Dykstra, Harrison Post Big Wins at Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. -- Kentucky's heavy hitters lived up to their reputations and more while competing on one of the biggest stages in track and field, Hayward Field, at the Oregon Team Invitational on Saturday.
Raymond Dykstra won a javelin showdown against the defending NCAA Champion, while Kendra Harrison ran a head-turning 100m hurdles time in cold, rainy conditions. And those two weren't the only Wildcats to shine in TrackTown, USA.
No. 6 Oregon edged No. 5 Kentucky 138-124 in the women's team competition, while the No. 3 Men of Oregon defeated Washington and No. 24 Kentucky. Oregon scored 162, Washington scored 115 and Kentucky placed third in the triangular with 110.
The competition employed a scoring system where the top-6 finishers in each event scored points where only the top-2 finishers from each team could score. The points were awarded on a 7-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Returning to the field where Oregon's Sam Crouser surpassed him on the final attempt after trailing the entire competition to win the NCAA Title last season, Dykstra turned the tables this time.
The two entered Saturdays meet as the nation's top-two throwers this season and their showdown -- hyped beforehand as one of the best regular-season throwing competitions in some time -- lived up to the billing.
Throwing into a wind, which at times registered at more than two meters per second on track level during sprint races, Crouser opened with a throw of 241-feet, eight inches/73.66m to Dykstra's 238'7"/72.72m.
In the fourth round, Crouser improved to 246'8"/75.19m while Dykstra improved, but was unable to surpass the host.
But Dykstra came up clutch on the final attempt. He passed Crouser with a throw of 249'1"/75.93m and with the last attempt of the afternoon, Crouser fouled. Dykstra exacted a minor measure of revenge on this day, but both throwers know the main prize will be awarded at the same site. In June.
Kendra Harrison's 100m hurdles 2015 debut was similarly impressive. Running in cold, rainy conditions Harrison opened with one of the only collegiate sub-13-second times of this young season. She ran 12.94 with a +2.4 wind at her back.
-- UK Track and Field (@KentuckyTrack) April 11, 2015
Harrison won both of her events on Saturday as she led a 1-2-3 finish for UK in the 200m with a time of 23.69. Keilah Tyson placed second in 23.86 and Javianne Oliver ran 24.13.
Both of Kentucky's women's relays won on Saturday. The 4x100m relay of The 4x400m relay of Jasmine Mitchell, Angelica Whaley, Morganne Phillips and Kenyattia Hackworth ran 3:36.51. Earlier in the day, UK won the women's 4x100 relay. The team of Oliver, Dominique Booker, Kenyattia Hackworth and Tyson ran a season best 43.99.
Leah Nugent won the 400m hurdles with a season-best 57.19, which ranks fifth nationally.
Brad Szypka produced his 2015 outdoor season best to win the shot put with a mark of 62'8"/19.10m.
Keffri Neal won the 800m in 1:49.89 behind a solid kick on the home stretch.
Morganne Phillips won the 400m in 54.85. Booker and Oliver went 1-2 in the 100m, and both tied their personal bests: respective times of 11.44 and 11.53.
Adriana Brown won the women's discus with a throw of 157'8"/48.06m.
The Cats went 1-2 in the men's high jump. Justin Kretchmer won, clearing 6'11"/2.11m. Ibn Short was second having cleared 6'9.75"/2.08m.