Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, April 29:
Softball: Chanda Bell
Senior Chanda Bell simply had the best pitching performance of the season during the most critical stages of the year for the Wildcats. With UK needing to stay close to .500 for the season for any post-season hope, UK traveled to No. 2 Florida who had not yielded a single SEC series this season. Bell opened the series as UK's starter and pitched a four-hit shutout of the Gators - only the fourth time all season Florida had been shutout. She struck out eight in the contest and gave up just one walk. After Florida evened the series on Saturday, UK turned to its senior right-hander in the rubber game. Bell simply was masterful; she struck out a season-high 13 batters and gave up just one run to the powerful Gators. Three times in the game she struck out the side. The 13 strikeouts tossed against Florida was the second-highest total of the year for any pitcher. She walked just one batter in the contest and for the weekend struck out 10.5 batters for every one she walked. The Gators stranded eight in the game including four in scoring position and every time it appeared Florida would threaten, Bell stood her ground and escaped the jams. For her career, she now sits a mere 13 strikeouts away from recording 900 for her career. She's the only pitcher in UK history to throw 150 or more strikeouts in each of her four seasons.
Track & field: Raymond Dykstra
- Finished fourth in the men's javelin throw championship at the famous Penn Relays.
- Threw 229-10 in the javelin at the championship at the Penn Relays, which would be the second-best javelin mark in school history (he currently holds the top mark).
Track & field: Andrew Evans
- Won the men's discus championship at the famous Penn Relays with a throw of 185-06/56.56m.
- Has led the Wildcats all season, currently holding the seventh best discus mark in UK history (188-10).
Track & field: Luis Orta
- Ran a career-best time in the men's 3,000m steeplechase.
- Ran the second-fastest time in the men's 3,000m steeplechase in school history.
- Finished with the third-fastest time in his heat amongst collegiate athletes.
- Was competing in arguably the most competitive distance running meet in the country.
Softball: Rachel Riley
Senior Rachel Riley provided both an offensive spark as well as one in the pitching circle to help lead the Wildcats to a series-upset of No. 2 Florida as well as earning a non-conference win over Morehead State. Against the Eagles, Riley tossed a complete-game win, striking out seven and giving up just three hits while also going 2-for-3 at the dish in an all-important win. In the opening game of the Florida series she drove in a run with a slicing single to give UK a 2-0 lead in the third inning. In the second game of the series, she notched another hit while also working 5.0 innings of relief and giving up just one earned run and striking out four. In the rubber game between the squads, Riley delivered the game-winning sixth-inning bases-clearing double to propel UK to a 5-1 upset of the Gators. It marked just the first time this season Florida has dropped a conference series, and the four-run margin was the largest win of the season for a Gator opponent. With four RBI this weekend, Riley has now driven in a career-high 30 RBI as well as logging a career-best 44 hits. Her 11 strikeouts tossed on the week runs her season total to a career-best 73. With three walks this week, Riley has now moved into UK's all-time top-10 list for career walks.
Track & field: Jennifer Svoboda
- Finished fifth in the women's shot put championship with a season-best mark of 50-10 at the famous Penn Relays.
- Threw a season-best mark in the shot put (50-10/15.49m).
- Has led the Wildcats all season in the shot put.
Track & field: Keilah Tyson
- Broke the Kentucky 100m dash freshman record for the second time this year.
- Her time of 11.48 in the 100m dash is a career-best and the third best in school history.
- Finished 1st in her heat in the 100m dash at the famous Penn Relays.
- Finished 2nd in the 100m dash championship at the Penn Relays, running a UK freshman record in the process.
- Has the fastest 100m time among freshmen in the SEC, and the eighth fastest overall.
- Has set four freshman records at Kentucky, including two this outdoor season (100m dash and 200m dash).
- Ran the second leg in Kentucky's first-place 4x100m relay team in the second final of the event.
- Ran the final leg in Kentucky's seventh-place 4x200m relay team that advanced to the championship.