2:35 p.m. - After running across campus to make it to Nutter Fieldhouse for our 2:30 p.m. deadline, (freshman jumper) Todd Nibbs and I arrived through the door a mere five minutes late unnoticed. As we walked in the door, our fellow jump squad members greet us. Jokes and laughter cover our nerves. (Freshman jumper) Brittany Britt ruins the conversation by asking if the University of North Carolina was going to be at the track meet but then quickly retracts her statement when she realizes they weren't in the SEC. We won't let her live this down. UK freshman Daniel ("D-Bucks") Buckles will be competing in his first SEC conference meet at 3:15 p.m. with the 60-meter dash
3:15 p.m. - (Freshman jumper) Ryan ("Big Country") Ratliff finally found his camo UK hat just in time for the SEC meet. (Senior pole vaulter) Sam Stenzel, joking tells the crew to cut out our attitudes, but we quickly responded by tell her to "skit" (a term used for everything, basically meaning "get out of here with that") Over the intercom, we heard Daniel's name and quickly ran over to see him compete. As they introduce him to the crowd, he rubs his lucky tights for good luck and settles in to the blocks. He ended up with a PR (personal record) in his first event of the day. In the second heat, Gray Horn from Florida, last year's champion, is announced as well as Gunnar Nixon, the freshman from Arkansas who currently owns the World Junior Record for the heptathlon.
3:55 p.m. - I walk passed Coach (Sammy) Dabbs, UK's men's sprints coach asking him why he upgraded his normal chewing toothpick to a much larger chopstick. I quickly flee the scene towards the long jump pit to avoid his humiliating jokes. Last minute runs throughs occurred when the long jump judge yelled "five minutes." There are three jumps per athlete in this competition, unlike the six for normal long jump competitions. Horn jumps 7.50m two times in a row, which is only 10 cm away from the SEC heptathlon long jump record. Buckles, the third jumper, steps on the runway and the Kentucky crowd stands to its feet, giving him an energy boost for his first jump. On his second attempt, Buckles leaps to 6.25 meters.
4:30 p.m. - What was supposed to be a jump squad lunch/dinner turned into a bros-only lunch as Todd Nibbs, Ryan Ratliff and I rode up to Fazoli's before Daniel's last event. We smashed the alfredo and breadsticks in a matter of seconds upon them being placed on our table.
5:15 p.m. - As we finished our meals and were preparing to leave, a lady in her late 50s to early 60s walked in and told us good luck and that she was proud of us. A short conversation followed, but after being recognized as athletes, our ears shut down due to pure excitement. It's not every day that something like that happens because it's usually the basketball team who gets noticed in that sort of way.
6:00 p.m. - Daniel Buckles, competing in his fourth event of the day with high jump, cleared his season-best height on his first attempt. The rest of the jump crew and I were so excited every time he cleared a bar. With increased confidence, the bar was raised five inches above his season best. With the crew's support and the loud chant of "Let's Go D-Bucks," he soared over the bar on his first attempt. The UK crowd erupted as we banged on the plastic fence enclosing the high jump area, anxiously waiting to shake his hand. His three attempts at the next height were extremely close but unfortunately, he was unsuccessful. He got off the mat with a smile of his face and walked over to us so we could congratulate him on his performance.
8:30 p.m. - Now being back at the dorm (Kirwan Tower), Todd Nibbs and I, still hype from his performance, gave his a quick motivational speech for the next day and sent him on his way. Minutes later, I knocked on his door to ask him some questions for the diary but he didn't answer. I don't blame him though; he's had a long day.