QUINN CAPTURES JAVELIN TITLE TO OPEN PEPSI FLORIDA RELAYS
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Redshirt freshman thrower Kyle Quinn took the men’s javelin title – his second victory of the young outdoor season – to lead the University of Tennessee track & field team on the opening day of collegiate action at the 69th annual Pepsi Florida Relays at Percy Beard Track in Gainesville, Fla., on Friday.
Quinn, who won the event at the season-opening Mississippi State Conference Challenge, blasted a personal-record throw of 227-feet, 6-inches (69.35m) on his fourth attempt to win Friday afternoon’s title. The mark inched him closer to UT’s outdoor freshman record (232-10/70.96m) and ranks seventh all-time in the outdoor annals.
The Lady Vols put an emphatic close to the opening day of the Florida Relays, as distance runners Kelsey Kane, Amber Zimmerman, Alexis Panisse and Amirah Johnson joined forces to place 3-4-5-6 in the women’s 1,500-meter race. The quartet navigated the track as one, as Kane (4:27.95), Zimmerman (4:28.92) and Johnson (4:29.61) all scored personal records in the race.
The Big Orange women also got top-10 finishes from Kianna Ruff (6th, 2:06.08) and Nijgia Snapp (9th, 2:08.58) in the 800m, Felicia Brown (7th, 53.01) in the 400m and Kia Jackson (10th, 11.60) in the 100m dash. Including the 400-meter performance, Brown scored two PRs on the day, as she also crossed the line in the 200m in 23.55 seconds.
With two more in the field events, the Lady Vols totaled 10 top-10 finishes on the day.
The Vols also had solid performances in the 1,500-meter nightcap as Kyle Walter (8th, 3:51.23), Daniel Tobin (15th, 3:53.57) and Jeremy Dickie (23rd, 3:57.97) all picked up career-bests.
In addition to Quinn, senior Drew Thomas had a good day in the field as well. Thomas finished fifth in the men’s hammer throw with a season-best effort of 186-4 (56.80m).
In unattached action, former Lady Vols Ellen Wortham and Chanelle Price won the 400m hurdles and 800m races, respectively. The fans at James G. Pressly Stadium saw Wortham – an 11-time All-American at UT – put up the world’s second-fastest 400mH time of 56.55 in 2013. Price, meanwhile, dominated the field in the 800m, crossing the line in 2:02.81.
The bronze medal winner in the 400m at the 2012 London Olympics, former Lady Vol great Dee Dee Trotter finished third in the 200m in 23.07 seconds. Former Vol thrower Garland Porter placed fifth in the men’s hammer throw invite section with a toss of 220-8 (67.25m) on his sixth and final attempt.
Ole Miss’ Isiah Young Runs Well On First Day Of Florida Relays
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Ole Miss senior Isiah Young ran a pair of strong sprints to lead the way for the Rebels on the first day of the Pepsi Florida Relays on Friday.
The 11th-ranked Ole Miss men’s team and the Rebel women’s team lined up against several of the nation’s elite teams at the prestigious meet, held at the James G. Pressly Stadium on the campus of the University of Florida.
Young placed sixth in the 100 meters with a season-best time of 10.28. He entered the weekend ranked sixth nationally in the event with a time of 10.30.
The 2012 Olympian from Junction City, Kan., also competed in his signature event, the 200 meters, for the first time this season, clocking a 20.81 for eighth place. That time will also rank him among the NCAA leaders this year.
For the Rebel women, Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen and Asia Cooper turned in quality performances in Gainesville.
Hellberg-Jonsen, a senior from Johanneshov, Sweden, ran a season-best 59.76 in the 400-meter hurdles, which was less than a second from her career best of 58.99. She placed 14th in the event and should improve her national ranking, which was 46th entering the weekend.
Cooper, a freshman from Jackson, Miss., finished 13th in the 100 meters with a time of 11.68. She has a season best of 11.62, which was 34th nationally entering the weekend.
Bulldog Track & Field Shines At Florida Relays
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Georgia’s track and field teams altered the school record books and picked up a pair of wins during the opening day of collegiate competition at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla., on Friday.
The third day of the Relays begins for the Bulldogs with Elizabeth Tepe in the women’s hammer throw at 10 a.m. The first event scheduled for Georgia on the track is the women’s 4x100-meter relay starting at 2:20 p.m.
Senior Leslie Boozer led the charge after shaving more than 15 seconds off of her finish at last year’s meet to earn a second-place finish in the steeplechase. Boozer recorded a track record time of 10:08.54, which is the fourth-best time in the nation this year and the best time for the Lady Bulldogs since Sarah Madebach’s school record time of 10:07.16 set at the 2008 NCAA Championships.
Also in the steeplechase, freshman Victoria Coppage finished seventh with the eighth-best time in school history (10:45.27) and sophomore Erika Ramsey improved her No. 10 mark on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list to 10:51.52 for eighth place.
Walking away with the program’s top time since Kristie Krueger’s 4:18.58 at the 2010 Florida Relays, junior Carly Hamilton won the 1500 with a career-fastest time of 4:21.33. This moved Hamilton from No. 6 to No. 5 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list.
In the field, freshman Ashinia Miller watched his fifth of sixth attempts in the discus travel 178 feet, 3 inches to win his event. This marked Miller’s first collegiate victory as he came within an inch of reaching his personal-best mark.
Sophomore transfer Charles Grethen made his Bulldog career debut in the 800 and finished with the fourth-best time in school history. Grethen trimmed more than a second off his outdoor personal best after completing his laps in 1:47.95 to earn runner-up honors. Grethen’s time is the second fastest in the nation this year.
Junior Megan Malasarte made her season debut in the 800 and finished with the fourth-best time of her career. After setting the school record in the event three different times in 2012, Malasarte was the second collegiate finisher (third overall) with a time of 2:04.37.
Freshman Freya Jones made her debut for the Lady Bulldogs and came away with a fourth-place finish in the javelin. The Hampshire, United Kingdom, native opened with an effort of 160 feet. This performance is No. 7 on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list.
Third in the fourth heat, sophomore Tynia Gaither clocked the eighth-best time in Lady Bulldog history in the 200. Gaither finished 15th overall after she registered a time of 23.64.
A pair of Georgia women had finishes in the top seven of the 5000 thanks to two personal-best finishes. Nicole DiMercurio was sixth with the 10th-best time in school history (16:50.87) while Morgan VanGorder took seventh with a finish of 16:53.48
During the final event of the day, freshman Sid Vaughn was the second collegiate finisher (third overall) in the 5000 after the Lakeside High School native completed the race in 14:34.20. Freshman Zack Sims took fifth (14:37.33) in the race.
Junior Johnathan Smith set his second consecutive personal best in the 200 to finish 12th overall. Smith shot across the finish line in 20.87 after running a 21.01 at the Yellow Jacket Invitational.
Freshman Briana Vaughn matched her time in the 100 from last week with an 11.72 for 15th place. Central Florida’s Octavious Freeman set a track record after winning with an 11.02, which topped former Lady Bulldog Debbie Ferguson’s mark of 11.09 set in 1998.
On the men’s side, freshman Pierce Vincent improved his personal best by one hundredth of a second to 10.59 to take 20th in the 100 behind Johnathan Smith (10.57 – 17th).
Six competitors reached 5-9.25 in the high jump and Georgia senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier was one of them. Atkinson-Grier cleared the height on her second try and finished fifth in the competition.
Gamecocks Finish Day One at Pepsi Florida Relays Five register top-10 finishes
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – South Carolina track and field completed their first day of competition at the 69th Annual Pepsi Florida Relays at Percy Beard Track on Friday. Facing stiff competition, the Gamecocks collected five top-10 finishes.
In her 400-meter outdoor debut, sophomore Erika Rucker turned in a solid performance. Rucker ran a 52.76 to finish fourth overall. The Gamecock ran the second-best collegiate time in the event. Entering the weekend, only one faster collegiate time had been registered this outdoor season.
In the 100-meter hurdles, senior Kierre Beckles was the top collegiate finisher. Beckles finished sixth overall with her time of 13.13. Beckles entered the weekend with the third fastest time in the East with her season-best time of 13.09.
Junior Petra Olsen finished second overall in the women’s pole vault. Her mark of 13-05.25 (4.10m) was the top collegiate clearance of the day.
Senior long jumper Jarrod Hutchen and redshirt sophomore javelin thrower Joshua Suttmeier registered the two top-10 finishes for the men’s team.
Hutchen recorded a leap of 24-02.25 (7.37) in the invitational section of the long jump. The mark landed him fifth place. Hutchen holds the fourth best leap in the East entering the weekend at 25-05.25 (7.75m).
Suttmeier made his season debut on Friday. The javelin specialist kicked off his year with a throw of 203-00 (61.87m) for seventh place.
Five Gator Titles, Three Collegiate Leads Stand Out for Florida on Second Day of Pepsi Florida Relays
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The second day of the Pepsi Florida Relays was as thrilling as the first, as the collegiate and professional ranks joined the high school contingent at Percy Beard Track. Friday saw two Pepsi Florida Relays records fall, as well as a Percy Beard Track Record.
Five Gators won event titles Friday, including freshman Marija Vucenovic (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) who came out Friday and won the second meet of her career in as many tries. Vucenovic threw a collegiate-leading 55.43m/181-10 to claim the women's javelin title, besting the runner-up by 17 feet.
Vucenovic was joined in the winner's circle by Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) and Sean Obinwa (Tampa, Fla.), who also became collegiate leaders with their events Friday. Both Gators ran collegiate-leading times in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 800 meters, respectively. Parrish finished in a personal-best 8:42.38 to win the steeple title in a new NCAA-leading time. Obinwa turned in the fastest 800 meters in the nation in 2013, finishing in a new PR of 1:47.66.
"I'm very, very pleased with all of their performances," Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. "I thought Mark did a wonderful job coming out and running a five-second personal best, leading the whole way. Mark is on a mission. He's still stung from missing the national meet last year by .01. Marija, I mean, that's why we recruited her. She's the best javelin thrower in the NCAA, and she's proven that so far. We're really pleased with her improvement so far."
Also claiming victories for the Orange and Blue were sophomores Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) and Taylor Burke (Medina, Ohio). Dukes ran a wind-aided 20.38 to take home the men's 200 meters title Friday, while Burke participated in a jump off to win the women's high jump with her mark of 1.76m/5-9.25.
"It's the Florida Relays, there's a lot of athletes, a lot of parents, a lot of fans. I'm just really pleased that the meet ran very well and very smoothly over the first two days," Holloway commented. "The weather has been a little bit quirky, but overall the performances have been absolutely phenomenal. I'm really pleased with the way the meet has been run and the performances of all the athletes. My athletes have had a really great weekend also so far."
Action concludes Saturday, with the meet starting at 10 a.m. Gates open an hour before competition Saturday. Three-day passes for the Pepsi Florida Relays are on sale for $25. Daily admission is $12 for adults, $7 for seniors and children and $1 for UF students with a valid UF student ID. Fans can also purchase a Thursday-only pass for $6.
The official Twitter hashtag for the Pepsi Florida Relays is #FLRelays. Live video streaming can be found exclusively on Flotrack<http://live.flotrack.org/floridarelays-250627/index.html>. The live stream will be available to all Flotrack Pro members. Live results for the meet may be found at www.deltatiming.com<http://www.deltatiming.com>. Complete coverage of the Pepsi Florida Relays can be found at www.gatorzone.com/trackfield/floridarelays<http://www.gatorzone.com/trackfield/floridarelays>.
Many ranked teams will participate in the Pepsi Florida Relays, with the Gator men (No. 3) and women (No. 4) ranked highest among all competitors. Other NCAA Division I ranked programs on the men's side include No. 6 Florida State, No. 8 Southern California, No. 11 Ole Miss, No. 17 Indiana, No. 23 Baylor and No. 25 Oklahoma State. On the women's side, ranked teams joining the Gators are No. 6 Texas, No. 12 UCF, No. 14 Baylor, No. 19 Georgia and No. 25 Southern California.
Senior Day will come early for the Orange and Blue, as the Gator senior class will be recognized at 4:20 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon between the conclusion of the men's 4x800-meter relay and the start of the women's 4x200-meter relay.
"Saturday means a lot of excitement," Holloway noted. "I'm really looking forward to the Gators tomorrow. Everybody talks about defending their home turf, but it's more about us engaging in the party and engaging in the fight a little bit. What I'm really looking forward to is execution. I told them 'Let's go home, let's get rested, and tomorrow let's just enjoy.' There's going to be a big crowd tomorrow with lots of excitement and lots of fun. I'm really looking forward to us passing the stick and running some fast times tomorrow."