Coleman wins sec outdoor runner of the year

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Tennessee junior sprinter Christian Coleman was named SEC Outdoor Men’s Runner of the Year as the conference office announced their annual awards on Wednesday. Coleman was also named to the All-SEC First Team while throwers Stamatia Scarvelis and Matthew Zajac were named to the All-SEC Second Team. Tristan Slater earned a spot on the All-SEC Freshman Team.

Coleman earned the award after winning the SEC Championship in both the 100m and 200m dashes. In doing so, the Atlanta native became the first collegian to ever run record wind-legal times under 10 seconds in the 100m and under 20 seconds in the 200m on the same day. His marks of 9.97 and 19.98 were the nation’s best times when he recorded them. Coleman earned the 2017 SEC Commissioner’s Trophy as the high point scorer at the SEC Championship.

This past weekend at the NCAA East Prelims, Coleman bettered both times. He posted a 100m mark of 9.96, the fastest wind-legal time in NCAA this year and the ninth-fastest in collegiate history. He followed that performance with a staggering mark of 19.85 in the 200m while running into a headwind. The 200m times is the second best in collegiate history and the best time recorded in the world this year. The 200m time allowed Coleman to move past Justin Gatlin for the Tennessee school and for second place in collegiate history. Gatlin ran a time of 19.86 at the 2002 SEC Championship.

Coleman is undefeated in all individual event finals in 2017 and owns the fifth-fastest 100m in the world this year. He also owns three of the 10 fastest 200m times in the world this year and is the only person who is on the list more than once. In the NCAA this year, there have only been five wind-legal times under 10 seconds recorded and Coleman has three of those. In the 200m, only three times has a student-athlete posted a wind-legal time under 20 seconds and Coleman has done it twice.

During the indoor season, Coleman was named USTFCCCA National Indoor Runner of the Year and South Region Runner of the Year. He has also earned five SEC Runner of the Week awards and two USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week awards this year. The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame will honor Coleman as their Amateur Athlete of the Year later this week in Nashville.

Scarvelis earned All-SEC Second Team honors after taking second place in the hammer throw with a toss of 63.79m (209-3) at the SEC Outdoor Championship. The Santa Barbara, California native also placed fourth in the shot put with a throw of 16.25m (53-3.75). Scarvelis qualified for the NCAA Championship in the hammer after a spectacular sophomore season that saw her set the Tennessee School Record. Scarvelis broke a 10-year-old school record and has surpassed the previous mark six times during the season with her best mark of 65.26m (214-1) coming at the SEC Relays.

Zajac notched All-SEC Second Team honors after a breakthrough performance at the SEC Championship. He recorded a personal best throw of 58.22m (191-0) to take third place in the discus competition and earn the Vols six points. He has improved throughout the year setting personal bests at four meets this year, the junior from Lynchburg, Virginia also earned his first career berth at the NCAA Championship as he finished 11th at the NCAA East Prelims to book his spot in Eugene.

Slater was named to the All-SEC Freshman team after finishing in a tie for sixth place at the SEC Championship. Slater cleared the pole vault bar at 5.07m (16-7.75) and was the top freshman finisher in the competition. That mark was just off his career best mark of 5.10m (16-8.75), came earlier this year at the Tennessee Relays.

Coleman, Scarvelis and Zajac will join 11 other Vols who are headed to Eugene for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships from June 7-10 at historic Hayward Field.

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