Baseball - Kentucky completed its first series win over Ole Miss since the 2008 season, as the Wildcats won the set over a blistering-hot Ole Miss club that entered the weekend fresh off a series win over consensus No. 1 Florida. UK posted a 3-2 win in the opener, suffered a 9-3 loss in the second game, before riding a strong pitching effort from Corey Littrell to a series-clinching win on Sunday, 8-3. - UK has opened up the 2012 season with a 30-3 mark, the best start to a season in school history, leading the NCAA in wins and pacing the conference atop the standings for the second consecutive week. - UK's 9-3 start to conference play is also a program best, with UK running up a school-record 21-game home winning streak earlier in the year and a program-best 22 game winning streak to open the season, the second-longest streak in the storied history of the SEC. UK now owns a 7-2 record against teams ranked in the top 25, with UK also boasting a 9-1 record in one-run games in 2012.
Men's tennis - Behind a dominating performance in singles action that included a come-from-behind effort from senior No. 7 Eric Quigley for the decisive fourth point of the match, UK clinched a share of the SEC regular-season title with a 5-2 win over No. 14 Ole Miss on Sunday. UK began the weekend with a 6-1 win over No. 10 Mississippi State. This is the first SEC title since UK won the overall SEC Championship in 1992. - Quigley was the star of the weekend for Kentucky, winning both of his singles matches to increase his impressive record to 10-0 against SEC foes. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., defeated two highly ranked foes during the week, including No. 15 Artem Ilyushin and No. 19 Nik Scholtz. Quigley's win over Scholtz was the match clincher vs. Ole Miss. - The two wins over the weekend takes Kentucky's record against top 25 teams this season to 9-3, while UK has earned 29 wins over top-25 teams since the start of the 2009 season. UK also continued to perform well at home, boosting its home record to 58-10 since the start of the 2009 season.
Gymnastics - UK concluded the season with a fifth-place showing at the NCAA Champaign Regional behind a team score of 194.750. - The Wildcats saved the best performance of the night for last, scoring a team score of 48.95 on uneven bars. Junior Caitlyn Ciokajlo led the way for Kentucky with a career-high tying 9.875, which ranked her fifth overall at the meet. - UK seniors Storey Morris and Whitney Rose ended their collegiate careers with strong showings at the event. Morris posted a team-best 9.825 on balance beam and a 9.8 on both vault and bars, while Rose tied a season best score on bars with a 9.775. Softball - The Kentucky softball team earned a crucial series victory over South Carolina this weekend at home to improve to 5-7 in Southeastern Conference action and remain in the hunt for a spot in the SEC Tournament. - Kentucky was led by the hot-hitting of senior Brittany Cervantes and freshman Griffin Joiner. Cervantes batted .400 for the week, including .500 against the Gamecocks. Cervantes hit homers in all three games against South Carolina, while scoring five times and driving in four runs. Joiner led the offensive unit with a .444 average for the week. She notched a pair of doubles and three runs driven in to help the Wildcat cause. - Senior Rachel Riley also boasted the Wildcat attack with a .400 average and a pair of homers. She was vital in her pitching performance as well. Riley tossed her first shutout of the season in the series-tying victory. She went the distance and struck out five in the win. Senior Chanda Bell earned the other victory in the circle for UK while striking out 10 in a complete-game series-clincher on Sunday. Women's tennis - Women's tennis grabbed its first SEC victory of the season over Mississippi State, posting a final result of 5-1. - In singles play, Jessica Stiles defeated 113th-ranked Alexandra Perper at the No. 1 singles slot, 6-7 (3), 6-1, 1-0 (10). Khristina Blajkevitch also found herself in a tight match as she defeated Olesya Tsigvintseva 2-6, 6-2, 1-0 (8). Caitlin McGraw and Stephanie Fox also grabbed singles victories for the Cats. - UK next faced No. 16 Ole Miss and fell 7-0. Freshman Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff put up a valiant effort in singles play, falling just short of Erin Stephens at the No. 3 singles slot, 6-7, 4-6.
Men's golf - Men's golf finished 13th at the Gary Koch Invitational, its final tournament of the regular season. - Junior Joseph Barr led Kentucky with a final score of 8-over-par, tying for 38th. - It was the second time this season Barr had the best or tied for the best tournament finish on the team.
Women's golf - The University of Kentucky women's golf team finished 13th at the 2012 Bryan National Collegiate. - Junior Heather Lott finished the weekend in a tie for 35th at 11-over-par 227. - Junior Betsie Johnson led Kentucky with eight birdies on the weekend.
Track and field - Competing at the Florida Relays, junior Shiara Robinson recorded the seventh-best time in the 400m hurdles in UK history with a 1:00.85. - Sophomore Julie Nunn ran the 10th fastest 400m dash in program history, clocking a 55.71. - Freshman Keilah Tyson continued her impressive rookie campaign, missing out on her UK freshman record in the 100m by just 0.01 seconds. - Junior Luis Orta finished fifth in the 5,000m with a time of 14:09.47, while sophomore Allison Peare finished fifth in the 800m. Upcoming schedule
Tuesday, April 10 Baseball hosts Louisville - 6:30 p.m.
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Apr. 1:
Baseball: Austin Cousino
Freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino launched three homers, owned a .375 average (6-for-16) and paced the club with nine RBI to help carry Kentucky to a midweek win over Western Kentucky and its first series win at No. 18 Georgia since 2000 ... Hit three homers during the four-game week, adding five runs, two walks, one hit by pitch, two sacrifice bunts and a stolen base ... Has hit a homer in four of his last five games, including a stretch of three consecutive that was snapped in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday, hours after his three-run homer rallied UK from a six-hole deficit in the first of the twinbill ... Launched another three-run homer to kick off the week in a win over Western Kentucky, adding a single ... In the series opener at UGA, with UK trailing 6-0, launched a seventh-inning, three-run homer over the cavernous right-centerfield fence at Foley Field to spark a six-run inning to even the game ... In a pressure-laden rubber match at UGA Sunday, batted 2-for-5 with three RBI, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning ... During the series at UGA, Cousino launched two homers and had six RBI, with a steal, two sacrifice bunts and four runs scored ... Cousino ranks among the SEC leaders in nearly every category, ranking ninth in average (.358), eighth in slugging (.583), first in runs scored (31), third in hits (43), 11th in RBI (24), fourth in doubles (10), eighth in home runs (five), second in total bases (70), 10th in steals (six) and first in at bats (120) ... Cousino is also leading the club with four outfield assists ... He already ranks among the all-time UK freshmen hitting records in home runs (ninth), 22nd in RBI (24) and 22nd in hits (24), through his first 29 career games ... He has hit safely in 26 of his 27 games in 2012.
Track & field: Raymond Dykstra
Set a career-best mark in the javelin with a throw of 75.41m/247-05.
His javelin mark is the best in program history.
Now holds the UK freshman record in the javelin.
Finished third in the javelin at the Texas Relays.
Track & field: Terri-Ann Grant
Career-best mark in the high jump of 1.81m/5-11.25.
Second-best mark in Kentucky history.
Finished third in the event at the Texas Relays.
Broke her previous career-best mark by 1.25 inches.
Men's tennis: Tom Jomby
Was the star of Kentucky's win over No. 3 Georgia, winning a three-set thriller at court 4 to give the Wildcats the win. The native of Nantes, France won a third-set tiebreaker 7-1 to earn the win over No. 33 Ignacio Taboada.
Baseball: Corey Littrell
Sophomore starter Corey Littrell turned in his second consecutive winning effort in a road rubber match, leading UK to its first series win in Athens since the 2000 season on Sunday... Worked a career-high 7.2 innings in the win at No. 18 Georgia on Sunday, allowing eight hits and one run, walking two and striking out five ... Littrell ranks among the SEC leaders in several categories, including fourth in ERA (1.88), eighth in innings pitched (43.0), ninth in strikeouts (41), sixth in wins (four) and first in pickoffs.
Track & field: Luis Orta
Ran a career-best time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Third-best 3,000m steeplechase in school history.
Won the race at the Texas Relays by 4.27 seconds.
Was competing in his first outdoor race of the year.
Men's golf: David Snyder
Finished in a tie for second at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate.
Recorded a career-low 54-hole total of 212, 4-under-par.
His second-place finish is his best in his collegiate career.
Has now had 15.5 of his 17 rounds played counted toward the team score - best rate on the team (91 percent).
Track & field: Keilah Tyson
Broke the Kentucky 100m dash freshman record.
Her time of 11.52 in the 100m dash is a career-best and the third best in school history.
Finished 10th in the 100m dash at the Texas Relays.
Was the top freshman finisher in the 100m dash at the Texas Relays.
Baseball: Michael Williams
UK senior catcher Michael Williams hit .500 (8-for-16) during a four-game week, leading the Wildcats to their first series win at No. 18 Georgia since the 2000 season ... A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Williams launched two doubles and led the club with nine RBI ... In a series-evening game at Georgia on Saturday, Williams notched a career-high four RBI, including a bases-clearing double that erased a three-run hole early in the game ... Went 2-for-4 in the Saturday win to even the series ... Collected a career-high three hits in the rubber match win, including two RBI, a walk and a double ... In the series opener at UGA, recorded one hit ... In a midweek win over Western Kentucky, Williams batted 2-for-3, tying his then career-high with three RBI, drawing a walk ... On the year, Williams has hit .310 (27-for-87) with three doubles, one homer, 22 RBI and 10 walks, despite missing five games due to a finger injury on his catching hand.
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Mar. 18:
Gymnastics: Caitlyn Ciokajlo
Won her fourth uneven bars title of the season and her third straight with a 9.85 score on Saturday against Centenary. The native of Brooklyn, Mich., has now led UK on bars in six meets this season, scoring a 9.825 or higher in five consecutive meets.
Men's basketball: Anthony Davis
Averaged double-double in UK's two NCAA Tournament wins (15.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 4.5 bpg, 4.0 apg)
Track and field: Raymond Dykstra
Set a career-best mark in the javelin
Won the javelin competition by over 22 feet
Set the program record in his first ever collegiate competition in the javelin
Set the freshman record in the javelin
Track and field: Andrew Evans
Had career-best marks in the discus and in the hammer throw
Won the Discus, defeating all other competitors by over 11 feet
Recorded the seventh best mark in program history in the discus and in the hammer throw
Baseball: Trevor Gott
UK sophomore right-hander Trevor Gott solidified his role as one of the top closers in college baseball during Kentucky's 5-0 week, picking up three saves - including two against the two-time NCAA Champions, No. 2 South Carolina ... Appeared in three games with three saves, tossing three shutout frames, with one hit and no walks allowed, striking out six ... Made first appearance in the ninth inning of UK's 2-1 midweek win on Wednesday, locking down the save ... Came on in the ninth inning with UK nursing a 4-3 lead and a runner at second base and no outs in the series-clinching win over USC on Saturday ... After getting a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third base, Gott struck out the next two hitters to end the game and leave the game-tying and inherited runner stranded at third base ... In the series finale, after UK allowed a leadoff runner to reach base on an error in the ninth inning with UK looking for the sweep, came out of the pen to get three consecutive outs to finish off the game and sweep the Gamecocks ... On the year, Gott - the 2011 Cape Cod League Reliever of the Year - has a 1-0 record and a 2.08 ERA, saving five games in 10 relief outings, striking out 16 and walking two in 8.2 innings.
Men's basketball: Terrence Jones
Averaged double-double in UK's two NCAA Tournament wins (15.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg)
Baseball: Luke Maile
Kentucky junior catcher Luke Maile continued to provide the vocal and physical leadership to a school-record 21-0 start to the season, launching a pair of homers during a 5-0 week, pacing UK to a series sweep over No. 2 South Carolina, the two-time defending NCAA Champions ... Maile hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the series opener, a blast to dead centerfield with UK trailing by a run, part of a three-RBI game ... In the second game of the series, Maile delivered another clutch RBI single in UK's 4-3 win over the Cocks ... In the finale, Maile set the tone by launching his fifth homer of the year in the first inning off USC's Colby Holmes, leading UK to the sweep-clinching win ... Maile's walk-off homer was his staggering seventh game-winning RBI of the season, leading the team and tying the team leader Thomas McCarthy's seven game-winning RBI from the entire 2011 season ... On the year, Maile has hit .360 (27-for-75) with five doubles, five homers, 27 RBI, a 13-4 walk-strikeout ratio and six stolen bases.
Men's golf: Cody Martin
Opened with back-to-back rounds of 2-under-par 70 at the Bulls Invitational
Led Kentucky with a final score of 1-under-par
Finished in a tie for 21st
Track and field: Kayla Parker
Won the 100m hurdles
Set a career-best time in the 100m hurdles, breaking her previous career-best by .27 seconds
Recorded the seventh fastest time in program history
Baseball: A.J. Reed
Freshman A.J. Reed turned in one of the more prolific weeks in the history of UK baseball, leading UK to five wins as the No. 4 hitter, midweek starter and weekend late-inning reliever ... Picked up two wins on the mound, one coming in a midweek start on Tuesday and the second coming in relief of UK's series-clinching win over No. 2 South Carolina on Saturday ... In both of his wins on the mound, Reed - who owns a 12-game hitting streak - delivered the game-winning RBI at the plate ... In his start, tossed six innings, allowing only one run and striking out six, with first-pitch strikes hurled to the first 21 hitters he faced ... Reed became the first UK player in program history (modern era: 1979-present) to start on the mound and as the No. 4 hitter in the order in the midweek win ... On Saturday, Reed was summoned out of the bullpen on short rest working two shutout innings to set up the game for UK closer Trevor Gott in the ninth inning, picking up his fourth win of the year ... At the plate, Reed led UK in hitting all week batting .526 (10-for-19) with two doubles, one homer and five RBI ... Totaled a 2-0 record with a 1.12 ERA on the mound, striking out eight in eight innings ... In his midweek starting pitching assignment, collected a career-high three hits, batting 3-for-4 with three RBI ... Delivered two hits in a 2-1 midweek win over Murray State on Wednesday ... In his SEC debut on Friday, Reed went 2-for-4 with an RBI, adding the game-winning double in the seventh inning in the series-clinching win on Saturday ... Finished with two hits in the series finale, helping UK to its first series sweep of USC since 2006 ... On the year, has hit .386 (27-for-70) with seven doubles, two homers and 28 RBI, with a 4-0 record and a 1.83 ERA on the mound in 19.2 innings with 18 strikeouts.
Men's basketball: Marquis Teague
Career-high 24 points in win over Iowa State along with seven assists.
Men's basketball - On the heels of an 87-71 win over Iowa State in the third round, top-seeded Kentucky earned a rematch against the Indiana Hoosiers, the lone blemish on the Cats' regular-season record. - In a win over Iowa State, UK got a double-double from freshman Anthony Davis (15 points, 12 rebounds). It was his 18th double-double of the season. Three other Wildcats scored in double-figures, including a career-high 24 points from Marquis Teague. Teague also dished out seven assists and Davis added a career-high five assists. - Darius Miller (19) and Doron Lamb (16) also scored in double-digits, while Terrence Jones grabbed 11 rebounds. - Kentucky finished the game shooting 50 percent from 3-point range, hitting 10-of-20. Women's basketball - A balanced scoring effort and a dominating performance on the boards helped No. 12/11 Kentucky defeat McNeese State on Saturday 68-62 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. - Eight players scored at least six points, led by reserves Keyla Snowden and Azia Bishop who posted double-figure scoring efforts. Snowden, the Southeastern Conference Co-6th Woman of the Year, led the Wildcats in scoring with 11 points, while Bishop came off the bench for 10 points and three blocks in just 16 minutes. Sophomore reserve forward Samarie Walker pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds which tied for the most rebounds by a UK player in the NCAA Tournament. - The Wildcats grabbed a season-high 58 rebounds in the win, the most for UK in the Big Dance and the most since charting a school-record 62 boards vs. Murray State on Nov. 26, 2010.
Baseball - The No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats completed a stellar five-game week with five wins, including a weekend series sweep over No. 2 South Carolina, the two-time defending NCAA Champions. - Kentucky opened up conference play in historic fashion, sweeping the high-octane Gamecocks for the first time since 2006. UK extended its school-record winning streak to 21 games to open the season with the sweep, eclipsing the previous record of 19-0 set to open the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The Wildcats now own the third-longest winning streak in the storied history of the SEC. - Kentucky posted a pair of midweek wins before facing the two-time defending NCAA Champion, the league leader in ERA and the No. 2 ranked team in the nation. Kentucky exploded out of the SEC gate with a walk-off win on Friday, 4-3 with Luke Maile launching a home run to centerfield with the Wildcats trailing 3-2. On Saturday, UK again rallied for a 4-3 win, using a heroic pitching performance from freshman A.J. Reed and sophomore Trevor Gott. Sunday, UK completed the sweep with a first-inning homer from Maile and clutch hitting from senior catcher Michael Williams, with Gott locking down his fifth save of the year. Gymnastics - The gymnastics team continued its recent success by scoring yet another impressive team score defeating Centenary on Saturday with a score of 195.875. The win over Centenary gave the Wildcats its first winning regular season since 2008. - UK defeated Centenary on every event, posting a 48.875 or higher on all four apparatuses. Individually, a UK gymnast took home event honors on each event, including sophomore Audrey Harrison, who won her fourth all-around title of the season. Senior Storey Morris and freshman Kenzie Hedges finished tied for first on vault, while sophomore Caitlyn Ciokajlo won bars, sophomore Kayla Sienkowski and freshman Shannon Mitchell won beam, and sophomore Kayla Hartley won floor. - UK has scored a 195 or higher in five of its last six meets, including a 195.875 or higher in three straight meets. UK's high score Saturday marked the first time in school history the Wildcats have posted three-consecutive team scores of 195.875 or higher.
Softball - Senior Brittany Cervantes hit a game-winning home run to top NC State and lift UK into the championship game of the UK Invitational to highlight the week for the Wildcats. The blast marked the 36th home run of her career and is the new career record for the Wildcats. Cervantes also hit three doubles on the week to aid the Wildcat offensive cause. - Senior Chanda Bell earned a pair of victories for the Wildcats this weekend. In the two wins she tossed 9.2 innings without giving up a run and striking out 21. In a win over UMKC she worked a complete game shutout and struck out 13. It marked the 33rd time in her career she has struck out 10 or more batters in a game.
Track and field - The UK men's and women's track and field teams opened their outdoor seasons at the Bulls Invitational on Saturday. - Sophomore Andrew Evans and freshman Raymond Dykstra won the men's discus and javelin, respectively. Dykstra threw a school-record mark of 69.09m/226-08 en route to his victory. - Kayla Parker had a career-best mark in the long jump and later won the women's 100-meter hurdles with a career-best time. - Sophomore Allison Peare won the women's 1,500m run with a career-best time of 4:28.97, while freshman Keffri Neal finished second in the men's 1,500m.
Women's tennis - The women's tennis team engaged in strong doubles play in its road match against No. 2 Florida but could not overcome the Gators, who grabbed the win, 7-0. - The Wildcats traveled to Coral Gables, Fla., to take on the University of Miami but, due to inclement weather, the match was canceled with no plans of rescheduling due to Kentucky's travel plans. Men's golf - The men's golf team finished ninth at the Schenkel Invitational, carding back-to-back opening rounds of 286 before closing with a 298 for a total of 6-over-par. - Sophomore Cody Martin led UK, finishing in a tie for 21st at 1-under. Martin carded back-to-back opening rounds of 2-under-par before shooting a 3-over-par during Sunday's final round. - Junior Chase Parker remained consistent throughout, shooting 73, 72, 72 to finish tied for 31st at 1-over-par. - Parker has carded seven straight rounds of 74 or better. The Augusta, Ga., native is 7-under-par during that span.
Women's golf - Kentucky finished 11th at the SunTrust Gator Women's Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. - Junior Betsie Johnson led the Wildcats with an 11th place finish at 8-over-par 218. - Sophomore Liz Breed sunk six birdies on the weekend.
Monday, March 19 Men's tennis hosts Baylor - Noon Men's tennis hosts Murray State - 6:00 p.m. Women's basketball vs. Green Bay - 9:45 p.m. (Ames, Iowa)
Wednesday, March 21 Baseball at Cincinnati - 4:00 p.m. Softball at Western Kentucky - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 22 Men's swimming and diving at NCAA Championships (Federal Way, Wash.)
Friday, March 23 Women's tennis at Auburn - Noon Men's tennis hosts Auburn - 4:00 p.m. Baseball at Tennessee - 6:00 p.m. Softball at Auburn - 7:00 p.m. Men's basketball vs. Indiana - 9:45 p.m. (Atlanta) Men's swimming and diving at NCAA Championships (Federal Way, Wash.) Saturday, March 24 Softball at Auburn - 2:00 p.m. Baseball at Tennessee - 4:00 p.m. Men's swimming and diving at NCAA Championships (Federal Way, Wash.) Gymnastics at SEC Championships (Duluth, Ga.) Sunday, March 25 Women's tennis hosts Alabama - Noon Softball at Auburn - 2:00 p.m. Men's tennis at Alabama - 2:00 p.m. Baseball at Tennessee - 2:00 p.m. Women's basketball vs. TBD (Kingston, R.I. ) Men's golf at Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate (Awendaw, S.C.) Men's basketball vs. Baylor/Xavier (Atlanta)
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Mar. 11:
Baseball: Cameron Flynn
Enjoyed a breakout week in helping No. 23 Kentucky to five wins, including a series sweep over the weekend ... Batted .500 (7-for-14) in four games, with two homers and seven RBI, slugging .929 and reaching base at a .529 clip during the week ... Drew one walk and got hit by a pitch, adding one outfield assist while playing left and rightfield ... A native of Lexington, Ky., Flynn leads UK in hitting through his first 15 career UK games, batting .441 (15-for-34) with four doubles, a team-best four homers and 13 RBI ... Flynn owns a team-high .912 slugging mark, adding a .511 on-base percentage with a 6-5 walk-strikeout ratio ... Belted homers in back-to-back wins over Canisius on the weekend, joining fellow outfielder Zac Zellers as Wildcats to homer in consecutive games in 2012 ... Went 3-for-4 in UK's win over CC in the series opener, with the homer and a walk.
Track and field: Terri-Ann Grant
Finished ninth in the women's high jump at the NCAA Championships, clearing a mark of 1.78m/5-10.00.
Earned second-team All-America honors in the high jump.
Baseball: Jerad Grundy
Turned in a strong start in his final non-Southeastern Conference tune-up of the season, posting his third win of the season on Saturday vs. Canisius ... Tossed a career-high 7.1 innings, allowing only three hits and two walks, striking out seven ... Held CC to a .125 batting average ... Faced only three hitters over the minimum in the win ... On the year, Grundy has made four starts, posting a 3-0 record and a 2.25 ERA ... In 24 innings in 2012, Grundy has allowed only 16 hits and six earned runs, walking seven and striking out 23.
Gymnastics: Storey Morris
On Senior Day for the UK gymnastics team, senior Storey Morris had an outstanding meet. Morris won the balance beam title at the event with a career-high tying 9.875, while sticking her vault to go 9.775 and earning a solid 9.85 on bars.
Men's Golf: Chase Parker
Finished fourth out of 90 golfers at the USF Invitational with a final score of 3-under-par.
Shot a career-best tying 5-under-par 67 in the second round of the USF Invitational, his second round of 67 in his last three rounds played going back to the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.
Is 8-under-par in his last four rounds played going back to the final round of the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.
Defeated all other SEC golfers at the USF Invitational.
Led Kentucky to a third-place finish at the USF Invitational, defeating two top-40 schools (No. 20 Florida State and No. 38 MTSU), with a 54-hole total of 868.
The Wildcats' 4-over-par 868 is their third-best 54-hole total of the year, and their best of the young spring season.
Baseball: A.J. Reed
Dynamic two-way talent led UK in the middle of the batting order in four of five wins during the week, starting the fifth game and picking up the win on the mound ... Batted .389 (7-for-18) in the four games, batting No. 4 and No. 5 in the order ... Had two doubles and six RBI, with a .500 slugging mark and a .431 on-base percentage ... Made a start for the Wildcats vs. Marshall on Wednesday, picking up the win in his second career starting assignment ... Tossed five innings, allowing four hits and two runs, striking out a career-best seven ... On the year, Reed leads UK with 23 RBI, adding a .333 (17-for-51) average with five doubles, one homer and eight walks ... Has posted a 2-0 record and a 2.31 ERA on the mound, with 10 strikeouts in 11.2 innings.
Men's tennis: Grant Roberts
Went 2-0 in singles action over the weekend, including his match-clinching point against No. 9 Florida on Sunday. After falling in the first set, Roberts made some quick adjustments on the court to grab the second set and then dominate the third set 6-0 for the win.
Gymnastics: Whitney Rose
Performed very well for Kentucky in the last home meet of her career, tying a season best on uneven bars with a mark of 9.775. Rose has been in every bar lineup this season, holding a strong average.
Men's basketball - The SEC regular-season champion, Kentucky Wildcats, make their NCAA-record 52nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament, earning an at-large bid as the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. - The Wildcats just missed the league's automatic bid, dropping a 71-64 game to the Vanderbilt Commodores in the SEC Tournament championship. - UK was led offensively Sunday by senior Darius Miller, who tallied a team-high 16 points. - The Wildcats got a pair of double-double performances from Anthony Davis (12p, 10r) and Terrence Jones (12p, 11r) on Sunday. For Davis it was his fourth-straight double-double. He also added three blocks. - Doron Lamb rounded out Kentucky's four double-digit scorers against Vanderbilt.
Rifle - The UK rifle team concluded its 2011-12 season with a second-place overall finish at the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend. - In the first day, UK won its second consecutive team national championship in smallbore. The NCAA Championship in smallbore was just the second in program history. - The Wildcats' (11-1, 6-0) second-place finish is the fifth all-time runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships in program history. - The championships conclude another stellar season for the Wildcats, which completed a second consecutive undefeated GARC regular-season schedule. Baseball - The No. 23 Kentucky baseball team completed a five-game week with a three-game weekend series sweep over Canisius, in addition to midweek wins over Tennessee Tech and Marshall. - The Wildcats are the lone undefeated team in the NCAA, posting a 16-0 record, owning the longest winning streak and the most wins in the nation. - UK's 16-0 start is the third-best start to a season in the over 100-year history of the program, passing the 15-0 start the 2000 team opened up with under Keith Madison. The 2007 and 2008 teams own the school record with a 19-0 start. - During the week, UK posted a 10-6 win over Tennessee Tech and a 7-3 win over Marshall. UK then charted a 19-9 win over Canisius in the series opener, before winning the series on Saturday with a 7-5 result and sweeping the Golden Griffins with a 5-4 walk-off win on Sunday. - UK has been paced by the best offense in the SEC, owning a .349 team average, belting 16 homers through 16 games, with a 3.25 ERA on the mound and 163 strikeouts in 144 innings. Men's tennis - The men's tennis team had another great weekend in SEC play, defeating No. 33 South Carolina and No. 9 Florida at home. - The wins were Kentucky's 10th and 11th over ranked teams for this season, while the victory over Florida was UK's 24th over a top-25 team since the start of the 2009 season. UK has now beat Florida in consecutive regular seasons for the first time since 1992-93. - Sophomore Grant Roberts stole the show Sunday vs. UF with a three-set match to clinch the UK victory. Senior No. 6 Eric Quigley, sophomore No. 98 Tom Jomby and Roberts each earned two singles wins over the weekend.
Gymnastics - The gymnastics team had yet another winning weekend when it scored one of the highest team scores in school history of 196.025 against George Washington and Ball State. The two wins guarantee UK a winning regular season for the first time since 2008. - UK has now posted consecutive 195.95 scores or higher for the first time since 2002, while Tim Garrison is the first head coach in school history to post a 196 or higher in his opening year. - UK scored a 49.0 or higher on three events, including a season high on bars, while UK set or tied eight season highs and seven career highs in the meet.
Softball - Kentucky dropped three games with No. 1 Alabama in its home-opening weekend. The Tide escaped a 3-1 nine-inning thriller in the opening game. - Griffin Joiner, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, led the Wildcats with a .544 batting average and a homer. - Pitcher Lauren Cumbess tossed a career-high 10 strikeouts in a tough-luck loss to the Tide in the second game of the series. - UK will take a weekend off from SEC action by hosting the UK Invitational. - Kentucky finished its indoor season Friday at the NCAA Championships in Nampa, Idaho. Track and field - Senior Terri-Ann Grant represented the Wildcats at the championships, finishing ninth in the high jump with a mark of 1.78m/5-10.00. - Grant's performance earned her second-team All-America honors. - Kentucky begins its outdoor season March 16 at the Bulls Invitational in Tampa, Fla.
Women's tennis - Kentucky dropped a 6-1 decision in its opening SEC road match of the season at South Carolina. - Khristina Blajkevitch captured the lone point for the Wildcats with a 3-6, 6-3, (10-8) win at No. 3 singles. - UK remains on the road at Florida and its match has been postponed until Monday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Men's golf - Kentucky finished third at the USF Invitational after back-to-back rounds of 4-under-par and 1-over-par in the final two rounds of the tournament. - Chase Parker led the way for UK with a fourth-place finish after a 5-under-par 67 in the second round. - Parker's 67 tied his career-low round, and was his second round of 5-under-par in as many tournaments. - Parker, Cody Martin and Stephen Powers each finished in the top 25. Upcoming schedule
Monday, March 12 Women's tennis at Florida - 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13 Softball hosts Western Illinois - 3:00 p.m. Baseball hosts Wright State - 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 14 Baseball hosts Murray State - 4:00 p.m. Thursday, March 15 Women's tennis vs. Miami - 5:00 p.m. (Coral Gables, Fla.) Men's basketball vs. WKU/MVSU - 6:50 p.m. (Louisville) Friday, March 16 Softball hosts N.C. State - 3:00 p.m. Softball hosts UAB - 5:00 p.m. Baseball hosts South Carolina - 7:00 p.m. Men's golf at Schenkel Invitational (Statesboro, Ga.) Track and Field at Bulls Invitational (Tampa) Women's golf at Lady Gator Invitational (Gainesville, Fla.) Saturday, March 17 Men's basketball vs. UConn/Iowa State - TBA (Louisville) Softball hosts Missouri-Kansas City - 1:00 p.m. Softball hosts TBD - 3:00 p.m. /5:00 p.m. Baseball hosts South Carolina - 2:00 p.m. Gymnastics at Centenary -7:00 p.m. Men's golf at Schenkel Invitational (Statesboro, Ga.) Women's golf at Lady Gator Invitational (Gainesville, Fla.)
Sunday, March 18 Softball hosts TBD - 11:00 a.m. /1:00 p.m. Baseball hosts South Carolina - 1:00 p.m. Men's golf at Schenkel Invitational (Statesboro, Ga.) Women's golf at Lady Gator Invitational (Gainesville, Fla.)
Men's basketball -The Wildcats closed out an historic regular season on Sunday with a 74-59 win at No. 16 Florida to put a cap on a perfect 16-0 run in Southeastern Conference play. It was the third time in UK and SEC history that a team posted a perfect 16-0 mark in league play. The last time it occurred in the 2003 season. - Anthony Davis led the Wildcats with his 14th double-double of the season on a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. He added six blocks as well. - Terrence Jones (19) and Marquis Teague (12) both scored in double-figures for the Wildcats. - Kentucky shot 52.5 pct. from the field while holding Florida to 38.2 pct. and 16 points below their season average. Women's basketball - Kentucky fell to LSU, 61-72, in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. - Junior guard A'dia Mathies and senior guard Keyla Snowden were each named to the SEC All-Tournament Team. - Mathies averaged 21.0 points per game in UK's two tournament appearances, while Snowden averaged 17.0 points and 4.5 3-pointers per game. - UK defeated Florida, 71-67, in the quarterfinals. It was UK's third trip to the SEC semifinals in as many years.
Baseball - The Kentucky baseball team continued its hot start to the season with five wins during the week to improve to 11-0 on the season. The Wildcats return to action with another five-game week, starting Tuesday and Wednesday with a pair of midweek tests against Tennessee Tech and Marshall at Cliff Hagan Stadium. - Kentucky (11-0) owns the best record in the nation and is one of only two undefeated teams in college baseball, joining 10-0 Gonzaga. The Wildcats are off to the fourth-best start to a season in school annals and the best since opening up a school-record 19-0 in 2007 and 2008 and a 15-0 start in 2000. - The Wildcats have been paced by a balanced approach throughout the year, with an explosive offense that owns a .334 average with 13 homers in 11 games, a 2.64 team ERA with 113 strikeouts in 99 innings and a .983 fielding percentage. Men's tennis - UK started conference play in style by winning its first two conference matches of the year, defeating No. 17 LSU 5-1 and No. 47 Arkansas 6-1. Also won its lone non-conference match of week, taking down Louisiana-Lafayette 5-2. The win over LSU marked Kentucky's 23rd over a top-25 opponent since the start of the 2009 season. - Kentucky won the doubles point in all three matches, including sweeping doubles play against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas. The Wildcats are now 9-0 on the season when they win the doubles point. - Kentucky played well in singles action, winning 13 of the 17 singles matches last week that ended in a decision. Sophomore Tom Jomby led the way with a 3-0 record in singles, while seniors Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek and sophomores Grant Roberts and Alejandro Gomez grabbed two singles wins each.
Gymnastics - Earned their second-consecutive win over a top-25 opponent with an impressive team score of 195.95 at No. 21 Illinois on Friday. The high score marks only the 11th time in school history the Wildcats have scored a 195.95 or higher in a meet. - The win moved Kentucky to No. 25 in the latest GymInfo rankings with an RQS of 194.930. It marks only the second time since 2007 that UK has been ranked in the top 25 at this point in the season (week two of RQS rankings). - Kentucky sealed the win over Illinois on balance beam with an impressive team score of 49.050, which was only the 10th time in school history UK has posted a 49.05 or higher on the event. Overall, Kentucky set or tied 10 season highs and 10 career highs in the meet.
Softball - The softball team capped its 18-game road trip with a 3-2 weekend at the Ragin' Cajun Invitational which saw UK plate eight or more runs in its three victories. Junior Kara Dill, senior Chanda Bell and freshman Griffin Joiner were tabbed to the All-Tournament team after pacing the Wildcats. - Dill extended her career-long hitting streak to 15 games and batted .500 for the weekend. She's logged multiple-hits in eight games this season including twice this weekend. - Freshman Griffin Joiner moved into the No. 3 spot in the batting order and excelled for the Wildcats with a team-high .571 batting average. - Bell was involved in all three of UK's wins including charting two victories and notching a save. She tossed 15 strikeouts and limited opponent batters to just 0.61 hits per inning. Track and field - Senior distance runner Luis Orta was named the SEC Men's Runner of the Year by the league coaches on Friday. - Sophomore Matt Hillenbrand ran a career-best time in the mile, crossing the finish line in 4:06.33 at the Alex Wilson Invitational. - Freshman Keffri Neal also ran a career-best time at the Alex Wilson Invitational, Neal finished 14th in the men's 800-meter run with a time of 1:49.97.
Women's tennis - The women's tennis team suffered a pair of 4-3 losses in its opening weekend of SEC action. The Wildcats fell to LSU and Arkansas by the same score. - Jessica Stiles was impressive for the Blue and White as she garnered sweeps at the No. 1 spot in both of the Wildcats' matches against conference competition. - Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff also logged wins in both matches for UK in the No. 4 spot.
Men's golf - Kentucky, as a team, was in a tie for fifth after the first round of the USF Invitational. - David Snyder was in a tie for 15th after the first round, following a 1-over-par 73. - Four Wildcats rank in the top 25 after one round of competition. - Joseph Barr and Chase Parker each eagled the par 5 11th hole during Sunday's first round. Upcoming schedule
Monday, March 5 Men's golf at USF Invitational
Tuesday, March 6 Baseball hosts Tennessee Tech - 4:00 p.m. Men's golf at USF Invitational Wednesday, March 7 Baseball hosts Marshall - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 8 Diving at NCAA Zone Diving (Bloomington, Ind.)
Friday, March 9 Men's tennis hosts South Carolina - 1:00 p.m. Men's basketball vs. Arkansas/LSU - 1:00 p.m. (New Orleans) Women's tennis at South Carolina - 3:00 p.m. Baseball hosts Canisius - 4:00 p.m. Softball hosts Alabama - 6:00 p.m. Rifle at NCAA Championships (Columbus, Ohio) Track and field at NCAA Championships (Nampa, Idaho) Diving at NCAA Zone Diving (Bloomington, Ind.) Women's golf at LSU Golf Classic
Saturday, March 10 Softball hosts Alabama - 1:00 p.m. Baseball hosts Canisius - 1:00 p.m. Men's basketball SEC Semifinals - 1:00 p.m. (New Orleans) Rifle at NCAA Championships (Columbus, Ohio) Track and field at NCAA Championships (Nampa, Idaho) Diving at NCAA Zone Diving (Bloomington, Ind.) Women's golf at LSU Golf Classic Sunday, March 11 Softball hosts Alabama - 1:00 p.m. Baseball hosts Canisius - 1:00 p.m. Men's tennis hosts Florida - 1:00 p.m. Men's basketball SEC Finals - 1:00 p.m. (New Orleans) Women's tennis at Florida - 1:00 p.m. Women's golf at LSU Golf Classic
Luis Orta became the first runner since 2006 to win the 3,000m and 5,000m at SEC Indoors this weekend. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Luis Orta had to run a great distance at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championship this past weekend. There, Orta became the first SEC athlete to win both the 3,000m and 5,000m in the same championship in five years.
While this feat was impressive, Orta has had to travel long distances ever since he decided to leave his native country of Venezuela for UK. The distance may have been long for Orta, but the finish line for this accomplished runner has been oh so sweet.
"It has been great," Orta said. "I'm from a big city in Venezuela and it's one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Being here I've been 100 percent focused and because of that, Lexington has been perfect."
Orta's focus has paid off, culminating in this past weekend's victory on the same track that he has called home for the past four years.
Even before his triumph early in the 2012 track season, Orta was a steady performer. In 2009, Orta was named All-SEC second team in cross country, All-SEC outdoor second team for the 2,000m Steeplechase. In 2010 he won the San Francisco Invitational with a time of 24:25.
In spite of all he has accomplished, Orta is still driven to improve.
"I feel accomplished and I feel like all the work that I've put in since I came to UK has finally paid off," Orta said, "I feel very proud and I'm eager to do more and become better now."
In addition to his success in the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championship, Orta has added another path in his journey to travel down: self-improvement outside of competition.
"Running wise, my times have been going down," Orta said, "But, more importantly I've learned how to train myself throughout the day, eating right, sleeping right and doing the things that I have to do in order to have a good day at practice and have a good race. All of these things are important, just as much as the stuff we do on the track."
With a good night's rest and healthy eating habits, Orta has been able to improve his performance to the point where there has been a noticeable change in his times. Orta's actions have helped to improve himself, but his determination, focus and hard work have been used to help the lives of others as well.
Along with teammate and middle distance runner, Josh Nadzam, Orta is in his second year leading a shoe drive for an organization called Soles4Souls. Last year alone, they collected about 2,000 pairs of shoes.
"Everything began last year when I would run by myself during the summer and I threw my shoes in the trash because they were done. Us runners, we use shoes and they last like two months for each pair of shoes," Orta said. "I realized, 'Wow, there are people out there who need shoes. Maybe we can do something about it.' So, I talked to my roommate, Josh Nazdam, and he is very involved with the community. He thought it was a great idea and so far we have about 200 pairs of shoes."
With a head start in the race for charity, Orta and Nadzam have a few more finish lines to cross before the end of this season.
"The shoe drive will be until the end of the year, so we are going to focus on that the entire year," Orta said. "With outdoor season coming up, I want to, again, win the SECs; I'm already focused on the 5K. After, I want to try to run 10Ks, maybe go and run a half marathon and break national records for them. For me it's just as important to run for UK as it is to run for Venezuela."
Participating in a sport that is not only based off individual performances, but also the team's overall effort, all of this together will help Orta and the Cats push across the finish line.
"We have a very young team and that means we have a good future," Orta said. "I feel like everyone wants to perform well, so I think we are going to be even better during our outdoor season."
Men's basketball - Kentucky won its 45th SEC Championship outright Saturday on the heels of an 83-74 win over Vanderbilt. - Freshman Anthony Davis led the way with his 13th double-double of the season, scoring a career and game-high 28 points to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds. He also added five blocked shots and two steals. - Freshman Marquis Teague added 16 points while dishing out six assists and grabbing four rebounds. Terrence Jones also scored in double-figures with 12 points to go along with six rebounds and two blocks. - UK celebrates Senior Night against Georgia on Thursday, honoring seniors Darius Miller and Eloy Vargas.
Women's basketball - Kentucky won all three games last week, including an impressive 76-40 win on the road at Mississippi State in the regular season finale on Sunday to give the Wildcats their first regular season championship since 1982. - The Cats earned the No. 1 seed, and a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament for the third-straight season and now prepare to square off against the winner of Florida (No. 8 seed) and Auburn (No. 9 seed) in the quarterfinals Friday, March 2. - The Cats, who were picked to finish second in the SEC standings by the league coaches and media, have had another remarkable season under the direction of head coach Matthew Mitchell. He has led UK to its third straight 20-win season with a 24-5 overall record, including a 13-3 mark in SEC play. - The 13 league wins were a school record for SEC wins in a season and UK was the only school in the SEC to go undefeated at home. UK's 18-0 home record is just the third undefeated season in school history.
Baseball - The Kentucky baseball team posted three wins on the weekend to sweep Buffalo in the home-opening set. - The Wildcats return to action with home midweek contests vs. Morehead State (Tuesday) and Xavier (Wednesday) at 4 p.m. ET, before hosting Illinois-Chicago in a three-game series Friday-Sunday. - Kentucky (6-0) is off to its best start to a season since opening 19-0 during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. The Wildcats have utilized a balanced approach with a .341 team average, a 3.50 team ERA and a staggering .996 fielding percentage. UK has made just one error on the year, coming on an attempted pickoff at second base.
Rifle - UK rifle finished second at the 2011-12 GARC Championships over the weekend at Ole Miss, placing third overall in smallbore and second overall in air rifle, finishing just six points shy of champion West Virginia. - Kentucky completed the final day of the GARC Championships with a solid air rifle score to finish second to West Virginia overall, after UK placed third in smallbore on Saturday. UK, the regular-season conference champions and the defending NCAA Champions, fell just six points shy of the Mountaineers. - UK was led on Sunday by a strong air rifle performance, as Settlemires paced the team with a 595. Greathouse fired a 592, while Wheatley finished with a 590. Henri Junghanel totaled a 585 and Katie Fretts fired a 579 to round out the starting lineup.
Men's tennis - Kentucky could not avenge an earlier loss this season to highly ranked Ohio State, falling 4-0 to the second-ranked Buckeyes on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. The win extended Ohio State's home winning streak to an impressive 136 consecutive matches, which is the longest in the nation. - The Wildcats dropped the doubles point with tight losses at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles, while OSU continued its momentum in singles action, earning singles matches at Nos. 2, 4, and 6 for the win. - UK junior Anthony Rossi, who is the reigning SEC Player of the Week, did not record a decision in the match, keeping his singles streak alive at 16 consecutive matches. Gymnastics - UK gymnastics posted its best meet of the year Friday, earning a team score of 195.525 en route to defeating No. 15 Auburn and Pittsburgh. It was Kentucky's first league win this year. - The Wildcats earned season-best team scores on two events, scoring a 49.125 on uneven bars and a 49.2 on floor exercise. The high score on bars is tied for the 12th-highest score on the event in school history, while UK's 49.2 on floor is tied for the 16th-best in school history. - Sophomore Audrey Harrison won her second all-around title on the season for UK, scoring a career-best 39.175. Senior Storey Morris finished first overall on uneven bars, while Harrison finished tied for first on beam and won the floor title outright with a 9.9. Softball - UK went 3-1 at the Georgia Southern Invitational where Kara Dill and Chanda Bell were named to the All-Tournament team. Dill batted .600 for the weekend and extended her season-long hitting streak to 10 games. Bell picked up two wins to become the school's all-time career leader in victories with 55. - Freshman Griffin Joiner had a breakout weekend with a .417 average. Joiner also reached base three other times by way of a walk and a hit by pitch, and registered her first career stolen base.
Track and field - The Kentucky men's team finished eighth at the SEC Championships with 38 points, while the women's teams placed 12th with seven points. - Senior Kentucky men's distance runner Luis Orta won the men's 3,000m run Saturday and the men's 5,000m run Sunday, becoming the first student-athlete to win both races in the same championship since Georgia's Ian Burrell in 2007. - Orta was a co-recipient on the men's side of the Cliff Harper Trophy, awarded each year to the high-points scorer of the meet. - Orta was the first Kentucky athlete ever to win the 3K at the SEC Indoor Championships, and was the first Wildcat to win the 5K since Richard Ede in 1987.
Women's tennis - Kentucky traveled for a midweek match with Akron, where the Cats lost a heartbreaker, 4-3. UK also traveled to Indiana to face the Hoosiers and dropped the match, 5-2. - Sophomore Khristina Blajkevitch excelled despite the tough competition at Indiana, bringing home a win in singles and doubles play. - Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff and CeCe Witten grabbed wins for the Wildcats in singles play vs. the Zips while also defeating their opponents in their respective doubles matches.
Men's golf - Kentucky finished in a tie for ninth at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate, its first tournament of the spring season. - Freshman David Snyder finished in a tie for 10th after a career-low round of 4-under-par 68 in the final round to finish at even-par. - Junior Chase Parker carded a career-low round of 5-under-par in the final round to finish in a tie for 25th. - Kentucky's final round team score of 285 was the second lowest third round of the tournament.
Swimming and diving - Tyler Reed and Lucas Gerotto both qualified for the 2012 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships with swims Sunday afternoon that catapulted them into elite company on the final day of the Bulldog Last Chance Meet. - Gerotto swam a 46.75 in the 100-fly, just three one hundredths of a second off the UK record, and good enough to place him 13th overall in the nation this year. Tyler Reed swam a 43.08 in the men's 100-freestyle to push himself to Seattle for the NCAA Championships in that event.
Tuesday, Feb. 28 Baseball hosts Morehead St. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 1 Men's basketball hosts Georgia - 9:00 p.m.
Friday, March 2 Women's basketball vs. Florida/Auburn - 1:00 p.m. (Nashville) Softball vs. Texas A&M CC - 2:30 p.m. (Lafayette, La.) Men's tennis at LSU - 4:00 p.m. Baseball hosts Illinois-Chicago - 4:00 p.m. Women's tennis hosts LSU - 5:00 p.m. Softball vs. Stephen F. Austin - 7:30 p.m. (Lafayette, La.) Gymnastics at Illinois - 8:00 p.m. Track and field at NCAA Qualifying
Saturday, March 3 Softball vs. Stephen F. Austin - Noon (Lafayette, La.) Softball at Louisiana-Lafayette - 2:30 p.m. Baseball hosts Illinois-Chicago - 1:00 p.m. Women's basketball SEC Semifinals - 4:00 p.m. (Nashville) Track and field at NCAA Qualifying
Sunday, March 4 Softball vs. Nicholls State - 11:00 a.m. (Lafayette, La.) Men's basketball at Florida - Noon Women's tennis hosts Arkansas - Noon Baseball hosts Illinois-Chicago - 1:00 p.m. Men's tennis at Arkansas - 1:00 p.m. Women's basketball SEC Finals - 6:00 p.m. (Nashville) Men's golf at USF Invitational
Freshman Terence Boyd will compete in long jump and triple jump at this weekend's SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
This weekend, Kentucky track and field is hosting the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships. In a two-part series, UK freshman athlete Terence Boyd is writing an exclusive running diary of the event for Cat Scratches. Boyd will compete in long jump and triple jump on Saturday and Sunday, but supported his teammates and took in the action as the meet opened Friday with the heptathlon and pentathlon. Here's what Boyd observed.
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.