Nwokey Sits Second in Heptathlon After Day One

May 12, 2011

ATHENS, Ga. - Three Kentucky track and field multi-event athletes, Ashley Newby, Precious Nwokey and Kayla Parker, began the 2011 Southeastern Conference Championships for the Wildcats with solid performances on a blistering day in  Athens, Ga., Thursday.

Nwokey sits in second-place after four events in the heptathlon with three top-three performances in the 100m hurdles, high jump and 200m dash. The junior began the day with a third-place finish in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.94, good for 987 points. Nwokey followed that with a life-time best mark in the high jump at 5-09.25/1.76m that moved her into first place overall after two events, with 2,019 points.

"Today was collectively a great effort day," assistant coach of jumps, vaults and multi-events James Thomas said. "I thought all three heptathletes competed at a high level. Day one had multiple season bests and personal bests, so now it's time to recover from the scorching heat and reload with the same intensity tomorrow."

The native of Houston, finished 10th in the shot put competition with a long toss of 33-02.00/10.11m, adding 537 points to her total. Nwokey bounced back nicely with another second-place performance, this time in the 200m dash with a time of 24.58 for 926 points. She was barely eclipsed by Mississippi State's Keisha Wallace, who used a late charge to defeat Nwokey by .05 seconds.

Newby, making her last appearance at the SEC outdoor championships, started the day off with a career-best time in the 100m hurdles, finishing eighth with a time of 14.30. The senior backed up that performance with a seventh-place finish in the high jump and her best finish of the day in the shot put coming in at fifth place. Newby was UK's highest finisher in the shot put, launching the implement 35-10.00/10.92m to earn 590 points. In conclusion of day one, Newby finished 12th in the 200m dash to claim ninth overall heading into day two of competition.

In contrast to Newby's last appearance at SEC outdoors, Parker was making her first. The freshman came out the gates strong with a fourth-place finish in the 100m hurdles, her highest finish of the day, with a personal-best time of 14.03. Parker finished 13th in both field events, the high jump and shot put, but does have her best field event still remaining, the long jump. Parker finished a good note with an eighth-place showing in the 200m dash with a time of 25.52 that has her in 11th place overall after four events.

All three athletes will be back in action when the heptathlon resumes Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET with the long jump, javelin throw and the 800m run. That will be followed by running events beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET with five Wildcats competing in the men's 800m preliminaries. The women's hammer throw, featuring Heather Smith, will start things off Friday at 10:00 am ET.

For continuous updates follow Kentucky track and field on twitter @Kentuckytrack and on UKathletics.com.

Thursday's Heptathlon Results (Four Events)

2. Precious Nwokey - 3,378 points
     100m Hurdles
     3. Precious Nwokey - 13.94 (987 points)
     High Jump
     2. Precious Nwokey - 5-09.25/1.76m (928 points)
     Shot Put
     10. Precious Nwokey - 33-02.00/10.11 (537 points)
     200m Dash
    2. Precious Nwokey - 24.58 (926 points)

9. Ashley Newby - 3,068 points
     100m Hurdles
     8. Ashley Newby - 14.30 (936 points)
     High Jump
     7. Ashley Newby - 5-04.25/1.64m (783 points)
     Shot Put
     5. Ashley Newby - 35-10.00/10.92m (590 points)    
     200m Dash
    12. Ashley Newby - 26.44 (759 points)

11. Kayla Parker - 2,927 points
     100m Hurdles
     4. Kayla Parker - 14.03 (974 points)
     High Jump
     13. Kayla Parker - 4-11.75/1.52m (644 points)
     Shot Put
     13. Kayla Parker - 29-09.25/9.07m (469 points)
    200m Dash
    8. Kayla Parker - 25.52 (840 points)

Friday, May 13th Schedule

Women's Hammer Throw - 10:00 a.m.
        Heather Smith
Heptathlon - 1:30 p.m.
        Precious Nwokey
        Ashley Newby
        Kayla Parker
Men's 800m Run Prelims - 5:30 p.m.
        Sharif Webb
        Matt Hillenbrand
        Robert Scharold
        Thomas Canary
        Williams James
Women's 800m Run Prelims - 5:45 p.m.
        Allison Peare
Men's 200m Dash Prelims - 6:15 p.m.
        Kyron Joseph
Women's 200m Dash Prelims - 6:30 p.m.
        Jazmyn Shorter
Men's 400m Hurdles Prelims - 6:45 p.m.
        Keith Hayes
Women's 400m Hurdles Prelims - 7:00 p.m.
        Shiara Robinson