Nine World-Leading Times Recorded at McCravy
By Jacob Most, Grant Gearhart and Ryan Cox
Jan. 24, 2015
Highlights | Photos | Results
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The numbers don't lie. The 2015 Rod McCravy Memorial Track and Field Meet was billed as the best regular-season meet of the year in the lead-up, and the performances that went down inside Nutter Field House the past two days substantiated the initial hype.
A staggering nine athletes ran world-leading times.
Fourty-two percent of the times/marks, which rank No. 1 in the NCAA happened this weekend in Lexington.
Furthermore, 15 athletes posted the best time/mark in the NCAA in their respective events and 67 of the times/marks that now rank in the top-5 of each respective event this season came at the McCravy.
Seventeen meet-records were broken, and nine Nutter Field House-records went down - an impressive number considering the facility has hosted the Southeastern Conference Championships five times previous. More facility records could be in jeopardy in a month's time when the building will again be the setting for the SEC Meet, which is widely considered the nation's best conference championships.
"You had all the national powerhouses in the same place," UK head coach Edrick Floréal said, "They call it the `Pre-National Meet,' which was what I wanted. I wanted to elevate the sport in Lexington and give our athletes a chance to bring the best people here to compete so they would have a chance to measure themselves.
"We also wanted to show we can run a high-class, high-caliber event. I think today changed a whole lot in terms of impressions of our University when it comes to hosting high-class track and field meets."
Indeed some of the brightest stars in collegiate, let-alone world track and field, shined bright on the UK campus this weekend.
Among them was Oregon's sophomore sensation Edward Cheserek, who has won five NCAA Individual Titles in a year-plus of college. Cheserek blew away an elite 3,000m field on his way to a world-leading time of 7:49.56, which set meet and facility records.
Another track young gun who entertained the Lexington crowd was Baylor's Trayvon Brommell, who set the world-junior record with a 100M time of 9.97 en route to the NCAA Championship last June. He blazed down the back straight-away of Nutter Field House to win the 60M in a world-leading time of 6.54.
Georgia's Kendall Williams posted the second highest pentathlon score in collegiate history (4,635) on Friday to illustrate just a small snapshot of the elite performances that occured in Lexington over the weekend.
Neal Outclasses Top-Notch Field In front of Home Fans
Keffri Neal was the Wildcats' top performer on Saturday. He defeated a stacked 800-meter field in what could have been the most-competitive half-mile of this season prior to the NCAA Championships.
Neal ran an indoor personal-best of 1:48.52 to outrace a field, which included Forida's Ryan Schnulle, and Arkansas' Patrick Rono, who sandwiched Neal to finish 2-3-4 in the 2014 NCAA Outdoor 800M Final in June.
The Canadian senior's time currently ranks No. 2 in the NCAA, and made Neal the No. 4 indoor 800M performer in UK history.
Wildcats show strong early form on McCravy Saturday
Sha'Keela Saunders, who on Friday posted a NCAA-leading long jump mark, finished third in the triple jump. Her personal-best mark of 42'11.75"/13.10M, which is the No. 6 mark in the NCAA this year. Saunders' triple jump ranks No. 2 on the UK all-time performers' list, to go along with the long jump school-record she broke on Friday.
Bradley Szypka began to show the form that took him to the SEC Shot Put Title and All-America status last indoor season, with an indoor-personal best throw in a stacked shot competition.
Szypka finished fourth, but his fifth attempt, which traveled 64'6.75"/19.68M increased his grip on the status as the No. 2 all-time performing Wildcat, and brought him within a foot of the school record.
Timothy Duckworth finished fourth in an extremely strong men's heptathlon. His total of 5454 points, in his college multi-event debut, ranks sixth nationally. Two of the three heptathletes that finished ahead of Duckworth were Maicel Uibo of Georgia who is the defending SEC Heptathlon Champion and NCAA Decathlon Champion and Gerrett Scantling, who was the 2013 SEC Heptathlon Champion and is a three-time All-Ameican.
Sha'Keela Saunders leapt to the collegiate-leading long-jump mark of 21'5.25"/6.53M on Friday. Saunders' top-ranked jump gave UK a total of three NCAA-leaders in this early season.
Dezerea Bryant, the defending NCAA Champion, ran the world-leading 200M time of 23.12 last Saturday at the Kentucky Invitational one month after running what remains the world-leading 300M time of 36.70 (not a NCAA event).
Bryant did not compete this weekend.
In all, Kentucky athletes have turned in eight performances, which rank inside the NCAA top-5 this season so far.
Other results involving Wildcats
Sophomore Nick Anderson finished fourth in the men's 60M hurdles with a time of 7.88, breaking his personal record of 7.90.
Leah Nugent finished fifth in the 60M hurdles with a time of 8.37.
Kentucky's lineup of Janmine Mitchell, Morganne Phillips, Angelica Whaley and Ariah Graham finished sixth in the women's 4x400M relay with a time of 3:39.44. The five higher finishers produced all five of the fastest times in the country this year.
Junior Rebecca Famurewa finished sixth in women's shot put with a throw of 49'4.25"/15.0M. Famurewa won the weight throw on Friday with a school-record improving mark of 70'10.75"/21.61M, which is the No. 4 mark in the country.