Robert Sandlin Wins Penn Relays 5k with Monster Kick

April 23, 2015

PHILADELPHIA and CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Kentucky Track and Field's Robert Sandlin used a monster kick down the stretch to win the 5,000 meters at the 121st running of the University of Pennsylvania Relays Carnival on Thursday at Franklin Field.

Sandlin, a senior who transferred to UK in the fall to study physical therapy as a graduate student, has emerged as an elite runner nationally in the 1,500m this season, but Thursday's performance uncovered another level altogether.

With five laps to go Sandlin and Texas' Craig Lutz pulled away from the rest of the field. But at the bell lap, Lutz, a 2013 10k All-American and two-time cross country All-American, had a 10-meter lead.

But Sandlin showed off his newfound kick and won the race by a significant margin in a final time of 13:51.69. Lutz ran 13:57.67.

Sandlin's time currently ranks 12th nationally. Additionally it moved him into fourth place on the UK all-time 5k performers' list.

Kentucky -- competing at the Penn Relays in reduced numbers this season -- has now had an individual 5k Champion two years in a row at the Penn Relays, as Cally Macumber won the women's 5k with a similarly impressive kick a year ago.

Thursday was a day for season-best throws by Kentucky Wildcats competing at the Olympic Training Center's Elite Meet in Chula Vista, California.

Rebecca Famurewa reached the best discus mark since her freshman season, hitting 186 feet 9 inches 56.93 meters to place second. The mark ranks seventh in the nation this season.

Madison Jacobs threw her collegiate best in the discus, 184'2"/56.14mto finish third. That mark improved Jacobs season ranking to No. 9 nationally.

Bradley Szypka threw a season-best 63'0.75"/19.22m in the shot put to place second


Thousands of miles away and in sub-40-degree weather, Mackay Wilson placed third in The Penn Relays steeplechase, running 9:03.70. Spencer Hrycay placed fifth in the (9:04.83), and James Brown was ninth (9:07.55).

Friday and Saturday Kentucky's throwers will ply their trades at the University of California-San Diego's Triton Invitational. The top throwers in the nation annually gather at the Triton Invitational in hopes of taking advantage of the strong Pacific winds that often blow on the UCSD campus.

The largest and most diverse group of Wildcats in terms of events will travel to Gainesville, Fla., for the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational on Friday. That meet will mark the second time UK has competed at Florida this season, having also taken part in the Florida Relays earlier this month.

The Tom Jones Memorial will begin at 11 a.m. ET.

Six athletes will run at the Bellarmine Classic in Louisville on Saturday.