Honors pour in for Stephen Harris

When Vol senior captain Stephen Harris won the College Station Decathlon last Friday with the year's best score in the world, it caught the attention of many outside the Tennessee family.

The U.S. Track Coaches Association, www.trackshark.com and the Southeastern Conference all recognized Harris as their male athlete of the week for his lifetime-best decathlon score of 8,103, an NCAA automatic qualifier and the best collegiate score since Tennessee's Tom Pappas broke the collegiate record in 1999. The score is the second-best effort ever by a Vol in the regular season and the fourth-best by a Vol overall.National acclaim arrived from the U.S. Track Coaches Association, which named Harris its Mondo NCAA-Division I Athlete of the Week. Discus thrower Krista Keir of Ohio State took the association's corresponding female honor.

Meanwhile, Harris took www.trackshark.com, a web site devoted to collegiate track and field, nods as the Male Athlete of the Week for the competitive week ending March 22. Trackshark kept the womenâs honoree in the conference, selecting Florida's Candice Scott, a hammer thrower.

Mirroring Trackshark's selection, Harris also won his first SEC Male Athlete of the Week honor from the nationâs finest track and field conference. Floridaâs Scott also took the womenâs honor from the conference.

* With the 2003 indoor season under wraps, Tennessee's pentathletes repeated as the nation's top collegiate indoor multievent corps. The Volunteers bested the nation in scoring average for two, three, four and five-man pentathlon teams.

Led by captain Stephen Harris' collegiate-leading pentathlon score of 4,277 and senior Kevin Thompson's 3,981 top score, the Vol duo's scores summed to 8,258, a good measure ahead of second-place Missouri's two-man total of 7,873.

Harris, Thompson and Farragut native Kevin Yeager's pentathlon score of 3,728 give the Vols a three-man total of 11,986, well ahead of runner-up Connecticut's 11,487 total. In the four-man race, Harris, Thompson, Yeager and Alex Hritcuâs scores summed 15,713 points, again ahead of second-place Connecticut's 15,052-point total. Finally, Harris, Thompson, Yeager, Hritcu and Blake Sabo's scores totaled 19,333 to win the five-man title, ahead of runner-up Connecticut's 18,530-point total. At five deep Tennessee couldn't enter the six-man race. Connecticut took the six-man title with 21,920 points for an average score of 3,653.3 points per pentathlete.

In 2002, the Volunteers' numbers for two-man team (8,316, average 4,158), three-man team (12,143, average 4,047), four-man team (15,591, average 3,988), five-man team (19,742, average 3,948) and six-man team (23,289, average 3,881) all stood as all-time collegiate team pentathlon records.


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