Staff Report: SPORTS

The Tennessee track and field team competed at the SEC Indoor Championships in College Station, TX, this past weekend with a strong performance from junior sprinter Mustaqeem Williams that allowed the Vols to leave the championships with a gold medal.

The weekend’s biggest performance for the men came from Williams, who won the 200-meter title to complete a strong finish for Tennessee's program.

Williams’ personal-best 20.55 was run in the first heat of the 200-meter and was enough to clinch the gold by topping Arkansas’ Kenzo Cotton, the silver winner, by just 0.6 seconds.

“Mustaqeem Williams is someone who’s had some inconsistencies in his career,” Tennessee director of track and field/cross country Beth Alford-Sullivan said. “But (he) came in with one mission: To do this for his team. He pulls off a great 60 (meter) and comes back and runs one of the fastest times in the country in the 200.

“They found the rhythm of what it is. That’s what we’re looking for in all of our athletes.”

Outside of Williams’ gold medal performance, four other Vols were able to win medals in College Station over the weekend.

Medals were in order for a Vol relay team made up of Brooklyn Bridgewater, Shania Collins, Lenysse Dyer and Felecia Majors as they clinched a second place spot in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:31:48.

Lastly, junior thrower Stamatia Scarvelis won the bronze with her weight throw of 21.20 meters to cap off Tennessee’s medal count for the championship.

Another strong performer on the weekend was junior Zach Long, who came in fourth place in the 5,000-meter with a time of 13:56.12. Long was just short of becoming the Vols’ fifth medal winner. 

In the men’s shot put, freshman Jordan West and sophomore Jordan Maxwell finished respectively in fifth (18.92m) and eighth (18.19m) places. Tristan Slater also added a point, coming in seventh place on the pole vault with a jump of 5.10m.

On the women’s side, an eighth-place finish for junior sprinter Lenyssee Dyer in the 400-meter with a time of 53.89 gave a point to the Vols as well as junior thrower Savannah Marlow, who tossed a distance of 18.14m in the weight throw.

“I’m pleased, but we’re not satisfied,” Alford-Sullivan said. “We know we got a long way to go to get to the top of the podium, but we’re making steps, and I was pleased to see us compete this weekend.”

In total, the men’s team took seventh place with 44 points, and the women finished in 11th place at 21 points. The Alabama Crimson Tide claimed the men’s SEC Championship title with 91 points, and the Arkansas Razorbacks took the women’s title with 108 points.

The 2018 outdoor season goes underway for the Vols on March 23 as they head to Los Angeles to compete in the Power 5 Trailblazer Challenge hosted by the University of Southern California. 

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