UKTF Buoyed by Strong Weekend-Starting Performances at Tyson & ISU
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., and AMES, Iowa – Plenty of Kentucky track and field Wildcats stood up to be counted with their performances on Friday at the Tyson Invitational and Iowa State Classic.
The Wildcats offered multiple strong statements of intent to begin their final weekend of tests before the postseason begins in two weeks’ time.
Leading the way was the woman who has become Kentucky’s most consistent proverbial head of state: Sha’Keela Saunders.
The reigning Southeastern Conference Indoor Champion was the top collegian in the stacked women’s invitational long jump at the Tyson Invitational. She reached an indoor personal best 21-feet, 7¼ inches / 6.58 meters.
Only Brittney Reese – the reigning Olympic Champion – bettered Saunders’ mark (22’4¼”/6.81m) on Friday.
More notably as it relates to collegiate track and field, Saunders got the better of a field that featured four of the top-5 ranked NCAA long jumpers this season including Alabama’s Quanesha Burks who got the better of Saunders at last year’s SEC and NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Saunders and Burks now are now poised for another faceoff on the same runway at SECs in a fortnight. Georgia’s Chanice Porter and a host of others are also likely poised to have plenty to say in that event.
Saunders will enter that event knowing Tyson results count for nothing. A year ago she placed third at this meet only to go on to win SECs at home two weeks later. She then claimed the NCAA Silver Medal a further two weeks down the road.
Other Tyson Invite headliners
· Destiny Carter had a strong night in multiple events.
o She placed third in the open long jump on the strength of a season-best mark 20'4½"/6.21m.
o She advanced through two prelims into the eight-person
60m dash prelim final – which featured
17 of the top-25 ranked women in the nation entering the meet. There she ran a
season-best 7.33 to take fifth place.
· Tim Duckworth – the nation’s No. 7-ranked heptathlete – placed third in the open long jump with a PR mark of 24'7¼"/7.50m.
o Fred Dorsey was fifth in that event with a
best jump of 24’2 ¼”/7.37m.
· Beckie Famurewa placed third in the weight throw with a mark of 65'10¼"/20.07m
Anderson ran PRs in the semis (7.84) and final (7.83) of the 60m hurdles where
he placed fifth.
Cline threw a six-inch weight-throw PR: 63'6¼"/19.36m for fifth place.
Logan Bryer placed eighth.
the first event of the day Michelle McKinney won the open mile with a
two-second PR 4:55.77.
Styles placed second in the invite mile with a time of 4:08.18.
Thomson & Kunc Dent UK All-Time Lists at ISU
Jacob Thomson and Katy Kunc both put their names into the UK all-time lists with strong 5k runs on the 300m track at the Iowa State Classic.
Jacob Thomson ran 13:49.72, an indoor school record, for ninth place. The time ranks No. 2 in the SEC this year, behind Arkansas’ Gabe Gonzales who ran 13:45.98 for seventh place in that race.
In her 5k debut, Katy Kunc ran 16:29.20 - the fifth best time in school history - for 17th at the ISU classic.
The Tyson Invitational SEC Network+ broadcast starts at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
The Iowa State Classic will be broadcast on the FloTrack Pro subscription service.