Wildcats Prepare for SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships
May 13, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -
The Kentucky track and field teams will compete at the 2009 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships this weekend at host University of Florida's Percy Beard Track at James G. Pressly Stadium.
The meet begins Thursday with events from the women's heptathlon at 2:30 p.m. ET along with events from the men's decathlon at 3:00 p.m. The multi-events will be the only competitions on the first of four days at the Championships. Competition resumes at Noon ET each of the remaining days.
Three Wildcats will start in the women's heptathlon. Senior Ashley Trimble leads the SEC in the event with an NCAA provisional point total of 5,438. Freshman Precious Nwokey ranks seventh in the conference with 4,583 tallies. Sophomore Ashley Newby, who ranks fifth in school history in the heptathlon, rounds out the Wildcat trio boasting a personal-best point total of 4,784 recorded at last year's SEC Outdoor Championships.
Two UK men will compete in the men's decathlon. Freshmen Kevin Carney and Imani DuPerry will take part in their second multi-event of the year after debuting at the Sea Ray Relays in early April. Carney collected 6,087 points to rank seventh all-time at UK while DuPerry ranks eighth all-time after notching a point total of 5,488.
The Wildcats hope to build upon their solid finishes from last season. At the 2008 Outdoor Championships in Auburn, Ala., the UK men notched 72 points for sixth place, the most since 1996.
Meanwhile, the Wildcat women placed fifth with 84.50 points, just four out of third, the most tallies since the Cats posted 150 in 1981 at the first SEC women's outdoor championship meet.
The UK men are ranked at No. 25 coming into the meet, one of seven SEC squads ranked nationally in the latest top-25 poll. Other conference teams in the rankings include No. 2 Florida, No. 7 South Carolina, No.8 Arkansas, No. 12 LSU, No. 13 Auburn and No. 20 Georgia.
The Cats' men's squad has accumulated 17 regional-qualifying marks in 11 different outdoor events and won two weekly SEC honors this season. They also entered 11 new top-10 times/marks into the all-time UK record books this season, including one updated freshman record. Freshman Luis Orta set the rookie steeplechase standard for the second time this season posting a time of 8:58.83 at the Jesse Owens Track Classic two weeks ago.
The UK men hold several national top-25 event performances coming into the post-season. Senior Rashaud Scott, the defending national champion in men's discus, leads the nation in the event with a mark of 212-9. He also ranks 15th in the nation for the shot put at a distance measuring 60-3.75. Senior Chase Madison also ranks nationally in the same field events: sixth in the discus (196-7) and 20th in the shot put (59-11¼). Scott and Madison rank 1-2 in the SEC for the discus. The 4x400m relay team ranks 8th nationally in a time of 3:05.77 while the 4x100m relay team ranks 19th in the country at 40.03.
On the women's side, Kentucky will compete against four top-25 teams. No. 4 LSU leads the SEC pack, of No. 12 Tennessee, No. 14 Auburn and No. 19 Arkansas.
The Wildcat women's squad entered 12 new top-10 times/marks into the all-time UK record books this season, including four new varsity records and one updated freshman standard. Senior Ashley Muffet broke the UK discus record two weeks ago at the Jesse Owens Track Classic with a mark of 187-8. Trimble's heptathlon point total of 5,438 is also a school record. Junior Kristin Smith owns the hammer record with a mark measuring 199-2. In the women's pole vault, junior Mary Chris Durham tied the school record at a height of 12-1.50. Freshman Samantha Stenzel broke Durham's freshman record in the pole vault after clearing 11-11.75 earlier this season. The UK women have accumulated 14 regional-qualifying marks in eight different outdoor events and won four weekly SEC honors this season.
Muffet leads the Wildcats going into the weekend. She ranks third nationally in the discus (187-8) and stands 11th nationally in the shot put (53-4½). Fellow thrower Kristin Smith holds the 13th spot nationwide in the hammer (199-2). Senior Emilee Strot ranks 16th in the country with a discus throw of 171-2 feet from the ring. Trimble stands 18th nationally in the heptathlon. She also ranks second in the SEC in the 400m hurdles. Junior Katherine Peterson is fifth in the SEC for the 3,000m run (10:05.44).
Video coverage of the Championships will be aired on a tape-delayed basis by FSN South on Sat. May 23 at 6:00 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available at UKathletics.com.
A full recap of the Cats' performances will be available after each day of competition on UKathletics.com.
Kentucky SEC Outdoor Championship Participants Competing on Thursday May 14
Women's Heptathlon - 2:30 p.m. ET
Men's Decathlon - 3:00 p.m. ET