Seven Nation-Leaders Posted, Including by UK's Saunders, on Day-One of McCravy


By Jacob Most
Jan. 23, 2015 -

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The gauntlet was thrown time and time again, by so many heavyweight punchers – at least when it comes to collegiate long jumping – and when push came to shove Sha’Keela Saunders answered the bell.

Saunders, the 2014 NCAA Silver Medalist, on Friday found some measure of redemption from last June when Oregon’s Jenna Prandini edged her by five inches to win the NCAA Long Jump Championship competing in her home-venue of Hayward Field.

On Friday Saunders turned the tables on Prandini, and proved herself to be as much a national contender as any jumper in the nation. Her mark of 21’5.25”/6.53 meters broke the school record, and now leads the nation.

Saunders’ performance contnues a string of strong results dating back to her NCAA East Regional Champonship in May.  She is undefeated this season.

All the more impressive was the fact that Saunders came up big when the pressure was on, as the mark came on her last attempt, almost giving her a walk-off win.

While Saunders remained undefeated this season, Rebecca Famurewa continued her unblemished run in the weight throw this calendar-year.

She extended the school record she broke a week ago to 70’10.75”/21.61M, and moved to No. 4 in the nation this campaign.

Famurewa’s win may not have shocked those who have closely followed her steady development in the discipline, but it certainly turned the heads of those who expected the winner to come from the pool of No. 9 Jayla Bostic of Florida, No. 11 Kirsten Peoples of Missouri and No. 13 Lea Johnson of Miami.

Living up to the hype
The McCravy Memorial was billed as the nation’s strongest regular-season meet this year, and Friday’s action didn’t disappoint. Of the 15 events contested on Friday, seven resulted in nation-leading times/marks and 28 of the performances from Friday now rank inside the national top-5 in their respective events.

The action will only heat up with plenty more events, with even-deeper fields scheduled for Saturday.

Kentucky stays solid on day-one
Another strong performance on Friday night was turned in by freshman Aundrea Busse, who ran in a nine-second personal best to finish third overall in the 5K.

Corey Williams leapt to his personal-best mark as a collegian in the long jump. He flew 23’8.25”/7.22M, and finished sixth in a loaded men’s long jump.

Michelle Canterna finished 14th at the #McCravy with a season-best clearance at 12-2 ¾/3.73M.

Justin Kretchmer finished ninth in the high jump with a best clearance at 6'8.25"/2.04M

The McCravy Memorial will continue on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. ET. The meet will be broadcast live on SEC Network beginning at Noon ET, and continuing until conclusion.