Track and Field Inks Top Local Recruit

April 18, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky track and field head coach Don Weber announced the signing of top in-state recruit, Thomas Canary of Versailles, Ky. A three-time Kentucky state champion, Canary attends Lexington Catholic High School.

Canary comes to UK as an accomplished distance and middle distance runner. While attending LCHS, he has clinched three Kentucky Class AA championship crowns - two in cross country and one in track.

Last fall, Canary finished as the runner-up at the Class AA Cross Country State Championships to earn first team All-State honors for the second year in a row. In 2007, the UK signee placed third overall to garner first team recognition. During his first two years of high school, Canary attained second-team All-State honors.

Canary was crowned the state's Class AA Region 4 Champion during his junior and senior seasons. He was also tabbed the region's Runner of the Year and named to the Class AA All-Senior team after his final season in 2008.

At LCHS, he led the cross country team to a third-place team finish at the Class AA Cross Country Championships in 2007. Lexington Catholic also won regional and district championships that same year as well as 2006.

On the track, Canary ran a personal-best time of 1:54.06 to claim the 2008 Class AA 800 Meter Run State Championship and break the Class AA State Record in the event as a junior. At the Class AA Region 4 championships last season, Canary clinched the 1,600m run title in a time of 4:24.77 and finished runner-up in the 800m run.

Earlier this year, Canary ran a season-best 800m time of 1:57.03 at the UK High School Invitational on the track inside Nutter. Last weekend, he ran an outdoor 800m season-best time at the Louisville Male Invitational of 1:58.42 to place second.

Canary also posted a personal-record mile finish of 4:28.41 at UK's Wildcat Classic this past winter. On the track at the Senior Challenge Meet, he posted a 5,000m finish of 16:25.59.

Last season the LCHS boys' team placed third at the Class AA State Championships during Canary's junior season. Canary holds school records in the 800m, 1,500m and the 5,000m runs.

"Thomas has done very well in high school including his 2008 Class AA state championship where he broke the state record in the 800m at 1:54.06," Weber said. "But I think Thomas has tremendous potential to develop into a very competitive collegiate runner."

Canary has proven himself outside the state at national meets. In 2007, he placed 10th overall as a member of the AAU National Championship Cross Country Team. At the 2006 USATF national meet, Canary took home fourth in the 1,500m run. He also placed fourth in the 1,500m run at the 2005 AAU National Meet. .Canary will become a third-generation Wildcat in the fall, following in the footsteps of his parents, Tom and Jennifer, as well as his grandmother. He currently resides in Versailles with his parents and younger sister Cecille. Canary chose Kentucky over rivals Louisville and Tennessee.

The Kentucky track and field team continues its schedule at the Penn Relays and UCSD Invitational next weekend.