A freshman phenom, a last-chance qualifier and a scratched-in runner make up Tennessee’s small delegation to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Two of the three UT athletes will compete in the pole vault. Nijgia Snapp, in the 800 meters, will be the only “track” representative in the two-day meet at Fayetteville, Ark., starting Friday.
Jake Blankenship, the SEC male freshman field athlete of the year, ranks fifth nationally in the men’s vault.
He has cleared 18 feet, 2.5 inches three times, breaking the UT freshman record set by former Olympic silver medalist Lawrence Johnson.
Linda Hadfield, the Lady Vols’ record-holder in the vault, rode a big last-chance improvement to make it to nationals.
The junior cleared 13-11 at a qualifying meet, improving from 23rd nationally to 11th. The top 16 marks in each event from the indoor season qualified for the NCAA meet.
Snapp, who scored on relays at the 2011 and 2012 indoor meets, made the field when four 800-meter qualifiers scratched, bumping the senior from 19th to 15th.
The last time the Lady Vols were scoreless at the NCAA indoor meet was 13 years ago.
A year ago the Lady Vols tied for 48th with three points. The men did not score.
UT had 10 qualifiers a year ago. Chase Brannon (pole vault) and Matthew Hoty (shot put) did not meet the national mark this time around. Annie Alexander (shot put), Chanelle Price (800) and Ellen Wortham (400) were seniors for the Lady Vols and the 4x400 (Wortham, senior Brittany Jones, sophomore Kianna Ruff and junior Martinique Octave) and distance medley (Price, Wortham, Snapp and senior Brittany Sheffey) relays teams qualified.
SEC INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD AWARDS
Coach of the Year: Chris Bucknam, Arkansas. Runner of the Year: Deon Lendore, Texas A&M. Field Athlete of the Year: Marquis Dendy, Florida. Freshman Runner of the Year: Markesh Woodson, Missouri. Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: Jake Blankenship, Tennessee. First-Team All-SEC: Ricky Babineaux, Texas A&M, Aldrich Bailey Jr., Texas A&M, Tarik Batchelor, Arkansas, Marquis Dendy, Florida, Cameron Efurd, Arkansas, Aaron Ernest, LSU, Nathanael Franks, Arkansas, Matt Hillenbrand, Kentucky, Andrew Irwin, Arkansas, Anthony Leighio, Arkansas, Henry Lelei, Texas A&M, Deon Lendore, Texas A&M, Eddie Lovett, Florida, Sean Obinwa, Florida, Ricky Robertson, Ole Miss, Patrick Rono, Arkansas, Carlyle Roudette, Texas A&M, Stephen Saenz, Auburn, Garrett Scantling, Georgia, David Triassi, Florida, Markesh Woodson, Missouri. Second-Team All-SEC: Jake Blankenship, Tennessee, James Bonn, Texas A&M, Gregory Coleman, Texas A&M, Omar Craddock, Florida, Wayne Davis II, Texas A&M, Dedric Dukes, Florida, Damar Forbes, LSU, Najee Glass, Florida, Hugh Graham, Jr., Florida, Charles Grethen, Georgia, Hector Hernandez, Texas A&M, Stanley Kebenei, Arkansas, Anthony May, Arkansas, Jeremy Postin, Florida, Patrick Rono, Arkansas, Marcus Rowland, Auburn, Leonardo Seymore, Florida, Maicel Uibo, Georgia, Caleb Whitener, Georgia. All-Freshman Team: 60m: Markesh Woodson, Missouri, 200m: Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, LSU, 400m: Eric Janise, Arkansas, 800m: Tomas Squella, Arkansas, Mile: Robbie Farnham-Rose, Alabama, 3,000m: Austin Whitelaw, Tennessee, 5,000m: JL Hines, Florida, 60m Hurdles: Joshua Lamers, LSU, HJ: Justin Fondren, Alabama, PV: Jake Blankenship, Tennessee, LJ: Josh McCullan, Alabama, TJ: Jonathon Ilori, Missouri, SP: Ashina Miller, Georgia, WT: Elias Hakansson, Alabama, HEPT: Maicel Uibo, Georgia
Coach of the Year: Lance Harter, Arkansas. Runner of the Year: Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU. Field Athlete of the Year: Makeba Alcide, Arkansas. Freshman Runner of the Year: Shaunae Miller, Georgia. Freshman Field Athlete of the Year: LaQue Moen-Davis, Texas A&M. First-Team All-SEC: Makeba Alcide, Arkansas, Amani Bryant, Florida, Laura Carleton, LSU, Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU, Gwendolyn Flowers, Arkansas, Regina George, Arkansas, Denise Hinton, LSU, Hilenn James, Georgia, Charlene Lipsey, LSU, Cally Macumber, Kentucky, Cory McGee, Florida, Sparkle McKnight, Arkansas, LaQue Moen-Davis, Texas A&M, Alexis Paine, Alabama, Mandy Perkins, Florida, Chanice Porter, Georgia, Jeannelle Scheper, South Carolina, Jasmin Stowers, LSU, Agata Strausa, Florida, Chrishuna Williams, Arkansas. Second-Team All-SEC: Kierre Beckles, South Carolina, Martine Borge, Arkansas, Erica Bougard, Mississippi State, Tyler Brockington, South Carolina, Kamaria Brown, Texas A&M, Ashley Collier, Texas A&M, Keri Emanuel, LSU, Donique Flemings, Texas A&M, Brea Garrett, Texas A&M, Natoya Goule, LSU, Christal Green, South Carolina, Grace Heymsfield, Arkansas, Ivanique Kemp, Arkansas, Kayla Lampe, South Carolina, Sandi Morris, Arkansas, Lucie Ondraschkova, Georgia, Ashton Purvis, Texas A&M, Erika Rucker, South Carolina, Jill Rushin, Missouri, Laura Roxberg, Missouri, Krystle Schade, Alabama, Keri Wood, Arkansas. All-Freshman Team: 60m: Jennifer Madu, Texas A&M, 200m: Jennifer Madu, Texas A&M, 400m: Shaunae Miller, Georgia, 800m: Kimberley Ficenec, Alabama, Mile: Lily Williams, Vanderbilt, 3,000m: Hannah Jumper, Vanderbilt, 5,000m: Kayla Lampe, South Carolina, 60m Hurdles: Samantha Scarlett, Auburn, HJ: Shanice Hall, LSU, PV: Jessica Johnson, Auburn, LJ: Chanice Porter, Georgia, TJ: LaQue Moen-Davis, Texas A&M, SP: Valentina Muzaric, Auburn, WT: Becky Famurewa, Kentucky, PENT: Therese Jerrnbeck, LSU