Newcomers Shine at Kentucky Invitational

LEXINGTON ? The University of Kentucky track and field teams opened the 2006 indoor season with the Kentucky Invitational at Nutter Field House Friday evening. Day one of two consisted of a majority of the field events and the 4x800 relays. Tomorrow?s events will begin at 10:30 a.m. Admission to the event is free.

Traditionally not know for producing pole vaulters, the Wildcats seemed to have found their prodigy as freshman Mary Chris Durham tied for third with a jump of 11-5.75. The height marked a new UK freshman record and was less than four inches from breaking Liz Kittredge?s all-time mark of 11-9.

Ex-gymnastics standout and newcomer Michelle Gales has an impressive Wildcat debut, placing fifth in the triple jump in her first career collegiate meet. Gales' jump of 39-1.25 was good for sixth all-time indoor at UK.

Freshman Ashley Muffet also had an impressive Wildcat debut, placing fifth in the weight throw with a toss of 57-5.50 (fourth all-time at UK). Senior Ildiko Varga improved her personal best and moved up to fifth all-time at Kentucky with a throw of 57-2.25.

The Kentucky men?s 4x800 ?A? squad cruised to an easy victory in a time of 7:41.87. Junior Nick Reeves led off the race, followed by sophomores Dan Hutson, John Richardson and Stephan Smith.

The Kentucky women?s 4x800 rallied back from fifth place to finish second in a time of 9:02.14. Senior Candance Leep led off, followed by sophomore Lavera Morris, junior Georgannne Way and freshman Andrea Brown. Michigan broke its own meet record, finishing in a time of 8:45.64.

Other Kentucky notables included sophomore high jumper Graham Cole (14th, 6-3.50) and freshman Maggie Tincher who competed in the pole vault but did not clear a height.

Tonight?s meet will include an exhibition of the discus slated to start at 10:30 p.m. The event is non-sanctioned indoor event.

Tomorrow?s events will start at 10:30 a.m. with the remaining field events. The running and relay races will begin around 12:30 p.m.