All 3 UT rowing crews in action Saturday

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – After a slow start to the first day of the 2007 NCAA Rowing Championships on Melton Hill Lake, the Lady Vol rowing team picked up the pace in the afternoon, finishing second in the First Eights repechage to move onto Saturday's semifinals.

No. 10 Tennessee, with a crew led by senior coxswain Stephanie Davis (Martin, Tenn.) and powered by sophomore Erin-Monique Shelton (Upper Hutt, New Zealand), juniors Renee Brittle (Dublin, Va.) and Krista Gearing (Fenwick, Ontario), senior Rachel Mayberry (Woodbridge, Va.), juniors Jessica Ayers (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Nina Dobratz (Portland, Ore.), senior Sarah Hutcheson (Orlando, Fla.) and junior Mary Jones (Huntsville, Ala.) came in just two seats behind No. 7 Stanford to gain one of the last three spots in the semis, while the Orange and White held off the ninth-ranked Princeton crew by a seat.

All three will race for one of six spots in Sunday's grand finals. They came back from a fifth-place showing in the morning heats, falling to No. 2 Yale by two lengths and sixth-ranked Notre Dame by six seconds.

The Second Eight from UT also finished in fifth in its heat, coming in just a quarter of a second behind the charging Ohio State group. The shell, comprised of freshman coxswain Katie Ross (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), freshman Mary Beth Dreusike (Huntington Station, N.Y.), sophomore Kate Brownlee (North Gower, Ontario), junior Leah Smelser (Macon, Ga.), sophomore Caroline Howell (Davenport, Iowa), freshmen Laura Miller (Columbus, Miss.) and Kate Snider (Ramona, Calif.) and juniors Kendra Warren (Franklin, Tenn.) and Genevieve Collins (Dallas, Texas), started strong in the first 500 meters before slowing in the next 1,000 meters.

Even after improving their time by four seconds in the last 500 meters, the Big Orange came in behind the Buckeyes. Brown won the heat, coming in 3.5 seconds in front of Minnesota and over six seconds ahead of Yale.

The Fours crew of freshman Roshauna Singh (Vienna, Va.), senior Kristen Galloway (Knoxville), freshman Erin Gray (Wuerzburg, Germany), senior Heather Hill (Knoxvill) and junior Marisa Mohan (San Diego, Calif.) ranked sixth in its heat. A half-length behind fourth-place Minnesota, the group tried to overtake a slowing Harvard crew but could not close the gap, crossing the line a second and a half behind the Black and White.

Virginia and Brown proved to be the top teams on the opening day, with both teams securing victories in the Second Eight and Four heats to advance straight into Sunday's finals. In the first race of the day, Brown beat Virginia by 1/10th of a second in the First Eights heat.

Tennessee begins its second-chance day with the First Eights semifinal that begins at 8:00 a.m.

Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children and students at the gate.

Tennessee's Schedule on Saturday: 8:15 a.m. First Eights Semifinal No. 2; 8:30 a.m. Fours Repechage No. 1; and 9:15 a.m. Second Eights Repechage No. 2.

LADY VOL TRACK: COLUMBIA , Mo. -- The Tennessee women advanced 10 athletes to the finals at the NCAA Mideast Regional on Friday, setting up a last day with Lady Vols vying for berths in 10 different events for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Head Coach J.J. Clark's squad moved athletes along in the 4x100-meter relay, 1500m, 100m hurdles, 100m dash, 400m dash and 200 meters at the University of Missouri's Walton Stadium.

"We had some good people advance, and it was all along the line in different events," Clark said. "We're just trying to continue getting them to nationals. This is only half the battle - getting them to the final. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to finalize what we've done today, and that's advancing to the NCAA meet."

The Lady Vols started the day by charting the fastest qualifying time in the 4x100-meter relay and advancing to Saturday's finals. The quartet of junior Courtney Champion, freshman Lynne Layne and juniors LaTonya Loche and Cleo Tyson won heat three with a time of 44.11 seconds. That marks the fastest qualifying round production of the season by the UT 4x1.

Sophomore Sarah Bowman followed up that result in the next women's event by winning heat two and posting the fastest qualifying readout in the 1500m run. Her 4:18.43 handiwork was just shy of the season-best 4:18.10 output she charted to take second two weekends ago at the SEC Championships.

Bowman will be joined in Saturday's final by sophomores Rose-Anne Galligan and Rolanda Bell, who placed second and third, respectively, in heat one in 4:23.18 and 4:23.20. Galligan and Bell, who registered a PR today, move on with the eighth and ninth-best readouts of the prelims.

Tennessee's run of good fortune hit a snag in the 100m hurdle prelims. Only one of three regional qualifiers advanced to the money round. Sophomore Celriece Law was the sole survivor, moving along with a 13.50 showing that was good for third in heat one and the eighth and final lane available on Saturday.

Sophomore Tiki James took second in heat four, but her 13.73 effort left her 11th and out of the hunt. Freshman Nia Ali, meanwhile, never made it to the blocks. The SEC heptathlon champ and third-place 100m hurdles finisher suffered a mild hamstring strain in her right leg during practice on Thursday and will not compete this weekend.

"We were looking forward to having Nia in the hurdles and contemplating doing the heptathlon at NCAAs, but she got hurt," Clark said. "It's part of the sport. You have to understand that.

"It's not a career-ending injury or anything like that. It's just the coaches being careful and the young lady saying she can't go. You respect that. She'll be back, and hopefully, it will be sooner than we think."

In the 100m dash qualifying round, two clad in orange moved along, and one did not. Champion zoomed to a season-best 11.56 to win heat one and automatically advance, while Layne was an at-large qualifier by virtue of her second-place, 11.74 burst in heat four. Tyson wasn't able to extend her action in the straight sprint, taking third in heat three at 11.77 and winding up 10th overall.

Loche gave the Lady Vols another competitor on Saturday, as she churned out a season-best time of 53.04 in the 400m dash to place third in heat five. She owns the eighth-best reading of the qualifiers.

Layne and Champion did the same in the 200-meter dash to close the first day. Layne clicked off a 23.49 reading to place second in heat one and sixth fastest of the qualifiers. Champion was the eighth qualifier via her third-place mark of 23.68 in heat two.

In the 800m run, Tennessee went zero for two on qualifying. Senior Leslie Treherne, an All-American with an eighth-place NCAA finish last season in that event, struggled to sixth in heat two and 17th place overall in 2:11.00. Freshman Phoebe Wright was three spots ahead of her in 14th after finishing fourth in the same heat in 2:09.88.

In Tennessee's only final of day one, Law wound up 11th in the long jump at 18-10 3/4.

On Saturday, UT returns to the track for its first event at 11 a.m. Central Time, as junior Shanna Dickenson competes in the hammer throw. She will enter the ring for the discus throw at 3:30 p.m., followed by Lady Vols in previously mentioned finals as well as the 3000m steeplechase and 4x400m relay on the final day of competition.

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