Track awards announced

The 2003 edition of the Tennessee track and field squad gathered one last time Sunday night to look back on the season and celebrate one of the university's most successful programs with a presentation of awards at the annual team banquet in the Wolf-Kaplan Center beneath Neyland Stadium.

With the exception of a handful of graduated seniors whose careers have taken them away from The Hallowed Hill, nearly all of the team members were on hand to chalk up the official end to another successful chapter in the Volunteer track and field epic and begin anticipation of the next.

The Volunteer track and field/cross country program has won five NCAA titles. Entering the 2004 season, Tennessee owns 67 Southeastern Conference team titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track, far and away the best total in the conference. The Tennesseans also lay claim to 363 all-time individual SEC titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.

Master of ceremonies Dr. Buck Jones, a nationally-renowned track and field announcer and respected UT professor, began the evening with staff introductions of the architects of the program -- head coach Bill Webb and assistant coaches George Watts and Vince Anderson. Webb introduced the new recruits before lauding the 2003 Vols on athletic, academic and community service successes from the past year. The highlights were numerous as the plaques and trophies stacked like cordwood attested. Webb also congratulated Anderson on his selection as the inaugural winner of the USTCA National Sprint/Hurdle Assistant Coach of the Year to a robust round of applause. The Vol managers were also recognized, including 18-year-old Will Pratt, current manager and former candidate for California governor. During his three-week candidacy, Pratt received national television attention as perhaps the youngest candidate in the Golden State's race for the governorship before arriving in Tennessee in August.


Will Pritchett Award (Most dedicated senior) - The 2003 senior class -- Dwayne Bell Jr., Eric Bell, Rocky Danners, Scott DeFilippis, Patrick Gildea, Stephen Harris, Karl Jennings, Gary Kikaya, Rondell Mershon and Kevin Thompson
James Snow Award (Most outstanding academic freshman) - Nate Jansen
Dr. Jack Chesney Award (Most outstanding academic senior) - Steve Klein
Jon Young Captain's Award - Stephen Harris
Lifter of the Year - Sean Lambert
School records - Indoor - 400m dash, Gary Kikaya, 45.71; 60m hurdles, Jabari Greer, 7.55
Most Valuable Freshman - Jonathan Wade
Herb Neff Award (Walk-on who makes valuable contribution) - Robert Boulware
Comeback of the Year - Leigh Smith
Most Improved Athlete - Patrick Gildea and Jabari Greer
Volunteer Award (Toughest competitor) - Marc Sylvester
Ironman Award - Sean Lambert
Career Achievement Award - Karl Jennings and Kevin Thompson
Most Valuable Athlete - Gary Kikaya (track) and Stephen Harris (field)
Ed Murphey Award (Outstanding performance) - Jabari Greer

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