Men's Track Attains Highest Ranking in Program History Heading into Weekend
April 2, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. and AUBURN, Ala. - The Kentucky men's track and field team achieved its highest ranking in program history this week heading into the Florida Relays and Auburn's Tiger Track Classic, which begin on Friday. The Wildcats hold the No. 6 position in the outdoor preseason United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll released Wednesday.
The USTFCCCA preseason rankings reflect returning athletes' best times and marks from last season and assign points in each event in descending order from first to project the national team standings. A few weeks into the season the 2008 results are replaced by 2009 marks earned in competition. Texas A&M is the preseason number one team in the poll. Last season, the UK men placed ninth nationally at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Cats' best finish in the 87-year history of the championships, with three medalists and seven All-America honorees.
This week the Wildcat men and women visit two Southeastern Conference tracks. The UK throws squads will head to Auburn for the Tiger Track Classic while the rest of the team will compete in the Florida Relays.
The Relays is an opportunity for the Cats to test out the track at Florida, the host of this year's SEC Outdoor Championships in May. Competition begins Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET with running events and later select field events start at 5:00 p.m. The meet resumes Saturday with field events at 11:30 a.m. and running events at noon. Live results can be found at UKathletics.com
The field includes several ranked men's teams besides the sixth-ranked Wildcats including No. 4 Florida State, No. 9 Tennessee, No. 14 South Carolina and the host No. 8 Gators. On the women's side ranked squads include No. 4 Tennessee, No. 16 Miami, No. 17 South Carolina, No. 19 Arkansas and the No. 11 Gators.
Senior Ashley Trimble earned SEC Female Runner of the Week honors earlier this week for her season-opening performance at Arizona State. She won the women's 400m hurdles in a time of 59.64 to clinch an NCAA regional-qualifying mark. Trimble leads the SEC in the 400-meter hurdles by 0.27 seconds. She earned another regional-qualifying mark in the 100m hurdles, clocking in at 13.85. Trimble's 100m hurdle time ranks fourth in the SEC.
On the men's side, senior sprinter Jose Acevedo led the men by making the NCAA cut in both the 100m and 200m dashes at ASU.
The Wildcat throws squad begins competition Friday at the Tiger Track Classic with the hammer throw beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET with the men, followed by the women. On Saturday, the men's discus and women's shot put begins at 2:30 p.m. followed by the women's discus and men's shot put competition. Live results will be available on UKathletics.com.
Last week, junior Kristin Smith set the UK women's hammer throw record at Georgia Tech with a distance measuring 199-2. She earned an NCAA regional-qualifying mark and won the competition. On the men's side, senior Alek Grietens threw a personal-best mark in the hammer of 190-11 to improve his fourth-place standing on UK's all-time list and also earned an NCAA regional-qualifying mark.
Scott broke the nine-year-old discus meet record at ASU with a personal-best throw of 212-9. His discus mark tops the SEC and ranks fifth in the IAAF world rankings. Scott's throw ranks second all-time at UK and earned him an NCAA regional-qualifying mark.
Muffet won the women's hammer throw title in Tempe, posting an NCAA regional-qualifying mark of 187-11. She also notched two additional regional-qualifying marks in the shot put and discus. Impressively, she leads the conference in shot put and discus and ranks second in the hammer behind Smith.
A full weekend recap of the Cats' performances will be available on UKathletics.com after each day of competition.