Jake Blankenship of Tennessee was named SEC Men’s Freshman Field Athlete of the Year in indoor track and field by the league’s coaches Friday.
Blankenship, who finished second in the pole vault with a career best 18 feet, 2½ inches at the SEC championships last week, also earned second team All-SEC honors.
Blankenship and distance runner Austin Whitelaw were named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
Blankenship is UT’s first field athlete to receive the freshman of the year honors since Director of Track J.J. Clark took over the men’s squad in 2010. He now holds UT’s freshman record in the pole vault and is ranked third in program history overall.
As the fifth-ranked pole vaulter in the nation, Blankenship will rest this weekend in preparation for the NCAA Indoor Championships starting next Friday in Fayetteville, Ark.
Whitelaw also set a UT freshman record with a time of 8 minutes, 11.68 seconds in the 3,000, breaking a 26-year-old UT freshmen record set by Glenn Morgan.
UT has 13 athletes at three separate last-chance NCAA qualifiers today.