UK Treks to Atlanta for Yellow Jacket Invitational

LEXINGTON, Ky. ? After completing one of the strongest indoor track seasons in school history, the University of Kentucky track and field teams open their outdoor track season this weekend at the Yellow Jacket Invitational on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Competition begins Friday at 6 p.m. ET with the men?s and women?s hammer throw competition. Action resumes Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET. The field includes four ranked men?s squads from the preseason polls: No. 3 Tennessee, No. 9 Auburn, No. 19 Louisville and No. 23 Clemson. The Auburn women?s squad is also ranked 17th nationally.

Other participating schools at the event include: Chattanooga, Connecticut (women only), Georgia, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Michigan (men only), Middle Tennessee State, Tulane (women only), Vanderbilt (women only) and Wake Forest.

?In the outdoor season, you advance to nationals through regional qualifying,? UK head coach Don Weber said. ?So the early season meets for outdoors is just used as preparation for the next meet and the end of the year at the championships.?

During the 2007 outdoor season, UK placed five individuals and a relay squad into the NCAA Championships last June.

Thrower Ashley Muffet concluded her season at the NCAA Championships after throwing a personal best toss of 170-0 in the women?s discus at the Mideast Regional. The mark stands second-best all-time in school history. The returning junior also tied for the SEC women?s Commissioner?s Cup at the conference Outdoor Championships awarded to the athlete earning the most points at the meet.

Sprinter Jenna Martin became the first Wildcat to break the 52-second barrier in the 400 meters with a time of 51.91, setting new freshman and varsity outdoor records. Martin also set a UK indoor freshman record with a time of 53.44 in the 400. The Nova Scotia, Canada native later ran the event in NCAA Championships as a semifinalist.

Middle-distance runner John Richardson earned a trip to the NCAA Championships by winning a Mideast Regional Championship in the 1,500 meters. Richardson claimed the men?s 1,500-meter SEC championship for a second consecutive year with a personal best time of 3:43.02.

Departed senior sprinter Luis Luna was also a semifinalist in the 400 meters on the men?s side at the NCAA Championships. Luna anchored the men?s 4x400 meter relay squad that advanced to the championships after a first-place showing at the NCAA Mideast Regional running with teammates Justin Harrison, Nathan Browning and Jose Acevedo.

Departed senior thrower Gavin Ball advanced to the final meet of the NCAA season by throwing the sixth-best shot put toss in UK history (59-5.0) at the Mideast Regional.

A full recap of the Cats? performances will be available after competition on