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    SEC Track and Field Weekly Notebook

    SEC Track and Field Weekly Notebook (February 13, 2013)

    Alabama

    Alabama finished second in both the men's and women's standings on Saturday at the Mark Colligan Memorial Meet, hosted by the University of Nebraska at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Tide competed against Nebraska and North Carolina in the three-team competition. The Alabama women finished with 110 points behind Nebraska's 147, while the men ended the triangular meet with 102 points, behind the 138 points of the Huskers. Alabama athletes won 10 events and set 17 personal bests, in addition to one school record performance. Freshman Elias Hakansson broke a 15-year-old school record in the men's weight throw. The school record set by Hakansson came on a throw of 66 feet, 9 ¼ inches (20.35 meters) and eclipsed by 3 1/2 inches a 15-year-old mark set by Derrick Jones in 1998. It was Hakansson's second individual victory of the indoor season. Diondre Batson put together a remarkable day, winning the 200-meter dash with a 21.31 and also taking the top spot in the 60 meters as well, with a 6.73 which is a personal best. Both times rank just outside of the school's all-time indoor top 10 for those events. His 60-meter dash time established a new personal best by .06 of a second. Baton’s two victories, along with his leg on Alabama’s second-place 4x400-meter relay unit (3:11.56) accounted for 22 of the Crimson Tide’s 102 points in the team standings. All-American high jumper Krystle Schade kept her 2013 record spotless by taking home a victory with a mark of 5-10 ½ (1.79m). Schade has won all four high jump events this indoor season. Alabama takes this weekend off while preparing to compete in the SEC Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-24 in Fayetteville, Ark.

    Arkansas

    Men - The top-ranked Razorback men hosted the Tyson Invitational and posted three wins over the weekend with first-place performances from Patrick Rono at 800 meters (1:47.66), Caleb Cross in the 60-meter hurdles (7.65) and Anthony May II in the high jump (2.23m/7-3.75). Through the first five meets of the season, the Razorbacks have eight top-five national qualifying marks including an NCAA-best measurement of 16.38m/53-9 by Tarik Batchelor in the triple jump, and own six SEC-leading marks from Batchelor, Rono, Kemoy Campbell at 3,000 meters, Stanley Kebenei at 5,000 meters, Kevin Lazas in the heptathlon and in the distance-medley relay. Campbell and Kebenei established their conference leads this weekend at the Husky Classic in Seattle. The Razorbacks’ next competition will be the SEC Indoor Championships which will be contested Feb. 22-24 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. Women - The Razorback women—the new No. 2 team in the country—collected three wins over the weekend during the Tyson Invitational. At 400 meters, Regina George broke the school record, extended her NCAA lead and established the fastest time in the world with her 51.67 performance. Arkansas’ other wins came from Grace Heymsfield and Shannon Klenke in the invitational sections of the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters, respectively. Heymsfield time of 9:12.25 was less than two seconds off the school record. Heading into the championship section of its schedule, Arkansas has six top-five national qualifying results including NCAA-leading marks by George and Makeba Alcide in the pentathlon (4,464 points). George, Alcide, Diane Robison at 5,000 meters and the Razorbacks’ distance-medley relay are also SEC leaders. Robison’s conference lead comes from her performance over the weekend at the Husky Classic in Seattle. The Razorbacks’ next competition will be the SEC Indoor Championships which will be contested Feb. 22-24 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

    Auburn

    Auburn enjoyed a successful weekend with its squad split to three different meets … The Tigers competed in Birmingham, Ala., Fayetteville, Ark. and Blacksburg, Va. … Across the three meets, Auburn came away with four individual titles … The Tigers also had multiple personal bests set over the course of the weekend, including a pair by junior V’alonee Robinson … Robinson finished fourth overall in the women’s long jump with a long jump of 19-6.75 feet (15.96m) and also set a personal best in the 60 meters, finishing in 7.40 seconds, at the Tyson Invitational hosted by Arkansas … The four titles each came in Birmingham with Stephen Saenz claiming the shot put, Valentina Muzaric taking the women’s shot, Maya Pressley finishing first in the high jump and Niklas Buhner crossing the finish line first in the men’s mile … Stephen Saenz won his first shot put title in just his second meet of the season. The junior from Texas recorded a top mark of 62-10.5 (19.16m) to take the title … Pressley won her second title in as many weeks … The senior from Florida was the lone competitor to clear at 1.77m as she earned the title … Muzaric brought home her first career indoor shot put title with a long throw of 54-3.75 (16.55m), a new personal best … Auburn placed three men in the top four of the mile at the Samford Invite. Niklas Buhner won his third event of the season and second mile race with a new PR of 4:05.14. He was followed in second place by teammate Kane Grimster (4:08.35) … Senior Jeff Sanders also set a new personal-best time of 4:10.92 with a fourth-place finish … Three Auburn athletes rank in the top 10 nationally in their respective events … Sprinter Marcus Rowland is fifth in the 60 meters with his mark of 6.63 seconds from the Auburn Invite … Fellow sprinter Harry Adams is eighth with his run of 6.64 from the same meet … Saenz ranks eighth in the shot put with a long throw of 63 feet from Nebraska … A total of 17 Auburn athletes are currently projected to score at the SEC Indoor Championships, including Rowland (60m) and Saenz (shot put), who are projected as champions.

    Florida

    Men -  The No. 2 Gator men put forth spectacular efforts at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet and Husky Classic last weekend. Sophomore Marquis Dendy became the new collegiate leader in the men’s long jump, leaping 7.99m/26-2.75 to win the event at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet. Joining Dendy in the Winner’s Circle was junior Eddie Lovett, who matched his school-record time of 7.66 in the men’s 60-meter hurdles to capture the event. Lovett is the two-time defending SEC Champion in the men’s 60-meter hurdles indoors. Sophomores Hugh Graham, Jr. and Dedric Dukes both had big weekends for the Gators, as Graham, Jr. claimed the men’s 60-meter title for the Orange and Blue in a personal-best tying 6.65. For Dukes, he won his first individual title in the men’s 400 meters indoors with a time of 47.22 and claimed the invitational section of the men’s 200 meters in 21.08. Junior Mark Parrish defeated a stacked field in the men’s open 5,000 meters at the Husky Classic, turning in a personal-best time of 14:02.46, good for third all-time in Florida school history. He topped his previous PR by over 23 seconds. The Bowerman Watch List candidate Omar Craddock launched himself to a 16.38m/53-9 mark, a new season’s best. Sophomore jumper Marquis Dendy continued his stellar weekend by turning in a personal-best leap of 16.10m/52-10. The Gators are idle until the SEC Indoor Championships. Women - The No. 6 Florida women turned in a strong weekend as they split for the Virginia Tech Elite Meet and the Husky Classic. Sophomore high jumper Taylor Burke had a career day on Saturday at Virginia Tech, one of many highlights from this weekend’s competitions in Blacksburg and in Seattle at the Husky Classic. Burke broke the school record in the women’s high jump at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet with her PR of 1.86m/6-1.25. Her mark breaks Maria Galloni’s 21-year-old record set at the 1992 SEC Championships, the same year the Gators won the SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships. Junior distance runner Cory McGee turned in a stellar performance in Seattle at the Husky Classic, racing to a career best in the invitational section of the women’s mile. McGee finished in 4:32.10, good for second all-time in Gator history and the top collegiate women’s mile. Sophomore jumper Ciarra Brewer leapt to a new personal best with her jump of 13.17m/43-2.50. Freshman Kyra Jefferson continued her phenomenal freshman campaign with a victory in the women’s 60 meters, crossing the finish in 7.35 and tying teammate Darshay Davis for fifth all-time at Florida. Fellow freshmen Destinee Gause and Shayla Sanders finished 2-3 in the event, crossing the finish line in 7.38 and 7.42, respectively. Four Gators finished in the top five of the invitational women’s 200, with Jefferson leading the way in a new PR of 23.43, finishing second. Junior Ebony Eutsey and Gause also turned in personal bests of 23.63 and 23.72 for third and fourth, respectively. Sanders took fifth in 24.21. Sophomore thrower Jayla Bostic set yet another personal best in the women’s weight throw, tossing a mark of 19.91m/65-4. It is Bostic’s third PR in five meets and the Gator sophomore has improved nearly 13 feet (16.03m/52-7.25 – 19.91m/65-4) in her first two seasons in the Orange and Blue. Pole vaulter Caitlin Schuessler jumped into the UF record books Friday night, clearing a personal-best 3.85m/12-7.50 in the open women’s pole vault. Schuessler is tied for ninth all-time in Gator program history. In the women’s open 5,000 meters at the Husky Classic, junior Callie Cooper finished in a personal best 16:30.66, good for fifth all-time in Gator program history. The Gators are idle until the SEC Indoor Championships.

    Georgia

    Men - The Bulldogs had their final tune-up before the SEC Championships at the VT Elite Meet (Blacksburg, Va.) and the Husky Classic (Seattle, Wash.) over the weekend.  Georgia was most dominant in the shot put, taking first through fourth with a trio of personal-best efforts.  Sophomore Nick Vena, who is ranked 10th nationally, launched the longest throw of his career at 62 feet, 10 inches to win the competition and improve his fourth spot in the school record books.  While junior Caleb Whitener took second (60-8.75), freshman Ashinia Miller bettered his indoor personal best for the third straight time and took third with a 60-5.25.  Junior Petr Novotny rounded out the sweep with a sixth throw that measured a personal-best 58-11.25.  Sophomore Charles Grethen won his second consecutive race in the 800-meter run after finishing his laps in 1:51.42.  Freshman Kisean Smith trimmed three seconds off his personal best to take third in the 800 with a 1:52.43.  A pair of Georgia freshman football players (both tailbacks) also debuted for the track team at Virginia Tech.  Keith Marshall tied for the third-best 60 time in school history (6.75) to earn runner-up honors in his event.  Incidentally, Marshall is tied in the school record books with fellow current football player Justin Scott-Wesley.  Todd Gurley also competed in the 60 hurdles for the first time and took sixth with the seventh-best time (8.12) in Georgia history.  Also on the track, the Bulldog 4x400 relay team won with a mark of 3:13.20.  In the distance medley relay, Zane Coburn, Kisean Smith, Wade Voyles and Zack Sims, all freshmen, finished third with ninth-best time (9:58.83) in school history.  Freshman heptathlete Maicel Uibo also won the open pole vault after clearing 16-0.75.  In Seattle, sophomore Luke Baker finished with the ninth-best 5000 time (14:31.75).  Georgia joins all of the other teams from around the league at the SEC meet in Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 22-24. Women - The Lady Bulldogs split up over the weekend, heading to Blacksburg, Va., for the VT Elite Meet and Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Classic.  In Seattle, the Georgia women set a school record and made or improved on four other times on the school's all-time top-10 lists.  Sophomore Carly Hamilton, who already sits atop the record books in the 3000-meter run, shot to No. 1 on the mile list after clocking a 4:36.06 to take ninth in the Invite section.  2012 All-American Megan Malasarte moved to No. 3 in the school record books in the 800 after battling for a 2:06.42, which have her seventh place in the 800 Invite.  Also in the mile, junior Stella Christoforou bettered her No. 7 mark on the all-time list after taking fourth in the open race.  Also of note, Bret McDaniel (16:45.06) and Nicole DiMercurio (16:49.01) moved to eighth and 10th in the school record books after taking 20th and 26th in the 5000.  At the VT Elite Meet, freshman Shaunae Miller sped to the nation's sixth-best time in the 200 after winning with a 23.26.  This is the best mark for the Lady Bulldogs since Debbie Ferguson set the school record of 23.17 in 1996.  Fellow true freshman Chanice Porter walked away with her fourth consecutive victory in the long jump after reaching 20 feet, 9 1/4 inches.  Junior Hilenn James had the second-best meet of her career in the shot put to win.  James had a mark of 54-7.50 and remains tied for ninth on the national list.  The Georgia women also went 1-2 in the 200 as sophomore Tynia Gaither registered a 24.29 and freshman Briana Vaughn ran a 24.51.  In the high jump, senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier had her third meet this season over 5-10 after taking third with a 5-10.75.  The Lady Bulldogs now prepare for the SEC Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 22-24.

    Kentucky

    Men - The Kentucky track and field team spent the final weekend of the regular season at the Tyson Invitational. Bradley Szypka finished second in the shot put with a PR-tying throw of 18.50m/60-08.50. The mark maintained his hold on the No. 4 spot in the conference. Isiah Kent also produced a PR mark of 18.20m/59-08.50 to take eighth. Keffri Neal placed second in the men’s 800-meter final with a PR, team-best time of 1:49.79. That time ranks No. 5 in the SEC. Keith Hayes produced a season-best time of 7.79 in the 60-meter hurdles finals to place fourth. Hayes’ time is third-fastest in the SEC this season. Ben Mason notched a team-leading 21.70 in the men’s 60 meters. Adam Kahleifeh ran a season-best time of 4:06.95 in the mile posting a time, which ranks No. 7 in the SEC. The Wildcats next compete at the SEC Championships in two weeks. Women - Cally Macumber won the 3,000 meters at the Husky Classic on Saturday in school-record time. Macumber’s time of 8:59.98 set a new Kentucky indoor record previously held by three-time 5K NCAA champion Valarie McGovern. The time ranks third in the nation, and leads the SEC. Further Macumber is one of just three collegiate runners to break nine minutes at 3K this season. Chelsea Oswald was alongside Macumber for much of the race, finishing eighth with a PR 9:06.64, the third-fastest indoor time in school history. The rest of the Wildcats spent the weekend competing at the Tyson Invitational on the Arkansas campus. Allison Peare ran a season-best, team-leading 2:09.04 in the women’s 800 meters to finish fourth. Joanne Imbert posted a top-five performance for the second straight week finishing fourth in the women’s high jump (1.72m/5-07.75). More than 2,000 miles from Macumber and Oswald, Anna Bostrom continued the strong women’s distance weekend for Kentucky with a career-best 9:48.35 in the Tyson women’s 3K to finish fifth. The Wildcats next compete at the SEC Championships in two weeks.
     
    LSU

    The No. 3-ranked Lady Tigers certainly positioned themselves for a title run at the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships with a trio of top-five performances nationally during Saturday's finale at the Tyson Invitational held at Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center. Two Lady Tigers certainly solidified their NCAA qualification as senior Kimberlyn Duncan and junior Lynnika Pitts each set personal records with runner-up finishes in their invitational events. LSU's Lady Tigers also wrapped up the meet with a third-place finish in the invitational 4x400-meter relay while slashing nearly three seconds from their previous seasonal-best in the event and locking up a top-five national ranking in the event as they sprint toward the postseason. The LSU women emerged from the weekend with a total of 10 performances that rank among the NCAA's Top 10 for 2013. Saturday's finale at the 2013 Tyson Invitational also witnessed the end of one of the remarkable streaks in the history of collegiate track and field as Duncan saw her run of 18-straight collegiate victories in the 200-meter dash come to an end, despite racing to an indoor personal best in the event. Friday night certainly belonged to Tiger senior Damar Forbes as he followed a personal-best performance in the 60-meter dash with the NCAA's third-best mark of the season to win the Tyson Invitational long jump crown. After sprinting to a personal record of 6.73 seconds in the 60-meter semifinal, Forbes took flight in the long jump and soared to a new seasonal-best of 26 feet, ¾ inches on his very first attempt to lock up his second long jump title in as many weeks with the No. 3-ranked mark in the NCAA for the 2013 season. Forbes was joined on the winner's podium by Lady Tiger junior Denise Hinton, who finished just one inch shy of her own school record mark with a winning 69-8 ¾ to capture her fourth weight throw title in five meets this season by a comfortable three feet on the afternoon. With this year's Tyson Invitational now in the rearview mirror, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will return home next weekend to play host to the annual LSU Twilight meet being held Friday, Feb. 15, at the Carl Maddox Field House in Baton Rouge. They will then return to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville for the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships as they kick off the postseason on Feb. 24-26.

    Ole Miss

    Men - Ole Miss is ranked No. 16 in this week’s USTFCCCA poll after a good showing in New Mexico over the weekend. The Rebels have this weekend off before the Feb. 22-24 SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Senior Ricky Robertson had more outstanding performances in Albuquerque. He was runner-up in the Don Kirby Elite triple jump (52-2.75) and won the Don Kirby Open long jump (season-best 24-7.25). He is now the only NCAA athlete to rank top 20 nationally in the high jump (2nd, 7-6), triple jump (6th, 52-8.25) and long jump (19th, 24-7.25). Sophomore Sam Kendricks cleared 18 feet again in the pole vault to win the Don Kirby Open (18-0.5). He is the only Rebel to ever clear 18 feet and ranks fifth nationally this year (18-1.75). Senior Morris Kersh is 14th nationally in the triple jump with a personal-best mark of 51-8.5. Ole Miss placed sixth at last year’s SEC Indoor Championships behind Robertson, who tied for the most points at the meet and earned the Cliff Harper Trophy. This year’s NCAA Championships will also be held in Fayetteville, March 8-9. New this year is that there are no automatic qualifying standards for the NCAA meet. The NCAA will accept the top 16 athletes in each individual event and the top 12 schools in each relay for the championships. Women - The Rebel women had several outstanding performances in New Mexico last weekend, their final meet before the Feb. 22-24 SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Headlining the fine efforts was freshman Asia Cooper’s scintillating 60-meter dash at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational. She placed runner-up with a personal-best time of 7.29 (converted to 7.31 for altitude) and moved up to No. 8 in the NCAA rankings, which is best among all freshmen. The Jackson, Miss., native is the SEC’s top freshman and fourth overall, while she moves up to third place in school history and within striking distance of Teneeshia Jones (7.28) and Brittney Reese (7.29). Senior Jazmin Miller was runner-up in the Elite weight throw with a personal-best mark of 64-8.75 that improves her standing as the second-best weight thrower in school history. She moved up to 27th in the national rankings and third-best in the SEC this year. Junior Allegra Wells jumped 20-4.5 in the Elite long jump to move up to 12th in the nation this year and fourth in school history. Sophomore Taryn Hartfield clocked a time of 8.41 (converted to 8.43 for altitude) in the 60-meter hurdles to move up to 45th nationally this year and improve her standing as third-best in school history. Ole Miss placed eighth at last year’s SEC Indoor Championships. This year’s NCAA Championships will also be held in Fayetteville, March 8-9. New this year is that there are no automatic qualifying standards for the NCAA meet. The NCAA will accept the top 16 athletes in each individual event and the top 12 schools in each relay for the championships.

    Mississippi State

    Friday saw action across the board for the Mississippi State indoor track and field team, as the Bulldogs competed in 15 events on just day one of the Tyson Invitational hosted by Arkansas. The men, entering weekend competition ranked 12th in the nation, proved why they belong in that coveted spot. Brandon McBride and Nathan Arnett both enjoyed top finishes in their events. Freshman McBride (47.02) seized a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash, while Arnett (7.85) finished fifth in the 60-meter hurdles preliminaries to land him a spot in tomorrow’s finals. Senior D’Angelo Cherry followed fellow Bulldogs in similar speedy fashion.  With his fourth-place finish in the 60-meter dash, Cherry’s time of 6.68 seconds in preliminaries qualified him Saturday’s finals. Later in the day, All-American Jarrett Samuels (24-03.50) long-jumped his way to victory, finishing first in a field of nearly 40 jumpers. Distance veteran Katie Huston (4:55.78) and newcomer Fabienne Amrhein (5:02.28) also shined on day one, posting second-place and seventh-place finishes in the mile run, respectively. Mississippi State continued on Saturday to build on Friday’s campaign at the Tyson Invitational at Arkansas, while others started weekend action at the Samford Multi and Invitational. The Bulldogs completed their stint Saturday at the Razorbacks' Randal Tyson Track Center with five Top 5 finishes, highlighted by Alyssa Hall's first-place finish in the high jump (5-09.75). The MSU men’s distance medley team picked second-place finish. The foursome, which included twins Andrew and Patrick Monaghan, Jarrett Samuels, and Brandon McBride, turned in a time of 9.52 seconds to find themselves at the top of the board. The Lady Bulldogs also captured attention with Erica Bougrad’s third-place performance in the high jump (5-07.75), coupled with action by the 4x400-meter relay team of Ocian Archer, Jody-Ann Muir, Erica Bougard and Kanisha Carey. The quartet raced in 3:41.21 seconds to give the MSU women a fourth-place finish. Meanwhile in Alabama, MSU dominated the competition with top field performances. Sojourner Ewing (18-10.75) posted a third-place finish in the long jump, and Megan Walker (11-11.75) saw a Top 10 finish in the pole vault, as she earned a spot in eighth. Antavius McGhee (23-02.50) stood out for the MSU men, finishing fifth in the long jump, followed by A.J. Ward’s (23-00.50) seventh-place jump. Later in the day, Nathan Lewis ran the 3000-meter run in 8:31.47 seconds to reach a spot in fourth. The Maroon and White take a week’s rest before heading to Baton Rouge for the LSU Twilight Invitational on Feb. 15.

    Missouri

    The University of Missouri split forces this past weekend, as a small group of distance specialists traveled to Seattle, WA, for the Husky Classic and another group of field event and sprint athletes drove down to Fayetteville, AR, for the Tyson Invitational.  Both groups left their respective meets with, not only new PRs, but a pair of impressive new school records.  First up was stand-out freshman Markesh Woodson, who continued to drop his school record performances in the 60m dash.  After tying the record in his first meet, he nabbed the title in Kentucky two weeks ago with a 6.69 finish.  He continued to drop that time in the prelims of the 60m dash at the Tyson Invite, racing to a 6.66 finish before shaving off another 0.03 in the final, ending the day with a 6.63 and third place finish against some of the toughest competition in the nation.  Over on the west coast, senior Laura Roxberg also out-ran her own school record, finishing the mile in 4:34.59.  This was enough to win her heat and give her 5th overall at one of the toughest mid-distance and distance competitions during the indoor season.  Roxberg dropped her previous 4:39 school record from last year by five seconds.  Both are currently ranked fifth in the nation for their efforts this weekend, and are in the top two for the SEC.  Two more Tigers left their respective meets with new PRs, as Mitch Hatten jumped to a 2.06m (6-9) in the high jump at Tyson, and Merid Seleshi ran a new mile time of 4:08.48 at Husky.  The Tigers are home for their final meet before the SEC Championships, with the Missouri Collegiate Challenge kicking off in Columbia at 2:00 p.m.

    South Carolina

    Last weekend, South Carolina traveled to the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C., and the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash.  Freshman Kayla Lampe and junior Jeannelle Scheper both broke their own school records to highlight the weekend.  Lampe bettered the 5,000-meter record that she set last weekend at the Armory Collegiate Invitational, running a 16:32.48 on Friday at the Husky Classic.  Lampe placed 14th out of 82 runners in Seattle.  Scheper cleared a height of 6’ or more for the fifth time in Garnet and Black, winning the invitational section at the Tyson Invitational with a jump of 6’3 ¼ (1.91m). The mark is the best in the SEC and stands as second in the collegiate ranks this season. With a throw of 52’1 ¾ (15.89m), senior Breanna Radford won her fourth shot put event of the season at the Tiger Paw Invitational.  Redshirt sophomore Kaysee Sullivan finished second behind Radford with a throw of 46’0 ½ (14.03m). Redshirt senior Robert Razick set a PR and jumped up the Gamecock record book on Friday and Saturday at the Tyson Invitational. After moving to third all-time in South Carolina indoor history in the mile run on Friday with a 4:08.68, Razick followed up with an 8:23.39 in the 3,000-meters on Saturday. The new PR catapults him from seventh to third on the Gamecock top 10 list. Junior pole vaulter Petra Olsen set a new personal best on the way to third place at the Tyson Invite.  Olsen cleared 13’10 ½ (4.23m), which ranks second in South Carolina indoor history.  Olsen was not the only pole vaulter to set a new PR as freshman Austin Eckenroth also did so, taking seventh in Fayetteville with a mark of 16’3 ¼ (4.96m). South Carolina stays at home this weekend to host the Gamecock Indoor Invitational on Saturday.

    Tennessee

    For its final tune-up before the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships, the Tennessee track & field team split into three groups, sending contingents to the Tyson Invitational, the Husky Classic and the Samford Multi and Invitational. The Big Orange’s top performing group of the season, its pole vaulters, headed to the Birmingham Crossplex and swept the meet titles. A week after tying the mark, freshman pole vaulter Jake Blankenship broke a 20-year old UT indoor freshman record, leaping to his third-consecutive and fourth overall title of the season with a vault of 18-feet, 1-inch (5.51m). The vault, which came on his second attempt, puts Blankenship ahead of legendary Vol and Olympic silver medalist Lawrence Johnson, who set the previous mark of 18-0.5 in his rookie season in 1993. Blankenship’s new career-best now ranks seventh in the nation and second in the SEC. Among freshmen, he tops the SEC list and sits second in the nation. To date, his vault is also tied for 35th in the world in 2013. Blankenship’s teammates Chase Brannon and Tyler Porter took second and third place in the event, respectively. On the women’s side, Lady Vol pole vaulter Linda Hadfield, the school record holder in the event, picked up her first victory of the season with a mark of 12-11.5. In the Pacific Northwest at the University of Washington’s Husky Classic, Tennessee sent distance runners Peter Okwera and Hannah Davidson to one of the fastest facilities in the nation. Okwera came away with a seventh-place finish in the men’s 5,000-meter, crossing the tape in a personal-best 14 minutes, 7.22 seconds. The mark ranks seventh on UT’s all-time men’s 5K list. Davidson also performed well, coming in sixth place with a PR time of 16:22.74 – a mark that ranks fifth on UT’s all-time women’s 5K list. In the SEC, Okwera and Davidson rank third and fourth in the 5K, respectively. The majority of the squad attended the Tyson Invitational at Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Track Center – the site of the 2013 SEC Championships and NCAA Championships. UT came away with nine top-five finishes at the event, highlighted by a 1-2 finish from Lady Vols Nijgia Snapp and Kianna Ruff in the Olympic Development 800m on Friday. Snapp put forth her top time of the season in 2:07.08 – a mark that ranks fourth in the SEC this season – while Ruff finished just behind her in a personal-best 2:07.48. Junior Amber Zimmerman recorded a personal best on the oval, finishing in fourth place in the 3K in 9:47.31. A week after setting the school’s freshman record in the 5K, Vol Austin Whitelaw finished just off the UT rookie record pace in the mile, crossing the line in 4:08.51. On the field, junior Allison Outerbridge recorded her first-career jump over 40 feet in the triple jump. Outerbridge placed second with a leap of 40-4.75. For the Vols, sophomore thrower Matthew Hoty pushed the shot put over 60 feet for the first time this season, finishing in fourth place in the event with a mark of 60-3.25. Rookie Cameron Brown also bested his own UT freshman record in the weight throw with a toss of 62-1.25. Brown finished third in the event. The Orange and White will take a week off to train in Knoxville, before heading back to Fayetteville, Ark., for the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships from Feb. 22-24.

    Texas A&M

    Texas A&M won both team titles in its final home meet of the season. The Aggie men scored 207.5 points while the A&M women totaled 198 points as they combined for 17 victories. No other team in the meet scored reached 100 points. The Aggies have a week off prior to the competing in their first SEC Indoor Championships. Men - Henry Lelei broke his school record in the 3000m with a 7:55.80 that also bettered the meet record of 8:08.17 set in 2010. Casey Strong achieved his sixth consecutive victory in the weight throw this indoor season, hitting a mark of 63-4 ¾. Freshman Chase Wolfle moved to No. 6 on the A&M all-time list in the pole vault with a winning clearance of 17-5 (5.31). Hector Hernandez led an Aggie 1-2-3 in the 800 as his 1:50.54 ranks as No. 7 on the A&M all-time list. Defending NCAA Indoor 200m champion Ameer Webb won the 200 in 21.00 while Michael Bryan finished second in a PR of 21.06. In the 60, Webb and Bryan both clocked 6.72 for second and third place. Bralon Taplin won the 400 in 46.85 and ran second leg of the winning 4 x 400 (3:07.77). Wayne Davis II claimed the 60 hurdles in 7.86 while Devion Harris cleared 6-7 ½ to win the high jump. Women - LaQue Moen-Davis improved her triple jump best to 43-7 ¼ (13.29) in leading an Aggie 1-5 finish. Moen-Davis tops the SEC in the triple jump and is second in the long jump. Nationally she ranks third in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump. Kamaria Brown also led an A&M 1-5 finish in the 200 with her winning time of 23.57 seconds. Jennifer Madu won the 60 in 7.41 over Brown’s 7.43. The Aggies also won the 400 with Janeil Bellille (54.65) and 800 with Aliese Hyde (2:10.82). Bellille was part of the winning 4 x 400 (3:36.82) as well. Brea Garrett hit a mark of 61-2 to win the weight throw while Jena Hemann cleared 5-8 ½ for the high jump victory.

    Vanderbilt

    The Vanderbilt track and field team competed for the third-straight week at the Samford Multi and Invitational on Saturday, February 9, as they continue getting closer to the SEC Indoor Championships. he morning opened with Allie Scalf finishing third in the 5,000 meters. Scalf crossed the line in 17:04.08. The 60-meter hurdles saw Faith Washington run 8.89, one-hundredth of a second shy of qualifying for the finals. In the 60-meter dash, Washington ran a time of 8.06. Amira Joseph finished 11th in the mile (5:03.30). One of the highlights of the day came in the 400-meter dash, where Washington finished fifth, clocking a time of 56.36 which is the fifth-best in VU history. Seven Commodores ran in the 3,000 meters, with five of them finishing in placed five-nine. Jordan White paced the black and gold in 9:45.21, followed by Lily Williams in 9:45.75, Vanessa Valentine in 9:57.29, Rebecca Chandler in 9:59.00 and Hannah Jumper in 9:59.08. Track action wrapped-up with Kristen Findley finishing fifth in the 800 meters, posting a time of 2:11.48. On the field side, Alyson Hasty and Morgan Toone competed in the pole vault, both clearing 3.50 meters (11' 5.75"). Skyler Carpenter finished 23rd in the long jump, posting a mark of 5.23 meters (17' 2").  Janetra Gleaves finished fifth in the pentathlon on Friday, scoring 3,146 points. This was the final tune-up for the Commodores before the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held February 22-24 in Fayetteville, Ark.