Rookie teammate Taylor Rotella (Knoxville/Bearden), competing in her first collegiate meet, placed 23rd at 42-6 3/4, just under an inch shy of her career best.
In the pole vault, Essex (Purcellville, Va.) earned a second-place finish by clearing 11 feet, 11 3/4 inches. She came into the competition at that height, and it took her two tries to sail over the bar.
Kentucky's Maggie Tincher won with that same clearance. The Wildcat vaulter, however, needed only one try to get over that height before failing at three attempts at 12-5 1/2.
Lady Vol sophomores Jennifer Lewellen (Kernersville, N.C.) and Katie O'Connell (Collierville, Tenn.), representing the Orange and White for the first time at a meet, placed 13th and 16th, respectively, with marks of 10-6 and 10-0.
A full slate of competition begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and concludes around 5:30 p.m.