UK's Medley Relays Impress at Penn Relays Friday
By Jacob Most
April 25, 2014 -
PHILADELPHIA – Kentucky made impressions with its medley relays on Friday at the 120th running of the Penn Relays. The Wildcats broke the school record in the men’s DMR, and finished as runners-up in the women’s SMR.
Entering the distance medley, 17th-seeded Kentucky was not expected to contend in a field featuring the 2014 NCAA Indoor Champions Stanford, runners-up Oregon and two more of the top-8 from indoor nationals.
Nonetheless the team of Keffri Neal (1,200m), Terence Boyd, (400m), Robert Scharold (800m) and Matt Hillenbrand (1,600m) broke the 25-year-old indoor/outdoor school record by more than three seconds with a time of 9:30.52.
Keffri Neal gave UK the lead at the first exchange with a split of 2:53.70, Terence Boyd then ran a quarter-mile split of 47.63 and Robbie Scharold completed the 800m in 1:49.58.
Matt Hillenbrand received the baton in fourth position, but clawed his way back into the lead pack (made up of runners from Oregon, Stanford and Villanova) by the third lap of the anchor leg.
Hillenbrand surprised much of the Franklin Field crowd of 38,135 when he raced into the lead at the bell, but with 300 meters remaining Edward Cheserek – a freshman three-time NCAA champion – made his move to win the relay for Oregon with a time of 9:25.40.
Villanova (9:28.93) and Stanford (9:29.66) were second and third, while UK took fourth.
The Kentucky women’s sprint medley relay of Dezerea Bryant, Keilah Tyson, Angelica Whaley and Allison Peare turned in a strong performance too.
Bryant – the NCAA indoor 200m champion – ran the first half-lap, while Keilah Tyson finished the first 400m among the leaders. Angelica Whaley ran the 400m leg in 54.4, and Allison Peare anchored over 800m in 2:07.94.
Peare briefly had the lead on the final lap, but UTech (Jamaica) went ahead coming off the final turn to claim the Penn Relays SMR Championship of America in 3:47.14. Kentucky finished as the runner-up team with a time of 3:48.24.
Leah Nugent qualified for Saturday’s 100m hurdles final with a wind-legal personal best time, 13.31.
Terence Boyd placed second in the long jump "college division,” with his outdoor best mark this season, 7.27m/23-10.25.
Kentucky’s women’s 4x200m relay of Dominique Booker, Sha'Keela Saunders, Kenyattia Hackworth and Whaley missed the Championship of America final by one spot and .2 seconds with a season-best time of 1:35.35.
Over at the Triton Invitational in San Diego, Rebecca Famurewa had a season best discus throw, with a mark of 54.04m/177-03 to place 13th in the invitational flight.
Famurewa and Brandi Walker placed 21st & 22nd in the hammer throw with respective marks of 51.09m/167-07 & 50.92m/167-01.
UK’s 4x100m relay did not finish in the college division race as the Wildcats failed to pass the baton on the first exchange.
The Penn Relays and Triton Invitational will continue on Saturday, and much of UK’s teams will also compete tomorrow at the Bellarmine Classic in Louisville, Ky.