UK Track & Field Dominates Women's Hurdles & Dash at VT
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Kentucky track and field teams continued building the strong momentum they have been accumulating early in 2014 with another solid team performance – for the first time away from home – at the Doc Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet on Friday.
Dezerea Bryant and Kendra Harrison have carried the banner for the Wildcats for much of 2014, and Friday’s performances were no exception. The two were named to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association’s (USTFCCCA) watch list on Thursday and they certainly backed up the hype one day later.
Each won her signature event. Harrison claimed the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8 seconds flat, after clocking 7.97 in the preliminary heats, one one-hundreth off her nation-leading personal best performance. Bryant won the 60m dash in 7.27.
The UK women’s team dominated both the 60m hurdles and the 60m dash as the Wildcats had three top finishers in both events.
In the 60m, Bryant and Harrison finished 1-2, while Parker placed sixth. In the hurdles, Parker’s time of 8.34 was good for third, while Leah Nugent ran 8.51 for sixth.
Perhaps UK’s most top-heavy performance came in the women’s 200m as Sha’Keela Saunders capped a breakout evening with a winning time of 24.28 in her first college race at the distance, while Keilah Tyson made a strong 2014 debut with a second-place time of 24.48. Leah Nugent was third, in 24.63.
Not to be outdone by the women’s team, Matt Hillenbrand represented the UK men’s squad in style. The defending Southeastern Conference mile champion posted a conference-leading mile time of 4:01.27 that made him the meet’s top collegian finisher with a time that also ranks inside the national top-16,
Allison Peare also turned in a strong half-mile, completing four laps of the 200m track in 2:06.93.
Saunders’ 200m win topped an impressive long jump performance from earlier in the evening as she placed third with a collegiate best mark (6.07m/19'11"), while Kenyattia Hackworth was 6th in her UK debut (5.96m/19'6.75").
Terence Boyd placed sixth in a strong long jump field, with a top jump on his third attempt: 7.23m/23’ 8.75”.
The action will continue inside Rector Field House on Saturday beginning with field events at 11 a.m. ET and running events starting at 1 p.m.
Notably, Kayla Parker ran five races on Friday, having made the final in both the 60H, 60m and competed in the 200m. For her part, Leah Nugent ran two 60H heats as well as finishing third in the 200m.