Sea Ray Relays ready to hit full stride

When the Cumberland Avenue strip is populated by warm-up suits from Western Michigan, Youngstown State, East Carolina and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, it can only mean one thing:

The Sea Ray Relays are back at Tom Black Track.

The University of Tennessee’s annual home meet with a cast of hundreds opened Thursday night with some hammer throwing. It hits full stride Friday and Saturday.

Friday’s slate begins at 12:15 p.m. and continues into an evening of distance running.

On Saturday, the window from 12:30-1:40 p.m. is reserved for seven “showcase” events in a spectator-friendly format. If you can only attend one hour, this is the hour.

The final gun is a 4x400-meter relay at 4:40 p.m.

In addition to collegiate teams from all over the Eastern United States, the meet attracts a number of elite athletes. Olympic relay medalist and former UT star DeeDee Trotter plans to try to the long jump.

Two former UT coaches are back with new teams. George Watts is director of track and field at East Tennessee State. Norbert Elliott coaches sprints and jumps at Purdue.

The meet’s first champion is Jessica Rowland of Findlay University, who won the hammer throw Thursday night on her final attempt at 189 feet, 10 inches. UT’s Jessie Harrison was eighth.

Women’s Tennis: The Lady Vols squeezed in a rout of winless Tennessee State in Nashville on their way to Friday’s match at Alabama.

A 5-0 win gave a couple of Lady Vols a chance to get on the court. Jesse Grace and Kalya McMurray each earned their second wins of the year, both by 6-0 scores.

Mimi Fotopoulos moved up to No. 1 singles and won 6-0, 6-0. Sarah Toti and Caitlyn Williams got the other wins. No doubles were played.

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