Four Cats to Represent UK in Finals at SEC Championships

Nashville, Tenn. ? The University of Kentucky track & field squads wrapped up the second day of competition at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Nashville, Tenn. Stellar performances were recorded by senior Brooke Patterson, sophomore Georganne Way, junior Dedrick Tillerson and freshman Gabe McLaren, who all qualified for Sunday?s finals.

Way crossed the finish line with a personal-best time and regional qualifying mark of 2:08.74 in the women's 800-meters, annihilating her previous personal-best of 2:09.95. Patterson qualified for the 800-meter finals with a season-best time of 2:07.86, that mark was her second regional qualifying time of the season. McLaren also recorded his second 800-meter regional qualifying mark with a personal-best time of 1:49.58. He took first in his heat, and will represent the Wildcats with the third-fastest time going into the finals. Tillerson added another personal-best time with a mark of 51.73 in the men?s 400-meter hurdles, that mark was Tillerson?s fourth regional qualifying time of the season.

Freshman Stephan Smith ran a very determined 800-meter race for Kentucky, finishing just short of a place in the finals and was .25 hundredths of a second short of a regional qualifying time. Smith finished with a personal-best time of 1:50.65, while sophomore Jackie Gordon also just missed the regional qualifying mark by .04 hundredths of a second. Gordon?s time of 2:09.84 in the 800-meters was a personal-best. Teammate Lavera Morris ran a very respectable 800-meter race for the Cats, although she too fell just short of a finals bid with a time of 2:10.24.

Sophomore Andy Fyman was the first Cat to compete at the championships, posting his third-best toss of the season in the men?s hammer throw, but failed to advance to the finals. His heave of 170-08 was enough for a 10th place finish, while Auburn?s Cory Martin took top honors with a throw of 214-11. Fryman will challenge for honors Saturday in the discus and Sunday in the shot put.

In the women?s hammer throw seniors Gennessa Guzman and Nicole Allyn both finished with solid performances, however did not continue on to the finals. Guzman recorded a heave of 177-09, while Ally finished with a toss of 170-10. Both Allyn and Guzman have thrown regional qualifying tosses in the hammer throw and will compete at the NCAA Mideast Regional in Bloomington, Ind., May 27-28.

The championships, hosted by Vanderbilt University, will continue Saturday. The Cats begin competing at 2:00 p.m. EDT with the men?s discus trials and will conclude with the running of the men?s 400-meter trials at 9:00 p.m. EDT. Senior five-time All-SEC and 2004 runner-up in the shot put, Jeff Chakouian will be the first Wildcat to compete Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. EDT.