UK Track & Field to Send 13 Entries to NCAA Indoor Championships

By Jacob Most
March 4, 2015 -

NCAA Championships Central| Women's Entries|Men's Entries

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Thirteen may just be the Kentucky track and field program's lucky number. Kentucky will send 13 entries, which is among the best outputs in program history, to next week's NCAA Indoor Championships

UK increased the number of Wildcats who will be dancing at the National Championships by three from last season to 13 total entries - 11 entries from the fourth-ranked women's team and two from the men's team.

Eight women's team members qualified in 11 events, with seven of those women making the NCAA field in individual events (Ariah Graham ran the anchor leg on UK's qualifying 4x400m relay - all other members of that team also qualified in individual events).UK's two men's qualifiers made it in individual events.

The NCAA Indoor Championships will be held March 13-14 at Arkansas' Tyson Indoor Track Center.

The top-16 athletes and top-12 relay teams that declared for the Championships in their particular events, based on performances recorded this season, qualified for the Championships.

Of the top-5 ranked women's teams No. 1 Arkansas - the championships host - has 16 entries, No. 2 Georgia has eight, No. 3 Florida has 15 has No. 5 Texas has eight entries. No. 7 Oregon - the five-time defending NCAA Champion - has 12 entries and No. 8 Texas A&M has eight entries. No. 6 Kansas State has nine entries.

Kentucky checked in at a season-high tying No. 4 in the most recent national rankings.

Entry Breakdown
Senior Kendra Harrison enters the meet with the collegiate-leading 60m hurdles time of 7.92. She recorded the time, which ranks No. 6 all-time among collegians, en route to defending her SEC Title.
Harrison will enter the meet relatively fresh as the SEC Championships were her season debut.

Harrison teamed up with Dezerea Bryant and Morganne Phillips and Ariah Graham to turn in the fourth ranked 4x400m relay, a SEC Silver Medal and school-record performance of 3:31.53.

Bryant, who was sidelined for five weeks leading up to SECs, recorded the No. 5 NCAA 200m time and matched her No. 3 NCAA 60m time at SECs in a double Silver Medal performance last weekend.

Sha'Keela Saunders and Kenyattia Hackworth, who won the SEC Gold and Silver Medals respectively enter the NCAA long jump ranked Nos. 2 and 3 respectively. Saunders is the reigning NCAA Outdoor Long Jump Silver Medalist. Saunders owns the No. 9 NCAA triple jump this season.
Both Saunders and Hackworth competed for UK in the 4x400m relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships last season. They both qualified for NCAAs outdoors in 2014.

Rebecca Famurewa ranks No. 9 in the weight throw (17'10.75"/21.61m). Morganne Phillips will be the No. 13-seed in the 400m hurdles with a season-best time of 52.69, which she ran in a fourth-place performance at the SEC Championships.

Keilah Tyson is the No. 14-seed in the 200m with a season-best time of 23.47.

Leah Nugent made the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles for the second year in a row (8.22).

The Kentucky men's team will be represented by Bradley Szypka in the shot put and Keffri Neal in the mile.
o Szypka is the No. 8 shot put seed. He finished fifth at NCAAs last season.
o Neal will be making his NCAA Indoor Championship debut. He enters the meet with a No. 12 seed time of 3:58.02. All 16 of the mile entries have run sub-four-minute miles this season.

USTFCCCA will release a pre-NCAA Championships rankings next week based on the entries for the meet.

The Kentucky track and field teams sent 10 entries, eight on the women's side and two on the men's side, to the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships.

In 2014 The Kentucky women's track and field team scored its most points ever at a NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing with 23 points for ninth place nationally. The ninth-place finish earned the Wildcats their highest women's team placement since 1989 when UK ended the meet eighth with the University's previous all-time NCAA Indoor high score, 15 points. The UK women's team also finished inside the national top-10 for the second time ever, the other being 1989.

Women NCAA Entries
60m
200m
5. Dezerea Bryant: 23.02
14. Keilah Tyson: 23.47
400m
60m hurdles
16. Leah Nugent: 8.22
4x400m relay
4. Kentucky: 3:31.43
Long Jump
2. Sha'Keela Saunders: 21'6"/6.55m
3. Kenyattia Hackworth: 21'3.5"/6.49m
Triple Jump
8. Sha'Keela Saunders: 42'11.75"/13.10m
Weight Throw
8. Rebecca Famurewa: 70'7.25"/21.61m
NCAA Men's Entries
800m
12. Keffri Neal: 3:58.02
Shot Put
8. Bradley Szypka: 64'7"/19.68m