Alvarez Aranda Shatters UT Freshman Discus Record In Debut

Alvarez Aranda Shatters UT Freshman Discus Record In Debut

ORLANDO, Fla. – The 2024 outdoor track & field season started off in historic fashion as Tennessee’s Aron Alvarez Aranda broke the program’s all-time freshman record in the men’s discus on Friday at the UCF Black & Gold Invitational. The 20-year-old from Bloemfontein, South Africa, heaved a mark of 58.02 meters (190-4) to earn the victory in his first career collegiate competition.
Alvarez Aranda’s best throw came in the second round and marked his personal best for the 2kg discus by nearly nine feet. In addition to etching his name as the top freshman performer in school history, the rookie now ranks No. 8 overall in Tennessee history while his mark stands second nationally two weeks into the 2024 outdoor season.

Two additional UT athletes picked up first-place finishes on Friday at the UCF Track & Field Complex. Evan Puckett won the men’s pole vault with a lifetime-best jump of 5.33 meters (17-5.75) in his Tennessee debut, clearing every bar on the way to break a tie with Kansas’ Anthony Meacham at the top of the leaderboard. On the women’s side, Brianna White was victorious for the Lady Vols in the 200-meter dash with a PR time of 23.10 seconds, which currently ranks No. 2 in the NCAA during the 2024 outdoor season.
Coming off a podium finish three weeks ago at the SEC Indoor Championships, Lady Vol pole vault standout Sarah Schmitt took home a second-place finish with her clearance of 4.15 meters (13-7.25) in Orlando. The result was good for a new outdoor PR and tied the No. 5 performer in Tennessee history.
Another rookie thrower shined for the Big Orange in his college debut as Kevin Burr Jr. posted a PR of 68.59m (225-0) to take second in the men’s javelin competition. The mark topped his previous best by 21 feet and was less than eight feet behind the program’s rookie record of 70.96m (232-10) set by Leigh Smith in 2001. Burr’s performance ranks No. 9 on Tennessee’s all-time list and No. 4 in the country this season.

Four Vols rounded out Day 1 of the Black & Gold Invite in the men’s 200-meter dash, led by sophomore Aaron Bell’s clocking of 20.91 second to finish third overall. The Jacksonville, Florida, native dipped under 21 seconds for the first time as a Vol, and his time currently ranks third in the NCAA this outdoor season.
PR TRACKER: Nine members of the Tennessee track & field program established outdoor personal records on Friday at the UCF Black & Gold Invitational.

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