THREE VOLS, ONE RELAY QUALIFY FOR NATIONAL FINALS AT NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Courtesy / UT Athletics

THREE VOLS, ONE RELAY QUALIFY FOR NATIONAL FINALS AT NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

EUGENE, Ore. – The 11th-ranked Tennessee men’s track & field program opened the 2024 NCAA Outdoor Championships with three UT athletes and one Vol relay squad advancing to national finals to highlight Day 1 performances at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Additionally, the Big Orange collected three Second Team All-America certificates from three events on Wednesday.

A pair of veteran Vol standouts advanced to the NCAA 400-meter hurdles final, beginning with UT graduate student Clement Ducos automatically qualifying with his Heat 3 victory in 48.64 seconds. The Bordeaux, France, native finished first in his race against two teammates and the reigning national champion from Alabama, setting the stage for a promising final that will take place Friday at approximately 10:27 p.m. ET.

Fifth-year senior Ja’Kwan Hale qualified for his first career NCAA final as an individual in the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 49.88 seconds in the third heat. The Derby, Connecticut, native earned the second of three qualifying marks on time and placed eighth overall in the national semifinal for the Vols.

UT was one of three programs with multiple qualifiers to the 2024 NCAA 400-meter hurdles final, joining Alabama and Texas Tech in accomplishing the feat.

In the 400-meter dash semifinal, Memphis native and fifth-year standout Emmanuel Bynum grabbed a qualifying spot with his mark of 45.50 seconds. The performance took third in his heat and placed eighth in the field, booking his trip to the national 400-meter final (Friday, 10:02 p.m. ET) for the second year in a row. Last season, Bynum took a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships with a lifetime-best clocking of 44.49.

The Big Orange capped Night 1 in Oregon with the men’s 4×400-meter relay quartet of Ducos, Christian Parker, Bynum and Rasheeme Griffith advancing to the NCAA final after placing eighth overall and third in their heat. The group combined for a time of 3:04.28, led by a 45.05 split from Bynum on the third leg of the race. The Vols will conclude the men’s portion of the meet at 11:21 p.m. ET Friday in the national relay final.

A trio of Vols collected Second Team All-America status with their top-16 placements on Wednesday, beginning with T’Mars McCallum earning his first career All-America honor in the 100-meter dash semifinal. The sophomore from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, finished 15th overall with a time of 10.29 into a -0.3 m/s headwind.

Prior to anchoring the Vols’ 4×400-meter relay, Griffith took 13th in the 400-meter hurdles semifinal with a time of 50.22. The Bridgetown, Barbados, native has totaled seven career All-America certificates during his five-year career on Rocky Top.

In the men’s javelin final, true freshman Kevin Burr Jr. finished 11th nationally with his heave of 70.61 meters (231-8). The mark registered his second career throw further than 70 meters after establishing the UT freshman record in the event (71.49m / 234-6) two weeks prior at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. The Eastampton, New Jersey, native became UT’s first All-American in the men’s javelin since Kyle Quinn placed 10th in 2013.

UP NEXT: The 18th-ranked Lady Vols begin women’s competition at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Thursday, starting at 9 p.m. ET with junior school record holder Sarah Schmitt in the women’s pole vault final. Day 2 of the national meet will wrap up at approximately 11:48 p.m. with the women’s 4×400-meter relay semifinal.