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Former Olympians, UT track stars to help Volunteer kick off season

STAFF REPORT • Feb 15, 2019 at 12:00 PM

CHURCH HILL — Who better to help inspire Volunteer High School track athletes than two former Olympians and University of Tennessee stars who helped lead the Vols to an NCAA outdoor team title in 1991?

The Volunteer track team will host a season kickoff banquet on Tuesday, Feb. 19  at 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Church Hill.

The banquet will feature two NCAA champions and Olympians: Tony Parilla and Aric Long.

Aside from being former Tennessee Volunteers who were also a part of the 1991 NCAA outdoor track championship team, Parrilla and Long also competed in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and Parrilla also made the 1996 team that competed in Atlanta.

Parilla won four NCAA titles in the 800 meters including the NCAA indoor title in 1994 and three consecutive NCAA outdoor titles in 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Parilla also made two Olympic teams and competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta in the 800 meter run. His time of 1:43.97 in the 800 still stands as a school record at UT.

Long won the NCAA decathlon track championship in Eugene, Oregon, to help propel UT to the NCAA outdoor team title in 1991. Long also competed in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

“It is quite an honor to have two of the all-time great Tennessee track athletes scheduled to speak to our Volunteer High School track team,” said head coach Jim Ailshie. “We need to raise the level of expectations on our track team, and I really believe these guys will provide the words of wisdom to motivate our student-athletes to outstanding performances. We are truly blessed to have these two outstanding individuals visit and speak in Hawkins County.”

A barbeque dinner will be served at the banquet.

Tickets for the event are $15 and can be purchased through the school at (423) 357-3641.

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