Men's basketball -The Wildcats continued to reverse their road fortunes tallying an 86-52 win in Columbia, S.C., over the South Carolina Gamecocks for their fifth-straight road win. It marks the longest such streak in league play since the 2004-05 team ran off five-straight wins away from Rupp Arena in the SEC. - Anthony Davis just missed a triple-double in the win, scoring a game-high 22 points, while pulling down eight rebounds and blocking eight shots, both game highs. - Doron Lamb added 18 points, a season-high in league play, while Terrence Jones finished with 16 points, all coming in the first half. Jones also added six rebounds and four assists. Kyle Wiltjer chipped in 12 points, to round out the UK double-digit scorers. - UK shot 51.6 pct. from the field, while holding South Carolina to 30.5 pct. from the field.
Women's basketball - Kentucky went 1-1 last week with an 82-41 win over Ole Miss in Lexington and a 61-51 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge. The Ole Miss win gave the Wildcats their 18th consecutive victory at home, a winning streak that ranks fourth in school history and ties for sixth nationally. UK forced an SEC-high 36 turnovers in the game, breaking the previous record of 30 set vs. Auburn on Jan. 26. - Freshman guard Bria Goss led four players in double figures with a team-high 19 points to go along with three steals. Her 17 double-figure scoring games this season are tied for the sixth most in UK freshman history. - On Sunday, UK struggled to find its offensive rhythm as it scored a season-low 18 points in the first half vs. the LSU and shot just 35.0 percent (21-of-60) for the game. The loss snapped UK's school-record 13-game SEC winning streak and gave the Cats their first loss in conference play this season. - The Wildcats' 21-3 start ties their best start in program history. UK also began the 1982-83 season at 21-3 UK is just one win away from tying the most SEC wins in school history at 11. Rifle - The rifle team completed its regular-season with two wins in Morgantown, W.Va., during the weekend. The wins over West Virginia and N.C. State clinching UK's second consecutive GARC regular-season championship. - UK finished 6-0 in conference play for the second consecutive season, with its win on Friday vs. WVU coming as a matchup of the only remaining conference unbeatens. Following the win vs. WVU, UK was guaranteed of the conference title, completing the undefeated league slate with a win over N.C. State on Saturday. - UK was led on the weekend by strong performances from Emily Holsopple, Henri Junghanel and Ethan Settlemires.
Gymnastics - The gymnastics team continued to show its improvement by tying its season-high team score of 195.05 in a dual-meet loss at No. 14 LSU on Friday. The Wildcats have now eclipsed the 195 mark in two consecutive meets for the first time since the beginning of the 2010 season. - UK was led in the meet by all-around competitors sophomore Audrey Harrison and freshman Alexis Gross, who each posted career-high scores in the all-around. Harrison earned a 39.125, while Gross posted a 38.975. - Sophomore Holly Cunningham performed extremely well for the Wildcats, sticking her vault to earn a career-high 9.85 and then finishing off the meet by going 9.8 on balance beam. UK defeated the top-15 ranked Tigers on beam with a team score of 48.875, while the Wildcats posted a season-high 48.75 on floor exercise. - The Wildcats again used 18 or more routines from freshmen or sophomores and have now used at least 18 routines from underclassmen in every meet this season. UK also set or tied nine season and career highs in the meet.
Men's tennis - The men's tennis team has started the season with an 8-0 record and is off to its best start in the 30-year tenure of head coach Dennis Emery. UK posted two wins over the week, defeating No. 12 Pepperdine 4-2 and Abilene Christian 7-0 on Sunday. - Three Wildcats earned singles wins over ranked foes against Pepperdine led by senior No. 13 Alex Musialek's win over No. 21 Sebastian Fanselow. Fellow senior No. 5 Eric Quigley took down No. 35 Finn Tearney, while junior No. 36 Anthony Rossi defeated No. 49 Mousheg Hovhannisyan. Sophomore No. 111 Alejandro Gomez clinched the match for UK against PU with his 6-1, 6-1 win over Daivd Sofaer. - The win against Pepperdine marked Kentucky's 21st win over a top-25 opponent dating back to the 2009 season, while both wins extended UK's home record over the past four years to 49-9. - Against Abilene Christian, Kentucky received singles wins from Quigley, Gomez, sophomores Grant Roberts, Maks Gold and Ryuji Hirooka, and freshman Brett Johnson. UK also got doubles wins from Gold/Hirooka and Matt Davis/Roberts.
Track and field - The men's and women's track and field teams competed in their third meet of the indoor season Friday and Saturday, as they headed north for the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind. - Keilah Tyson, the reigning SEC Women's Freshman of the Week, broke her second UK freshman record in as many weeks. Tyson competed in her first 200-meter dash of her collegiate career, winning the race with a time of 23.93. Tyson's time is the third best 200m dash in UK history. The Norfolk, Va., native also had the seventh best long jump mark (6.08m/19-11.50) in school history. - Junior Walter Luttrell shattered his career-best time in the 5,000m run Friday en route to winning the event with a 14:14.35, the fifth fastest time in UK history. Luttrell's time is the top time in the SEC this season. - Junior Darryl Bradshaw ran a career-best time in the finals of the 60m hurdles, finishing sixth with a time of 8.01. Bradshaw's time is the sixth fastest in Kentucky history.
Swimming and diving - Louisville defeated UK on the men's side with a final tally of 188-107, and also took home the win on the women's side 183-107. - Kentucky was led by its divers, as three of the four diving competitions were Wildcat victories. Greg Ferrucci took home first in both events, claiming a 366.30 on the three meter, and earning a 353.17 on the one meter. - Tyler Reed had yet another impressive meet in his senior campaign, as Reed placed second in the 100-free tapping in at 44.79, and also recorded a fourth-place finish in the 50-free with a time of 20.85. - Megan Eppler finished first in the 50-freestyle tapping in at 23.36, while also taking first in the 100-freestyle turning a time of 50.84. - The meet in Louisville served as the Wildcats final dual meet of the season, as UK's focus now shifts towards the SEC Championships Feb. 15-18 in Knoxville, Tenn. Women's tennis - Women's tennis continued its nine-game homestand, hosting Purdue and Miami (Ohio) over the weekend. - The Cats fell to Purdue, 6-1, but defeated Miami (Ohio), 4-1. - Freshman Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff had a strong performance in doubles. With the help of Caitlin McGraw against Purdue and Khrisina Blajkevitch against Miami (Ohio), Morin-Kougoucheff grabbed victories at the No. 1 doubles position in both matches.
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Jan. 29:
Track & field: Terence Boyd
Freshman Terence Boyd had a strong weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial, recording the seventh best mark in UK history in the long jump Friday, and the eighth best mark in UK history in the triple jump Saturday.
Men's basketball: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis helped lead the Wildcats to a 2-0 mark on the week, both wins coming on the road ... Moved to second on the all-time SEC freshman blocks list with eight blocks on the week ... Has now totaled 101 blocks on the season, 14 shy of the SEC freshman record ... Pulled down double-figure rebounds against Georgia, the 11th time this season ... Davis tallied his 11th double-double of the season in helping lead UK to its 13th straight win of the season over LSU ... Davis is currently one of only four freshmen in the SEC since 1990 to average 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game
Men's tennis: Alejandro Gomez
With UK holding a 3-1 lead in a key match against No. 22 Tulsa and play at No. 2 and No. 6 singles also in a third set, sophomore Alejandro Gomez took matters into his own hands, dominating Tristan Jackson for a 6-0 win to clinch the match and send Kentucky to the National Indoor Team Championships. The native of Cali, Colombia, won the first set 6-3, before Tristan Jackson returned the favor in the second set with a 6-3 win. Gomez would break early in the third set to take a 2-0 lead and never looked back, earning the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.
Track & field: Terri-Ann Grant
Senior Terri-Ann Grant won the high jump, setting a personal record in the event, eclipsing 1.82m/5-11.50, the second best high jump mark in program history.
Gymnastics: Alexis Gross
Helped Kentucky earn a season-best team scored against Illinois-Chicago with career-high scores on vault, uneven bars, balance beam and in the all-around. Gross started the meet strong with a 9.775 on bars and followed that with a 9.6 on vault. The native of Pasadena, Md., finished the night with a 9.725 on floor and a 9.775 on beam for a career high all-around score of 38.875.
Men's basketball: Darius Miller
Tallied a pair of double-figure scoring games in helping Kentucky to two road wins on the week ... Scored a season-high 19 points in win at Georgia going 4-4 from 3-point range and shooting 87.5 percent from the field ... Miller followed that with another double-digit performance in UK's win over LSU ... His 13 points pushed him to 1,081 for his career moving into Kentucky's top 50 (48th) all-time scorers.
Men's tennis: Eric Quigley
After earning two singles wins Tuesday against No. 29 Indiana and Eastern Kentucky senior Eric Quigley has earned his 145th career singles win to stand alone on top of Kentucky's all-time career singles wins list. Quigley earned win 144 when he defeated Josh MacTaggart of Indiana in three sets and then broke the record with a straight-sets win over Niklas Schroeder of EKU. Quigley's victories Tuesday give him a 145-44 career record, passing former UK All-American Paul Varga for first all-time in career singles wins at Kentucky. Varga, who played from 1982-85, ended his career with a 144-80 record and has held the title as the winningest singles player in school history for over 27 years.
Track & field: Keilah Tyson
Freshman sprinter Keilah Tyson broke the women's indoor 60-meter dash freshman school record Saturday with a time of 7.36 at the Rod McCravy Memorial meet. Tyson's race tied the third fastest time in program history. The Norfolk, Va., native broke the record previously set by Kentucky great Passion Richardson, who went on to help the United States 4x100 relay team win bronze at the 2000 summer Olympic games in Sydney.
Men's basketball - Kentucky won its 13th straight game and fourth straight on the road, traveling to Baton Rouge, La., and collecting a 74-50 win over LSU. - Terrence Jones had his strongest game of the season, scoring a season-high 27 points and narrowly missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Jones also blocked a game-high tying three shots. - Anthony Davis posted a double-double, his 11th, tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks and two steals. Darius Miller also scored in double-figures, finishing with 13 points. - UK held LSU to 39.6 pct. from the field, the 14th time this season the Cats have held its opponent below 40 pct. Women's basketball - Kentucky improved to 20-2, 9-0 SEC with wins over Auburn and Alabama last week. This is the first time in program history UK has started conference play 9-0 and UK's 20-2 start ties its best start in program history through the first 22 games. Kentucky's best start to a season was in 1982-83 (21-2). The Wildcats have also won a school-record 12 straight SEC games dating back to last season, including seven in a row at home. - UK defeated Auburn on the road last Thursday 66-48, paced by junior A'dia Mathies' team-high 20 points and sophomore Samarie Walker's career-high 15 rebounds. UK forced the Tigers into 30 turnovers, the most in league play in the Matthew Mitchell era. - On Sunday, Kentucky earned its third consecutive 20-win season with an 82-68 win over Alabama. The balanced scoring effort was led by senior Keyla Snowden with 14 points, while Mathies and freshman Bria Goss added 13 and 11 points, respectively. UK forced the Tide into 25 turnovers, resulting in 29 points for the Wildcats. - UK's current 17-game home winning streak is the fourth longest in program history. The Wildcats will play host to Ole Miss on Thursday before hitting the road for three straight away contests.
Gymnastics - The youth-filled Kentucky gymnastics team continued to show its improvement over the weekend when it earned a dual-meet victory against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday with a season-high score of 195.05. The high mark was the best in a regular-season dual meet on the road since the 2011 squad went 195.05 at Ohio State. It is also the highest team score in a dual-meet road victory since March of 2010. - Kentucky posted season-high team scores on bars and beam, earning a 48.825 on bars to crush the previous season high of 48.5. On beam, Kentucky earned a team score of 48.975, which is tied for the 12th-highest beam score in school history and the highest since the 2009 team posted a 49.1 on March 15 in Alaska. UK's gymnasts did well on every event, setting or tying 17 season highs and 14 career highs in the meet. - Three Wildcats took home event title honors. Sophomore Holly Cunningham finishing first on vault with a 9.825, while junior Caitlyn Ciokajlo and senior Storey Morris finished first on uneven bars and balance beam, respectively. Sophomore Audrey Harrison and freshman Alexis Gross competed in the all-around competition and both earned career-high marks. Harrison scored a 39.0, while Gross posted a 38.875.
Men's tennis - Kentucky kicked off its home portion of the 2012 spring schedule with a very successful week, going 4-0 overall with three wins over teams ranked in the top 60 in the nation. - The Wildcats started the week with a 7-0 win over No. 29 Indiana in its home opener before taking down in-state foe Eastern Kentucky 6-0. Over the weekend, UK hosted the ITA Kickoff Weekend, where they defeated No. 57 North Carolina State 4-0 and No. 22 Tulsa 4-1 to earn a spot in the National Indoor Championships for the third consecutive season. - Senior Eric Quigley was the headline of the week early on, as he became the school's all-time winningest singles player with his 145th singles win on Tuesday against EKU. Quigley, who now owns a 147-44 career record, passed former UK great Paul Varga, who played from 1982-85, and ended his career with a 144-80 record. - Sophomore Alejandro Gomez was the star for Kentucky on Saturday as he clinched the decisive fourth point in UK's win over Tulsa. With the Wildcats holding a 3-1 lead and the remaining three singles matches in the third set, Gomez posted a 6-0 third-set win at No. 5 singles to seal the UK victory. The win moved UK to 47-9 at home since the start of the 2009 season and was the Wildcats' 20th victory over a top-25 team since 2009.
Track and field - Freshman sprinter Keilah Tyson broke the women's indoor 60-meter dash freshman school record Saturday with a time of 7.36 at the Rod McCravy Memorial meet. Tyson's race tied the third fastest time in program history. - Senior Terri-Ann Grant won the high jump, setting a personal record in the event, eclipsing 1.82m/5-11.50, the second best high jump mark in program history. - Freshman Terence Boyd had a strong weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial, recording the seventh best mark in UK history in the long jump Friday, and the eighth best mark in UK history in the triple jump Saturday. - Junior Luis Orta finished second in the men's 3,000m run with a time of 8:10.58, a career-best for the Caracas, Venezuela native, and the eighth best in school history.
Swimming and diving - Behind wins in 25 of 32 events, the University of Kentucky swimming and diving teams defeated the University of Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday at the Lancaster Aquatic Center with the men claiming a 192-101 win, and the women claiming a 169.5-116.5 win. - Tyler Reed led the Wildcats again on the men's side, swimming his best-ever time in a dual meet in the 50-freestyle, pacing the field with a 20.53 in that event. Also, in the 200-freestyle, Reed recorded a 1:38.95. - Greg Ferrucci posted a 418.65 in the one-meter competition, smashing his own school record by over 20 points. Ferrucci finished first in the one meter, and three-meter competitions, pacing the field with a 423.75 in the three-meter. The 423.75 was just six points shy of the UK program record, which Ferrucci owns.
Rifle - UK rifle competed in a pair of matches over the weekend, including a 4635-4566 win over Morehead State on Sunday at UK's Barker Hall. UK also shot in the Withrow Invitational, hosted by Murray State, on Friday. - In both matches, UK shot with a new starting lineup, featuring primarily freshmen and newcomers. In the win on Sunday, freshmen Elijah Ellis and Jonathan Pinkel led the way, with Pinkel setting new career highs in both guns. - Kentucky returns to its grueling spring semester road schedule, traveling to Morgantown, W.Va., for a pair of conference matches to conclude the regular season. UK will face West Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 4, before facing off with North Carolina State on Sunday, Feb. 5.
Thursday, Feb. 2 Women's basketball hosts Ole Miss - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 3 Swimming and diving at Louisville - 2:00 p.m. Gymnastics at LSU - 8:00 p.m. Track and field at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational Saturday, Feb. 4 Women's tennis hosts Purdue - Noon Men's basketball at South Carolina - 6:00 p.m. Rifle at West Virginia Track and field at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational Sunday, Feb. 5 Men's tennis hosts Pepperdine - Noon Women's basketball at LSU - 3:00 p.m. Women's tennis hosts Miami (OH) - 4:00 p.m. Men's tennis hosts Abilene Christian - 6:00 p.m. Rifle vs. NC State (Morgantown, W. Va.)
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Jan. 15:
Men's basketball: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis helped lead the Wildcats to a 2-0 mark on the road this week, the only team in the league to win a pair of games on the road this week ... Davis tallied eight blocks on the week moving him to within one block of the UK single-season record after only 18 games ... Leads the league in blocks and field goal percentage ... He did break the UK freshman record for blocks this week ... Davis helped lead the Cats in a come-from-behind wins at Auburn and at Tennessee, scoring game-high 14 points at Auburn and a game-high 18 points at Tennessee ... Scored in double-figures in seven-straight games and eight of the last nine.
Swimming & diving: Greg Ferrucci
Greg Ferrucci led the Wildcats on the diving platforms this weekend, winning three of the four events he competed in. The reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman Diver of the Year scored a 327.98 on the one-meter, leading Kentucky. Ferrucci finished second in the three-meter competition, recording a 334.43, only falling short of fellow teammate John Fox who won the event with a 351.08.
Ferrucci won both the three-meter and the one-meter competitions in Atlanta, Ga., against Emory University, recording a 429.90 on the 3m, and a 405.30 on the 1m.
Women's basketball: A'dia Mathies
Scored a career-high 34 points vs. No. 6/7 Tennessee, and grabbed nine boards, one shy of tying a career high. Also dished out two assists, blocked two shots and had two steals.
Hit the game-winning shot vs. Tennessee with 4.2 seconds left to snap Tennessee's 36-game conference winning streak, give UK its first 4-0 start in conference play in program history, and give UK its third win over a top-10 ranked opponent this season, the first time the program has done that since 1982-83.
Her 34 points vs. Tennessee are the most points scored by a UK player since Dec. 20, 1987, when Bebe Croley scored 40 points vs. Morehead State.
First player to score 30 points in a game since Dec. 7, 2010 (Victoria Dunlap, 30, vs. Tennessee Tech).
Tied a career high with three blocks at No. 24/RV South Carolina, while also getting three steals.
Led UK in minutes played this week.
Has started in every game she has played this season.
Has reached double figures in scoring in 14 of 17 games she has played in.
No. 16 in scoring all-time at UK (1,208), and is just seven points shy of tying Stacy McIntyre at No. 15.
No. 9 in steals all-time at UK (220), and is just four steals shy of tying Sandy Harding at No. 8.
Track and field: Keffri Neal
Finished with the second-fastest collegiate time in the men's 800m run at the Kentucky Invitational.
Has the third fastest freshman time in the SEC in the 800m run.
Ran the third leg of the 4x800-meter relay, helping lead the team to a second-place finish.
Track and field: Luis Orta
Ran a career-best time in the one-mile run of 4:09.59.
Finished in second in the one-mile run.
Has the fastest time in the mile in the SEC.
Has the 32nd fastest time in the country in the mile.
Men's tennis: Anthony Rossi
Kentucky men's tennis junior Anthony Rossi claimed the SEC Coaches' Indoor Championships singles title on Monday with an impressive win against No. 10 Sadio Doumbia of Georgia. The win helped Rossi become the first Kentucky player to win the singles title in the annual event since Adam Malik did it back in 1989. The UK star is only the second player in school history to win the event.
- The Wildcats return home for a pair
of league games this week beginning with Arkansas on Tuesday night. UK just
completed a two-game road stretch where they posted a 2-0 record, including a
65-62 win over Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday.
- Kentucky had to come from behind,
trailing the Volunteers by as many as eight in the second half, but the
Wildcats were up to the challenge, including freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist,
who led UK with his third double-double this season. He finished with 17 points
and a game-high 12 rebounds.
- Fellow freshman Anthony Davis was
named the SEC Freshman of the Week after he finished with a game-high 18 points
and added eight rebounds and four blocks, while Terrence Jones was the only
other Wildcat in double-figures with 10 points.
- Kentucky remains the only undefeated
team in the SEC at 5-0 after two hard-fought wins over No. 6/7 Tennessee and
No. 24/RV South Carolina last week. The Wildcats captured a one-point 61-60
victory over the Lady Vols on Thursday in Memorial Coliseum, snapping the Lady
Vols' 36-game SEC winning streak.
- Junior guard A'dia Mathies turned in
one of the most impressive individual performances in UK Hoops history in the
win by netting a career-best 34 points to go along with nine rebounds, two
assists, two blocks and two steals. She hit the game winner with 4.2 seconds remaining
to give UK its third win over top-10 team this season and first win over
Tennessee in five tries. For her efforts she was tabbed the SEC Player of the
- The Cats then defeated South
Carolina on the road, 66-58, marking their first win in Columbia, S.C. since 2009.
The balanced scoring effort was led by Keyla Snowden who came off the bench for
15 points and three steals. Ten of the 11 players who saw action scored at
least two points.
- Kentucky got strong outings from
Emily Holsopple and Ethan Settlemires to lead the defending national champion Kentucky
rifle team improved to 8-0 win a win at Army, 4693-4646, on Saturday at the
Tronsure Rifle Range.
- Kentucky opened its spring portion
of the schedule with the win at West Point, totaling a 2325 total smallbore
score and a 2368 total air rifle team tally.
- Holsopple and Settlemires led UK in
both guns, with the duo each charting a 585 in smallbore. Settlemires led UK in
air rifle with a 594, with Holsopple adding a 593. Also in air rifle, Henri
Junghänel finished with a 592, with Heather Greathouse recording a 592 and Stacy
Wheatley posting a 589. Katie Fretts finished with a 585 in air rifle.
Holsopple and Settlemires led UK with 585's, with Junghänel charting a 576, Greathouse
a 579, Wheatley a 572 and Fretts a 569.
- The No. 23 University of Kentucky
gymnastics team concluded its first Southeastern Conference meet of the season
by falling 196.650-191.975 to No. 11 Arkansas at Barnhill Arena in
- In all, Kentucky had 19 of 24
routines performed by freshmen and sophomores in the meet, while five Wildcats
made their collegiate debuts on an event in the meet.
- Kentucky's youth shined on vault
with freshman Kenzie Hedges leading the way with a 9.775, while sophomore Holly
Cunningham was second on the team and tied a career high with a 9.75. Freshman Sara
Shipley went second in the lineup and scored a 9.725, while sophomore Audrey
Harrison went 9.7. Senior Storey Morris posted a 9.65 followed by freshman Shelby
Hilton, who was making her collegiate debut, earning a 9.475. Kentucky scored a
48.6 as a team on the event.
- The Kentucky men's tennis team
completed a successful four-day run in the Southeastern Conference Coaches'
Indoor Championships with junior Anthony Rossi claiming the singles title at
the event. Rossi used a very workmanlike performance Monday to win the final
over the No. 10 Sadio Doumbia.
- Rossi becomes the first Kentucky
player to win the singles title in the annual event since Adam Malik did it back
in 1989. The UK star is only the second player in school history to win the
- Kentucky had a good showing at the
event overall with three singles players making the quarterfinals in Rossi, Eric
Quigley and Tom Jomby. UK also had two doubles tandems in the quarterfinals,
while sophomore Panav Jha and Quigley advanced to the doubles semifinals.
Track and field
- The Kentucky men's and women's track
and field programs began their seasons Friday and Saturday by hosting the
Kentucky Invitational at Nutter Field House.
- The Wildcats got strong performances
from its men's one-milers, as junior Luis Orta ran a personal-best and SEC-leading
time of 4:09.59 to finish in second. Sophomore Adam Kahleifeh finished fourth
with a time of 4:12.20.
- Freshman Bradley Szypka finished
second in the men's shot put with a throw of 16.28m/53-05.00, while junior Darryl
Bradshaw finished third in the 60-meter hurdles finals with a time of 8.18.
- The Wildcats placed in the top three
in six different events Saturday.
Swimming and diving
- The UK swimming and diving teams
combined to go 2-2 over the weekend, with both teams dropping an SEC dual meet
to Alabama on Saturday, but quickly rebounding to sweep Emory University on
- On Sunday in the women's
100-butterfly, UK had a dominating performance taking first through fifth.
Julia Gerotto led the way, recording a
time of 57.49, while Anna Mattox followed up with a 58.47 for second place.
Lindsay Lash, Abby Myers, and Diana Norkus rounded out the top-five for
- Overall on the weekend, Kentucky won
seven of the contested eight diving events. Sophomore Greg Ferrucci claimed
first place in three of the four events he was entered in.
- Women's tennis traveled to Honolulu,
Hawaii, for the Rainbow Wahine Spring Invitational.
- The team swept Kansas in doubles
play. The 34th-ranked duo of Khristina Blajkevitch and Jessica
Stiles took on the Kansas' 42nd-ranked doubles team of Monica Pezzotti and
Paulina Los, defeating them 8-4.
- Freshman Stephanie Fox faced
Washington State's 123rd-ranked Elizaveta Luzina and beat her in straight sets
with a score of 6-1, 6-3.
Tuesday, Jan. 17
Men's basketball hosts Arkansas - 9:00
Thursday, Jan. 19
Women's basketball at Georgia - 7:00
Friday, Jan. 20
Women's tennis hosts Marshall - Noon
Gymnastics hosts Florida - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21
Men's basketball hosts Alabama - Noon
Rifle at TCU
Sunday, Jan. 22
Women's tennis hosts Belmont - 11:00
Men's tennis vs. Michigan State - 2:00
In her first year as a competitive runner, Megan Broderick has emerged for UK's cross country team. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
For four years, Megan Broderick was the best player on the Kentucky tennis team. She played No. 1 singles each season, winning 64 matches and ranking as high as No. 55 in the nation before concluding her tennis career in the spring of 2011.
At that point, most athletes would be ready to call it a career, but Broderick just isn't built that way.
Instead, Broderick opted to take advantage of an NCAA rule that allowed student-athletes a fifth year of eligibility in a second sport, joining the cross country and track team for the 2011-12 season. The same competitiveness and determination that propelled her to a decorated tennis are what ultimately drove her to her second Division I career.
"Growing up, I played a lot of different sports and I've always had that competitive spirit in me," Broderick said. "It wasn't really a thought of mine whether I was going to fail or succeed. I just really wanted to do it. I thought that I could help the team in cross country and track."
To say Broderick has helped the team in her first two months as a competitive runner would be an understatement. In four races as a member of the cross country team, she has emerged as one of UK's top runners, finishing no worse than third among her Wildcat teammates.
"It's definitely a little bit of a surprise to me how well I'm doing right off the bat," Broderick said. "I owe a lot of that to the girls. They've really accepted me onto the team and the coaches and trainers have all done a great job working with me to allow me to be comfortable in the new environment."
Don Weber, head cross country and track coach, sees things a bit differently. He learned a great deal about Broderick's willpower and talent before taking her on the team, and had an inkling this kind of success would be on the horizon, but maybe not so quickly.
"I'm not really surprised she's doing well based upon what I know about her," Weber said, "but she's doing better than I thought she would do."
Chance training room meeting starts it all
Broderick was already planning on returning to UK for a fifth year. She had one class to finish up before her planned graduation in December and had heard about and researched the rule that would ultimately allow her to participate in cross country and track. Coaches don't often find themselves recruiting current college seniors, but that's exactly what Weber did when he ran into Broderick.
"Last year, sometime during the school year we bumped into each other in the training room and I knew she was a fourth-year senior," Weber said. "I asked her if she had any school beyond this. She said she did and I said 'Would you consider running in your fifth year?' "
Broderick didn't think too much about the possibility at first, but there were a few classes she knew she would like to take other than the one she needed to graduate. Weber continued to talk to Broderick about joining the team, appealing to the passion for running she had always had even during her tennis career. Ultimately, Broderick gave Weber the "yes" he was looking for.
"Based on how impressed I was with her, how much want-to she had and her very keen interest in doing this, I decided to invest in her and we'll see where it goes," Weber said.
Developing a plan
There was still the small matter of Weber actually seeing his newest runner in action. As soon as she finished the tennis season, Broderick went on a run with Weber looking on. Fortunately, the investment Weber had decided to make in her immediately looked like a good one.
"I was relieved and impressed that she could run pretty well," Weber said. "She looked pretty good and the pace she was running for those three miles was pretty good. After that run, we came into the field house and she did a couple of 200's to get a sense of her speed and how she might run on the track. That was impressive too."
The next step was to begin training. Broderick wasn't in Lexington for much of the summer, but she stayed in close contact with Weber throughout. He assigned her specific workouts with one preeminent concern in mind.
"I didn't have a whole lot of concerns because I was so impressed with her, but the biggest concern was regarding training," Weber said. "Since she had a relatively limited background in running, I didn't want to have her do too much too soon and her body not be ready for that."
The first race
When the season opening race, the Belmont-VU Opener, rolled around, Broderick expected her nerves to be jangling. She had participated in "one or two" races on the cross country team in high school, but this was another level. To her surprise, she was relatively calm on the course, mostly thanks to all her experience on the tennis court.
"I really thought I was going to be more nervous than I was," Broderick said. "Playing a tennis match, you're out there by yourself and everyone's watching you while in a cross country meet, you're running in a pack so eyes are not directly on you as much."
Her debut was an unmitigated success. She finished in 16th place overall and third on the team with a time of 14:53.73. In some ways, it's what she doesn't know that allowed her to start so quickly.
"She's not afraid of hills, she's not afraid of distance, she just competes and attacks," Weber said. "Other people who have done cross country longer, they know those things are additional challenges and, instead of freely accepting them, there's a measure of intimidation. She doesn't have any of that."
As the season has progressed, Broderick has only gotten better. In the team's last race, she turned in her best performance. The Panorama Farms Invitational two weeks ago was UK's longest race of the season so far (6K) and, for the first time in her career, Broderick was the first Wildcat to finish. With a time of 22:28.51, she finished 23rd overall in a strong field.
Broderick's precociousness would suggest it all comes easily for her, but she's gotten a firsthand education in what makes running competitively so different from running to stay in shape.
"I think the biggest difference is the amount of mental toughness it takes," Broderick said. "During my four years of playing tennis at UK, I became a better athlete, not only physically, but also mentally. When you're running races, it's painful and what gets you through is the ability to overcome that pain and be mentally tough."
Cross country season has 'flown by', track on the horizon
With all regular season races completed, UK's focus now turns to the postseason, which begins with the SEC Championships on Oct. 31 in Maryville, Tenn. The brief season has gone by very quickly for Broderick, though she knows there is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.
"It's flown by," Broderick said. "Every race, there's a lot of pressure to compete as best you can because there aren't many. We have SEC's and regionals coming up so hopefully we can perform well."
Broderick is optimistic about her and her team's prospects in the postseason, but she admits she doesn't know quite what to expect. Whenever the season does end, though, she'll jump right into training for track. Weber said he expects Broderick to focus on middle distances races such as the 800-meter and mile and he looks forward to seeing her compete in the more intimate atmosphere of track. Weber, though, called every day a "discovery" with Broderick, but there's one thing he knows he can always expect.
"I expect it to be a whole lot of fun working with her and it will be inspiring to see what she can do," Weber said. "The one thing I know for certain is we'll get her best, because that's the way she is." 'You run the way you do because of the way you are'
Megan Broderick was a standout in tennis at UK for four years before joining cross country and track. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Broderick may not go on to set any records or win any national titles during her one year as a runner, but she has come to represent everything Weber looks for in an athlete.
"I've done this for a long time and in terms of attitude, enthusiasm and personal stake in it, she's one of the best we've ever had in that respect," Weber said. "We have a saying around here: 'You run the way you do because of the way you are.' I think she's a pretty good example of that."
She isn't ready to start thinking too much about her legacy or just how unique she is for participating in two Division I sports at such a high level, but Broderick expects to feel graciousness more than anything else when she does reflect on her time at UK.
"I'm really thankful that (head tennis) coach (Carlos) Drada and (assistant tennis) coach (Kevin) Calhoun were able to develop me as a tennis player and to have the success I did in that," Broderick said. "Then, to run across Coach Weber and to have this awesome opportunity is amazing. I'll just really be thankful for all the people, all the experiences and all the competition I was able to enjoy."
Russ Pear needs a clone. At the very least, he could use another two or three hours in a day.
Pear, senior associate athletics director for facilities and operations at Kentucky, unofficially owns the title as the busiest man in the UK Athletics Department this summer. Pear and Scott Clark, as the two officials heading UK's numerous facility projects this summer, haven't had much time to enjoy the offseason.
"The schedule has been really hectic," Pear said. "Every year Scott Clark and I say, 'If we can just get through this year, there is no way it can be this busy next year.' "
But few - if any - summers have been as busy as this one for Pear and Clark as they march through the heart of their most important season to date.
In an ongoing effort to upgrade and renovate UK's facility infrastructure, Pear and Clark are leading five major facility projects this summer, in addition to planning for future developments and maintaining the current foundation.
The five projects include:
The installation of two Daktronics high definition video boards, light-emitting diode ribbon boards and a new sound system at Commonwealth Stadium
A brand new $12 million track facility
A new playing surface at the UK Soccer Complex
An interior renovation of the Shively Training Facility
The Commonwealth Stadium upgrades, which will include new sod, are expected to be ready for the home opener against Central Michigan on Sept. 10.
With the addition of the video and sound system, which is expected to cost close to $6 million (demolition and installation included), UK Athletics has invested more than $14 million in renovations and upgrades to football facilities at Commonwealth Stadium, Nutter Training Center and Nutter Field House over the last six years.
Last year, Pear and his crew renovated the Nutter Training Facility, revamping the football team's weight room, locker room and meeting rooms. Where folding chairs used to sit in small rooms, expanded meeting rooms, similar to miniature theaters, have been refurbished.
"When you've got six or eight offensive linemen in a room that's smaller than this office, it's just not very functional," Pear said of the previous meeting rooms.
Also, a main meeting room, equipped with projection screens and "smart" technology, has replaced old racquetball courts in Nutter. The room can be used for team-wide film sessions, presentations or recruiting purposes.
Even if the upgrades aren't just a case of keeping up with the Joneses of the Southeastern Conference, the additions were imperative for a program that's trying to rise in the nation's strongest league.
"I don't see us engaging as much in the arms race as much as I see us getting things functional and up to date for today's athletes," Pear said. "That doesn't mean we weren't paying attention before, but if someone builds one for $2 million, that doesn't mean you go build one for $3 million."
One might raise an eyebrow at the upgrades to football if they were the only additions going on, but Pear has had his hands full with plenty of other sports and facilities.
The front facing of one of the two old scoreboards at Commonwealth Stadium is nearly complete. The installation of the new Daktronics video boards is expected to start in early August. (photo by Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)
"We know what keeps the overall ship afloat, but every sport is important," Pear said. "Mitch (Barnhart) started that attitude from an overall operations standpoint. We place just as much importance in our softball program, our baseball program and our gymnastics program, just like we do with our football program."
Case in point: Pear's biggest project this summer is the $12 million track facility being constructed between the old Shively Track and baseball's Cliff Hagan Stadium. As Pear termed it, it's a "complete redo" of the facility.
Nothing more than a smoothed dirt field at the moment, the new track facility is expected to be operational for the spring 2012 season. Without an outdoor track facility for the next few months, the track and field and cross country teams will use the Nutter Field House as its practice facility. Other designated areas around UK's campus will be set up for track and field's throwers.
The construction is an inconvenience for the teams during the building process, but the previous facility was bordering on unusable. Last year, Barnhart tabbed the existing track's conditions as "unacceptable."
"We've basically had a track that's been non-functional from a collegiate competitive standpoint," Pear said.
Pear is hopeful the foundation of the actual track will be completed before winter arrives, allowing the team a means of outdoor practice while the stadium seating, concourse and other structures are built around it.
The hope is to host six to eight collegiate and high school meets a year, including the Southeastern Conference Championships and the state high school track meet, but no events have been scheduled for the 2012 spring season as a precaution for potential construction delays.
"It brings people to campus both from a competitive standpoint for recruiting but also just to our campus," Pear said of the advantage of a new track. "A lot of the things we've done over the years with state high school tournaments, there are probably only a select few that may be SEC-caliber athletes, but the bottom line is you get people on campus who say this is a nice place and they want to come to school at the University of Kentucky."
Just down the street, Pear and his crew are about to embark on a $950,000 interior facelift of the Shively Training Facility, which houses the locker rooms and weight room of several Olympic sports, including the baseball and men's and women's track and field teams.
Pear said the bare basics of the facility - the heating, the ventilation and the structure - are still in good shape, but the complex is in need of some updates. Beginning in about a week, new drywall, new ceilings, new floors - the "whole bit," as Pear described it - will be laid at Shively, specifically in the locker rooms of each team.
By the completion of the project, which should end in November, the goal is to give Shively the look and feel of a modern facility.
"The hallways, we're going to transform those so that when you walk in to Shively, you don't know if you're walking into the Craft Center or into Shively Sports Center," Pear said.
The new field at UK Soccer Complex is perhaps the smallest project that Pear and his crew are managing this summer, but right now it's the most critical to get finished in preparation for the Aug. 23 women's soccer home opener. A construction crew dug up the old field months ago, but a freak weather year has delayed the crew from laying the new sod.
"It's been one of those crazy years for weather," Pear said. "It wasn't like we had rain for two weeks straight, but we would get rain for two days straight and it would be so wet that you'd have to wait. By the time you were about to get back on it, it would rain again. We're just at a critical point right now at trying to be ready for the first game."
Pear said the renovation of the field isn't just new sod. Old drains are being repaired and the base of the field is being reconstructed. Because of the draining problems of the old soil, the new soccer field will be a sand-capped surface with moisture sensors in the field that will allow the Sports Turf department the ability to monitor soil moisture levels and reduce overwatering. Six inches of sand will sit on top of the base of the soil and then Bermuda grass will grow on top of that.
Other minor renovations will be made to the UK Soccer Complex in addition to a permanent tower to shoot film.
Of course, with all these projects going on, many might ask when a new baseball stadium might come or what the update is on a new basketball arena. The city of Lexington is currently studying the feasibility of redesigning and renovating Rupp Arena and the Lexington Center.
Future projects that are on the docket include moving the fences back at the UK Softball Complex and the addition of a new video/scoreboard. Pear also said men's tennis coach Dennis Emery is working hard to get some supporters to the table to fundraise an expansion at Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. That renovation, which is still in the planning stages, would include an expansion of four courts to six courts in the indoor facility, plus updated locker rooms.
Pear has a giant board in his office to organize the numerous projects going on and to help him look to the future. Prioritizing what needs to be done for an aging infrastructure can be a difficult job, but Pear said they have to look at UK's facilities situation as a need-to-need basis.
"We've gone around and looked at everything and said, 'That would be nice, but that's not exactly what we need. What we need is this,' " Pear said. "Mitch has made it a priority now to make sure that when he retires, that part of the department is in good shape to where another AD won't have to worry about it."
Fundraising, of course, also factors into prioritizing the facilities projects, as does the year-to-year fiscal budget. The list can change on a frequent basis, and capital dollars must also be allocated to Kentucky's normal facility operations, like painting and sprucing up UK's current facilities.
"You want a plan of the things we're looking at down the road and try to attack those in order of whatever priority you set them in," Pear said. "Sometimes the priority changes because of certain circumstances. If a donor comes forward and says, 'I'd like to do this and here's what I'd like to do,' you need to listen. Unless we're going to get in a capital campaign, this is how we have to do these things."
It's made for one busy summer for Pear and his crew.