jump, 3,000m and 4x400m relay … the Tide also posted 11 top 10 performances in the two-day … Fred Samoei who paced three UA runners in the top five of the 3,000m with the fastest time in the nation this season at 8:03.20 … Julius Bor finished second in 8:07.81, the third-fastest finish this season … UA’s 4x400m relay squad also turned in the top time of the day as the team of Kirani James, Dwayne Extol, Bobby Onyeukwu, Joel Lynch crossed first with a time of 3:12.87 … junior Tyler Campbell and freshman Jonathan Reid both cleared 7-0.25 in their season debuts in the high jump with Campbell winning the event by virtue of clearing 7-0.25 on his first attempt while Reid recorded one miss at the height … their performance ties for the 10th best in school history … reid followed that up with a sixth-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 48-10.75, also the 10th best mark in UA history. Women Alabama’s women opened the season with five top 10 finishes at the Kentucky Invitational … Freshman Chloe Heatherton led the way with a second-place finish in the triple jump with the fourth-best jump in school history at 41-9.75 in her collegiate debut. Amethyst Holmes finished third in the weight throw with a mark of 59-6.75 and followed that up with an 11th-place toss of 42-6.75 in the shot put while teammate Wilamena Hopkins finished third with a mark of 50-0.50 … all three finishers in the 400m set personal bests with Dacia Mays’ 14th-place time of 57.14 leading the way for UA. Arkansas Men The No. 13 University of Arkansas men's track and field team beat 15th-ranked Texas in a dual meet Friday evening at Randal Tyson Track Center. The Razorbacks secured the meet, 97-72, with victories in 12 of the 16 events, including an NCAA automatic-qualifying mark (26-2.5) by Tarik Batchelor in the long jump. He has also qualified for the national championships in the triple jump. Arkansas returns to action Jan. 28-29 for the Razorback Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Women The No. 6 University of Arkansas women's track and field team competed at the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Va., last weekend. The Razorbacks ended the two-day meet with eight event wins, school records by Whitney Jones (300m) and Shelise Williams (500m) and a second NCAA auto qualifier by Tina Sutej in the pole vault. Arkansas will take a weekend away from competition in preparation for the Razorback Invitational, set for Jan. 28-29 at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Auburn Men The Auburn men's track and field team opened the 2011 indoor season with a strong performance Saturday at the Clemson Challenge, as the No. 11-ranked Tigers won four events and recorded four marks that rank in the top 10 in Auburn indoor history. The Tigers dominated two events in particular. In the shot put, redshirt freshman Stephen Saenz finished first in his first collegiate meet with a throw of 18.59 meters (61-0) that ranks him sixth in the NCAA this year and fifth in school history. He finished just ahead of senior Eric Werskey, who took second with a mark of 17.65 meters (57-11), while freshman Marcus Popenfoose was fifth with a throw of 16.35 meters (53-7.75). In the 60 meters, sophomore Harry Adams finished first with a time of 6.67 seconds, which is tied for third best in the NCAA this year and is just .02 seconds off his personal best that ranks fourth in school history. Senior Michael DeHaven took fourth in a personal best of 6.76 seconds that ranks sixth in school history, while freshman Keenan Brock was fifth in 6.80 seconds - a time that ranks eighth in Auburn history. Two other newcomers also won events in their first collegiate meets for the men. Freshman DJ Smith won the high jump with a mark of 2.13 meters (6-11.75), just missing a spot in the Auburn all-time top 10 by a quarter of an inch, while freshman Nick Farrell won the pole vault with a mark of 4.90 meters (16-0.75) that is ninth best in Auburn indoor history. The Tigers will take next week off before returning to action on Jan. 29 with some athletes returning to Clemson for the Clemson Games, and others traveling to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorback Invitational. Women The Auburn women's track and field team opened the 2011 indoor season Saturday at the Clemson Challenge, as the No. 7-ranked Tigers won one event and recorded two marks that rank in the top 10 in Auburn indoor history despite leaving many of their top athletes home. Auburn's best event was the mile, as seniors Stephanie Barnes and Holly Knight took first and second, respectively in a tight finish. Barnes took the top spot with a time of 4:53.22, while Knight finished in 4:53.55, posting the 10th and 11th best indoor times in Auburn history. Junior Ashley Cruder finished second in the finals of the women's 60 meters with a time of 7.46 seconds that ties for 10th best in Auburn indoor history. Senior Erica Akins was third in the long jump (5.52 meters, 18-1.5) and fourth in the triple jump (11.51 meters, 37-9.25). Sophomore Maya Pressley finished fourth in the high jump with a mark of 1.70 meters (5-7), just ahead of sophomore Monica Carney (1.65 meters, 5-5). The women's 4x400-meter relay team of junior CeCe Williams, junior Nivea Smith, senior Latoya Parkinson and freshman Alicia Prior was third in 3:56.02. The Tigers will take next week off before returning to action on Jan. 29 with some athletes returning to Clemson for the Clemson Games, and others traveling to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorback Invitational. Florida Men The No. 1 Florida men’s track and field team is coming off a highly successful weekend at the Nittany Lion Challenge in University Park, Pa., where the Gators picked up five event victories and broke two meet records. Sophomore jumper Omar Craddock became the first Florida athlete this season to set an NCAA automatic-qualifying mark, doing so by winning the triple jump with the second-best mark in the NCAA this season at 16.19m/53-1.50. It tied Craddock’s personal best as the third-best triple-jump mark in school history and also broke the Nittany Lion Challenge meet record. Sophomore thrower Jeremy Postin won the men’s weight throw with a meet record and personal-best toss of 19.69m/64-7.25, which went down as the second-best mark in school history. Fellow thrower David Triassi was second in the event with the third-best men’s weight throw in school history at 19.41m/63-8.25. Other Gators picking up victories included Eric Foran in the pole vault (4.60m/15-1), Christian Taylor in the 60-meter dash (6.79) and William Wynne in the 60-meter hurdles (7.94). Thrower Kemal Mesic was the top collegian in the men’s shot put, placing second overall with a throw of 18.93m/62-1.25, in a talent-stocked competition that included four of the top-eight finishers at last season’s NCAA Championships. Florida has a week off from competition before returning to action Jan. 28-29 at the Texas A&M Challenge in College Station, Texas. Women The Florida women’s track and field team is coming off a great opening start at the Nittany Lion Challenge in University Park, Pa., where the Gators picked up five event victories on the weekend. Freshman distance runner Cory McGee, competing in her first collegiate track and field competition, set a Nittany Lion Challenge meet record to win the mile in a personal-best time of 4:46.70, which currently ranks as the fourth-best time in the country so far this season. She followed that up with a second-place finish in the 3,000m run in 9:43.72, which ranks seventh in the country. Thrower Fidela James picked up two event victories on the day, winning the women’s weight throw with a personal-best toss of 19.28m/63-3.25 and also claiming the women’s shot put (14.14m/46-4.75). Junior distance runner Genevieve LaCaze won the women’s 3,000-meter run in a time of 9:34.42, which currently ranks third in the country, while also placing second in the mile. Junior Claire Spurling won the pole vault at 3.60m/11-9.75. Florida has a week off from competition before returning to action Jan. 28-29 at the Texas A&M Challenge in College Station, Texas. Georgia Men The Bulldogs finished with four wins and several notable performances during the team's season opener at the Clemson Challenge. Junior Torrin Lawrence, who is the defending NCAA and SEC indoor 400-meter dash champion, opened with a win in his event after clocking an adjusted 47.48 to lead the conference. Senior Aaron LaGarde finished first in the triple jump and second in the long jump in his first action of the year. His mark of 51 feet, 1/4 inches in the triple is No. 6 in the nation through the first weekend of the season. A distance duo of Bill Matthews and Brandon Lord - both freshmen indoors - swept the mile and 3000, respectively. Matthews, who redshirted the cross country season, cruised to a win in the mile after registering a 4:17.05. Lord, who like Matthews graduated from The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn., ran away with the 3000 title with a time of 8:26.00. Another promising sign for Georgia was the finish of freshman Justin Welch in the weight throw. Coming into the season as one of the most highly-touted throws recruit, Welch unleashed a top mark of 64-7.25 to finish second and shoot to 13th on the national performance list. Also of note, freshman Graylin Ward cleared 6-6 in the high jump and finished second. The Bulldogs resume action at the Texas A&M Challenge on Jan. 28-29. Women The Lady Bulldogs registered four wins to highlight their season-opening meet at the Clemson Challenge. Junior transfer Colleen Felix exploded for a personal-best and nationally leading mark of 43 feet, 5 3/4 inches to win the triple jump in her first meet wearing red and black. Felix shot to No. 3 on UGA's all-time top-10 list with her effort. Sophomores Maria Augutis (40-0) and Latroya Darrell (39-7.75) finished second and third in the event behind Felix. Georgia also claimed another pair of victories in the jumps at Clemson. Senior Carin Walker cleared the high jump bar at 5-8.75 to top teammate Saniel Atkinson. In the long jump, sophomore Lucie Ondraschkova, who advanced to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the heptathlon, edged her nearest competitor with an effort of 19-1.25. Freshman Stella Christoforou also won her event after claiming the 800-meter run title with a time of 2:14.90 during the first collegiate track meet of her career. Debuting in the shot put for Georgia was Hilenn James, who had a top throw of 45-7.75 to earn runner-up honors. The Lady Bulldogs return to action at the Texas A&M Challenge in College Station on Jan. 28-29. Kentucky During the two days of the annual Kentucky Invitational 17 student-athletes made their debut for the Wildcats including junior Keith Hayes, who in his first race wearing UK's blue and white shot straight to No. 2 on the school's all-time list with a win in the 60-meter hurdles. The women's 4x400m relay won its opening event of the season with a time of 3:40.11 but needed a late charge by shorter to secure the victory by .03 seconds. Senior Josh Nadzam outlasted three Michigan State Spartans to win the men's one-mile run with a time of 4:09.84. Nadzam placed fifth in the event at last year's Kentucky Invitational with a time of 4:13.47, an improvement of 3.53. The native of Monaca, Pa., was entered into the race as an unattached runner. The Cats look to build on their performances when they host the final home indoor meet of the season at Nutter Field House, the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet, Jan. 28-29. LSU Men The Tigers were impressive in their 2011 indoor season opener at the Purple Tiger Invitational on Saturday as senior Zedric Thomas, junior Horatio Williams and sophomore Damar Forbes helped set the pace for what is sure to be an exciting season. Thomas and Forbes opened the meet by qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships with new lifetime personal bests in a 1-2 finish in the men’s long jump competition while posting the top two marks in the NCAA after the opening weekend of action. Thomas took the event title with a best of 26 feet, 3 ¾ inches that ranks No. 1 in the NCAA and No. 4 on LSU’s all-time indoor performance list, while Forbes followed in second place with a best of 26-3 that ranks No. 2 in the NCAA and No. 7 on LSU’s all-time indoor performance list. Williams followed with a national-leading performance of his own in the 60-meter dash as he took home the event crown with a new personal record of 6.61 seconds. In fact, Williams set back-to-back PRs in the 60-meter dash on Saturday as he followed a time of 6.73 in the preliminary round with a time of 6.61 in the final to grab the national lead. His time also ranks No. 3 on LSU’s all-time indoor performance list in the event. Williams shattered his previous best of 6.75 that he set as a sophomore at Hinds Community College a year ago. For their performance, Thomas was named the SEC Male Field Athlete of the Week and Williams was named the SEC Male Runner of the Week in the wake of their season opener. The No. 2-ranked Tigers will return to action on Saturday as they travel to College Station, Texas, to battle No. 3-ranked Texas A&M in their dual meet at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. Women In LSU’s 2011 season opener at the Purple Tiger Invitational on Saturday, junior Semoy Hackett enjoyed an impressive debut for the Lady Tigers by taking home the 60-meter crown with one of the top times in the country this season. After opening the competition with a time of 7.35 in the preliminary round, Hackett crossed the finish line in 7.28 in the final to finish the weekend with the third-fastest time in the NCAA in the event. Hackett, who made her LSU debut following a brilliant two-year career at Lincoln University of NCAA Division II, also cracked LSU’s all-time Top 10 indoor performance list in the 60-meter dash as she now ranks in a tie for 10th place among Lady Tigers all-time. With her performance, Hackett nearly met the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 7.26 as she is sure to be a title threat in the event this season. While Hackett set the pace on the track, senior All-American Brittani Carter led the way in the field events with an impressive win in the high jump competition. Carter also finished the meet ranked No. 3 in the country in her specialty event as she cleared a height of 6-0 ½ to miss the NCAA automatic qualifying standard by just one centimeter. The No. 3-ranked Lady Tigers will return to action on Saturday as they travel to College Station, Texas, to battle No. 2-ranked Texas A&M in their dual meet at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. Ole Miss Did not compete Mississippi State The Lady Bulldogs’ relay team, comprised of senior Taneisha Baker, sophomore Keisha Wallace, sophomore Jody-Ann Muir and senior Talisha Lee finished with a time of 3:51.23. Wallace and Lee also had big days in the 60-meter hurdles, with Wallace finishing 4th (8.65) and Lee right on her heels in 5th (8.70). The Lady Bulldogs also had a Top 5 finish in the mile run, as Chloe Phillips posted a second-place time of 5:13.31. Also finishing second was Favian Cowards in the weight throw at 60-.01-25. South Carolina South Carolina's men - ranked No. 29 in the preseason USTFCCCA poll - picked up three victories in the season opening meet at the Virginia Tech Invitational. Senior Michael Zajac won the men's weight throw with a toss of 65'9 (20.04m), senior Antonio Sales won the 200m dash at 21.43, and sophomore David Wilkins won the high jump at 6'10 1/4 (2.09m). Zajac's toss leads the SEC and ranks No. 5 in the nation. The freshmen and sophomore heavy Gamecocks also had strong performances in the triple jump from sophomore Lincoln Carr (2nd, 15.51m) and freshman Dorian Johnson (5th, 14.62m). The mile relay team took second with a time of 3:12.59 and featured Aaron Anderson, Clayton Gravesande, Chris Maxwell and Andre Carter. The Gamecocks return to Rector Field House next weekend to compete in the Hokie Invitational. The No. 22 South Carolina women's track team turned in a solid season-opening weekend led by victories from senior sprinters LaKya Brookins and Shayla Mahan. Brookins ran the one of two NCAA automatic qualifying times in the 60m dash at 7.25 to win the event and become the only SEC women's athlete with an automatic bid in a running event so far this season. Mahan took second in the 60m dash (7.33) and won the 200m dash at an SEC-leading 23.83 to rank in the nation's top 10 in both events. Freshman Sanura Eley-O'Reilly placed third in the 400m dash at 55.20, ran anchor of the mile relay (Austin, Rodriques, Bandy, Eley-O'Reilly) team that took third at 3:44.05 and also ran in the 300m dash to place fourth. In the field events, freshman Petra Olsen leads the nation's freshman after clearing 12'9 1/2 (3.90m) to place fifth overall in the meet. Olsen is one of three women holding the freshman national lead with that clearance. The Gamecocks return to Blacksburg, Va., to compete in the Hokie Invitational from January 21-22. Tennessee Men The Volunteers started the 2011 campaign with some freshman flash at the Kentucky Invitational on Jan. 14-15...True freshman Justin Hunter, not far removed from a standout year on the gridiron, became the program’s first NCAA Indoor qualifier of the season with a victorious leap and lifetime best of 26-1 in the long jump…That mark catapults him to No. 4 in the NCAA ranks, and he is the only rookie ranked among the top 14 thus far…He also elevated to No. 3 on UT’s all-time performers list after only one meet…Redshirt freshman Dentarius Locke was impressive in his own right, sweeping the 60-and 200-meter dash titles with career-best clockings of 6.75 and 21.15…Those marks rank him 22nd and seventh nationally and 12th and sixth on UT’s all-time performers lists. Women The fourth-ranked Lady Volunteers debuted at the Kentucky Invitational, and produced two event victories and a pair of runner-up finishes…Returning All-American and SEC champion Jackie Areson opened the season with a win in the 3000 meters, knocking out a time of 9:14.61 that leads the NCAA ranks…Princeton transfer Liz Costello was right on her heels, finishing second in 9:16.91 for the No. 2 readout nationally…Areson’s and Costello’s marks were the No. 7 and 8 3K readouts in UT annals…In the 800 meters, rookie Kianna Ruff and Seton Hall transfer Nijgia Snapp went one-two, charting times of 2:10.88 and 2:10.91…Those marks rank Ruff and Snapp seventh and eighth in the nation so far…Chanelle Price took third in the mile to rank No. 9 nationally at 4:47.49. Vanderbilt Senior Katherine Hendricks finished in a three-way tie for second in the pole vault (12’1.5”) … Megan Martin and Morgan Toone reached 11’7.75” … In her first collegiate meet, freshman Ellie Tidman placed ninth in the high jump (5’7.25”) which placed her third all-time at Vanderbilt … Brionne Williams placed 13th in the high jump (5’5.25”) … Sophomore Kristen Findley finished 12th in the mile with a time of 5:07.74 … Four Commodores finished in the top 20 of the 3000-meter run, with Louise Hannallah (9:52.07) finishing ninth and Allie Scalf placing 10th with a 24-second personal best time of 9:52.72 … That time moved Scalf to eighth all-time at Vanderbilt in the 3000-meter … Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (9:58.05) and Megan Yohe (10:26.18) finished 12th and 17th, respectively, in the 3000-meter … Vanderbilt returns to action next weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet in Lexington, Ky.