UK Track & Field Poised for NCAA Championships

By Jacob Most
March 12, 2015 -

Live Broadcast: Friday - Saturday| Live Results|Schedule

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Kentucky track and field teams are poised to make a run, literally and figuratively, at this weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships taking place inside Arkansas' Randall Tyson Track Center.

The UK women's team enters the Championships with a school-record No. 3 ranking.

The Kentucky women have 11 entries that qualified for NCAAs, which is the fourth mostin the nation. The UK men have two entries.

The top-ranked host Arkansas women's team has the most NCAA-Championships entries with 15, No. 2 Florida has 13 entries, No. 6 and five-time defending National Champion Oregon has the third most entries with 12.

Kentucky had eight women's and two men's entries at last season's NCAA Championships.

In addition to a strong chance at a high team finish, Kentucky has multiple individuals considered contenders for NCAA Titles on the individual level.

Dezerea Bryant is the defending NCAA Champion at 200 meters and Silver Medalist at 60m. Bryant, who was sidelined for five weeks leading up to the Southeastern Conference Championships two weeks ago, recorded the No. 5 NCAA 200m time and matched her No. 3 NCAA 60m time at SECs in a double Silver Medal performance two weeks ago.

Kendra Harrison enters the NCAA Indoor Championships as the nation's leader in the 60m hurdles for the second year in a row. Unlike last season, she enters the meet relatively fresh as the SEC Championships were her season debut and she won her fourth SEC Title in as many attempts with a meet-record 7.92. She was the NCAA Silver Medalist in the 400m hurdles outdoors.

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

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, and owns the No. 9 NCAA triple jump this season.

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.

The Kentucky men's team will be represented by Bradley Szypka in the shot put and Keffri Neal in the mile.

Szypka is the No. 8 shot put seed. He finished fifth at NCAAs last season.

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. Neal is the reigning NCAA Bronze Medalist outdoors.

The NCAA Championships begin on Friday at 9 a.m. ET and continue Saturday at 9:45 a.m. Kentucky's first event on Friday will go off at 5 p.m. and Saturday's first event featuring a Wildcat will begin at 7 p.m.

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.

Athletes earn points for their teams at the NCAA Championships based on top-8 finishes on a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

The NCAA Championships will be broadcast live on ESPN3/WatchESPN at 7 p.m. ET each night. A post-produced condensed version of the Championships will air on ESPN on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m.

The Kentucky women's team scored its most points ever at a NCAA Indoor Championships in 2014, 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.


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