UK Seniors Take Three Titles; Earn Six NCAA Marks on Final Day of McCravy
Feb. 7, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky track and field seniors defended their home turf inside E.J. Nutter Field House by securing three event titles and notching six NCAA provisional marks Saturday on the final day of the Rod McCravy Memorial Track Meet.
Senior Chase Madison achieved his title in the men's shot put with a personal-best throw of 61-7.75. The distance ranks seventh all-time at UK and earns Madison his second NCAA provisional mark of the year in the event.
"I thought Chase did a heck of a job tonight in the shot put," said UK head coach Don Weber. "That was one of the top performances of the weekend for us."
On the track, Madison's teammates tore up the lanes in the short-distance sprint and hurdle events.
Classmate Mikel Thomas took the 60m hurdles title crossing the finish at 7.80 in the final. Thomas collected his third provisional mark of the season in the event.
UK's Jose Acevedo continued his solid year by winning the 200m dash title with a season-best time of 21.22. The Caracas, Venezuela native earned his second individual NCAA mark of the season to go along with one in the 400m dash attained at the Kentucky Invitational earlier this year.
Acevedo claimed the 200m crown after tying the 60m dash Venezuelan National Record earlier in the day, clocking in at 6.76. The senior had not run the race in two years, but his performance ranks ninth all-time in the UK record books.
Senior Gordon McKenzie made his season debut in the 60m dash one for UK fans to remember. In the prelims, the Wildcat rocketed out of the blocks to finish in 6.73, just 0.01 seconds shy of his personal record, to earn an NCAA provisional mark. McKenzie stepped it up in the finals with a personal-best time of 6.68 to place second overall, moving him up to fourth all-time at Kentucky and securing a second NCAA mark on the day.
Kentucky freshman Justin Austin was the only non-senior to post an NCAA provisional mark. Austin ran a clip of 6.74 in the 60m dash preliminaries but did not compete in the finals of the event. The mark was the third provisional for Austin in the 60m dash this season.
On the women's side, senior Ashley Trimble turned in another top performance. Trimble recorded a personal-best time of 8.52 in the finals of the 60m hurdles to place sixth overall. Her time improves her ninth-place standing within the UK record books.
"Our short-sprint guys and hurdlers came through with solid performances across the board tonight," said Weber. "In the men's 60m dash, we had five guys qualify for the final, that's pretty impressive."
In the women's shot put, three Wildcats reached the final. Sophomore Jennifer Svoboda led the contingent with a season-best toss of 49-8.50 to finish fourth. Classmate Mary Angell placed two spots behind in sixth with her personal-best throw as a Wildcat. Angell stretched the tape to 49-0.25 to move up to seventh all-time in the UK annals. Senior Emilee Strot took home seventh place with a season-best distance of 48-11.
"I think our women throwers are moving in the right direction, together," said Weber. "They showed that tonight by finishing close to each other and throwing season-best marks in the shot put."
At the end of the meet, the UK women's 4x400m relay ran their best time of the season, clocking in at 3:42.43. The Wildcat team of sophomore Jazmyn Shorter, Trimble, sophomore Brittany Cabbler and freshman Precious Nwokey placed third overall.
The men's team did not field a 4x400m relay squad Saturday in order to get healthy and ready for competition next week.
The men's Bill Lee mile featured two young Wildcats with personal-best performances. Running the event for the first time, freshman Luis Orta finished fourth overall with time of 4:10.62. The personal-best mark by Orta ranks first on the team this season in the event. Sophomore Josh Nadzam also ran a personal-best time of 4:14.80 to claim fifth place.
The races are named in honor of high school track and field coach Bill Lee of Louisville, a mentor to Weber, who passed away in 2007.
Several of the Blue and White paired their season-best marks with a top-10 finish.
On the track, freshman Mike Knisley ran a personal-best mark as a Wildcat in the men's 800m run. Knisley's time of 1:52.67 earned him a ninth-place finish. Earlier, senior Brandon Austin posted a 60m dash time of 6.82 to finish in a tie for eighth in the preliminaries with freshman teammate Alex Williams.
Not to be outdone, five UK jumpers posted top-10 season-best marks.
In the men's long jump, sophomore David Banks leapt to a personal-best mark of 22-5.75 to finish sixth overall. Freshman Steve Crouse also notched his best jump as a Wildcat, hitting the dirt at 22-5.25. On the women's side, Ke'Undra Bishop's jump of 18-7 was her best mark this season.
Freshman Mike Mendelsohn made his debut in the men's pole vault by clearing a collegiate-best height of 14-1.25 to finish seventh overall. Earlier in the day, sophomore Natalie Wise debuted in the women's high jump with a 5-4.25 clearance to finish ninth.
This weekend's meet is named in honor of Rod McCravy, a former UK track athlete who died in 1987 at the age of 19 while sleeping in his dorm room. Although only a sophomore, Rod had already become one of the team's leaders. A social work major, Rod is remembered as a dedicated, enthusiastic athlete who was a conscientious student and outstanding human being. He set the then-UK freshman record in the 400 hurdles and finished sixth at the TAC National Junior Championships. A meet named in Rod's honor enables the Kentucky track and field family to remember him, as well as provide an on-going opportunity to speak to UK athletes about his impact on the program and those he surrounded.
The Wildcats compete at the Iowa State Classic next weekend in Ames, Iowa.
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