Wildcats Conclude Two-Day Intra-squad Preview Meet

Dec. 13, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky track and field athletes competed against one another for top marks and bragging rights late this week at Nutter Field House during the team's annual intra-squad Wildcat Preview Meet.

The competition began with the 60-meter high hurdles where sophomore Danielle Sampley crossed the line in a time just shy of UK's all-time top ten list. Sampley's mark of 8.60 led the field while senior Ashley Trimble followed steps behind at 8.66.

On the men's side, junior Geoffrey Daley led returning Wildcats in the 60m hurdles by producing an 8.36 clip. Daley edged senior Mikel Thomas who clocked in at 8.45.

The men's and women's 60m dashes followed on the meet schedule. Sophomore Jazmyn Shorter reigned supreme for the second straight year at the Preview with a 7.75 finish in the shortest sprint.

Freshman Justin Austin debuted on top with a time of 6.79, matching the eighth-best mark in school history. Senior Gordon McKenzie finished in the top two for the third straight year, crossing the finish at 6.80. Four UK sprinters ran within 0.11 seconds of the all-time list including junior Kwasi Obeng (6.87), senior Jose Acevedo (6.89), freshman Alex Williams (6.90) and senior Brandon Austin (6.91).

In the last sprint event of the day, Shorter shined again in the women's 300m dash, taking the top prize in 39.19. On the men's side, Acevedo won for the second straight year, at a pace of 33.34, besting his winning mark from last winter by 0.41 seconds. Acevedo's 4x400m relay teammate, Obeng finished second overall clocking in at 34.05.

In the 150 meter dash athletes outside of the sprints discipline displayed their running ability. On the women's side, pole vaulter Mary Chris Durham took first place clocking in at 21.70. For the men, triple jump specialist David Banks edged out two teammates with a mark of 17.22.

The always-exciting 4x400m relays closed the meet. Two women's squads battled first in the four-way exchange. Both teams finished at 3:51 and change. The team of freshman Precious Nwokey, Sampley, with sophomores Ke'Undra Bishop and Ashley Newby edged the competition at the line with a finish of 3:51.19 with three of the four splits under 58 seconds. Shorter, Trimble, sophomore Brittany Cabbler and junior Natalie Wise turned in a 3:51.38 performance with three splits under 56 seconds.

Three teams lined up in the lanes for the men, but one team pulled ahead of the others. Thomas, Acevedo, McKenzie and Brandon Austin combined forces to take the title by over four and a half seconds at 3:14.27. In second, was the foursome of Obeng, freshman Imani DuPerry, Daley and Williams crossed the line at 3:18.53.

The coaches liked what they saw this week.

"This meet has always been a good stepping stone to the season for us," said assistant coach for sprints, hurdles and relays Erin Tucker. "There were some really good things done over the last two days and one or two mishaps. All in all I am very pleased with the effort and am looking forward to the 2009 season."

Field athletes in the jumps discipline were also in action this weekend. The heights and distances were not officially recorded but assistant coach for jumps and multi-events, James Thomas, oversaw the competition and performed the measurements.

"I had three main goals for the jumpers and multi-eventers in the Wildcat Preview," said Thomas. "One, get the athletes accustomed to all facets of competition. Two, test the athletes' current levels of technical execution to make "real-time" adjustments. Finally, I wanted to send them into winter break understanding just how important training was for both individual and team success.

"I feel my goals were definitely accomplished. I'm pleased with where we are at this time of year, and I'm optimistic that I will see them back on the track physically and mentally ready to start our indoor season."

Kentucky opens the indoor season by hosting the Kentucky Invitational, Jan. 16-17.