Three track athletes named to academic team

Three University of Tennessee women's track & field and cross country standouts, including fourth-year honoree Katie Flaute, were named Thursday to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Team.

A senior from Dayton, Ohio, Flaute was a first-team selection for the third straight season after making second team as a redshirt freshman. She was joined on the top squad by classmate Felicia Guliford, who previously made the cut as a second-team selection in 2005. Sophomore Sarah Bowman, meanwhile, has made the second team in her first year of eligibility for the award. Nominees must have sophomore academic standing or above, a year of residency at the school and possess at least a 3.20 GPA.

Flaute has accumulated a 3.92 grade point average in exercise science, Guliford has a 3.71 GPA with majors in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology and Spanish, while Bowman's GPA is 3.81 in business. As first-team selections, Flaute and Guliford are now eligible to be considered for Academic All-America honors.

In addition to her ESPN The Magazine accomplishments, Flaute is a five-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member. Athletically, she is a three-time All-SEC cross country selection, a three-time All-South Region honoree on the trails and a four-time NCAA Cross Country Championships qualifier. One of only three Lady Vols in program history to accomplish that last feat, she helped Tennessee win four NCAA South Region titles and three SEC Championships in cross country during her stay in Knoxville.

During her track & field career, Flaute was a six-time SEC scorer on the oval, covering 3000 through 10,000 meters. She helped the team win the 2005 and 2007 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Guliford also is a five-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection. She was chosen 2007 Miss Tennessee at UT for her combination of service, scholarship, leadership and athletic prowess. Additionally, she was a three-time All-South Region selection and a two-time All-SEC selection in cross country.

On the oval, she was the 2005 SEC Commissioner's Trophy winner as high point scorer at the indoor track championship meet. Eight times she was an SEC scorer in track, and she earned All-America accolades with the distance medley relay in 2005. During her time at Rocky Top, she helped UT to two SEC track titles and two SEC cross country crowns.

Bowman is a two-time member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll. She twice has earned All-SEC acclaim in cross country, garnering All-South Region kudos as well in 2006 and helped UT claim SEC and NCAA South Regional cross country titles in 2005 and make NCAA appearances in 2005 and 2006.

A two-time All-American in track, Bowman earned honors in the mile run and DMR indoors in 2007. At the SEC level, she is an eight-time conference scorer and four-time league champion, winning the 1500m outdoors in 2006 and claiming indoor titles in the mile, 3000m and DMR in 2007. Additionally, she anchored UT to Penn Relays victories in the sprint medley in 2006 and the DMR in 2007.

CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Tennessee women's track & field team snared berths in the finals of three events Wednesday on the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.

Junior Shanna Dickenson earned a spot in her first career NCAA final, registering a toss of 190 feet, 10 inches on her second attempt to finish 11th of the 28 competitors in the qualifying round of the hammer throw. By charting the third-best mark of record in her career, she advanced to Friday's final, which will be contested at 11 a.m. Pacific Time (2 p.m. ET). Dickenson had made the meet as an at-large entry, ranked 21st in the field based upon her school-record heave of 198-3 at the Sea Ray Relays in early April.

Dickenson came back later in the day to add a berth into the finals of the discus throw. Her fling of 170-4 put her 10th out of the 12 qualifiers and earned the Lady Volunteer her first NCAA discus final appearance after placing 20th a year ago at this meet. She entered the meet ranked 18th in the field with a mark of 173-9 that earned her runner-up status at the NCAA Mideast Regional two weekends ago.

"It was very good to get Shanna into her first finals in the hammer and discus at the NCAA meet," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "She's starting to be very consistent, and that's what we need for her future development. John Frazier has done an excellent job keeping her focused, and now hopefully she can go ahead and throw her best on Friday and finish in the top eight."

The 4x100m relay unit, with sophomore Tiki James running the first leg in place of the injured Courtney Champion, took care of business and earned a lane in Friday's 4:40 p.m. PT (7:40 ET) money race. James, running for the initial time with a non-hurdles relay at UT, got the Lady Vols off to a good start. Freshman Lynne Layne and juniors LaTonya Loche and Cleo Tyson finished the job in 44.67 to place the Big Orange second in heat two and seventh-fastest of the eight advancing teams.

"It was a great job for the 4x100m relay team to record at 44.67 without Courtney Champion," Clark said. "I am just very happy to see that they were able to function even though one of the top athletes (Champion) went down at the regional meet. We're still very functional, and I am hoping they can run sub-44 in the finals."

Layne was in action later in the day in the 100-meter dash, but things did not go as planned. The rookie was unable to advance out of the qualifying round, winding up fourth in heat two and 24th overall in 11.62. She will get another shot on Thursday, as she potentially faces two races in the 200 meters, beginning with the first round at 3:50 p.m. PT (6:50 p.m. ET).

Sophomore Celriece Law also had a shorter-than-expected day in the 100m hurdles. Her 13.39 effort left her sixth in heat two and 21st overall, three places shy of moving along to the semifinals later in the evening.

In the first round of the 400 meters, Loche also came up short. Her 53.93 output ranked her third in heat one and 21st overall. She will now focus all of her attention on aiding UT's 4x1 quartet on Friday.

In addition to Layne, UT is slated to have Thursday competitors in sophomore Sarah Bowman and freshman Rose-Anne Galligan in the semifinals of the 1500m run.

Still suffering from the effects of a hamstring strain she suffered in practice the day before the NCAA Mideast Regional two weekends ago, Nia Ali was scratched from the heptathlon Thursday.

The Philadelphia native, who won the SEC Championships heptathlon with a score of 5,490 and qualified for the NCAA meet in her first-ever attempt at that event in early May, tried out the leg Wednesday at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex. The consensus from Ali and the UT coaching staff was that the leg was not ready for the rigors of the seven-event, two-day competition and would expose her to further injury.

At the Mideast Regional, Ali also was unable to run in the 100m hurdles, preventing her from qualifying for the NCAA Championships in that event. She was an indoor All-American and is the school record-holder in the 60m hurdles at 8.13.

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