Shanna Dickenson breaks record

Last weekend at the Pepsi Florida Relays, Tennessee junior Shanna Dickenson broke the school record in the hammer throw. After snapping the UT mark for the second meet in a row at the Sea Ray Relays on Friday, the product of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been named Lady Vol Athlete of the Week for the first time in her career.

After she stretched the tape to 194 feet, five inches on April 6 in Gainesville, Dickenson extended her career best and the Big Orange record in the hammer throw to 198'3 on Friday in the Sea Ray Relays invitational division of that event at UT's Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium.

With a mark that moved her to 12th in the NCAA ranks this season in the hammer, she is the first Lady Vol to win that event in the history of the 41-year-old meet.

Dickenson also produced a throw of 162-6 in the invitational discus on Saturday to wind up third in that event. The combination of those results earned the third-year Tennessee performer the Tony Wilson Female Field Event Award at the Sea Ray Relays. She is only the second Lady Vol to collect that honor, following in the footsteps of 2005 winner Tianna Madison.

Coached by first-year assistant John Frazier, who joined the staff in August after a successful stint coaching the men and women at Arizona, Dickenson has benefited immensely from his tutelage. Proof of that can be seen in her hammer throw improvement, where she has increased her PR nearly 20 feet in one season from 179'2 a year ago to 198'3 in 2007.

Dickenson also had PRs indoors in the shot put and weight throw, carding a second-place finish in the latter at the SEC Indoor Championships.

Dickenson will join her teammates this weekend, as they travel to Baton Rouge, La., to compete in the Alumni Gold meet at LSU.

UT COACHES ON USA STAFF: USA Track & Field has announced that a pair of Lady Vol assistants had been selected to serve on the coaching staff for the 2007 IAAF World Championships, which will be held Aug. 25 through Sept. 2 in Osaka, Japan.

Less than a month after UT Head Coach J.J. Clark was named as an aide for the U.S. women at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Assistant Coaches Caryl Smith Gilbert and John Frazier have been announced as assistants for the U.S. women at the World Championships.

Smith Gilbert is in her fifth season at Tennessee, while Frazier joined the Lady Vol staff in August.

The Big Orange coaches will serve on the U.S. women's staff alongside head coach Amy Deem of the University of Miami and assistants Juli Henner (George Mason) and Danny Williams (Cal Poly). Smith Gilbert will work with jumps/combined events, Frazier will handle the throws, Henner is in charge of the distances and Williams' area is sprints/hurdles. Relay coaches are Brooks Johnson and Rich Orinburg.

Smith Gilbert is in her fifth season as an assistant for sprints, hurdles and jumps on the University of Tennessee women's staff. Chosen as the 2005 USTCA National and Mideast Region Assistant Coach of the Year, her athletes helped Tennessee win the school's first-ever NCAA Indoor Championship in 2005, its first SEC Indoor trophy since 1984 that season, and the team's first NCAA Mideast Region outdoor title, also in 2005.

Additionally, she aided Tennessee to the 2007 SEC Indoor title and a third-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. Smith Gilbert, who served as an assistant coach for the United States at the 2002 NACAC U-23 Championships, directed the rise of 2004 NCAA 400m champion and Olympic relay gold medalist Dee Dee Trotter and 2005 world champion long jumper Tianna Madison.

In 2007, Smith Gilbert's expertise enabled sprinter Courtney Champion to notch a runner-up NCAA Indoor finish in the 60m dash and a third-place effort in the 200 meters at that meet, with indoor times that ranked among the top 10 in the world in 2007. Lady Vols Nia Ali and Celriece Law took sixth and seventh in the 100m hurdles at NCAAs.

Frazier is in his first season as the throws coach for Tennessee after serving six years as a men's and women's assistant at Arizona. During his 18 years in the track & field coaching community, Frazier's athletes have won 32 All-America awards, including 13 at the NCAA Division II level. As a college athlete, he was a three-time All-American at UCLA in the shot put, and he also competed in the hammer throw.

This season, Frazier has directed a limited group of athletes at Rocky Top, but his impact has been felt. He coached Shanna Dickenson to a runner-up finish in the weight throw at the SEC Indoor Championships, and Dickenson has twice broken the school record in the hammer throw outdoors and is qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional in both the hammer and discus throws.


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