PHILADELPHIA – Carson-Newman track and field athletes TJ Davis (Ooltewah, Tenn.) and Tanner Stepp (Jefferson City, Tenn.) will participate in the 2015 Penn Relays after stellar performances from each athlete earned them an invite to one of the most prestigious events in America.
Davis will compete in the long jump, while Stepp's event will be the high jump.
Stepp earned first place with a 6'11 ½ jump in his first outdoor event of the season at the Power Sox Invitational. He not only broke his own personal and school records, but the Irwin Belk Track's facility record as well. His jump is fourth in Division II this year. He garnered Indoor All-American honors with a fifth-place finish at the Indoor National Championships. He also finished sixth in the event at the Tennessee Relays, a Division I event.
"It's an honor to get accepted to such a big meet and get to compete against such high-caliber athletes," Stepp said.
Davis has recorded two wins and two second-place finishes in the long jump. He registered wins at the Sewanee Invitational and the Tiger Indoor Meet. His best jump in an outdoor meet reached 7.03 meters at the Shorter Invitational, which is the 44th best jump in Division II. His jump placed him second at that event. Most recently, he placed 17th at the Tennessee Relays.
"I feel really excited to be on that level with all the other great athletes in the nation. For me to be in that position to go out and showcase my talents is really awesome," Davis said.
The Penn Relays will take place on April 23-25 in Philadelphia at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Carson-Newman is only two teams from the South Atlantic Conference to be invited to participate, Lenior-Rhyne will be the other school representing. The top athletes from elementary school-aged children to Olympic athletes will be competing. The Penn Relays were first hosted in 1895. The 2015 edition of the Relays will be the 120th in the history.