Nwokey Impressive, Breaks UK Record in Pentathlon

Jan. 28, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior Precious Nwokey made her 2011 pentathlon debut with a school record-breaking performance in the pentathlon with 4,024 points, becoming the first UK athlete to break the 4,000 point barrier, Friday at the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet.

Nwokey put together the best performance of the day, setting the school record in the pentathlon with 4,024 total points, passing former Wildcat Ashley Trimble who had a career high 3,997 in 2009. The juniors score was No. 1 in the NCAA when the competition concluded around noon today and was only 51 points from an NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Trimble competed in today’s pentathlon as an unattached athlete and won the competition with 4,102 points, which qualified her for the United States Indoor Championships, Feb. 26-27 in Albuquerque, N.M.

“Overall, for the first pentathlon of the year she (Nwokey) did an excellent job,” assistant coach James Thomas said. “We wanted to come in here and really stay focused and we did that. In multi-event competitions you have to have fun and enjoy what you do but still stay focused and execute. It’s good to see her start the year at a higher point than she has ever been in her life and we have a lot to look forward to as we prepare for SEC’s.”

Nwokey, the only returning female All-America honoree from last season, won two of the five events that make up the pentathlon, gaining 978 points for running the 60-meter hurdles in 8.68 and 855 points for clearing 5-07.00/1.70m in the high jump. Nwokey showed great improvement in the shot put, setting a personal-best mark of 35-08.75/10.89m, collecting 588 points. Her previous best throw in the shot was 28-08.50 set at the 2010 SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Nwokey closed out her record-breaking day with 759 points in the long jump for a mark of 18-08.50/5.70 and 844 points for running the 800m run in 2:18.48.

Senior Ashley Newby finished just behind Nwokey in the pentathlon, notching a five-event total of 3,597 to take third. Newby came just three points away from tying her personal best of 3,600 which she set at the 2010 SEC Indoor Championships.

Senior Keenan Hall and Steve Crouse finished third and fourth respectively, in the men’s triple jump. Hall completed his longest jump on his second attempt with a mark of 49-02.50/15.00m and Crouse finished three quarters of an inch behind, with a long jump of 49.01.75/14.98m.

Kentucky’s two female pole vault athletes, Shelby Kennard and Samantha Stenzel, equaled each other’s performance clearing the bar at a season-best 12-02.75/3.73m. Kennard finished two places ahead of Stenzel as she cleared their final height on her first attempt while Stenzel passed on her third run.

The women’s weight throw competition closed out Friday’s portion of the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet with senior Heather Smith as Kentucky’s only participant. Smith finished ninth with a long throw of 58-04.50/17.79m in what was the strongest field in any event so far.  No. 8 Southern Illinois, a traditional powerhouse in the throwing events, placed four female throwers in the top six of the event.

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

Pentathlon (Auto: 4,075 points)
2. Precious Nwokey – 4,024 points
3. Ashley Newby – 3,597 points

60m Hurdles
1. Precious Nwokey – 8.68 (978 points)
5. Ashley Newby – 9.13 (883 points)
High Jump
1. Precious Nwokey – 5-07.00/1.70m (855 points)
2. Ashley Newby – 5-04.50/1.64m (783 points)
Shot Put
2. Ashley Newby – 38-00.25/11.59m (634 points)
3. Precious Nwokey – 35-08.75/10.89m (588 points)
Long Jump
2. Precious Nwokey – 18-08.50/5.70m (759 points)
4. Ashley Newby – 17-10.75/5.45m (686 points)
800m Run
2. Precious Nwokey – 2:18.48 (844 points)
4. Ashley Newby – 2:36.73 (611 points)

Women’s Pole Vault (Auto: 4.25m)
5. Shelby Kennard – 12-02.75/3.73m (O)
7. Samantha Stenzel – 12-02.75/3.73m (XXO)

Men’s Triple Jump (Auto: 16.15m)
3. Keenan Hall – 49-02.50/15.00m
4. Steve Crouse – 49-01.75/14.98m

Women’s Weight Throw (Auto: 21.00m)
9. Heather Smith – 58-04.50/17.79m