Georgia sits atop the standings with 48 points, followed by Florida with 38, Arkansas with 32 and UT. Next is Kentucky with 22, followed by Ole Miss (17), LSU (15), Mississippi State (12), Alabama (9), Vanderbilt (6), Auburn (5) and South Carolina (2).
"We scored more in the long jump than we expected and we got a little scoring in the steeple and the shot," Lady Vol Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "We advanced three in the hurdles, three in the 1500m, one in the quarter and one in the hundred in addition to what we did yesterday, so we have some solid scoring opportunities. We just have to make them work for us tomorrow and get our mind into the meet.
The Lady Vols came into the meet projected to score zero points in the long jump. Thanks to huge personal-record and NCAA regional-qualifying efforts from sophomore Celriece Law and freshman Lynne Layne, Team Orange came out of that event with nine crucial points. Law, who entered with a season-best of 17 feet, 11 3/4 inches and a previous career best of 19-3 1/2, soared to 20-4 1/2 on Saturday to snare third-place honors.
Layne, meanwhile, chipped in three more points for a sixth-place leap of 19-11 1/2. Hers was a PR improvement of five inches. Sophomore Pavi'Elle "Tiki" James, meanwhile, stretched the tape to a season best of 19-1 1/4 but wound up 17th.
In the final event of the third day, freshman Jackie Areson managed to toss two more points into the UT ledger. Her 10:46.48 output in the 3000-meter steeplechase put her in seventh position. Two places back and one spot out of scoring was fellow rookie Kelly Parrish, who took ninth in 10:59.15.
Junior Shanna Dickenson kicked in another point toward the cause in the shot put. Her heave of 45-9 3/4 was good for eighth place. Classmate Amara McKell wound up 12th at 40-2 1/4.
Tennessee started the evening's proceedings on the track by qualifying all three competitors in the prelims of the 1500-meter run. Sophomores Sarah Bowman and Rolanda Bell advanced by easily taking second and third places in heat two in times of four minutes, 31.33 seconds and 4:32.33, respectively. Freshman Rose-Anne Galligan, meanwhile, ran an efficient 4:33.42 to place fourth in heat one and automatically earn a lane in the final.
The Lady Vols followed suit by also moving along three in the next event, the 100-meter hurdles. Thursday's heptathlon winner, freshman Nia Ali, was one of three athletes in the prelims to clock a 13.29-second readout for the fastest mark of the qualifying round. She did so in heat two. Also joining her in Sunday's final will be Law and James. Law charted a career best of 13.49 to take third in heat one, while James was fifth in heat three in a season-topping 13.69 to grab the ninth qualifying spot.
In the 400-meter dash prelims, junior LaTonya Loche kept the perfect evening going, as far as qualifying is concerned, making the final with a 53.16 readout that was third in heat two. She will run Sunday in her first SEC Outdoor 400m final.
The last preliminary event of the evening saw the Lady Vols' Saturday spree of seamless qualifying come to an unfortunate end. Layne came through for the Big Orange, though, making her second sprint final of the meet by registering an 11.63 effort to take third in heat three of the 100-meter dash prelims. She also qualified for the 200m final yesterday. Juniors Cleo Tyson and Courtney Champion, unfortunately, saw their individual action at this meet come to a halt.
Their times of 11.74 and 11.75, respectively, left them in 10th and 11th positions, just out of the mix. Tyson, however, did join Layne and Champion on the regional qualifying list with her season-best readout.
"It (the regional marks added today by Tyson in the 100m and Law and Layne in the long jump) gives us some more opportunity to perform later in the year at the regional meet by getting those marks in," Clark said. "I'm glad to see Cleo did that. We're just looking forward to getting it done tomorrow and seeing what we can do."