Track and field splitting up to tackle separate events

FILE - Stamatia Scarvelis of the Tennessee Volunteers during the Tennessee Relays at Tom Black track on April 7, 2017.

The Tennessee track team picked up five medals last week while competing at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Eight Tennessee athletes performed well enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

These athletes will travel to Birmingham, Alabama, this weekend to compete in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Eight is the most the program has sent to the NCAAs since 2016, when they sent nine individuals and two relay squads.

“The experience (we have) is huge,” head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan said. “… It takes a round or two to be very effective (and we have that now).”

One of the two individuals who won an event for Tennessee at the SEC Championships is back. Mustaqueem Williams is a senior who will compete in the 60m and 200m sprints in Birmingham.

Williams recently won gold at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 200m. He defended his 2018 indoor title in the event with a time of 20.65s, his season best.

“(We) have been at this level before,” Williams said. “The coaches have prepared us so much since August. (Competing) is like second nature to us now.”

The seven-time All-American will be looking to take home his first national championship.

The other Tennessee winner from the SEC Championships is Stamatia Scarvelis, a senior weight thrower. She is coming off a career-best 24.06m in the weight throwing event last weekend.

The three-time All-American and participant in the indoor NCAAs will be trying to cap off her indoor career in style. She has set the school record for indoor shot put (17.77m), weight throw (24.06m) and hammer throw (69.10m).

“It is another chance to compete,” Scarvelis said. “(We have to) understand it is just another competition. We have seen the best of the best last week in the SEC.”

Senior LaChyna Roe and freshman Alonie Sutton will represent Tennessee in the women’s triple jump. It is the first appearance at the NCAAs for both of them.

Sophomore Jalen Tate will compete for the Vols in the men’s triple jump. He will look to replace a career-best 16.08m for the indoor season. It is his first appearance in the NCAAs.

Senior weight thrower Seth Whitener will be competing in his first NCAAs. He will look to set a new personal record for the indoor season. His current personal record is 21.14m, which he set during the 2018 season.

Junior Darryl Sullivan will be competing in the high jump event this weekend. He will be looking to replace a personal record of 2.26m, which currently ranks second in Tennessee’s program history.

Senior Maia McCoy will join Williams as the only Vols competing in multiple events. She will be running in the 60m and 200m dash. She will be looking to break personal records in both events this weekend.

Tennessee is one of two programs in the country to have the same member from the men’s and women’s team compete in both the 60m and 200m events.

The Vols’ track and field team will be looking to build off a successful fall and past couple of meets in the indoor season. Birmingham presents an opportunity for eight Vols to bring their success to the national stage.

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