Chelsea Oswald Wins SEC 10K Title in Record Time
By Jacob Most
May 11, 2013
Meet Central | Live Results | Friday Results | Photos
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Chelsea Oswald covered 10,000 meters faster than any woman in Southeastern Conference Championship history with a winning time of 33:38.35 at Audrey Walton Track Stadium on Friday.
Oswald also set the Walton Stadium record, and became the third fastest Wildcat at the distance all-time in her first ever 10K race. She is the first Wildcat to win an SEC 10K title since Kristi Orre in 1989.
"When somebody breaks a SEC record for as long as this conference has existed and as many great athletes that have competed here it's pretty special," head coach Edrick Floreal said. "It shows how far she's come given how much she's accomplished throughout the year.
"I also think it's a fantastic job on (assistant women's distance coach) Hakon DeVries' part. Getting girls that you've never coached before this season and elevating them to that level is pretty special."
Oswald sat in the first chase group through the first few kilometers of the race before moving into the lead group where she stayed through the midpoint amongst a group of eight.
That lead pack had shrunk to four by the midway point of the race. Oswald continued to sit at the front of the lead group before making her move with three laps to go.
The 2012 cross country and two-time indoor All-American in 2013 executed her race plan to perfection. Nobody in the race could match her acceleration at that point. She continued to build her lead through the final half-mile, winning her first career SEC title going away.
"This is the first SEC Outdoor Meet of my career so I am just so excited to be healthy and competing," Oswald said. "Every time I step on the track I'm excited to represent my team and UK because I would not have been able to do this without them. I think this was just a big confidence booster and stepping stone.
"It was my first 10k ever. Now I know how it feels, and how I should feel."
Cally Macumber picked up two more points for Kentucky with a seventh place finish and personal best time 34:44.34. Macumber is now the fifth fastest UK competitor at 10K all-time.
The women's team wrapped up the second day of the SEC Championships in fifth place overall with 12 points through three events.
Arkansas leads the women's standings with 21 total team points, while LSU is second with 17 and Georgia is third with 16. Florida (14) and Kentucky round out the women's top-five through the meet's first two days.
The Florida men hold the lead through three events with 35 total team points, while Arkansas is second with 25 and Georgia is third with 17. Missouri (15) and Texas A&M (7) round out the top-five teams on the men's side through the opening two days.
"As far as the team we still have a little bit of work to do to get better, and be able to compete at that level," Floreal said. "I think some people have made the transition. We just need more to do so."
Kentucky began the evening session of preliminary races with a pair of 800-meter final qualifying performances.
Keffri Neal took second in the first preliminary heat crossing the finish line in 1:49.51, just 0.1 second off his personal best time. Neal was top qualifier of non-heat winners and enters Sunday's final with the third fastest qualifying time.
Allison Peare then posted a prelim time of 2:07.90, to finish third in her heat. That performance was the bubble time through two more heats. When all the prelims were done, Peare's performance stood up as seventh fastest final-qualifying time overall.
Keith Hayes tied his season-best 400-meter hurdles time as he crossed the line in 52.55 for third in his heat. His performance was the sixth best qualifying time to make Sunday's final. Brandon Bagley was fifth in Hayes' prelim with a time of 55.51.
The third day of the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships begins Saturday at 2 p.m. ET at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.
Live streaming video and results will be available on MUtigers.com/SECtrack. Live coverage will air on ESPN3.com Saturday and Sunday afternoon with respective start times of 4:40 p.m. and 3:50 p.m.
The SEC Championships will air as part of a 90-minute show on ESPNU on Thursday, May 23 beginning at 8 p.m.
A pair of 2012 runner-ups will headline Saturdays action for UK.
Raymond Dykstra, a 2012 All-American, will compete in the Discus at 2 p.m. ET. Luis Orta will take the track for the 3,000-meter steeplechase, which will be the penultimate event of the evening.