Saturday Tennessee Relays Track and Field

Tennessee's Fuji Anday tries to hold off the competition during the men's 4x1500 meter relay at Tom Black track. Saturday Apr. 9, 2022.

Tennessee’s track and field team traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, over the weekend to compete in the Crimson Tide Invite. Competition began on Friday and ran through Saturday night, with several Vols surpassing school records and totaling event wins.

Typically, much of the focus revolves around Tennessee’s star-studded long jumpers and sprinters such as Wayne Pinnock, Carey McLeod, Charisma Taylor and Favour Ashe. However, at the Crimson Tide invite, the field competitors and distance runners proved to show that Tennessee’s track and field team is holistic in terms of their success.

In the field, for real

Greece native Georgios Korakidis got the Vols rolling early on Friday. The senior emitted a distance of 70.51m in the men’s hammer throw to shatter his own school record of 69.45m. Korakidis set the previous record last season at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championship, and he now tries for a bid in this year’s Championships.

On the women’s side of the hammer throw, Chandler Hayden improved in her performance as well. The sophomore Hayden jumped from fifth to third all-time in schools record books when she hurled a throw of 62.41m on her second attempt. Not only is this Hayden’s first career throw over 60-meters, but she also left Birmingham with her first event win of her collegiate career.

Saturday’s events started with Skylar Coffey and Israel Adesina placing among the top in the men’s discus throw. Coffey picked up the win with a personal best of 53.41m. Adesina, a redshirt sophomore, place fifth with a lifetime best of 49.32m.

Tennessee’s spotlight in the field would continue through events on Saturday. Seniors Hannah Jefcoat and Jordan West both eventually improved upon their own school records.

In the women's pole vault competition, Jefcoat leveled her way up to 4.22m (13-10) improving upon her school record in the outdoor vault. Her previous record stood at 4.19m.

Jordan West broke his own school record not once, but three times during his six attempts of the men’s shot put. West eventually landed 20.33m on his last attempt to smash his record from last season of 19.85m.

A nod to the level of competition in Birmingham, both Jefcoat and West placed only in second of their events.

Keeping distance

Another school record was toppled outside of the field by way of Canaan Anderson in the men’s 1,500-meter run. With a time of 3:42.46, Anderson broke a Tennessee freshman-record of 3:44.59 set by Sam James in 1977. In terms of all-time, Anderson’s mark jumps him all the way to fourth in program history.

In addition to Anderson, seven of his teammates competed in the 1,500-meter run, and seven of his teammates finished with personal or season-best times.

Olivia Janke and Jette Davidson ran personal-best times of 4:21.33 and 4:49.47, respectively on the women’s side. Jasmine Fehr (4:32.46), Erin Spreen (4:45.35) and Ainsley Cooper (4:46.30) all crossed the line with season-best runs.

For the men, Tim Thacker and Thomas Gardiner each put forth a lifetime best performance in the 1,500-meter. Thacker raced just behind Anderson with a finish at 3:32.79 while Gardiner followed at 3:50.76.

Up next

Tennessee will split up its squad next week, with some traveling to compete in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the LSU Invitational and some to Philadelphia for the historic Penn Relays.

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