March 1, 2014
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The members of the Vanderbilt track team were determined to finish what they started.
And the Commodores succeeded.
After building momentum on Friday during the second day of the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Commodores capped off their weekend with an even bigger performance on Saturday.
Propelled by outstanding efforts from seniors Liz Anderson and Brionne Williams, Vanderbilt scored points in six separate events -- representing the best overall showing in Steve Keith's tenure as head coach -- and came home from College Station, Texas, with a long list of personal bests and school record-making performances.
"We competed hard the last three days and everyone should be proud of their efforts," said Keith. "I know the coaches are proud of how we finished off the indoor."
The No. 1-ranked Arkansas men and the No. 2 Florida women claimed the team championships. It was the third consecutive title for the Arkansas men, and their 20th in the last 23 years.
For Vanderbilt, Anderson broke the school record, and shattered her personal best by 22 seconds, while taking fourth in the 5K with a time of 16:14.30, and Williams earned a share of fourth place in the high jump (1.78m) to help augment the Commodores' weekend highlights.
But the upperclassmen weren't the only ones who shined.
Freshman Courtney Clayton finished seventh in the 800 meters with a time of 2:08.03, and freshman Simone Charley took eighth in the triple jump at 12.71m.
"(To see) freshmen scoring in the 800 and the triple jump speaks to our future," said Keith. The Commodores relay teams also scored, with a seventh place finish in the distance medley and an eighth-place finish in the 4x400.
The distance medley team -- featuring the sophomore foursome of Katherine Delaney, Jennifer Cannon, Sara Barron and Lily Williams -- posted a time of 11:35.40. The 4x400 team -- comprised of sophomore Faith Washington, Carpenter, Clayton and junior Erin Edmond -- finished at 3:42.30.
Those performances, coupled with numerous efforts by the Commodores that finished just outside the top-8, led Keith to say that this weekend's showing was "the best in quite a few years."
He also said his team's showing is an encouraging sign for the months ahead.
"We are equally excited to see what we can do with the outdoor season starting in just a few weeks," he said.
Vanderbilt opens the outdoor season on March 21-22 at the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa.
Here's a look at the Commodores' performance list from Saturday:
Women High Jump
4 Brionne Williams SR Vanderbilt 1.78m 4.5
11 Jennifer Cannon SO Vanderbilt 1.68m
Women 5000 M
4 Liz Anderson JR Vanderbilt 16:14.30
27 Vanessa Valentine SO Vanderbilt 17:41.04
30 Claire Benjamin JR Vanderbilt 18:03.63
Women 800 M
7 Courtney Clayton FR Vanderbilt 2:08.03
Women Distance Medley
7 Vanderbilt 11:35.40
1) Katherine Delaney SO 2) Jennifer Cannon SO
3) Sara Barron SO 4) Lily Williams SO
Women Triple Jump
8 Simone Charley FR Vanderbilt 12.71m
Women 4x400 M Relay
8 Vanderbilt 3:42.30
1) Faith Washington SO 2) Skyler Carpenter SO
3) Courtney Clayton FR 4) Erin Edmond JR
Women 1 Mile
9 Katherine Delaney SO Vanderbilt 4:47.96
10 Sara Barron SO Vanderbilt 4:55.02
Women 3000 M
13 Carmen Carlos FR Vanderbilt 9:48.56
17 Rebecca Chandler JR Vanderbilt 9:54.63
19 Hannah Jumper SO Vanderbilt 9:55.97
20 Courtney Kriegshauser FR Vanderbilt 9:57.58
23 Amira Joseph JR Vanderbilt 10:03.29
Women 400 M
20 Faith Washington SO Vanderbilt 55.33
26 Erin Edmond JR Vanderbilt 56.53
Women's Team Standings (final): 1. Florida 102; 2. Texas A&M 96.50; 3. Arkansas 93.50; 4. Kentucky 72; 5. Georgia 64.50; 6. LSU 47; 7. Tennessee 35; 8. Mississippi State 32; 9. Missouri 29.50; 10. Alabama 27; 11. Auburn 25; 12. South Carolina 21.50; 13. Vanderbilt 15.50.
Men's Team Standings (final): 1. Arkansas 121; 2. Florida 106; 3. Texas A&M 83.33; 4. Alabama 76; 5. Kentucky 69.33; 6. Georgia 39; 7. Ole Miss 36; 8. Auburn 34.33; 9. Tennessee 34; 10. LSU 26; 11. Missouri 24; 12. South Carolina 14.
Cliff Harper Trophy (men): Arman Hall, Florida and Matt Hillenbrand, Kentucky
Cliff Harper Trophy (women): Cory McGee, Florida
From the SEC
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 1 Arkansas men and the No. 2 Florida women claimed the 2014 Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday in front of 2,846 fans at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station.
The Arkansas men scored 121 total team points to capture their third consecutive SEC Indoor Championship and 20th in the last 23 years. Florida finished second with 106 points, while host Texas A&M was third with 83.33 points.
"I'm really proud of my coaches and athletes," Arkansas men's head coach Chris Bucknam said. "This is the best track meet in the country and to fend off the No. 2 and 3 ranked teams in the country for the win makes it that much sweeter."
The Florida women scored 102 total team points to win their third SEC Indoor Championship in the last five years and eighth all-time. Texas A&M placed second with 96.5 points, while Arkansas was third with 93.5.
"It was a very exciting weekend and I'm very proud of both teams," Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. "Obviously it was very exciting for the women's team to win their first championship in a couple of years. I think the biggest thing we saw from our teams is we fought hard all weekend. We competed with pride, passion and determination."
Florida's Arman Hall and Kentucky's Matt Hillenbrand tied for the men's Cliff Harper Trophy, awarded to the meet's high-points scorer, each tallying 20 points. Florida's Cory McGee claimed the women's Cliff Harper Trophy, tallying 20.5 points.
Florida's Eddie Lovett became the first person in SEC history to win four consecutive men's 60-meter hurdles titles, doing so in a time of 7.67. Arkansas' Omar McLeod was second in 7.70, while Texas A&M's Wayne Davis II was third in 7.71.
Kentucky's Kendra Harrison became the first athlete in school history to win a women's indoor 60-meter hurdles title, doing so in a meet-record time of 7.94. She shattered the previous meet record of 8.00, set by Auburn's Vonnette Dixon in 2000 and moved into a tie for seventh-place all- Three-time defending champion Jasmin Stowers of LSU placed second in 8.01, while Kentucky's Kayla Parker was third in 8.16. The Wildcats picked up 21 points in that event alone.
Alabama became the first athlete in program history to win a men's indoor 60-meter dash title, clocking a winning time of 6.66. Florida's Hugh Graham was second in 6.68, while Ole Miss freshman Jalen Miller was third in 6.68.
Kentucky's Dezerea Bryant became the first person in school history to win a women's indoor 60-meter dash crown, tying her own collegiate-leading time of 7.16. Alabama's Ramona Burchell was second at 7.24, while Texas A&M's Olivia Ekpone was third in 7.25.
Kentucky's Hillenbrand won his second consecutive SEC men's mile title, doing so in a time of 4:03.80, after winning the men's 3,000-meter run on Saturday. He is the first athlete to win the men's mile and 3K in the same year since Florida's Dumisani Hlaselo accomplished the feat in 2011. Ole Miss' Sean Tobin was second in 4:06.14, while Alabama's Matt Airola was third in 4:06.66.
Arkansas' Grace Heymsfield won the women's mile in a time of 4:34.82 to give the Razorbacks two titles in that event in the past three years. Florida's Cory McGee, the defending champion, was second in 4:35.03, while Kentucky's Allison Peare was third in 4:35.14.
Texas A&M's Deon Lendore captured his second consecutive SEC men's indoor 400-meter run title in a collegiate-leading time of 45.03. He became the first repeat winner in the event since Georgia's Torrin Lawrence in 2010 and 2012. Florida's Hall was second in 45.28, while LSU's Vernon Norwood was third in 45.39.
Texas A&M's Kamaria Brown claimed the women's 400-meter run in an SEC-record time of 50.94, moving her into eighth on the all-time collegiate list in the event. She shattered the previous SEC meet record of 51.13, set by LSU's Hazel-Ann Regis in 2004. Florida's Robin Reynolds was second in 51.77, while Texas A&M's Shamier Little was third in 51.86.
Brown then became the first athlete in SEC history (men's or women's) to complete the 200-400 double in the same year. She captured the women's 200m title in a time of 22.50, just shy of the meet record of 22.46. Kentucky's Bryant was second in 22.75, while Florida's Kyra Jefferson was third in 22.87.
Arkansas went 1-2 in the men's 5,000-meter run with Solomon Haile winning his team's first title in the event since 2010. He clocked a winning time of 13:58.64. Teammate Gabe Gonzales was second at 13:59.64, while Auburn's Ty McCormack was third in 14:01.42.
Kentucky's Keffri Neal took home the men's 800-meter run title in a time of 1:48.94, making him the first Wildcat to claim an indoor SEC title in that event since Brian Maslyar in 1987. Florida's Sean Obinwa, the defending champion in the event, was second in 1:49.79, while Georgia's Charles Grethen was third in 1:49.86.
Arkansas' Stephanie Brown won the women's 800-meter run in a time of 2:03.21, giving the Razorbacks the first title in that event since 1992. Alabama's Yanique Malcolm was second in 2:03.97, while Georgia's Megan Malasarte was third in 2:04.48.
Alabama's Jeremiah Green captured the men's triple jump event with a leap of 16.29m/53-5.50, giving the school its first title in the event since Maxwell Peters in 1978. Arkansas' Anthony May was second in 15.91m/52-2.50, while Missouri's Jonathon Ilori was third in 15.76m/51-8.50.
Ole Miss' Sam Kendricks won his first SEC Indoor men's pole vault title with a winning mark of 5.54m/18-2, giving the Rebels their first championship in that event since 1985. Two-time defending champion Andrew Irwin of Arkansas was second with a mark of 5.54m/18-2, while Texas A&M's Chase Wolfle was third at 5.46m/17-11.
Kentucky's Brad Szypka took home the Wildcats' first men's shot put championship since 2004, throwing a winning toss of 19.47m/63-10.50. Alabama's Kyle Felpel was second at 19.23m/63-1.25, while Florida's Stipe Zunic was third at 18.97m/62-3.
Georgia's Leontia Kallenou won the women's high jump title, besting South Carolina's Jeannelle Scheper, the defending champion. Both turned in an SEC meet-record mark of 1.90m/6-2.75, breaking the previous SEC meet record of 1.88m/6-2 set by three different athletes over the years. Florida's Taylor Burke was third at 1.87m/6-1.50.
Florida went 1-2 in the men's 200-meter dash with Hall claiming the title with a time of 20.59. It was the third title in that event in five years for the Gators. Teammate Dedric Dukes was second in 20.61, while Texas A&M's Shavez Hart was third in 20.66.
Florida's Ciarra Brewer won the women's triple jump event with a mark of 13.59m/44-7, giving the Gators their first crown in that event since Shara Proctor won back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. Defending champion LaQue Moen-Davis was second at 13.47m/44-2.50, while LSU's Lynnika Pitts was third with a mark of 13.43m/44-0.75.
Arkansas' Dominique Scott won the women's 5,000-meter run in a time of 16:00.73 to give the Razorbacks their first title in that event since 2009. Tennessee's Chelsea Blaase was second in 16:06.69, while Texas A&M's Grace Fletcher was third in 16:10.75.
Ole Miss won its first-ever SEC men's distance medley relay title, capturing the event with a time of 9:39.54 and using the foursome of Robert Domanic, Montez Griffin, Will Spiers and Tobin. Florida was second in 9:41.66, while Texas A&M was third in 9:42.53.
Florida won the women's distance medley relay in a time of 11:08.11, giving the Gators their second consecutive championship in the event. The quartet consisted of Rebekah Greene, Loreal Curtis, Agata Strausa and McGee. Arkansas was second in 11:08.11, while Mississippi State was third in 11:18.63.
Texas A&M captured the men's 4x400-meter relay, using the quartet of Shavez Hart, Aldrich Bailey, Carlyle Roudette and Lendore, shattering its own SEC meet record with a collegiate-record time of 3:03.20. It was the second consecutive title for the Aggies in the event. Texas A&M had previously set the SEC meet record of 3:04.18 last season. Florida finished second in 3:03.50, while LSU was third in 3:04.04.
Florida clinched the meet with a win in the women's 4x400-meter relay, coupled with a Texas A&M disqualification. The quartet of Robin Reynolds, Destinee Gause, Kyra Jefferson and Ebony Eutsey clocked a time of 3:30.16 to give the Gators their first women's indoor 4x400m relay title since 2000. South Carolina was second in 3:35.02, while Arkansas was third in a time of 3:35.26.