Track and field impresses at Vulcan, sets sights on Clemson

FILE - Cidae'a Woods in the women's long jump during the Tennessee Relays at Tom Black track on April 7, 2017.

On Saturday, several track and field programs from around the Southeast competed in the UAB Vulcan Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama; among them were the Tennessee men’s and women’s teams.

In their second meet of the 2018 indoor season, both the Tennessee men’s and women’s squads had another strong showing. The women placed first in six events and the men placed first in five to give the Vols a total of 11 wins at the invitational.

Much like the Tennessee-Indiana dual meet two weeks ago, the Vols’ Shania Collins continues to be impressive on the track. On Saturday, Collins recorded the fastest time in the nation on the 200-meter with a time of 23.14.

“It’s been great to see Collins come on,” Tennessee director of track and field and cross country Beth Alford-Sullivan said. “She’s been really making great strides over the year and half that she’s been here. Really starting to put together this indoor season at a high level.”

Thrower Stamatia Scarvelis put together a solid performance as well, breaking a school record in the weight throw with a throw of 22.7 meters and winning the women’s shot put with a throw of 17.3 meters.

“Stamatia is really rocking well,” Alford-Sullivan said. “She’s our outdoor school record-holder, and now with this weight throw, she’s broken her own record a couple of times this season. She’s someone that’s growing into the competitive mindset of the level of athlete that she really is.”

After coming from behind to tie in the Tennessee-Indiana dual meet last week, the men came through with five wins on Saturday.

Freshman jumper Ingar Kiplesund from Norway, who just enrolled at Tennessee for the spring semester, continues to impress Alford-Sullivan.

“Ingar’s done a great job,” Alford-Sullivan said. “He just joined us this semester, so this is his first couple of weeks here in Tennessee, and he’s got two wins off of two meets. Having arrived and rolled into competition, he hasn’t had a lot of time to adjust and train. We’re thrilled with him. He’s a very competitive athlete.”

Fellow freshman thrower Jordan West also had a good showing for the Vols, winning the shot put with a toss of 17.67 meters on only his second attempt.

On the men’s 4x400 meter race, sprinters Mustaqeem Williams, Ari Cogdell, Kwantreyl McConico and Darryl Harris also snagged another big win for Tennessee, coming in first place with a time of 3:14.16.

While both teams will head into a bye week just before heading to Clemson, South Carolina, for the Bob Pollack Invitational, five athletes from the women’s team will travel to Clemson on Friday for the Indoor Women’s Pentathlon due to a scheduling conflict.

Cidae’a Woods, Kiara Rhodes, Domonique Turner, LaChyna Roe and Maia McCoy will be participating in the events this Friday at Clemson.

“We summed up the meet last weekend as a ‘weekend workday.’ We really went into that meet with a mentality to just compete and work through it and work through the heavy training loads that we’re on,” Alford-Sullivan said. “It’s continued this week. Where we are today, we’ll have a great opportunity to take it up another notch.”

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