SEC Track & Field Weekly Notebook: May 2 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Track & Field Weekly Notebook: May 2

     

    Alabama
     
    Alabama competed at the Drake Relays and the Samford Invitational last weekend and had a bevy of good performances. Drake Relays – the men’s 4x100 meter relay team won the event at Drake Relays, coming within one-tenth of a second of the meet record as the foursome of Alex Sanders, Diondre Batson, Akeem Haynes and Dushane Farrier ran a time of 38.97 seconds, the third-best 4x100 time in Alabama history and the first sub-39 second time by a Tide relay unit since 1983, as well as the second fastest time in the nation this year, trailing only Texas A&M’s 38.64 ... Both the men’s sprint medley relay and women’s distance medley teams had success at Drake as the women’s distance medley team set a school record with the quartet of Susie Kemper, Dacia Mays, Yanique Malcolm and Kimberley Ficenec finishing in 11:09.50 ... Kamal Fuller set a new personal outdoor best in the long jump with a mark of 25-1 ¼. Samford Invitational – Alabama athletes won three events and set six personal records and season highs, while posting four performances that rank among the school’s top 10 for those events at the Samford Invitational on Saturday ... Elias Hakansson continued his impressive first year at Alabama, extending his UA record in the hammer throw with a mark of 211 feet, 4 inches ... Four of Hakansson's five legal throws rank in the school’s all-time top 10 ... he had throws of 207-4 (10th best throw in UA history),  209-5 (9th), his school-record throw of 211-4 and a throw of 209-5 on his final throw (7th in UA history) ...  Hakansson now holds all 10 spots on the school’s top-10 list ... In just three meets, Hakansson has recorded 13 throws of over 200 feet, the only athlete in Alabama history to record a throw of over that distance ... sophomore thrower Charodd Richardson set a new personal best in the hammer by recording a mark of 198-2 ... Alexis Paine captured her fourth victory of the year in the pole vault by recording a mark of 13-3½ ...  Krystle Schade added her third win of the outdoor seasons in the high jump by clearing a height of 6-0¾ ... Nia Barnes was second in the hammer throw at 179-0, the longest of her career and second on the UA all-time list ... Lee Stowers garnered a third-place finish, recording a mark of 177-11 – tied for third in Alabama history … overall UA's outdoor roster of 70 athletes on the combined men’s & women's team features 41 freshmen (26 men, 15 women), 7 sophomores (4 men, 3 women), 15 juniors (8 women, 7 men) and 7 seniors (4 women, 3 men) ... Several Alabama athletes rank among the nation's leaders in their respective events: Batson in the men's 100 (1st) and men's 200 (8th); Alexis Paine in the women's pole vault (2nd); the Tide's men's 4x100 relay (2nd); Alabama's women's distance medley relay (5th); Krystle Schade in the women's high jump (6th); Alabama's men's sprint medley relay (9th); Callie Ives in the women's long jump (12th); Kamal Fuller in the men's long jump (14th); Alabama's men's 4x400 relay (14th); Yanique Malcolm in the women's 800 (18th) … Alabama will take the weekend off in preparation for the upcoming SEC Outdoor Championships.
     
    Arkansas
     
    Men - The No. 3 Razorback men hosted the Arkansas Invitational this weekend and came away with five wins in a field that included top-ranked Florida, No. 22 Oklahoma and No. 23 Ohio State. The Razorbacks collected first-place performances from Akheem Gauntlett at 400 meters, Brede Ellingsen and Noah Kittelson in the high jump, Andrew Irwin in the pole vault, Kevin Lazas in the decathlon and the team’s 4x100-meter relay. Arkansas also had three runner-up finishes Saturday. Lazas’ decathlon score of 7,537 points puts him at the No. 10 spot on this season’s NCAA performance list. The regular season comes to an end this Friday with the Arkansas Twilight at John McDonnell Field. Field events are scheduled for an 11 a.m. (CT) start while running events will begin at 6 p.m. Arkansas’ championship season begins May 9-12 at the SEC Championships in Columbia, Mo. Women - The No. 5 Razorback women were split between their home Arkansas Invitational and Sunday’s Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. At the home meet, the team came away with victories from Jessica Kamilos at 1,500 meters and the 4x100-meter relay team. Arkansas collected three outdoor personal bests from its distance crew at the Stanford meet, including a near school-record effort by Grace Heysmfield (10:01.92) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Shannon Klenke, also in the steeplechase, and Diane Robison at 5,000 meters also ran outdoor PRs. Regina George (Nigeria) and Sparkle McKnight (Trinidad & Tobago) represented their respective countries this weekend with relay duties at Penn Relays. In the 4x400-meter relay, George ran 49.5 on her leg for the fastest split in the field. The regular season comes to an end this Friday with the Arkansas Twilight at John McDonnell Field. Field events are scheduled for an 11 a.m. (CT) start while running events will begin at 6 p.m. Arkansas’ championship season begins May 9-12 at the SEC Championships in Columbia, Mo.
     
    Auburn
     
    Auburn split three ways sending groups of athletes to Penn Relays, the UCSD Triton Invitational and the Samford Invitational … In the women’s high jump, Maya Pressley earned her second high jump title of the season and first since Texas Relays with a clearance at 6-0 (1.83m) … Junior thrower Marcus Popenfoose set a new personal best in the men’s shot put with a long throw of 61-0.25 (18.60m) … The throw placed him sixth overall at the competition and makes him only the sixth man in Auburn history to record a throw over 60 feet … Valentina Muzaric finished as the runner-up in the women’s shot put with a great series of throws … Her top mark was 55-5.5 (16.90m), but the sophomore also registered four throws between 16.78-16.90 … The Auburn men recorded a season-best mark of 39.94 to place third overall in the men’s college 4x100m Championship of America … The mark is good enough for 12th in the east and should qualify the Tigers for the first round of NCAA competition next month … In the men’s high jump, junior DJ Smith placed third overall with a strong clearance at 7-2.5 (2.20m) …  After passing 2.23m, Smith narrowly missed three times at 7-5 (2.26m), which would have been a new personal best for the Atlanta native … In action at Samford, Auburn athletes set 13 new personal bests and wins in the 3000m (Griffin Jaworski) and 3000m steeplechase (Niklas Buhner).
     
    Florida
     
    Nine Gators will travel up the road to Tallahassee to compete in the one-day Seminole Twilight meet, scheduled for Friday, May 3. Competition is set to begin at 3 p.m. at Mike Long Track with the women’s hammer and women’s javelin.Of the nine competing Friday is sophomore Marquis Dendy, who will double dip in his usual triple jump-long jump combo. Dendy, the 2013 SEC and NCAA Indoor Champion in the men’s long jump, is currently ranked fourth in the world in the men’s long jump this year. Two returning SEC Champions will compete Friday to prepare for the upcoming championship season, including 2012 SEC Champion in the men’s hammer throw and reigning SEC Men’s Field Athlete of the Week, Jeremy Postin, and 2011 SEC women’s javelin champion Fawn Miller. Only field event athletes will be competing for the Gators in Tallahassee, readying themselves for the 2013 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Mizzou’s Audrey J. Walton Stadium. The four-day meet is slated for Thursday-Sunday, May 9-12.
     
    Georgia
     
    Men - The sixth-ranked Bulldogs highlighted the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, by going 1-2-3 in the shot put for the second consecutive week.  Sophomore Nick Vena reached 62 feet (62-0.50) for the second time this season to win the meet while freshman Ashinia Miller (61-10.25) and junior Caleb Whitener (60-9.50) left with the second and third-place finishes.  Georgia defended its Drake Relays title in the sprint medley relay after finishing in 3:17.72.  Freshman Pierce Vincent, senior Daniel Grass, sophomore Drew Branch and sophomore Charles Grethen combined to top 14 other teams.  In the 800-meter run, freshman Kisean Smith won his first meet for the Bulldogs after clocking the second-fastest time of his career (1:51.90).  Smith also joined fellow freshmen Zane Coburn and Zack Sims along with Grethen to clock a 10:07.35 for 10th place in the distance medley relay.  Freshman Devon Williams also completed his first collegiate decathlon and was the second collegiate finisher (third overall) after scoring 6,916 points.  Williams won the 110 hurdles (14.38) and was runner-up in three more events. Also of note, sophomore Justin Scott-Wesley finished eighth in the 100 finals with a time of 10.61.  Georgia returns to action at the SEC Championships in Columbia, Mo., on May 9-12. Women - The eighth-ranked Lady Bulldogs tallied four wins at the 104th running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, over the weekend.  Sophomore Carly Hamilton highlighted the meet by setting a school record after clocking a 4:12.15 to finish first in the 1500-meter run.  This topped a 29-year-old school record (Linda Detlefsen, 1984 SEC Championships, 4:15.25) and shot Hamilton to fifth on the national performance list with the 27th-best time in the world this year.  Her junior teammate Megan Malasarte cruised to also cruised to a victory in the 800 with a time of 2:06.49.  Also on the track, the Lady Bulldogs won the 4x200 relay (1:34.01), took second in the sprint medley relay (3:46.02) and were third in the 4x100 relay (44.64).  True freshman Freya Jones was named the SEC Women's Freshman of the Week in just her second meet with the Lady Bulldogs after her fourth attempt measured 173 feet, 9 inches for second place.  In the jumps, senior Saniel Atkinson picked up the victory in the high jump after clearing 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches on her first try.  Thanks to a third attempt clearance, sophomore Morgann Leleux managed to tie for 10th in the "London Games Rematch" portion of the pole vault with a clearance of 13-10.50.  Georgia returns to action at the SEC Championships in Columbia, Mo., on May 9-12.
     
    Kentucky
     
    Men - The UK track and field team competed at three meets last weekend, the Penn Relays, UC-San Diego and Miami RedHawk Invitational. The UK throwers competed on the West Coast. Andrew Evans tossed a personal best discus throw 60.12 meters / 197’03” which further solidified his position as the No. 5 Wildcat in the event all-time. Evans placed ninth. Bradley Szypka also produced a PR throw 18.15 meters / 59’06.75” to place seventh. Isiah Kent threw the 10th furthest shot in the Triton Invitational competition 16.85 meters / 55’03.5 Raymond Dykstra placed third in the javelin with a top throw 67.16 meters / 220’04”. Keith Hayes finished fourth with a time of 13.99 in the Penn Relays 110-meter hurdles college championship. The Kentucky 4x100-meter relay team of Brandon Bagley, Kadeem Kushimo, Ben Mason and Keith posted a UK season best-tying time 40.94 at Penn. Luis Orta and freshman Mackay Wilson recorded season-best times in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with respective times of 8:56.32 and 8:58.79 on Thursday in Philadelphia. Women - The UK track and field team competed at three meets last weekend, the Penn Relays, UC-San Diego and Miami RedHawk Invitational. Michelle Canterna  improved her school pole vault record to a top clearance of 3.96 meters / 12’11.75” giving her the all-conditions UK record and the event title. UK’s indoor All-America distance medley relay team finished second at the Penn Relays. Kayla Parker placed fourth in the Penn Relays college 100-meter hurdles championship with a wind legal collegiate best time 13.29. Tamyah Pipkin also posted a wind-legal collegiate best 100 meters time 11.70 in the championship race to place fifth. Kentucky’s 4x400-meter relay squad of Angelica Whaley, Shiara Robinson, Pipkin and Morganne Phillips ran a 2013 best time 3:38.68 in the college division. Tamyah Pipkin, Morganne Phillips, Kayla Parker and Keilah Tyson combined for a time of 44.44, which was the second fastest performance in school history in the Penn Relays Championship of America final. The women’s 4x200-meter relay team just missed a spot in Saturday’s championship final as Danielle Sampley, Shiara Robinson, Parker and Angelica Whaley stopped the clock in 1:36.18, less than a second behind a qualifying time.
     
    LSU
     
    With 48,871 fans packing Franklin Field on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, the Lady Tigers set an improbable school record in the 4x800-meter relay while claiming a third-place finish in a historic Championship of America final in the finale of the 119th Penn Relay Carnival held this weekend at the University of Pennsylvania. The Lady Tigers elected to run against a loaded field in the 4x800-meter relay with a foursome of sophomore Samantha Levin, junior Natoya Goule, junior Nikita Tracey and senior Charlene Lipsey. And they responded with the fastest race in school history as Lipsey crossed the finish line on the anchor leg with a record-setting time of 8 minutes, 19.43 seconds for a bronze-medal-winning third-place finish. The Tigers and Lady Tigers added to an already impressive Penn Relays resume this weekend as the women won the Championship of America title in the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay and senior Damar Forbes won the men’s championship long jump on Friday night. They have now combined to win 67 relay titles and 64 individual event titles in the championship division in their history at the Penn Relays. LSU Track & Field owns an impressive streak of 23-straight seasons with at least one Championship of America relay title at the Penn Relays that dates back to the 1991 season. With the 2013 regular season now in the books, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will use the next two weeks of training to prepare for the start of the championship season as they return to action at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships to be held May 9-12 at the Audrey J. Walton Track Stadium on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia. The Lady Tigers enter the meet as the three-time defending SEC Outdoor champions and winners of five of the last six SEC Outdoor team titles as they have dominated the conference in recent seasons. They’ll look to defend their crown against an expanded SEC field following recent team championships in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
     
    Ole Miss
     
    Men - The Ole Miss men jumped up one spot to No. 15 in this week’s USTFCCCA national rankings after some big performances at the 104th Drake Relays last week. Once again, senior Isiah Young led the way for the Rebels. He defended his 100-meter title and was voted the Maury White Award winner as the Most Outstanding Performer in the men’s college and invitational division at the Drake Relays. He broke his own school record with his winning time of 10.07 His previous school record was a 10.08 when he won at Drake last year. He is now No. 2 in the NCAA this year in the 100 and No. 3 in the 200 and among the world’s best in both for 2013. Young also anchored the Rebels’ 4x100 and 4x400 relays, helping the 4x1 unit clock a 39.69, which is second-best in school history and top 15 in the NCAA this year. Sophomore Sam Kendricks continues to produce elite pole vaulting results. As the only collegian in a nine-man field of professionals, he tied for the third-best clearance of 18-0.5. He remains the world leader with a mark of 19-0.75 from the Texas Relays. Benjamin Lapane had a personal-best 219-1 in the javelin and Malcolm Davis jumped a personal-best 24-5 in the long jump at Drake. Next up is the SEC Outdoor Championships May 9-12 in Columbia, Mo. The top 48-ranked athletes (and top 24 relays) in the East region in each event will qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Round (May 24-25 in Greensboro, N.C.). Rebels who would qualify as of today include Kendricks in the pole vault (1st, 19-0.75), Young in the 100m (2nd, 10.07), Young in the 200m (2nd, 20.39), 4x100m relay (5th, 39.69), Morris Kersh in the triple jump (10th, 51-1.5), 4x400m relay (14th, 3:08.25), Lapane in the javelin (20th, 219-1), Davis in the long jump (23rd, 24-5), Onyi Afoaku in the discus (24th, 179-3), Robert Semien in the 110m hurdles (34th, 14.10), Afoaku in the shot put (35th, 56-10.75), Anthony Branch in the 200m (41st, 21.09) and Hunter Harrison in the discus (47th, 170-0). Women - The Ole Miss women put together a strong performance at the 104th Drake Relays last week, led by a school-record 10,000-meter run by junior Kayleigh Skinner and an impressive long jump by junior Allegra Wells. Skinner broke the 10,000 meter record for the second time this season, this time beating her mark from the Texas Relays by 45 seconds with a time of 34:59.20. Wells earned a second-place finish in the women's university long jump competition with a personal-best 20-5, which moves her up to No. 6 in school history. Other highlights included sophomore Taryn Hartfield tying her personal best with a time of 13.53 in the 100-meter hurdles and junior Mary Ashton Nall placing second in the heptathlon with a personal-best score of 5,324 that moves vaults her to No. 3 in the school record books. Next up is the SEC Outdoor Championships May 9-12 in Columbia, Mo. The top 48-ranked athletes (and top 24 relays) in the East region in each event will qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Round (May 24-25 in Greensboro, N.C.). Rebels who would qualify as of today include Wells in the long jump (11th, 20-5), Marci Morman in the triple jump (16th, 41-8.5), 4x100m relay (16th, 45.27), Haley Cutright in the 3000m steeplechase (17th, 10:21.60), Taryn Hartfield in the 100m hurdles (19th, 13.53), Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen in the 400m hurdles (29th, 59.76), Shari Russell in the long jump (29th, 19-11.75), Asia Cooper in the 100m (36th, 11.62), Skinner in the 10,000 meters (41st, 34:59.20) and Deonna Walton in the long jump (42nd, 19-9.5). Also, Nall would currently qualify for the NCAA Championships as one of the top-24 ranked heptathletes in the nation (22nd, 5,324).
     
    Mississippi State
     
    Earning five Top 15 performances on day one, Mississippi State track and field went into day two of the 119th Penn Relays with a boost of momentum. Lady Bulldog Brittney Covington started the day off for the Maroon and White with a 27th-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles championships. Her time of 1:01.54 landed her spot in the top half a 54-athlete field. John Valentine was the top-finishing Bulldog as he jumped hurdles, splashed through water and ran multiple laps to post a third-place time of 9:10.59 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The MSU women also picked up a pair of top field performances before noon as Erica Bougard (19-00.75) finished 10th in the college long jump championships, while Alyssa Hall’s clearance of 5-06.00 in the high jump placed her 11th.  Later in the day, Sojourner Ewing donned a sixth-place performance in the long jump college competition with a leap of 19-04.25. Just missing out on the championship finals, the Lady Bulldog quartet comprised of Ocian Archer, Jody-Ann Muir, Ste’yce McNeil and Bougard finished ninth in the college 4x400-meter relay, clocking a 3:40.02. To complete day two of action, MSU posted six Top 10 finishes, highlighted by Top 5 times in the men’s and women’s sprint medleys. The Bulldog sprint medley quartet of Tavaris Tate, Jarrett Samuels, Daundre Barnaby and Brandon McBride clocked a 3:18.32 on Friday at Franklin Field to finish second out of 34 teams. In similar fashion, the MSU women finished fifth in the college sprint medley championship. Covington, Bougard, Muir and Kanishia Carey finished with a time of 3:52.78. Entering the meet as the sixth-ranked 4x400-meter relay team in the nation, Tate, Randy Patterson, Barnaby and McBride broke their season-best record (3:05.35) set last month at the Texas Relays. The foursome finished third in the day’s preliminaries after posting a 3:05.15. Later in the day, freshman Scottie Hearns proved his leadership on the track as he finished third in a field of 50 hurdlers. His time of 51.76 in the college 400-meter hurdles championships placed him ahead of teammate Nathan Arnett (54.15), who finished 29th. Maroon and White distance athletes also saw action on day two, as Chloe Phillips, Fabienne Amrhein, Emma Neigel and Renee Masterson teamed up to race a 18:20.90 in the college 4x1500-meter championship. The quartet’s time landed them a spot in seventh, while adding another commendable finish to MSU’s afternoon. Lady Bulldog Ebony Brinker was the only State athlete to see field action on the second day of competition. Brinker leaped 40-09.50 in the triple jump, just a quarter of an inch shy of her personal best, to finish in fourth. To conclude the largest and oldest track meet in the country, MSU wrapped up day three of the Penn Relays by earning all Top 5 finishes, including one which broke a 3-year-old school record. In front of a crowd of 48, 871 fans, Lady Bulldogs Archer, Muir, McNeil and Bougard finished second in the women’s 4x400-meter relay college competition on Saturday. Their time of 3:34.88 was not only the quartet’s best race of the season, but broke a school record previously set in 2010 (3:36.43). The women’s performance placed MSU ahead of Southeastern Conference foes Kentucky and South Carolina in the event. MSU field athletes also excelled on the final day of action as Marcus Jackson cleared 7-02.50 in the high jump to garner a second-place finish.  Jackson, who entered the competition as the third-ranked high jumper in the NCAA, finished only behind 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Derek Drouin of Indiana. Earlier in the day, newcomer Piotr Antosik threw the javelin for 221-08.00 to land a spot in third, while Jason Harper leaped 50-06.00 in the triple jump to finish fifth. Antosik’s score was a personal-best and placed him third on MSU’s all-time list. Coach Steve Dudley’s team will have a two-week break before it heads to Columbia, Mo., for the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships hosted by Missouri on May 9-12. 
     
    Missouri
     
    The Tigers saw two more school records fall this weekend at the Drake Relays, bringing the tally for the outdoor season up to three thus far.  Katrine Haarklau kicked off the exciting performances for the Tigers on Friday, hitting a school record mark of 49.56m (152-9) in the javelin to take third in the event and move up into No. 15 in the nation and No. 4 in the SEC.  Senior Malcolm Pennix is back in the top five for the SEC rankings in the long jump after posting a season best of 7.76m (25-5.50) to take third.  That mark also places him in the top 15 in the national rankings.  The throws squad had a busy week, with groups traveling to the ESU Mid-Week Open and Kip Janvrin Open before finishing out at the Drake Relays.  Sophomore Kearsten Peoples came out of the weekend with a season-best in the shot put and discus to put her at No. 1 and No. 3 in the SEC rankings, respectively.  Her 17.33m (56-10.25) in the shot put also moves her up into No. 6 in the national rankings.  Rounding out the weekend for the Tigers were PR performances from freshmen Markesh Woodson and Tony Carodine, and another school record mark for senior Laura Roxberg.  Roxberg broke her own 1500m record, finishing second at Drake Relays in 4:13.53 to move up into the No. 4 in the SEC and No. 6 in the national rankings.  Woodson and Carodine both faced off against some world class competition in the 100m dash and triple jump, respectively, and proved they could hold their own.  Woodson finished third in the 100m dash with a PR of 10.28, putting him at No. 7 in the SEC, No. 17 in the national rankings.  Carodine came out of the triple jump competition in fourth for the university division, hitting a PR mark of 15.53m (50-11.50) to take over the No. 7 spot in the SEC.  The Tigers now look forward to the SEC Championships in Columbia, MO, May 9 - May 12.
     
    South Carolina
     
    South Carolina closed competition at the 119th Penn Relays with a strong showing on Saturday, led by the individual performance of Kierre Beckles, who claimed third in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.16. Both the men's and women's 4x400 relay teams for the Gamecocks claimed third in their finals on Saturday as well. In a day dominated by relay finals, Beckles made her mark on her own. After turning in the third fastest prelim time on Friday, the senior stayed right on target with her third-place showing on Saturday. The women had three relays to finish off on Saturday. The 4x400 team of Christal Green, Erika Rucker, Vashti Bandy and Nadonnia Rodriques paced the group with a 3:36.12 to claim third place The 4x200 and 4x800 teams finished in the top 10 as well. On the men's side, three relays closed the meet for the Gamecocks. Andre Carter, Clayton Gravesande, Chris Royster and Jermaine Collier posted a season-best time of 3:08.37 to take third in the 4x400. In the Championship of America 4x100, the Gamecock quartet of Kendall Kee, Royster, Dondre Echols and Eric Winfrey finished fourth with a time of 40.34. South Carolina also placed a 4x200 team in the Championship of America. That group of Royster, Eric Winfrey, Carter and Chris Maxwell finished fourth with a time of 1:23.82. The Gamecocks take next weekend off before traveling to Columbia, Mo., May 9-12 for the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
     
    Tennessee
     
    As the 2013 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships approach, the University of Tennessee track & field team concluded its regular season at both the 119th Penn Relays and Samford Open this past weekend. The Big Orange will now take a week off to put in the final preparations before the conference showdown, which will take place at Missouri’s Audrey J. Walton Stadium in Columbia, Mo., from May 9-12. Men - The Volunteer track & field team, which recently earned its first national ranking (No. 20) in over three years, was led by a trio of pole vaulters at Franklin Field. Freshman Jake Blankenship continued to pace the Orange & White, leading a 1-2-3 podium sweep for the Vols in Philadelphia. In the championship portion on Saturday, the rookie was the only competitor to the 18-foot mark, finishing with a winning height of 18-0.5 (5.50m). The victory marked the Vols’ 73rd overall Penn Relays title and their first since 2009. Blankenship also becomes the Vols’ sixth Penn Relays pole vault champion. Following close behind were junior teammates Tyler Porter and Chase Brannon, who finished second and third, respectively. The Tennessee competitors were the only ones to eclipse 17-4.5 (5.30m). Both Porter and Brannon finished at that height, but Porter earned the silver with only three misses – one fewer than Brannon. On the track, the Vols posted a third-place finish in the 4x100m relay college final as Reggie Juin, Jarael Nelvis, Jamol James and Arnez Hardnick clocked in a time of 40.73 seconds. The same foursome finished seventh in the championship 4x2 with a readout of 1:25.35. UT also posted a fourth-place finish in the Championship of America Sprint Medley Relay on Friday. At the Samford Open, sophomore Matthew Hoty set a meet and facility record with a first-place toss of 59-11 (18.26m) in the men’s shot put competition, while five of his teammates recorded PRs in the men’s hammer throw. Women - The Lady Vols posted the seventh-fastest 4x800m relay time in program history on Saturday, placing seventh in the Championship of America event at Franklin Field. Entering the meet with the world’s top time in the event this year, UT improved on that mark, but it was Villanova that took down Tennessee’s collegiate record of 8:17.91 that was set in 2009. Lady Vol pole vaulters Erin Champion and Linda Hadfield got things going for UT on Thursday, each recording a top-three finish in their competition. Champion tied for second (12-9.5/3.90m) in the college section, while Hadfield hit the same mark to tie for third in the championship portion. Led by freshman Felicia Brown, the Lady Vol sprinters earned four top-three finishes in as many races in Birmingham. Brown won the 400m race in a track record 53.34, and the led off the 4x1 to a second-place finish in 45.56 seconds. Bianca Blair added a track record in the 100m hurdles, winning the event in 13.71. On the infield, freshman Cassie Wertman and junior Aslynn Halvorson finished second and third in both the discus and shot put competitions, respectively. Wertman set facility records in both events, however, former Lady Vol Annie Alexander took home the win in both competitions.
     
    Texas A&M
     
    An impressive display by Texas A&M resulted in a total of 12 victories at the 119th Penn Relay Carnival at historic Franklin Field. The Aggies claimed five Championship of America relay titles and had seven individual winners over the three-day meet. Within an hour and a half on Saturday, A&M swept the men’s and women’s titles in the 4x200 relay, the 100H/110H and the 100 meters to collect six of their dozen victories. Men - Ameer Webb had a hand in three A&M victories on the final day of the Penn Relays as he anchored the world-leading 4x200 (1:20.75), won the 100 meters (10.24) and then led off the collegiate-leading 4x400 (3:02.52). Deon Lendore split 45.1 as the anchor leg of the 4x4 in the final and had a 44.3 split, equal to 11th best in the history of the Penn Relays, when A&M clocked 3:03.60 in the prelims. Aggie frosh Aldrich Bailey, Jr. joined Webb on both winning relay efforts. In the 4x100 prelims the baton exchange between Webb and Bailey was made out of the zone resulting in a disqualification. Henry Lelei won the 5,000 meters by 10 seconds with a time of 13:45.30 to break a 1985 A&M record of 13:46.37 set by Arturo Barrios at the Texas Relays. Wayne Davis II won the 110 hurdles in 13.67 while Dave Brown claimed the college division triple jump 50-0 ½ (15.25). Isaac Spencer ran a career best 8:49.43 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Women - Three relay victories for the A&M women included a record setting fifth consecutive win in the 4x100 (43.05). In winning the 4x200 with a world-leading 1:29.98 the Aggies won the event for the fifth time in six years at Penn. A victory in the shuttle hurdle relay (55.30) was the third in four years for A&M with Donique’ Flemings running on all three winning relays. Flemings also won the 100 hurdle final in 13.11 while Olivia Ekponé claimed the 100 meters in 11.37. LaQue Moen-Davis became just the second A&M jumper to win the Penn Relays long jump when she produced a windy leap of 21-2 ½ (6.47), which is the 10th best mark in the meet’s history and the second best winning mark in the past 10 years. Moen-Davis, who anchored the winning shuttle hurdle relay, also placed second in the triple jump with a windy 43-5 (13.23). Texas A&M placed third in the 4x400 with a 3:27.89, the fifth best mark on the Penn Relays all-time list. Kamaria Brown split 50.2 on the anchor leg for the Aggies after being part of winning efforts in the 4x100 and 4x200.
     
    Vanderbilt
     
    Vanderbilt senior Kristen Findley placed eighth in the 1,500 meters at the 104th Drake Relays on Saturday, April 27. She crossed the line in a season-best 4:21.09. Findley's time in the event is continuing to improve, just as it did last year when she ran a personal best 4:16.57 at the SEC Championships. Georgia's Carly Hamilton won the collegiate race with a time of 4:12.15. She was the only Commodore to compete over the weekend as the University concluded final exams. Several Vanderbilt athletes will head to Clemson next weekend as a final tune-up for the SEC Championships, May 9-12, in Columbia, Mo.