Track and Field: Cats Set For Rod McCravy Memorial Meet

Jan. 27, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a successful Kentucky Invitational, the UK track and field team heads into its second competition of the year - past first meet jitters - and ready for an intense four-week stretch leading up to the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships, as it plays host to the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet on Friday and Saturday at E.J. Nutter Field House.

The meet begins Friday at 6 p.m. EST with select field events. Field events resume Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. before running events begin at 12:30 p.m EST. The event is free and open to the public with live statistics available online at Ukathletics.com.

A group of 15 men’s and 17 women’s teams will make the trip to Lexington, including Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Purdue, Southern Illinois, UT Chattanooga and Western Kentucky on the men’s side. For the women, Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Purdue, Southern Illinois, UT Chattanooga, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky are set to compete.

In the collection of 32 teams, four are ranked in the United States Track and Field Coaches Association top-25. Ohio State, coming in at No. 21, is the lone ranked men’s team and is coming off a team victory at the 2011 All-Ohio Indoor Track and Field Championship last Saturday. On the women’s side, Southern Illinois is the highest ranked team in the field and is the only one to crack the top 10, followed by No. 21 Louisville and No. 24 Ohio State.

The Wildcats are coming off three wins at the Kentucky Invitational, Jan. 14-15, that included junior transfer Keith Hayes in the 60-meter hurdles, senior Josh Nadzam in the one-mile run, and the women’s 4x400m relay team.

Hayes turned in the best performance of his career, collecting one of two Wildcat victories, with a time of 7.84. Hayes is in his first year at Kentucky after transferring from the University of Kansas where he finished fifth in the 60m hurdles at the 2009 Big 12 Indoor Championships, scoring four points for his team. Former UK star Mikel Thomas holds the school-record time of 7.74 in the event, set at the Iowa State Qualifier in 2009. Thomas ran in the race today as an unattached athlete and finished second with a time of 7.90. Two other Wildcats finished in the top six in the hurdles with Darryl Bradshaw finishing fourth and Brandon Bagley in sixth position. Bradshaw, a returning sophomore, set a personal best with a time of 8.07 and moved up to fifth on UK's all-time list.

The UK women's 4x400m relay won its opening event of the season with a time of 3:40.11 but needed a late charge by shorter to secure the victory by .03 seconds. After breaking the school record on multiple occasions last season the relay squad returned three pieces and added one to build on last year's accomplishments. Jenna Martin, Brittany Cabbler and Jazmyn Shorter led a senior driven squad and now have added freshman Julie Nunn to the mix. On the men's side, Kadeem Kushimo, Cody Miller, Keith Hayes and Sharif Webb made up the 4x400m relay team that finished second with a time of 3:14.14.

To begin the distance events, senior Josh Nadzam outlasted three Michigan State Spartans to win the men's one-mile run with a time of 4:09.84. Nadzam placed fifth in the event at last year's Kentucky Invitational with a time of 4:13.47, an improvement of 3.53. The native of Monaca, Pa., was entered into the race as an unattached runner. Freshman Matt Hillenbrand finished the mile in 10th place with a time of 4:16.45 followed by senior Sharif Webb who crossed the finished line in 4:19.08. Webb did not compete in the 800m run which is the event he earned All-America honors last indoor season.

Many other Kentucky track and field athletes had solid performances and look to improve in the second meet of the year inside the friendly confines of Nutter Field House.

For continuous updates follow the UK track and field team on twitter @KentuckyTrack, and at Ukathletics.com.