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Cally Macumber Wins SEC 3,000-Meter Championship

Cally Macumber & Chelsea Oswald

Cally Macumber & Chelsea Oswald

By Jacob Most

Feb. 23, 2013 -

Photo Gallery Saturday Results

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Cally Macumber continued her undefeated run of individual races in 2013 when she won the Southeastern Conference 3,000 meters championship on Saturday.

“We had a few people step up, make an attempt and advance to the final,” head coach Edrick Floreal said. “We have lots of opportunities to garner some more points tomorrow, but we need more.

I’m extremely proud of Cally. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. Several people fought today, fought hard and represented the University with pride. Like the Spartans said, ‘it’s a small step.’”

The women's 3K was the final race of the day, and Macumber brought the long Saturday of competition to a dramatic crescendo with an exciting photo finish.

Chelsea Oswald unselfishly pushed the pace for much of the race, while Macumber sat toward the back of the eight-deep lead pack. Macumber surged into the lead at the bell, but quickly fell behind two Florida runners on the back straight-away.

As the race came to the final 60 meters, Macumber sat in third, but the Rochester Hills, Mich., native kicked.

Macumber needed every last centimeter to squeak out the victory, but she edged Florida’s Cory McGee by .01 seconds with a sprinter’s lean as the difference. Macumber finished in 9:15.66.

““I was feeling kind of tired in the middle of the race, but I could feel them coming back to me at the end of the race,” Macumber, who ran a preliminary heat in the mile earlier in the day, said. “I just took off to finish it. Going into the race my coach wanted me to stay in the middle of the pack and use my closing speed to try and win.

“I knew it was going to be a close finish so I just leaned in and just got her at the end.”

Macumber remains undefeated in individual event finals this indoor season, and she also now holds the SEC Cross Country Championship as well as the SEC 3K title.

She became the first Kentucky athlete to win the SEC indoor women’s 3K since Valerie McGovern in 1989.

Oswald finished fifth with a time of 9:20.80 scoring four big points for the Wildcats on top of Macumber’s 10.

Keilah Tyson earned Kentucky’s other point of the day as she finished eighth in the long jump with a mark of 6.01m/19’08.75” reached on her third attempt in the finals.

The Wildcats sit in fourth place in the women’s team standings heading into the meet’s final day. Host Arkansas holds the top spot in the women's team race with 37 points, Georgia sits in second place with 28 points and Florida is in third place with 27.5 points.

Kentucky will have 10 chances to score points on the women’s side and 14 on the men’s side on Sunday.

Keith Hayes and Darryl Bradshaw began the afternoon running events by advancing to Sunday’s 60-meter hurdles final with times of 7:84 and 7.96 respectively.

Matt Hillenbrand won his mile heat in 4:08.78 surging into the lead with approximately 500 meters remaining, while Robert Scharold also reached the final with a seven-second PR time of 4:11.38.

Keffri Neal got off to a less-than ideal start in his 800 meters heat, but he recovered spectacularly spring into the lead on the outside along the final straight-away to take his qualifying heat, and reach the final in No. 2 position with a time of 1:50.81.

Allison Peare ran an 800 meters time of 2:08.60 reach the final.

Tyson positioned herself to earn even more points for the Wildcats by reaching the 60-meter dash final with a season-best time of 7.41.

Before wowing the crowd with the late-race comeback in the 3K, Macumber won her mile heat, automatically qualifying for the final in 4:47.37.

Earlier in the day Andrew Evans narrowly missed a scoring position with a nearly two-foot PR weight throw 18.87M / 61'11" to place ninth.

Tamyah Pipkin narrowly missed a spot in the 200 meters final with huge PR time of 23.68 to finish ninth. Tyson placed 11th with a time of 23.78.

Sunday’s action gets under way at 11 a.m. ET with the women’s weight throw. Running events begin at 1:35 p.m. ET with the men’s 60-meter hurdles final.

ESPN3.com's live video coverage begins at with the men's 60H. The Arkansas website will broadcast the field events the rest of the day.

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