Harrison's Hurdle Title Leads UK Track & Field to Top-Four SEC Finish
Feb. 28, 2015 -
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kendra Harrison repeated as Southeastern Conference 60-Meter Hurdles Champion, electrifying the home crowd inside Nutter Field House as the ninth-ranked Kentucky women's track and field team earned a fourth-place finish at the 2015 SEC Indoor Championships.The fourth-place result was the second-highest finish and point total in program history. UK finished fourth overall with 76 points, which was the second highest score ever by a UK women's team, bettering last year's fourth-place total by 4 points. Kentucky's best-ever women's finish was third with 92 points in 1989.
"The women's team did a fantastic job," UK head coach Edrick Floréal said. "The good thing with our women's team was we had so many athletes who came from nowhere, being on the cusp for the longest time, really stepping up. We had a lot of good stuff happen from people that we needed to step up."
Harrison, who was competing this weekend for the first time this season, broke her meet record with a NCAA-leading time of 7.92 in the 60m hurdles. Harrison ran 7.94 last season at the SEC Meet, giving her the only two sub-8-second times in the history of the meet, which boasts past champions the likes of Olympic Silver Medalist LaVonna Martin Floréal and World Champion Lolo Jones.
Harrison's personal-best time ranks sixth on the all-time collegiate list in the 60m hurdles. Since making her SEC debut last season Harrison has left conference opposition feeling befuddled on multiple occasions having won four SEC Titles en route to an undefeated record in SEC hurdles races.
"Keni Harrison - first race of the year you break the SEC Record, break the school record and you take the lead by .1 seconds," Floréal said. "Performances like that by our women's team were fantastic. We're getting a lot stronger as a women's team."
Harrison was part of UK's 4x400m relay team, which claimed the SEC Silver Medal in a two-second school-record time of 3:31.53. Morganne Phillips ran leadoff, before handing to Bryant who passed the baton to Harrison before Ariah Graham brought it home.
Bryant earned Silver Medals in the 60m and 200m bringing her all-time SEC Championship medal count to eight. Bryant competed this weekend for the first time since Jan. 17, and tied her season best in the 60m with a time of 7.18 behind only Alabama's Ramona Burchell 7.08 - which was a collegiate record.
She came agonizingly close to Gold in the 200m, losing a photo finish by .003 seconds to Florida's Kyra Jefferson (23.012).
Rebecca Famurewa claimed the SEC Bronze in the weight throw, with a mark of 70'7.25"/21.52m. Sha'Keela Saunders and Kenytattia Hackworth finished 1-2 in the long jump on Friday.
Keffri Neal claimed Bronze in the 800m with a time of 1:48.79.
SEC Team Finishes
The Arkansas women won their fifth all-time SEC Indoor Championship and first since 2013 by scoring 130 total team points. Florida was second with 86 points, Texas A&M was third with 81.90 points, LSU was fifth with 51 points.
The Florida men won their seventh all-time and first SEC Championship since 2011. The Gators scored 114 total team points to take home the title, while Arkansas was second with 89 and Texas A&M was third with 87. Ole Miss was fourth with 62 points while LSU rounded out the top-five with 53 points.
The UK men's team finished 12th with 22 points.
"I would say we're going to fix the men's team," Floréal said. "I promise you that. We're going to bring them up to the standard this University and this Athletics Department deserves. We will be significantly better by outdoors."
Leah Nugent ran a 8.27 in the 60m hurdles for sixth place.
Javianne Oliver finished seventh in the 60m dash with a time of 7.42.
Tim Duckworth finished as the top freshman in the men's heptathlon with a fifth place finish of 5426, to gain a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Morganne Phillips made a fourth place finish in the women's 400m dash with a time of 52.69, a new season best completing a breakthrough weekend in which Phillips likely qualified for the NCAA Championships breaking 54 seconds for the first time since 2013.
Sha'Keela Saunders finished fourth in the women's triple jump with a mark of 42' 11''/13.08m, completing a 15-point weekend after she won the long jump title on Friday.
Charles Moushey finished in sixth in the pole vault with a jump of 16'5.25''/5.01m.
Aundrea Busse finished 13th in the women's 5k, but ran a new personal best of 16:46.75.
In the men's shot put, Brad Syzpka threw 61'4.75''/18.71m, good enough for fourth place.
Keilah Tyson finished in seventh in the women's 200m dash with a time of 23.98.
The men's distance medley relay team came in sixth with a season best time of 9:48.13.