UK Starts NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship Competition Wednesday

June 9, 2009

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -

Twelve University of Kentucky track and field athletes will compete this weekend in the 2009 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships at host University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark., beginning Wednesday.

The four-day National Championship event kicks off Wednesday morning with the men’s hammer throw at 11:30 a.m. ET. The first Wildcat to compete will be junior Kristin Smith in the women’s hammer qualifying at 2:00 p.m.

All field events will have a day of qualifying followed later in the week by the event final. Short-distance running events will have first round heats followed by semifinal heats and finally the event final on the third or fourth day. Relays and distance events will conduct just a semifinal and final round over two days.

Smith will kick off competition for the Cats in the hammer throw qualifying round in hopes of making the top 12 that advance to the Friday final. At the Mideast Regional last month, 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, the Marietta, Ga., native became the first Wildcat 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.

Mideast Regional dual-event champion Rashaud Scott qualified for nationals in both the men's shot put and discus. At 4:00 p.m. ET Wednesday, he will take part in the qualifying rounds of the shot put. The Bronx, N.Y., native’s conference-winning shot put mark of 62-2.25 ranks eighth nationally. Last year at nationals, Scott placed eighth in the shot put. Should he make the top 12, the event final is scheduled for Thursday evening.

At 6:15 p.m. ET, the UK men's 4x100m relay team will make its second straight appearance at nationals after finishing 13th last season.  The 2009 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 junior Rondel Sorrillo turned in the Wildcats' best mark the event since 1995. The team ranks sixth in the nation.

An hour later, Sorrillo takes the starting blocks in the men's 100m dash. His time of 10.33 run last month at the SEC Championships ranks 24th nationally. Should Sorrillo advance to the next round he would race a third time in three hours in the 100m semifinals at 8:40 p.m. ET.

All of the remaining Wildcats at nationals will begin competition on Thursday.

Live stats will be available from the UKathletics.com homepage. Arkansas and CBS College Sports Television will be streaming portions of the event. The first two days will be streamed live in its entirety. On Friday evening, CBSC TV will broadcast track event finals from the Championships live from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. ET. On Saturday, CBSC TV will broadcast the running event finals live from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. ET.

A full recap of Wildcat performances and a preview of the next day’s events will be available after each day of competition on UKathletics.com.

Kentucky NCAA Championship Meet Participation Schedule – Day One

Women’s Hammer Throw Qualifying – Wednesday 2:00 p.m. ET
Kristin Smith

Men’s Shot Put Qualifying – Wednesday 4:00 p.m. ET
Rashaud Scott          

Men’s 4x100 Meter Relay Semifinal – Wednesday 6:15 p.m. ET
Gordon McKenzie / Jose Acevedo / Kwasi Obeng / Rondel Sorrillo

Men’s 100 Meter Dash First Round – Wednesday 7:15 p.m. ET
Rondel Sorrillo

Men’s 100 Meter Dash Semifinal – Wednesday 8:40 p.m. ET
Rondel Sorrillo