Evans Claims Men's Discus Title at SEC Championships
May 12, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - Andrew Evans said he felt lucky. Luck or no luck, the sophomore from Portage, Mich., should feel like a champion.
Evans threw a mark of 181-09/55.40m in the men's discus finals Saturday at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., and took home the men's discus title. It is the fifth-straight men's discus title for Kentucky at the SEC Championships, something Evans is very proud of.
"It means a lot to me," said Evans about continuing Kentucky's streak of discus championships. "I want to continue that for the next two or three years with myself and Isiah (Kent)."
Evans' mark of 181-09 is not a season-best, but it was all that was necessary to take home the championship. Evans opened with a mark of 177-00 on his first throw before throwing the eventual winning throw of 181-09 on his second throw in the preliminaries. Throwing last in the finals, Evans' final throw was unnecessary after nobody had surpassed his mark.
One day after finishing just outside the top eight in the men's hammer and thus not earning any points, Evans said it felt good to contribute to the team's point total with his result in the discus.
"That's good because I was kind of upset yesterday I didn't get any points in the hammer with a ninth-place finish," Evans said. "I'm just glad I could make up for it with a first-place (in the discus)."
With just one day remaining in the SEC Championships, the Kentucky men's team sits in fifth with 24 points, while the Kentucky women's team is in 11th with 4.50 points.
Also competing in the discus alongside Evans was sophomore Isiah Kent. Kent also did not throw a season-best mark, but his second-to-last throw of 165-11/50.57m was good enough to finish eighth and earn the Wildcats one more team point in addition to Evans' 10 points.
The men's 3,000-meter steeplechase was the final event of the day Saturday, and junior distance runner Luis Orta did not disappoint. The 2012 SEC Men's Indoor Runner of the Year finished second in the race with a career-best time of 8:45.77. Orta stayed up front throughout the race en route to his personal record which is also the second-fastest 3,000m steeplechase in program history. Orta's second-place finish also gave the Wildcats eight more team points.
Kentucky senior thrower Jennifer Svoboda finished fifth in the women's shot put with a mark of 49-01.75/14.98m. Svoboda's mark, while not a season-best, did earn the Kentucky women's team its first four points of the championships.
Svoboda got off to a strong start, recording her best mark on her first throw. The Howells, Neb., native, entered Sunday's event with the fifth-best mark in the conference. Svoboda holds the fifth-best mark in Kentucky history, recording a 51-11.75 in 2008.
Also recording points on the women's side for the Wildcats was senior high jumper Terri-Ann Grant. Grant cleared the opening two heights of 5-05.75 and 5-07.75 on her first attempts, before bowing out at 5-09.25. Because Grant and Postenea Louisjeune of Alabama had tying marks, the two split the one team point.
Sophomore Matt Hillenbrand and senior Josh Nadzam finished first and third, respectively, in their heat of the men's 1,500m run. Hillenbrand, Nadzam and sophomore Robert Scharold paced the group for the first half of the race. Nadzam then entered the final lap in front, with Hillenbrand close behind him in second. Hillenbrand then took the lead on the final stretch of the race to win the heat with a time of 3:49.36. Nadzam finished third with a time of 3:49.66. Sophomore Adam Kahleifeh, who raced in the same heat as Hillenbrand and Nadzam, finished fifth with a time of 3:50.34.
Hillenbrand and Nadzam qualified for the finals of the event automatically by finishing in the top four of their heat. Kahleifeh also qualified for the finals because he had one of the top-four times among runners who didn't finish in the top-four of their respective heat. Hillenbrand had the fastest time in the preliminaries among all runners, while Nadzam had the fifth fastest and Kahleifeh had the ninth fastest. The men's 1,500m finals will take place Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Freshman Keilah Tyson finished second in her heat in the women's 100m dash with a career-best time of 11.47, and qualified for the finals on Sunday at 5:20 p.m. ET. Tyson is the lone freshman who qualified for the finals in the 100m. At this year's SEC Championships, Tyson has been the top freshman finisher in both the 100m and 200m after finishing 11th Friday in the 200m.
Unfortunately, Tyson's time of 11.47 will not count in the Kentucky record books because it was aided by a wind of greater than 2.0 meters per second. Tyson already owns the Kentucky freshman record in the 100m after clocking an 11.48 at the Penn Relays in late April. Tyson's time at the Penn Relays is also the third fastest in Kentucky history.
Fellow freshman Tamyah Pipkin raced in the following heat of the 100m, and ran a career-best time of 11.72. Pipkin's time was the 13th fastest overall at the meet.
Sophomore Kayla Parker recorded a new career-best mark in the women's long jump on Saturday. Parker leaped 19-06.75/5.96m on her second attempt in the event to finish 13th overall. Parker's jump was not only a career best, but it was also the eighth-best long jump mark in Kentucky history.
Kentucky pole vaulters Samantha Stenzel and Shelby Kennard each cleared season-best heights of 12-04.50/3.77m. Stenzel finished 10th in the event while Kennard finished in a tie for 11th due to the number of attempts taken. Stenzel and Kennard share the Kentucky pole vaulting record of 12-08.00, set at last year's SEC Championships in Athens, Ga.
In the women's 400m dash, freshman Angelica Whaley edged out her previous season-best time by clocking a 55.29 on Sunday afternoon. Whaley finished fourth in her heat and 20th overall.
The Wildcats recorded a pair of personal records in the women's 1,500m run, as sophomore Hiruni Wijayaratne and senior Megan Broderick clocked career-best times. Wijayaratne finished with a time of 4:37.53, while Broderick, running in the same heat, finished with a time of 4:39.84. Junior Megan Wright led UK in the event with a time of 4:36.23.
Kentucky will close out the championships Sunday, beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET with the men's javelin. Kentucky will compete in two different events Sunday with its student-athletes entering the event ranking in the top five in the conference.
Freshman Raymond Dykstra claims the second-best javelin mark in the SEC this year, throwing 247-05.00 also at the Texas Relays. Dykstra's javelin mark is not only a freshman record at UK, but it is also the program record.
Orta has the fourth-fastest 5,000m time in the conference. The junior will compete in the 5K at 7:00 p.m. ET Sunday. Orta ran his season-best time in the 5,000m at the Pepsi Florida Relays (14:09.47).
The SEC Championships mark the pinnacle of all conference championship meets. In the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association top-25 poll, a dozen SEC teams were featured, including seven from the men's side and five on the women's side. The seven ranked men's teams are the most in the country, and include five of the top 11 teams. Among the five ranked teams on the women's side, two are ranked in the top five.
Live coverage of the meet will air on ESPN3.com on Sunday. That coverage will air from 4-8 p.m. ET. Dwight Stones, Larry Rawson and Lewis Johnson will have the call. Live results of the meet can be found at UKathletics.com.
A complete list of when and what events Kentucky student-athletes are scheduled to compete in Sunday is listed below, as well as results from Kentucky's student-athletes through the opening three days. All times listed are eastern. All student-athletes, events and times of events are subject to change.
For all Kentucky track and field news and information, including a recap and results from the final day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, follow the Wildcats on Twitter at "KentuckyTrack" and go to UKathletics.com.
2012 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Bernie Moore Stadium - Baton Rouge, La.
May 10-13, 2012
Women's Team Standings (Through Day Three) - Nine Events Scored
1. Georgia - 76 points
2. LSU - 47.50 points
3. Arkansas - 43.50 points
4. Florida - 39 points
5. Mississippi - 32.50 points
6. Alabama - 26 points
6. Tennessee - 26 points
8. South Carolina - 20 points
9. Mississippi State - 17 points
10. Auburn - 15.50 points
11. Kentucky - 4.50 points
12. Vanderbilt - 3.50 points
Men's Team Standings (Through Day Three) - Six Events Scored
1. Arkansas - 70 points
2. Georgia - 38 points
3. LSU - 28 points
4. Florida - 26 points
5. Kentucky - 24 points
6. Auburn - 17 points
7. Tennessee - 13 points
8. Mississippi State - 12 points
9. Alabama - 5 points
10. South Carolina - 1 point
Kentucky Women's Point Scorers
Jennifer Svoboda - 4 points (5th - Shot put)
Terri-Ann Grant - 0.5 points (T8 - High jump)
Kentucky Men's Point Scorers
Andrew Evans - 10 points (1st - Discus throw)
Luis Orta - 8 points (2nd - 3,000-meter steeplechase)
Walter Luttrell - 5 points (4th - 10,000-meter run)
Isiah Kent - 1 point (8th - Discus throw)
Friday's Individual Results
Women's 800-Meter (Prelims)
7. Allison Peare - 2:06:03q
Men's 800-Meter (Prelims)
11. Trent Halasek - 1:51.45
16. Keffri Neal - 1:52.66
17. Matt Hillenbrand - 1:52.68
18. Robert Scharold - 1:52.97
Women's 200-Meter (Prelims)
11. Keilah Tyson - 23.97
19. Tamyah Pipkin - 24.53
22. Julie Nunn - 25.10
Men's 200-Meter (Prelims)
22. Ben Mason - 21.97
Men's Hammer Throw (Prelims & Finals)
9. Andrew Evans - 176-04/53.76m
Women's 400-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)
15. Shiara Robinson - 1:01.95
18. Devinn Cartwright - 1:03.19
Men's 400-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)
15. Brandon Bagley - 53.71
Men's 10,000-Meter (Finals)
4. Walter Luttrell - 30:08.86
21. Stacey Eden - 33:35.41
Saturday's Individual Results
Women's Long Jump (Prelims & Finals)
13. Kayla Parker - 19-06.75/5.96m
Men's Long Jump (Prelims & Finals)
12. Terence Boyd - 23-05.50/7.15m
Women's Shot Put (Prelims & Finals)
5. Jennifer Svoboda - 49-01.75/14.98m
Women's 1,500-Meter (Prelims)
23. Megan Wright - 4:36.23
25. Hiruni Wijayaratne - 4:37.53
27. Allison Peare - 4:37.74
30. Megan Broderick - 4:39.84
32. Katy Achtien - 4:45.25
Men's 1,500-Meter (Prelims)
1. Matt Hillenbrand - 3:49.36Q
5. Josh Nadzam - 3:49.66Q
9. Adam Kahleifeh - 3:50.34q
13. Keffri Neal - 3:55.78
14. Trent Halasek - 3:56.62
21. Robert Scharold - 4:07.22
Women's Pole Vault (Finals)
10. Samantha Stenzel - 12-04.50/3.77m
T11. Shelby Kennard - 12-04.50/3.77m
Men's Discus (Prelims & Finals)
1. Andrew Evans - 181.09/55.40m
8. Isiah Kent - 165-11/50.57m
Women's 100-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)
13. Kayla Parker - 13.82
Men's 110-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)
Brandon Bagley - DNF
Women's High Jump (Finals)
T8. Terri-Ann Grant - 5-07.75/1.72m
T15. Joanne Imbert - 5-05.75/1.67m
Women's 400-Meter (Prelims)
20. Angelica Whaley - 55.29
30. Julie Nunn - 56.49
Women's 100-Meter (Prelims)
6. Keilah Tyson - 11.47Q
13. Tamyah Pipkin - 11.72
Men's 100-Meter (Prelims)
24. Ben Mason - 11.02
Men's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase (Finals)
2. Luis Orta - 8:45.77
Sunday's Individual Lineup
Men's Javelin (Prelims & Finals) - 2:00 p.m.
Men's Triple Jump (Finals) - 2:45 p.m.
Men's Shot Put (Prelims & Finals) - 3:00 p.m.
ESPN3.com Live Video Feed Begins - 4:00 p.m.
Women's 4x100-Meter Relay (Finals) - 4:00 p.m.
Men's 1,500-Meter (Finals) - 4:30 p.m.
Women's Discus (Prelims & Finals) - 5:00 p.m.
Women's 100-Meter (Finals) - 5:20 p.m.
Women's 800-Meter (Finals) - 5:40 p.m.
Women's 5,000-Meter (Finals) - 6:40 p.m.
Men's 5,000-Meter (Finals) - 7:00 p.m.
Women's 4x400-Meter Relay (Finals) - 7:25 p.m.
Men's 4x400-Meter Relay (Finals) - 7:35 p.m.