Wade, Boulware shine in track

Despite inclement weather, three Vol track standouts -- including football players Jonathan Wade and Robert Boulware -- turned in big performances Saturday night at the 18th Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

Marc Sylvester (800m run), Wade (100m dash) and Boulware (110m hurdles) still met the regional qualifying standard, although they had all gone faster earlier this season. Thanks to the rain, wind and cold, no one from any team approached the greatness of the meetâs namesake, but the Vols met a key objective by getting a scouting report on the facility before the Mideast Regional later this month.

In the two-lapper, Sylvester got nipped at the tape with a regional-qualifying 1:49.56 after leading almost the entire race. Sylvester, a Cleveland, Ohio native, had never lost an 800m race (all high school races) in Ohio. He very nearly extended the streak to college but took runner-up honors, only .02 of a second behind Michigan's Nick Willis. Vol Frank Francois took 11th in 1:52.36. Kenny Schappert posted his second lifetime best in the 800m run in as many days with his 14th-place, 1:53.37 time, .02 of a second faster than his Friday night effort.

Wade finished third in the 100m dash with a 10.49 time, not a season best but a respectable regional qualifier considering the conditions. Likewise, high hurdler Boulware took third in the 110m hurdles with a regional-qualifying 14.20w. Boulware ran his lifetime best of 14.09 last week at the Penn Relays, but Saturday's wind-aided 14.20w stands as a good effort in spite of the weather.

While he didn't meet the regional standard, Rob Cloutier sliced more than six seconds off his previous season best in the 1,500m run with his 3:52.88 to place 11th and make progress on a tough night.

In the 200m dash, Sean Lambert took fifth in 21.45w. Dwayne Bell Jr. finished seventh in the 400m dash running in lane one. Bell clocked in at 48.28. Josh Whisman took 12th in the shot with a 49-11.75 measurement in the shot put.

The weather forced Tennessee's coaches to scratch the 4x400m relay, pole vault, long jump, discus, Gary Kikaya (400m dash), Jabari Greer (110m hurdles), Karl Jennings (110m and 400m hurdles) and Stephen Harris (high jump and long jump) in addition to other decathletes.

Tennessee sharpens its focus for the SEC Championships May 15-18 in Knoxville. The Volunteers, winners of the last two SEC Outdoor meets, will find repeating harder than ever as the conference remains stacked.

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