Wildcat Men Close Out Mideast Regional with Five Top-Three Finishes
May 30, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The No. 20 Kentucky men's track and field team secured the Wildcats' best team finish at the NCAA Mideast Regional, placing third overall after five top-three finishes including senior Rashaud Scott's second consecutive men's discus title Saturday at host University of Louisville's Cardinal Park.
On the final day of the regional, three individuals and two relay teams from the men's side automatically qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., at the University of Arkansas June 10-13. The Cats' third-place finish is the best ever for the Blue and White after tying for fourth place last year. The 46 points accrued by the UK men fell shy of the Cats' 51 points in 2008. Arkansas won the 2009 regional men's team title with 90 points.
"This time of the season you are usually trying to maintain where you are," UK head coach Don Weber said. "But after some of our injuries to our sprinters this season we think we can get better. Fitness-wise we have an opportunity to improve, so that's encouraging. Both of our relays battled out there and Rashaud and Chase came up huge today."
Scott secured his second straight men's discus regional championship with a personal-best throw of 216-2. The defending NCAA National Champion in the event set a new Mideast Regional record in the process besting Auburn's Gabor Mate mark of 213-5 set in 2005. Scott also broke the eight-year-old facility record at Cardinal Park of 196-9. He led from his opening throw and increased his lead with each throw of the finals, but it was Scott's final attempt that gave him his third regional title in two years. Scott's win added 10 points to the Wildcat total.
The Wildcat's event win is the eighth men's Mideast Regional title all-time for Kentucky and third for Scott. He successfully defended his 2008 men's discus regional title Saturday after winning the men's shot put title Friday.
Classmate Chase Madison placed third in the men's discus to advance to his first NCAA Outdoor Championship as a Wildcat. His third throw from the ring measured 195-02 feet to claim third place overall. Madison's distance was his best mark since his throw of 196-7 to begin the outdoor season. The Newton, Iowa, native automatically qualified for nationals and added six points for the Wildcats.
In the 200m dash final, junior Rondel Sorrillo crossed the finish line in 20.50 to break the 15-year-old varsity record of 20.54 held by former Olympian Tim Harden in 1994. Sorrillo's third-place finish automatically qualified him for nationals and picked up six points for the Cats.
Two UK men's relay squads shined to open and close the meet Saturday.
The men's 4x100m relay team placed second crossing the finish line at 39.29 to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships in day two's first running event. The team of senior Gordon McKenzie, classmate Jose Acevedo, junior Kwasi Obeng and Sorrillo topped their preliminary time of 39.50 to record the third-best relay time in UK history. The Wildcats' mark is the best in the event since 1995. The team added eight points to the UK total.
Capping off the meet with a third-place finish was the men's 4x400m relay team of Obeng, senior Stephan Smith, classmate Brandon Austin and Acevedo. The Wildcats crossed the finish line in 3:06.29 to take second in their heat. The squad automatically qualified for nationals and picked up six points for the Cats.
Sophomore jumper David Banks performed impressively in the men's triple jump with a personal-best leap of 50-11 on his third attempt. His ninth-place mark ranks second all-time at UK only behind Bethel Ward's varsity record jump of 51-1.75 set in 1981.
On day one of the Regional, two female Wildcat throwers automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships. 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 becoming the first UK woman to clear the 200-foot mark in the hammer throw. Veteran thrower Ashley Muffet's fifth throw of 181-0 in the women's discus clinched third overall and automatically qualified her for the NCAA Championships.
Senior Ashley Trimble will join Muffet and Smith in Fayetteville because of her automatic-qualifying mark in the heptathlon. Multi-events are not contested in regional meets.
The UK women finished 19th overall with 14 points. LSU won the women's title with 85.50 points.
The Mideast Regional is one of four NCAA regional meets that took 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.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the official NCAA Championship selections scheduled to be announced Tuesday.
Wildcat Scorers by Event - Mideast Regional Track and Field Championships after Day 2
MEN (points earned) - 46
1. Rashaud Scott - 216-2 (10) REGIONAL CHAMPION; NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER
3. Chase Madison - 195-2 (6) NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER
1. Rashaud Scott - 62-1.25 (10) REGIONAL CHAMPION; NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER
2. Gordon McKenzie / Jose Acevedo / Kwasi Obeng / Rondel Sorrillo - 39.29 (8) NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER
200 Meter Dash
3. Rondel Sorrillo - 20.50 (6) NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER; NEW UK VARSITY RECORD
3. Kwasi Obeng / Stephan Smith / Brandon Austin / Jose Acevedo - 3:06.29 (6) NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER
WOMEN (points earned) - 14
2. Kristin Smith - 209-02 (8) NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER; NEW UK VARSITY RECORD
3. Ashley Muffet - 181-00 (6) NCAA AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER