UK Secures 11 Bids to NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
June 2, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky track and field athletes secured 11 bids to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Tuesday after the release of the official starting lists for the meet to be held at host University of Arkansas' John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark., June 10-13.
Three UK men earned four automatic bids to the Championships by placing in the top five of their respective events at the NCAA Mideast Regional in Louisville last weekend.
Mideast Regional dual-event champion Rashaud Scott qualified in both the men's shot put and discus. The UK senior secured his second straight men's discus regional championship Saturday with a personal-best throw of 216-2 that leads the nation. Only eight men in the world have thrown the discus further in sanctioned competitions this year. Scott's winning shot put mark of 62-1.25 ranks eighth nationally. His current rankings match where Scott finished last season at the 2008 Championships, when he won the national title in discus and placed eighth in the shot put.
Classmate Chase Madison placed third in the men's discus at the regional to advance to his first NCAA Outdoor Championship meet as a Wildcat. His season-best throw of 196-7 stands seventh in the country. Madison is familiar with competing on a national stage, claiming All-America honors after placing sixth in the men's shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this year.
In the 200m dash Mideast Regional final, junior Rondel Sorrillo crossed the finish line in 20.50 to break the 15-year-old varsity record of 20.54 held by former Olympian Tim Harden in 1994. Sorrillo's third-place finish automatically qualified him for nationals. His personal-best mark as a Wildcat ranks fifth nationally. In March, Sorrillo earned All-America honors in the 200m dash at the Indoor Championships by placing third in the nation while setting the UK varsity record in the indoor event.
Both UK men's relay teams will run in Fayetteville after claiming automatic bids last weekend.
The men's 4x100m relay team placed second in the region crossing the finish line at 39.29 to qualify for the Championships. The team of senior Gordon McKenzie, classmate Jose Acevedo, junior Kwasi Obeng and Sorrillo turned in the Wildcats' best mark the event since 1995. The team ranks sixth in the nation.
Additionally, the men's 4x400m relay team of Obeng, senior Stephan Smith, classmate Brandon Austin and Acevedo placed third overall in the region to qualify for nationals. The Wildcats' season-best time of 3:05.77 ranks 12th nationally.
On the women's side, Ashley Muffet's throw of 181-0 at the regional meet automatically qualified her for the NCAA Championships. Her UK varsity record throw of 187-8 from last month ranks fourth nationally. Muffet is the reigning SEC Women's Co-Field Athlete of the Year after winning the Women's SEC Commissioner's Trophy outright this season as the top individual scorer, totaling 21 points in three events. She won the women's discus conference title to earn All-SEC First Team honors and become the first women's throwing event conference outdoor champion at Kentucky.
Junior Kristin Smith automatically qualified in the women's hammer throw. Smith topped the UK women's varsity record she set earlier this season by 10 feet with a mark of 209-2. As a result, she became the first UK woman to clear the 200-foot mark in the hammer throw. More impressively, Smith eclipsed the old record of 199-2 on each of her final four throws. Her top mark rates seventh in the nation.
Senior Ashley Trimble automatically qualified for nationals in the women's heptathlon prior to the Mideast Regional as multi-events are not contested at NCAA regional meets.
Trimble will compete in heptathlon after surpassing the automatic-qualifying point tally of 5,000 at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships last month. Her total of 5,530 points set the women's varsity record in the event and ranks 11th in the country. Earlier this year at the NCAA Indoor Championships, Trimble earned All-America honors in the pentathlon just two weeks after becoming the first UK female conference champion in a multi-event.
The two remaining UK selections are at-large bids decided after the five automatic qualifiers in each of the four regions were determined earlier this week. At-large qualifiers are limited up to eight athletes nationally per event and must finish among the top 12 within their region. The at-large athletes are selected in descending order by top declared qualifying marks among non-automatic selections until the six to eight bids are filled.
Sorrillo earned an at-large selection in the men's 100m dash. His time of 10.33 run last month at the SEC Championships ranks 24th nationally.
Senior Emilee Strot secured her second-straight at-large NCAA Outdoor Championship selection in the women's discus. Strot's season-best throw of 171-3 ranks 17th in country.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for all of the latest Kentucky track and field news.
Kentucky NCAA Championship Meet Participants (seed)
Men's 100 Meter Dash
(24) Rondel Sorrillo
Men's 200 Meter Dash
(5) Rondel Sorrillo
Men's 4x100 Meter Relay
1) Gordon McKenzie 2) Jose Acevedo
3) Kwasi Obeng 4) Rondel Sorrillo
Men's 4x400 Meter Relay
1) Kwasi Obeng 2) Stephan Smith
3) Brandon Austin 4) Jose Acevedo
Men's Shot Put
(8) Rashaud Scott
Men's Discus Throw
(1) Rashaud Scott
(7) Chase Madison
Women's Discus Throw
(4) Ashley Muffet
(17) Emilee Strot
Women's Hammer Throw
(7) Kristin Smith
(11) Ashley Trimble