Tennessee Track & Field hosts 47th annual Sea Ray Relays

9:49 PM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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From UT Sports--

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee track & field team will play host to their only home meet of the 2013 season this week, as the Vols and Lady Vols welcome 60 teams and over 1,200 athletes to Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium for the 47th annual Sea Ray Relays from April 11-13.

With no women's heptathlon or men's Scott Hartman Decathlon, action is slated to begin on Thursday evening with the women's and men's hammer throw competitions. The women will take the field at 4 p.m., and the men will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Friday's full slate gets underway at 12:15 p.m. with the men's open discus. The first running event, the women's 3,000-meter, will take place at 12:35 p.m. The final event of day two is the men's 10,000m run at 8:15 p.m.

While the first event of Saturday is the women's invitational discus at noon, the second-annual "Sea Ray Showcase" is set to start at 12:30 p.m. and offers a fan-friendly window of the meet's best races.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

• The Sea Ray Relays will feature a FREE online broadcast for the competition on Friday and Saturday and is available on UTSports.com.
• Live results through AdkinsTrak and Branch Sports Technology, as well as additional information for the meet can be found at the Track & Field Meet Central page on UTSports.com.
• Live results will also be available on mobile devices. iPhone users can add the Sea Ray Relays live results icon to their home page by visiting the mobile results page.
• Be sure to follow the Tennessee track & field team on Twitter for in-meet updates at @Vol_Track. Join the conversation by using the official hashtag of the Sea Ray Relays, #SeaRayRelays.

SEA RAY RELAYS HISTORY
• Originally known as the Dogwood Relays, the meet has been held every year since 1967 and has recently featured a field between 800 and 1,200 athletes from schools and affiliations through the South, Midwest and Northeast.
• The Tony Wilson Memorial Trophy is given each year to the most outstanding male and female athlete in both the running and field events at the Sea Ray Relays.
• The trophy is named in honor of Wilson, who was the SEC high jump champion in 1971 while competing for UT. Wilson competed for the Vols from 1969 until he died from a cerebral hemorrhage on March 12, 1973.
• Pittsburgh's Brycen Spratling (men's running), Illinois State's Tim Glover (men's field), Tennessee's Ellen Wortham (women's running) and Illinois State's Brittany Smith (women's field) were last season's winners.

SEA RAY SHOWCASE
• The second-annual Sea Ray Showcase features a fan-friendly viewing window for the best races of the meet on Saturday.
• The Showcase will consist of the men's and women's heats and sections for seven different events, including the 200m, 1500m, 800m, 400m, 100m, distance medley and 4x100m relays.
• On the infield, the men's and women's invitational discus, men's and women's long jump and men's high jump will be underway.
• The Sea Ray Showcase will conclude with the honoring of Tennessee's seniors at approximately 1:45 p.m.

SENIOR RECOGNITION
• The 2013 Tennessee track & field senior recognition will conclude the Sea Ray Showcase at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday.
• Three Vol seniors will be honored, including Chris Bodary, Breon Dixon and Drew Thomas.
• There are five Lady Vol seniors, including Jessie Harrison, Kia Jackson, Kelsey Kane, Martinique Octave and Nijgia Snapp.

VOL-STARS

• With 61 personal bests this season, the Vols and Lady Vols are well represented among the nation's elite. Currently, nine Vol athletes and one relay are ranked in the nation's top 50, while five Lady Vols grace the same list.
• Leading the Vols are field athletes Jake Blankenship and Tavis Bailey. Blankenship is coming off a runner-up finish at the Pepsi Florida Relays. The week prior, he notched a personal record pole vault performance of 18-feet, 4.75-inches (5.61m) at the Texas Relays. That mark has the rookie ranked fourth in the nation, second among rookies and third in UT's all-time outdoor record book.
• Bailey picked up a PR in the season-opening MSU Conference Challenge to win the discus throw title with a mark of 195-3 (59.51m). Bailey currently ranks sixth in the nation with that mark. Last week in Gainesville, he placed fourth in the event.
• The Vol 4x100-meter relay made up of Reggie Juin, Jamol James, Jarael Nelvis and Arnez Hardnick currently sits 10th in the nation after bettering their mark to 39.75 seconds in Austin two weeks ago. The same squad placed seventh at last season's NCAA Outdoor Championships.
• With a big outing in Gainesville, freshman sprinter Felicia Brown currently ranks 11th in the country in the 400m (53.01), 28th in the 200m (23.55) and 50th in the 100m (11.64).
• Leading the Lady Vols in the field is freshman thrower Cassie Wertman, who continues to improve on her personal bests this season. Wertman has improved her lifetime best in the shot put and discus this season. She currently ranks 20th in the nation in the shot put with a mark of 53-2.25 (16.21m).
• Senior sprinter/jumper Kia Jackson also paces the Tennessee women. The Lithonia, Ga., native currently ranks 28th in the nation in the long jump after she joined the 20-foot club the first week of the season (20-0.5). Jackson also possesses the 39th-best 100-meter time in the country entering the weekend (11.60).

WORLD-LEADING 4x800mR
• The Lady Vols' 4x800m relay of Brittney Jackson, Kianna Ruff, Kelsey Kane and Nijgia Snapp broke both the Florida Relays and Percy Beard Track records last week with a readout of 8:28.81.
• For the event, it's the fastest time in the world in 2013. Michigan's mark of 8:33.54 currently ranks second in the world for 2013.
• The mark bested a record held by Tennessee's Rolanda Bell, Sarah Bowman, Phoebe Wright and Chanelle Price. The previous mark was 8:28.99.
• It is the seventh-fastest time ever recorded in the event for the UT women.

THE OUTDOOR SLATE
• Tennessee will participate in the Mt. SAC Relays and Vanderbilt Invitational next week, before heading north for the 119th edition of the Penn Relays from Thursday, April 25 - Saturday, April 27.
• The championship portion of the season consisting of the SEC Championships, NCAA East Preliminary, and NCAA Championships kicks off from May 9-12 with the league championship meet in Columbia, Mo. The 2013 NCAA Championships will take place from June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.

THE CLARK EFFECT
• The Lady Vols have won two NCAA Indoor team titles in 2005 and 2009, both coming under J.J. Clark, while the Vols claimed the 2002 team title.
• The Lady Vols have won four NCAA Indoor titles in the distance medley relay, coming in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010, all under Clark. The 2009 unit set world, American and NCAA meet records at 10:50.98.
• The UT women have seven top-10 NCAA Indoor finishes in Clark's previous 10 seasons, including titles in 2005 and 2009, a runner-up effort in 2010 and a third-place result in 2007.
• Clark, a three-time SEC Indoor Women's Coach of the Year, also piloted the Lady Vols to SEC Indoor titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
• In 10 full seasons leading the Lady Vols and three with the Vols, Clark's athletes have won 60 SEC titles (Women 31 in/27 Out; Men: 1 in/1 Out).
• Tennessee has now had 295 combined indoor and outdoor All-Americans in program history. Under Clark, the Lady Vols and Vols have combined for 202 All-America certificates.

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