TRACK CENTRAL: Tiger Paw Invite/Music City Challenge/BU Valentine’s Invitational

TRACK CENTRAL: Tiger Paw Invite/Music City Challenge/BU Valentine’s Invitational

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. With two weeks remaining in the indoor postseason, the Tennessee track and field program will have its busiest competition weekend of the year as more than 60 UT athletes are set to compete Friday and on Saturday, February 9-10 in three separate meetings. A collection of runners, hurdlers and jumpers head to Clemson, South Carolina, for the Tiger Paw Invitational, while a group of runners, distance runners and pole vaulters travel to Nashville for the Music City Challenge. Additionally, 10 distance specialists will fly to the Northeast for the David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University.

Action from Clemson begins at noon ET with the qualifying round of the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Three Lady Vols who rank in the top 10 on the program’s all-time list are entered in the event: Layla Anderson, Kiara Smith AND Myla Greene. The Tiger Paw Invitational will conclude Saturday at around 3:50pm ET with the men’s 4x400m relay, with UT’s lead group coming off a season-best 3:04.30 last week in New Mexico Collegiate Classic.

Clemson will provide live coverage of the Tiger Paw Invitational both days via ACC Network Extra, while live results will be available via Flash Results.

The Music City Challenge kicks off Friday at 3pm ET with freshman Alyssa Raymond competing in the women’s long jump, and the meet concludes Saturday at 5:35 PM ET with a novice Thomas Rice men’s 3000m run. The meet will be broadcast live on SEC Network+ and live scores will be updated by PrimeTime Timing, Inc.

The Tennessee team in Boston includes four Lady Vols who run the 5k on Friday night around 8:25pm ET. Emily Covert, Ashley Jones AND Caroline Lyerly will make their UT debut in the 25-lapper as seniors Callie Tucker will also open its 2024 indoor campaign at Boston University.

Six Vols are set for action Saturday night in Boston, with Brett Brady running 3k at 7pm followed by Jaseen Abdulla, Will Cahill, Nate Kawalec, Brandon Olden AND Gabriel Sanchez the 5,000-meter run to close out the weekend.

The David Hemery Valentine Invitational will be broadcast on FloTrack both days, and live results will be posted by Lancer Timing.

EXIT LAST TIME: Tennessee sent a large number of sprinters and hurdlers to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the New Mexico Collegiate Classic that took place on Friday and Saturday, February 2-3. Highlights included an impressive double from the veteran sprint star Jacious Sears, running times of 7.09 and 22.57 in the 60- and 200-meter invitationals, respectively. Both brands occupy the top 10 in the first World Athletics 2024 list and are ranked in the top five in the NCAA this season.

Additionally, highlights included a 400m season best of 45.45 for the senior quarter milers Emmanuel Bynum, which currently stands as the top five in the world this season. UT closed out the meet with two wins in the 4×400-meter relay, turning in 3:04.30 and 3:31.19 for the men and women who both rank in the top 10 in the NCAA this year.

UT’s pole vault team also traveled to Columbia, South Carolina, for the South Carolina Invitational. Junior Sarah Schmitt was victorious for the second time this season, clearing a personal-best 4.12 meters (13-6.25) that ranks fifth in Lady Vol history and 6th in the SEC this season.

Runner of the Week, PART 2: This was announced on Tuesday afternoon by the Southeast Conference Jacious Sears was named the SEC Women’s Runner of the Week for the second time this season.

Her performance of 22.57 in the 200 meters on Friday ranked third in the world in 2024 and is the fastest time in the collegiate ranks in all conditions. She finished as the top collegian and second overall in the meet behind Julien Alfred’s world leading sprint of 22.16.

Sears then ran the 60m on Saturday, winning her prelims in 7.18 seconds before dropping to a season-best 7.09 to finish as the fastest collegiate athlete in the finals. Her time ranked 7th on the 2024 World Athletics master list and is the second-fastest all-around mark by a collegiate athlete this season.

REPORT UPDATE: In the latest installment of the US Trade Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) track and field ranking index, the Lady Vols moved up two spots to No. 15 in the nation, while the Tennessee men were held at No. 23rd nationally.

Five individuals and two relays hold nine points in their respective events that rank 20th best in the nation as of Feb. 5. @ – height conversion

NEXT: The 2023-24 indoor regular season will conclude next week with a pair of distance medley relay teams traveling to South Bend, Indiana, for the Alex Wilson Invitational. The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, February 17.

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