Throwers Lead Wildcats on First Day of NCAA Mideast Regional
May 29, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Three Kentucky track and field throwers automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships on the first day of the NCAA Mideast Regional as senior Rashaud Scott won the men's shot put title, junior Kristin Smith set a new UK women's hammer throw record and senior Ashley Muffet placed third in the women's discus Friday at host University of Louisville's Cardinal Park.
Scott's winning mark of 62-1.25 automatically qualified him for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., at the University of Arkansas in two weeks. The Bronx, N.Y., native placed eighth in the shot put at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Scott posted his regional championship mark on his second attempt. Scott's top throw was just one inch shy of his personal-best mark that ranks sixth all-time at UK.
The Wildcat's event win is the seventh men's Mideast Regional title all-time for Kentucky and second for Scott. He will defend to his 2008 men's discus regional title Saturday. Scott's win earned the Cats 10 team points.
Junior Kristin Smith topped the UK women's varsity record she set earlier this season by 10 feet with her second-place mark of 209-2 on her first attempt of the finals. She became the first UK woman to clear the 200-foot mark in the hammer throw. More impressively, Smith eclipsed the old record of 199-2 on each of her final four throws. The Marietta, Ga., native automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships and collected eight team points for the Cats.
Ashley Muffet's fifth throw of 181-0 clinched third overall and automatically qualified her for the NCAA Championships. The North Canton, Ohio, native came into the finals in fourth and moved into second before settling into third overall. Muffet picked up six team points for the Cats.
"Obviously we started out with a bang today in the men's shot and the women's hammer," UK assistant coach for throws Doug Reynolds said. "Rashaud winning, it wasn't unexpected, but we weren't expecting it. Kristin got a little nervous early on but once she settled in and let her guard down, four of her six throws would have broken the old school record. I'm very happy with how Ashley performed today. This meet is all about advancing. All we want to do is advance and then come back and get ready for the national championships."
The men's 4x100m relay team kicked off the day by recording the fourth-best time all-time at UK. The Wildcat squad of senior Gordon McKenzie, classmate Jose Acevedo, junior Kwasi Obeng and junior Rondel Sorrillo clocked in at 39.50 to place fourth in the prelims and advance to the final.
Sorrillo also advanced in the men's 200m dash, crossing the finish at 20.80. The native of Trinidad and Tobago placed second in his heat but qualified by posting the top at-large time among the six heats. The finish is his best as a Wildcat and ranks seventh all-time in the school annals. Sorrillo placed 10th in the 100m dash, clicking in at 10.54.
Three other Wildcats finished among the top-12 in their respective events to keep their at-large chances alive for the NCAA Championships.
Acevedo placed 10th in the men's 200m dash, crossing the finish line in 20.95.
In the women's 400m hurdles, senior Ashley Trimble just missed the final with a personal-best finish of 59.31. Her time improves her mark that ranks second all-time at Kentucky.
Senior Emilee Strot placed 12th in the women's discus with a throw of 158-0.
After five scored events, the UK women are tied with Indiana for third with 14 points. Arkansas leads with 20 while Southern Illinois picked up 17.
On the men's side after five events, the Wildcats are tied for sixth with 10 points. The Razorbacks lead the men as well with 28 points.
Coming into the weekend the UK men ranked at No. 20, one of five nationally-ranked regional squads in the latest top-25 poll. All five teams hail from the Southeastern Conference including No. 6 Arkansas, No. 8 LSU, No.10 Auburn and No. 23 Mississippi State.
On the women's side, the Wildcats will compete against five top-25 teams, including four SEC squads. No. 3 LSU, No. 7 Tennessee, No. 10 Michigan, No. 16 Arkansas, and No. 17 Auburn will provide tough competition.
Twenty-two Wildcats made the trip to Louisville to vie for the chance to participate at the NCAA Championships. The Mideast Regional is one of four NCAA regional meets taking place this weekend.
Athletes that finish in the top five of their regional events automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. All of the remaining selections are at-large bids decided after the five automatic qualifiers in each of the four regions are determined. At-large qualifiers are limited up to eight athletes nationally per event and must finish among the top 12 within their region. The at-large athletes are selected in descending order by top declared qualifying marks among non-automatic selections until the six to eight bids are filled.
Field events on Saturday begin at 11:00 a.m. ET while running events get out of the starting blocks beginning at 4:00 p.m. The first Wildcats are in action at 2:30 p.m. in the men's hammer and women's shot put.
Big Blue fans may purchase tickets at Cardinal Park. Daily tickets cost $15 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Attendees are encouraged to park in the garage across from the U of L Track and Soccer Stadium on Floyd Street for $3. Additional parking for the track and field event will be in the corner lot at Fourth Street and Cardinal Avenue for $3, with a free shuttle available to and from the stadium.
Live stats from the meet will be available on UKathletics.com.
A full recap of the Cats' performances will be available after Saturday's competition on UKathletics.com.
Wildcat Scorers by Event - Mideast Regional Track and Field Championships after Day 1
MEN (points earned) - 10
1. Rashaud Scott - 62-1.25 (10) REGIONAL CHAMPION; NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER
WOMEN (points earned) - 14
2. Kristin Smith - 209-02 (8) NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER
3. Ashley Muffet - 181-00 (6) NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER
Kentucky Mideast Regional Participants Competing on Saturday May 30
Men's Hammer Throw - 2:30 p.m. ET
Women's Shot Put - 2:30 p.m. ET
Men's 4x100m Relay Finals - 4:10 p.m. ET
Gordon McKenzie / Jose Acevedo / Kwasi Obeng / Rondel Sorrillo
Women's Triple Jump - 5:00 p.m. ET
Men's Triple Jump - 5:00 p.m. ET
Men's Discus - 5:30 p.m. ET
Men's 200 Meter Dash Finals - 6:05 p.m. ET
Men's Steeplechase - 6:40 p.m. ET
Men's 4x400m Relay Finals - 7:20 p.m. ET
Jose Acevedo / Brandon Austin / Kwasi Obeng / Stephan Smith