Orta Runs Second-Fastest Steeplechase in UK History

April 29, 2012

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Luis Orta ran the second-fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase in UK history and Josh Nadzam won the sixth heat of the men’s 1,500m run to highlight a fantastic day of action for the Kentucky men’s and women’s track and field teams competing in the Payton Jordan Invitational on Sunday in Palo Alto, Calif.

Kentucky, competing in arguably the most competitive distance running meet in the country, held its own by clocking seven career-best times, and finishing in the top-five of four races.
Orta led the Wildcats with a fourth-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase with a career-best time of 8:47.52. The Southeastern Conference Men’s Indoor Runner of the Year’s time was the third fastest among collegiate athletes competing in the 17-member field, and is the second-fastest steeplechase in Kentucky history.

After completing the first lap in third place, the Caracas, Venezuela, native dropped back to sixth midway through the race. With two laps remaining and the field beginning to spread out, Orta pushed back to the front to finish with a time of 8:47.52, just 0.05 seconds away from third and less than one second away from second.

Nadzam also had a great day at Cobb Track & Angell Field in sunny Palo, Alto. Nadzam used a fantastic kick late in the men’s 1,500m run to take over and hold on to first-place honors with a career-best time of 3:45.10.

Nadzam made his push from fourth-place with two laps to go, moving to the outside to take over second. On the final lap, Nadzam made one last push to take over first with a half-lap remaining. The Monaca, Pa., native stretched his lead going into the final turn and held on to win the race with a time of 3:45.10, destroying his previous career-best of 3:47.07 set during his junior year.

Sophomore Matt Hillenbrand also ran a career-best time in the 1,500m run. Racing in a different heat than Nadzam, Hillenbrand finished sixth with a time of 3:47.20 to beat his previous career-best time by 1.02 seconds.

Junior Walter Luttrell destroyed his previous career-best time in the 5,000m run by 37.30 seconds, finishing in 14:11.79. Luttrell hung around in the middle of the 32-member pack throughout the race before making his push in the final four laps. The Dayton, Ohio, native moved from 17th to 14th with four laps remaining, and then used his final kick on the bell lap, moving from 13th to 10th.

Freshman Keffri Neal finished second in his heat, and first among collegiate runners, in the men’s 800m with a career-best time of 1:51.04. In the following heat of the men’s 800m, sophomore Robert Scharold and senior Trent Halasek finished third and fourth, respectively. Scharold was in the top two for much of the race before being passed on the last step to finish third. Scharold ran a career-best time of 1:51.90, while Halasek finished with a time of 1:52.89.

Junior Megan Wright also recorded a career-best time Sunday. Wright, competing in the women’s 1,500m run, entered the final lap in 13th but pushed hard on the final lap to make up five spots and finish eighth with a career-best time of 4:34.81.

A complete list of Kentucky’s results from this weekend at the Penn Relays, Brutus Hamilton Invitational, Bellarmine Classic and Payton Jordan Invitational is listed below. The order of finish listed by the student-athlete at the Payton Jordan Invitational is that of his or her heat. In all other meets, the order of finish listed is their overall place.

For more Kentucky track and field news and information, follow the Cats on Twitter at “KentuckyTrack” and go to UKathletics.com.

Penn Relays
Franklin Field
Philadelphia, Pa.

Thursday’s Results
Women’s 400m Hurdles Championship
44. Devinn Cartwright – 1:03.41

Women’s High Jump College
T18. Joanne Imbert – 5-03.00/1.60m

Women’s Pole Vault College
T4. Samantha Stenzel – 11-11.75/3.65m
T19. Shelby Kennard – 11-05.75/3.50m

Women’s 4x100-Meter Relay Heats
11. Kentucky – 45.86
(Tamyah Pipkin, Keilah Tyson, Julie Nunn and Kayla Parker)

Women’s Shot Put Championship
5. Jennifer Svoboda – 50-10.00/15.49m

Women’s Long Jump College
23. Kayla Parker – 18-04.50/5.60m

Women’s 4x400-Meter Relay Heats
21. Kentucky – 3:42.97

Friday’s Results
Men’s Shot Put College
10. Bradley Szypka – 54-05.50/16.60m
12. Isiah Kent – 51-04.50/15.66m

Women’s 4x100-Meter College
1. Kentucky – 45.34
(Tamyah Pipkin, Keilah Tyson, Julie Nunn and Kayla Parker)

Men’s Discus Throw Championship
1. Andrew Evans – 185-06/56.56m

Women’s High Jump Championship
T7. Terri-Ann Grant – 5-09.25/1.76m

Women’s 4x200-Meter Relay Heats
8. Kentucky – 1:36.37
(Julie Nunn, Shiara Robinson, Tamyah Pipkin and Keilah Tyson)

Men’s Discus Throw College
14. Isiah Kent – 159-06/48.64m

Women’s 100-Meter Dash Heats
4. Keilah Tyson – 11.57

Men’s Long Jump College
7. Terence Boyd – 23-06.25/7.17m

Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles Heats
28. Kayla Parker – 14.43

Saturday’s Results
Men’s Javelin Throw Championship
4. Raymond Dykstra – 229-10/70.07m

Women’s 4x200-Meter Relay Championship of America
7. Kentucky – 1:37.17
(Julie Nunn, Shiara Robinson, Tamyah Pipkin and Keilah Tyson)

Women’s 100-Meter Dash Championship
2. Keilah Tyson – 11.48
Brutus Hamilton Invitational
Edwards Stadium/Goldman Field
Berkeley, Calif.

Saturday’s Results
Men’s One-Mile Run
13. Trent Halasek – 4:11.69
Bellarmine Classic
Owsley B. Frazier Stadium
Louisville, Ky.

Saturday’s Results
Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles
2. Brandon Bagley – 14.58

Men’s 100-Meter Dash
2. Ben Mason – 10.86

Men’s 400-Meter Hurdles
2. Brandon Bagley – 53.53

Men’s 200-Meter Dash
1. Ben Mason – 21.44

Men’s High Jump
4. Todd Nibbs – 6-04.00/1.93m
6. Ryan Ratliff – 6-04.00/1.93m

Men’s Long Jump
10. Todd Nibbs – 20-06.25/6.25m

Women’s Long Jump
7. Brittany Britt – 17-08.00/5.38m
Payton Jordan Invitational
Cobb Track & Angell Field
Palo Alto, Calif.

Sunday’s Results
Men’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase
4. Luis Orta – 8:47.52

Women’s 1,500-Meter Run
8. Megan Wright – 4:34.81

Men’s 1,500-Meter Run
1. Josh Nadzam – 3:45.10
6. Matt Hillenbrand – 3:47.20
8. Adam Kahleifeh – 3:55.11

Women’s 800-Meter Run
7. Allison Peare – 2:09.13

Men’s 800-Meter Run
2. Keffri Neal – 1:51.04
3. Robert Scharold – 1:51.90
4. Trent Halasek – 1:52.89

Men’s 5,000-Meter Run
10. Walter Luttrell - 14:11.79