SEC T&F: Arkansas lead team races

February 28, 2009

Arkansas leads both the men’s and women’s standings heading into Sunday’s final day of competition.

The Razorback men have 37 points, followed by Florida (33), Tennessee (32), Auburn (25), South Carolina (19), Alabama (14), Ole Miss (12), Georgia (11), then Kentucky and LSU (6 each).

The Arkansas women lead LSU 45-32, with Kentucky next at 28. Then it’s Tennessee (25), Mississippi State (19), Florida (18), Alabama (10 1/2), Ole Miss (10), Auburn (3), South Carolina (2 1/2) and Georgia (2).

The final two events on Saturday’s schedule saw Tennessee’s Sarah Bowman win the women’s 3,000 meters for a third consecutive year, holding off teammate Jackie Areson 9:21.66 to 9:24.34. Bowman will go for three-peats Sunday in the mile and distance medley relay.

Tennessee sophomore Michael Ayers, after taking over first place in the pole vault, finished strong in the 1,000 meters to take the men’s heptathlon with 5,717 points. Gray Horn of Florida was second (5,586), followed by 1,000-meter winner Scott Pierce of South Carolina (2:33.46, 5,325) and first-day leader Curt McGill (5,292) of Carolina.

Ulrey sprints away in 3,000 meters

 A Nutter Field House record fell as Arkansas junior Dorian Ulrey won the men’s 3,000 meters in 7:55.56.

That broke the Nutter record of 7:59.25 set in 2004 by another Arkansas distance dominator, Alistair Craig, and missed the SEC record by a mere half-second.

Shawn Forrest made it a 1-2 finish for the Razorbacks, timed in 7:56.45. Alabama’s Tyson David was third in 7:57.07. Kentucky freshman Luis Orta took 11th in 8:22.34.

Ulrey was content to sit in the middle of the pack for most of the race. He was still in fourth with one lap left on the 290-meter oval. With a little more than 200 meters left, he burst off the curve to gain the lead, never to be caught.

The Razorbacks lead through four men’s events with 35 points. Florida is second with 25, one ahead of Auburn. Tennessee is fourth with 22. Kentucky remains eighth with six points.

Meanwhile, Tennessee’s Michael Ayers won the heptathlon pole vault by clearing 16-10 3/4.

Picking up 957 points, Ayers leads Florida’s Gray Horn, 4,919-4,784, with only the 1,000 meters left. South Carolina’s Curt McGill dropped from first to third place with 4,729, clearing 13-3 1/2 for eighth in the vault.

Henry advances with season-best 200

Top-seeded Samantha Henry of LSU notched a season-best 23.61 to lead nine qualifiers into Sunday’s finals of the women’s 200 meters. Florida freshman Alishea Usery qualified second in 23.62.

Kentucky’s lone entrant, Jazmyn Shorter, did not advance. She finished 16th overall in 24.68.

Lawrence rocks; 2 Cats in 200-meter finals

Fabulous freshman Torrin Lawrence of Georgia lived up to his top billing in men’s 200-meter preliminaries, blasting a 20.90 to lead the way into Sunday’s finals

Justin Austin

Justin Austin

Two more freshmen followed — Auburn’s Marcus Rowland (20.96) and Arkansas’ Marek Niit.

Withthe nine fastest times from nine heats, regardless of heat placement, advancing to the finals, Kentucky put two sprinters in the finals. Freshman Justin Austin won his heat in 21.08 and senior Jose Acevedo took second in his heat (behind Florida’s Evander Wells) in 21.11, placing the Wildcats sixth and seventh overall.

Rondel Sorrillo, UK’s Olympian from Trinidad and Tobago, easily won his heat in 21.25. Due to not having a qualifying mark, though, he was placed in the slowest heat and was unable to advance, 12th overall. Runner-up Neil Danville of Auburn finished more than a seconed behind in 22.44.

Thomas cruises into 800 finals

Defending champion LaTavia Thomas of LSU breezed through qualifying in the women’s 800, fourth overall in 2:08.03.

Sofie Persson of Ole Miss led the rounds in 2:07.08, followed by Chanelle Price of Tennessee in 2:07.16.

Kentucky’s Jessica Ortman, who advanced in the mile earlier Saturday, made it 2-for-2 with the seventh-best 800 time, 2:08.95.

Franklin sets pace in 800 trials

Tennessee’s Joe Franklin led qualifying for Sunday’s finals in the men’s 800 meters.

Franklin finished in 1:49.35. Carlos Phillips was next in 1:49.35, leading a group of three Florida Gators to the finals.

Kentucky failed to advance a runner. Freshman Mike Knisley and Trent Halasek placed 15-16 in 1:53.31 and 1:53.92; sophomore Matt Frawley was 19th in 1:54.70.

Ole Miss soph leads 400-meter trials

Ole Miss sophomore LaJada Baldwin posted the fastest qualifying time in the women’s 400 meters, 53.38.

Auburn’s Joanna Atkins was next (53.42), followed by Nadonnia Rodriques, who led a pack of four South Carolinians into Sunday’s finals.

Kentucky’s Jazmyn Shorter was fastest of the non-qualifiers, 10th overall in 55.16. Freshman Brittany Cabbler tied for 17th in 56.84.

Acevedo advances to 400 finals

Jose Acevedo

Jose Acevedo

Calvin Smith

of Florida turned in the fastest qualifying time in the men’s 400 meters, 46.64.

Robert Simmons of LSU and Jose Acevedo of Kentucky, 1-2 in their heat at 46.74 and 46.98, rank 2-3 overall. Next is defending champion Justin Gaymon of Arkansas in 47.29.

Bowman is fastest in mile prelims

To no surprise, Tennessee’s Sarah Bowman led qualifying in the women’s mile. Bowman is attempting to win the mile, 3,000 and distance medley, each for a third consecutive year.

She won Saturday’s heat in 4:49.46, followed by teammate Rolanda Bell in 4:50.94.

Kentucky’s Jessica Ortman advanced, placing second in the other heat in 4:52.97. Florida’s Charlotte Browning won that race in 4:51.98.

Panezich moves Vols into second

A win in the shot put by Nick Panezich has moved Tennessee into second place in the men’s team standings.

Florida now leads the Volunteers 25-22. Arkansas is third with 14. Kentucky notched its first six points of the meet, good for eighth place.

Panezich won with the first of his six attempts, measured at 60-10 1/2. South Carolina’s Jason Cook was second at 6-3.

For Kentucky, Rashaud Scott placed fifth (59-5 1/2), Chase Madison seventh (58-8). Colin Boevers fouled all three of his qualifying attempts.

Scott and Madison both got their best throws in the first round. Scott fouled four of his final five chances, while Madison fouled all of his final five tries.

Arkansas men dominate mile prelims

The Arkansas men took a big step in their title chase, qualifying four individuals for Sunday’s finals in the mile.

Top-seeded Dorian Ulrey led Saturday’s preliminaries in 4:06.51. Teammates Duncan Phillips (4:06.63) and Michael Chinchar gave the Razorbacks a 1-2-3 sweep in the heat. Sixth in that race went to Arkansas frosh Rick Elliott (4:12.18). Auburn’s Felix Kiboiywo took the second heat in 4:09.07.

Kentucky advanced one of its three entrants to the finals, Adam Henken (4:11.77). Eliminated were Josh Nadzam (13th, 4:15.47) and Will Rover (15th, 4:17.09).

Through two men’s finals, Florida leads Arkansas 16-14. Tennessee and Ole Miss are tied with 12.

After three women’s finals, Kentucky leads LSU 27-23, followed by Arkansas with 16.

Sorrillo debuts with fastest 60-meter time

A couple more winners and a sensational qualifier have things hopping in Nutter.

Rondel Sorillo

Rondel Sorillo


freshman Christian Taylor lived up to his top billing in the long jump, reaching 25-3 1/2 to edge defending champion Alain Bailey of Arkansas by 1 3/4 inches.



Another defending champ from Arkansas, Katie Stripling, came far shy of her season-leading 14-3 1/4 in the pole vault. She came in at 12-9 1/2, then missed all three tries at 13-1 1/2, placing eighth.

LSU freshman Rachel Laurent won the vault with an NCAA automatic qualifier of 14-0 1/2. Tara Diebold and Tina Sutej of Arkansas placed 2-3, each clearing 13-5.

The sensational qualifier?

Rondell Sorrillo, a junior transfer who was making his Kentucky and NCAA debut.

Sorrillo, who competed for Trinidad and Tobago in the 200 meters at the Beijing Olympics, exploded in 60-meter prelims with an NCAA-automatic time of 6.60 seconds. LSU football player Trindon Holliday, ranked second in the NCAA,  was next fastest in 6.65.

Sorrillo, Holliday, Auburn’s Marcus Rowland (6.68) and South Carolina’s Jonathan Hancock (6.68) were the heat winners. UK freshman Justin Austin was among the others advancing to Sunday’s finals, timed in 6.73. Gordon McKenzie came up two places short of advancing, timed in 6.78.

The women’s 60 featured NCAA-automatic times in each of three heats: LSU’s Samantha Henry (7.19) and South Carolina teammates Kya Brookins (7.22) and Shayla Mahan (7.23).

Gamecocks roll in heptathlon hurdles

Friday, South Carolina heptathletes won three events outright and tied for first in another.

The Gamecocks have kept it going Saturday. Teammates Curt McGill and Eddie Stoudemire each cleared the 60-meter hurdles in 8.21 seconds, winning the event with 930 points each.

McGill continues to lead the overall standings with 4,098 points. Florida freshman Gray Horn is second with 4,009, followed by Tennessee’s Michael Ayers with 3,962.

Kentucky freshman Kevin Carney withdrew due to a leg injury that occurred Friday.

Preliminary races saw South Carolina’s Jason Richards qualify first in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, 7.78. Kentucky’s Mikel Thomas was next at 7.81, a hundredth of a second ahead of Florida’s Dennis Martin.

South Carolina’s Ronnetta Alexander had the quickest time in the women’s hurdles, 8.20. Kentucky’s Ashley Trimble, winner of Friday’s pentathlon, just missed advancing to the nine-woman finals. Her time of 8.61 ranked 10th.

Vols’ Wilson lifts off in high jump

Tennessee junior Brenard Wilson became the first men’s champion of the SEC meet, edging Auburn freshman Ryan Fleck in the high jump.

Brenard Wilson

Brenard Wilson

Wilson and Fleck each cleared 7-0 1/2, with Wilson winning because of fewer misses.

Three more freshman placed 3-4-5, all clearing 6-11 — Florida’s Frankie Hammond, Ole Miss’ Brian Knight and Alabama’s Tyler Cambell.

UK freshman Spencer Patterson placed 12th, clearing 6-5.

Through one men’s event, Tennessee leads Auburn 10-8. Points are awarded to the top seven finishers — 10-8-6-5-4-3-1.

After two women’s finals, Kentucky leads Mississippi State 27-14. Ole Miss is third with 10, one ahead of LSU.

One Ole Miss Smith upends two UK Smiths

Kentucky was hoping to get off with a bang Saturday, the second day of the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Juliana Smith

Juliana Smith

Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith

The Wildcats came in with the top two seeds in the women’s 20-pound weight throw, Heather and Kristin — the unrelated Smiths.

Through four rounds in UK’s Nutter Field House, Kristin led (61-11 1/4) and Heather was in second (59-11 3/4).

But it was yet another Smith, Ole Miss sophomore Juliana, stealing the top spot with her fifth-round toss of 62-2 3/4.

Kristin Smith fouled her final two attempts and finished second.

Heather Smith

Heather Smith

Heather Smith finished with a pair of 60-footers, the best a 60-10 3/4 in the fifth round, and placed third.

SEC Track: Trimble takes pentathlon for UK

February 27, 2009

Ashley Trimble saved the best for last Friday night.

In fifth place after four of five events, the Kentucky senior literally ran away with the women’s pentathlon in the 800 meters to become the first champion of the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Ashley Trimble

Ashley Trimble

Trimble never led the overall points standings until blasting the 800 in 2:14.72 on the oversized Nutter Field House oval.

That gave her 897 points and a five-event total of 3,991– beating her own school record by two points.

Mississippi State senior Marrissa Harris, who led after each of the first four events, repeated as SEC runner-up with 3,945 points. Alabama’s Chealsea Taylor  took third with 3,934.

Besides Trimble, UK had Danielle Sampley in sixth (3,645), Ashley Newby ninth (3,542), Precious Nwokey 10th (3,428) and Natalie Wise 12th (3,221).

Trimble, from Columbus, Ohio, is UK’s first multi-event winner in the SEC Championships. She placed fourth at last year’s SEC meet.

She moved into position to strike for victory by placing second in the long jump (19-0 1/2), hitting the takeoff board to perfection on the last of her three attempts. Arkansas’ Peter-Gaye Beckford won that event (20-2 1/4).

Going to the final event, Harris led Taylor 3,217 to 3,153. Then came Mississippi State’s Laquinta Aaron (3,141), Beckford (3,099), Trimble (3,094) and Sampley (3,039).

In the 800, Trimble’s 2:14.72 put her all alone at the finish. Runner-up Ellen Wortham of Tennessee clocked in at 2:20.11. Harris ran a personal-best 2:27.25, fifth in the event, to score 728 points.

In the men’s heptathlon, South Carolina senior Curt McGill took the first-day lead with 3,168 points. Next came Tennessee’s Michael Ayers (3,128) and Florida’s Gray Horn (3,104). UK freshman Kevin Carney is 14th (2,573).

Ayers, Horn and South Carolina’s Scott Pierce tied for first in Friday’s final event, the high jump (6-6 3/4, 803 points).

Harris maintains lead through three events

After three of five events in the women’s pentathlon, it’s still Marrissa Harris of Mississippi State in the lead.

Marrissa Harris

Marrissa Harris

Peter-Gaye Beckford of Arkansas won the third event, putting the shot 43-4 1/4.

Harris was a solid fifth, though, at 36-6 3/4.

That gave Harris 604 points for a three-event total of 2,431 points.

Next are Alabama’s Chealsea Taylor (2,415) and Mississippi State’s Laquinta Aaron (2,358). Despite scoring 741 points in the shot, Beckford is in 10th (2,203).

For Kentucky, in the overall standings it’s Ashley Trimble in fifth (2,305), Danielle Sampley seventh (2,268), Ashley Newby eighth (2,263), Precious Nwokey 11th (2,145) and Natalie Wise 14th (2,032).

Trimble led the Cats in the shot, ninth in the event (34-7, 565 points). Sampley threw 33-6 (543); Newby 33-1 1/4 (535); Nwokey 30-6 1/2 (484), and Wise 30-0 3/4 (475).

McGill increases heptathlon lead

With a first-place shot put of 46-0 1/2, South Carolina senior Curt McGill has padded his lead through three events of the men’s heptathlon.

Curt McGill

Curt McGill

McGill’s effort scored 730 points, making his three-event total 2,445.

Tennessee’s Michael Ayers is second (2,325), followed by Florida’s Gray Horn (2,301). Kentucky freshman Kevin Carney moved up one place, 15th with 1,903 points.

Ayers placed second in the shot (44-3 1/4, 697 points, while Horn was ninth (39-5, 607). Carney’s put ranked eighth (39-7, 610).

Harris retains pentathlon lead

Mississippi State’s Marrissa Harris retained her lead in the pentathlon, clearing 5-4 1/2 in the high jump.

Alabama’s Chealsea Taylor had the best clearance, 5-10 1/2, to move into second place.

Tennessee’s Ellen Wortham, runner-up in the high jump, is third.

Harris’ clearance was worth 783 points, pushing her total to 1,827.

Taylor, scoring 966 in the jump, has 1,812 points.

Wortham, with 855, increased her total to 1,805.

For Kentucky, Ashley Trimble, Ashley Newby and Danielle Sampley rank 5-6-7 in the field of 18 competitors, with two-event totals of 1,740, 1,728 and 1,725. Precious Nwokey is 10th at 1,661, with Natalie Wise in 12th with 1,557.

Newby led UK’s high jumpers, tying for third overall at 5-5 3/4 (818 points). Trimble cleared 5-2 1/4, while Sampley, Nwokey and Wise all topped 5-3 1/4.

Carolina’s McGill wins long jump, takes over lead in heptathlon

South Carolina senior Curt McGill has moved from third place to first through the first two events of the men’s heptathlon.

McGill posted the best long jump of competition, 23 feet, 5 1/2 inches, to score 850 points. Combined with 865 points in the hurdles, McGill increased his score to 1,715 points.

Florida freshman Gray Horn took second in the jump (23-2 3/4, 833 points) and is second overall (1,694).

Kevin Carney

Kevin Carney

Hurdles winner Eddie Stoudamire of South Carolina took third in the jump (22-3 1/2, 764 points), dropping to third overall (1,675).

Tennessee’s Michael Ayers is fourth (1,628).

Kentucky’s lone entrant, freshman Kevin Carney, took 16th in the jump (19-11 3/4, 606) and is 16th overall (1,293) in a field of 17.

Gamecock wins heptathlon 60
Eddie Stoudemire

Eddie Stoudemire

South Carolina sophomore Eddie Stoudamire took the opening event of the men’s heptathlon, the 60 meters, in 6.92 seconds. That’s worth 911 points.

Tennessee sophomore Michael Ayers was second (7.04, 868 points), just ahead of South Carolina senior Curt McGill (7.05, 865).

UK freshman Kevin Carney stands 15th through one event, timed in 7.58 (687 points).


The SEC meet, at the University of Kentucky’s Nutter Field House, is off and running.

Today (Friday), the women’s pentatathlon and the first four events of the men’s heptathlon are the only events on the agenda.

Marrissa Harris of Mississippi State had the fastest time in the opening event, 8.38 seconds for the pentathlon 60-meter hurdles. That earned the senior 1,044 points, 14 ahead of teammate Laquinta Aaron.

Kentucky’s Ashley Trimble was third in 8.45, two points behind Aaron’s 1,030. UK’s Danielle Sampley was fourth (8.68, 978 points), Precious Nwokey 10th (8.98, 914), Ashley Newby 11th (9.00, 910) and Natalie Wise 15th (9.49, 810).

Among the spectators is UK head football coach Rich Brooks.

Next event: heptathlon 60-meter dash. South Carolina’s Eddie Stoudemire comes in with the fastest time, 6.99 seconds.

Saturday and Sunday sessions start at 11 a.m.

For the Herald-Leader meet preview, see

And for Kentucky’s outlook, see