Kennard, Stenzel Battle in Four-Way Pole Vault Jump-Off

Jan. 14, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky track and field team opened the 2011 season with six athletes competing in three events, all placing in the top-seven of their respective fields, to start off the Kentucky Invitational at E.J. Nutter Field House on Friday.

Sophomore Shelby Kennard (Rockwall, Texas) and junior Samantha Stenzel (Lexington, Ky.) began the night finishing in a three-way tie for second place in the women's pole vault, passing 3.79m/12-01.50 on their first attempt at that height. Kennard, Stenzel, Joanna Wright (Georgia Tech) and Katherine Hendricks (Vanderbilt) missed three consecutive attempts at 3.85 meters to send the event into a four-way jump-off, with only Wright surpassing the 3.85m threshold needed to take first place.

A trio of Kentucky triple jumpers completed the first event of their season in succession from third to fifth place. Senior Keenan Hall (Indianapolis, Ind.) took the top spot for the Cats with a mark of 15.29m/50-02.00, two inches away from his indoor season best a year ago. David Banks (Rosenberg, Texas), who stands third on UK's all-time indoor list, finished in fourth place with a jump of 15.19m/49-10.00. In fifth place finish, junior Steve Crouse (Albany, N.Y.) posted a career-best mark of 15.09m/49-06.25 surpassing his previous milestone of 49-00.25, set at the Tyson Invitational, Feb. 12, 2010.

After red-shirting all of last season senior Heather Smith (Powell, Ohio) returned to action for UK in the women's weight throw. Smith finished seventh with a long throw of 17.47m/57-03.75 on her second attempt of the evening, fouling on her final four throws. Coincidently, the mark of 57-03.75 is the exact distance Smith threw two years ago at the Kentucky Invitational. Louisville's D'Ana McCarty won the event with an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 21.11m/69-03.25.

A Nutter Field House record was set in the men's weight throw by unattached Porter Garland. The post-collegiate athlete launched the longest throw in the buildings 17-year history, traveling 23.97m/78-07.75 before taking an enormous bounce off the rubber-filled turf over the barriers surrounding the event.

For more track and field information and live results of Saturday's portion of the Kentucky Invitational go to    

Women's Pole Vault (Auto: 4.25)
T-2. Shelby Kennard - 3.70m/12-01.50
T-2. Samantha Stenzel - 3.70m/12-01.50

Men's Triple Jump (Auto: 16.15)
3. Keenan Hall - 15.29m/50-02.00
4. David Banks - 15.19m/49-10.00
5. Steve Crouse - 15.09m/49-06.25

Women's Weight Throw (Auto: 21.00)
7. Heather Smith - 17.47m/57-03.75