Famurewa Scores Five to Begin SEC Outdoor Championships
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The sixth-ranked Kentucky women’s track and field team raced to a roaring start to the 2014 Southeastern Conference Championships behind Rebecca Famurewa’s five points in the hammer throw.
Famurewa was part of the best competition in the history of the UK track and field complex (reopened in 2012) as she and three other throwers broke the stadium record.
Famurewa finished fourth overall with a personal-best throw on her final attempt, 59.06m/193-09. Georgia’s Elizabeth Tepe won the competition with a facility record of 64.18m/210-07.
With one event of 21 scored after one day of competition the Wildcats are in fourth place overall with five points.
UK is set up nicely to get on the board in the men’s competition on Friday, led by Ibn Short who is sitting tied for second overall in the decathlon.
Short made up the most ground in the high jump, which he won with a collegiate-best tying clearance at 2.08m/6-09.75 to add 878 points to his five-event total of 3872.
While only three individual competitions were contested on Thursday, the 2014 SEC Championships will get cranking on Friday evening with the first running-event prelims and the men’s and women’s 10,000-meter finals as the showcase.
UK’s Cally Macumber will headline the night, as the senior will look to add to her all-time total of two SEC Titles when she contests just the second 10k of her prestigious career.
“Someone like Cally Macumber showed what this meet means to our team by volunteering to run the 10k,” Edrick Floreal said. “That's 25 laps, I don't even know if I'm that courageous to volunteer for that. That's kind of the character of this team: People are beginning to volunteer. That's what I want. I want the kids to come to my office and say, 'Hey, I think I can do this event and get a couple points for you.' That's kind of what we've got going on right now."
The SEC is widely regarded as the top track and field conference in the nation. The weekend’s meet will feature three 2012 Olympians, 12 competitors from the 2013 IAAF World Championships and countless other contenders to make the Rio Games in 2016.
“If you look at the number of teams that are in the SEC ranked in the top 25 in the country, that says it all,” Floréal said. “For example, on the disc, you got two guys (ranked at) one, two both in the SEC. You go on the javelin, you got two guys one and two and they’re both in the SEC. You go to the 100, out of the top eight girls, you got five or six of them in the SEC. You look at the three top relay teams, again, you got that in the SEC. It’s a tough conference to be good but that’s a signature, if you can be good here, you’re truly good.”
SEC men’s teams have won 20 men’s NCAA team titles all-time, including 17 national championships since 1989, 205 NCAA individual and relay titles (eight in 2013) and own six NCAA Championship records.
The men’s competition will feature the co-defending national champions in top-ranked Florida and second-ranked Texas A&M. Arkansas is ranked fourth nationally and is the three-time defending SEC Champion.
SEC Women’s teams have earned 16 NCAA Outdoor team titles since 1987,137 NCAA individual and relay titles (five in 2013) and five NCAA Championship records. SEC athletes earned 59 First-Team All-America honors in 2013.
Fourth-ranked Texas A&M won the conference last season, but Florida enters the championships ranked No. 1 nationally (based on projected NCAA Championship performance).
Tickets are available at UKathletics.com/tickets or at the gate. All-Session passes are $20 for adults (19-64) and $10 for youth and seniors. Single-session passes are $10 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors.