By Jacob Most
May 4, 2014 -
Results: Longhorn Invite | Tennessee Challenge | Billy Hayes Invite
BLOOMINGTON, Ind., and AUSTIN, Texas, and KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A pair of Kentucky Wildcats turned in world-class performances to conclude the track and field regular season on Saturday.
The two nation-leading times/marks will help give Kentucky momentum entering the postseason, which the Wildcats will begin in 12 days by hosting the Southeastern Conference Championships.
Andrew Evans recorded an American, and NCAA-leading discus throw, 66.37 meters/217-feet and 9 inches, to win at the Tennessee Challenge.
The colossal mark leads the NCAA by 4-feet, 6-inces, and ranks second in the world this year behind only Jamaica's Fedrick Dacres (66.75m).
Evans now ranks fifth amongst collegiate discus throwers all-time. He also broke 2008 NCAA Discus Champion Rashaud Scott's school record.
Evans bettered his previous personal best (recorded in a Bronze Medal performance at the 2013 NCAA Championships) by 3.59m. Evans' second-best throw of the day, 66.06m ranks No. 8 on the collegiate all-time list.
Not to be outdone competing at another UT -- in this case Texas -- Dezerea Bryant turned in an eye-popping performance of her own.
Bryant ran a wind-aided 100m time of 10.96 (+4.0), which is the fastest in the world year.
Bryant, the reigning NCAA Indoor 200m Champion, defeated Texas' Morolake Akinosun who ran 11.03. Akinosun entered the race with the nation-leading time, 11.10w, which she recorded in a win over Bryant (11.13w) at the Texas Relays in late March.
Bryant broke 11 seconds in the 100m dash for the first time in her career, and the first time in school-history.
"Out whirlwind three-meet weekend to end the regular season produced some of the very best marks in school - and NCAA - history, highlighted by Andrew Evans and Dezerea Bryant" head coach Edrick Floréal said. "We are encouraged and excited to enter the postseason with such solid marks. We must reload and refocus as we enter this final stretch because the competition will be fierce."
Kentucky competed at three meets on Saturday.
The largest group of Wildcats was at Indiana's Billy Hayes Invitational while UK's top throwers went to the Tennessee Challenge and UK's top sprinters and horizontal jumpers traveled to the Longhorn Invitational.
Sprinters Impress at Windy Longhorn Invitational
Dezerea Bryant moved to the top of the NCAA 100m descending order list, but multiple other Wildcats also positioned themselves near the top of the collegiate tables.
Keilah Tyson ran a massive wind-aided PR 11.14 to move to No. 4 nationally in the 100m. Tyson also ran a 200m season-best 23.37.
The women's 4x100m relay returned to strong form after a pair of shaky performances last week at the Penn Relays. The team of Dominique Booker, Bryant, Tamyah Pipkin and Tyson ran 43.75, which was 0.1 seconds off UK record set earlier this year.
Sha'Keela Saunders was second in the long jump with a 4.25 inch PR mark 6.38m/20-11 ¼, which extended her UK freshman record. Saunders' mark ranks eighth nationally. Kayla Parker jumped 5.98m/19-07.50 to finish fifth.
Nick Anderson placed second in the 110m hurdles with his all-conditions PR 13.82 (+2.2).
Terence Boyd placed fourth in the Longhorn Invitational long jump (7.22m/23-8 ¼).
Throwers Fine Tune at Tennessee Challenge
The top UK throwers competed at the Tennessee Challenge, where Andrew Evans wasn't the only Wildcat to throw well.
Bradley Szypka won the Tennessee Challenge Shot Put with a PR mark, 19.85m/65-01.50. The throw ranks fifth nationally.
Rebecca Famurewa finished fourth in the Tennessee Challenge Hammer Throw (57.11m/187-04). Brandi Walker was sixth (50.47m/165-07).
Isiah Kent was third in the Tennessee Classic (52.87m/173-4), Szypka was fifth (49.43m/162-2), Raymond Dykstra finished seventh (49.43m/162-2) and Aaron Gelnett was 13th (40.83m/133-11).
Jade Walker placed fourth in the Tennessee Challenge javelin throw with a season-best mark, 38.42m/126-00.
Wildcats Show Consistency at Billy Hayes Invitational
Kentucky's distance runners, vertical jumpers, combined event athletes and some sprinters finished the regular season in strong fashion at the Billy Hayes Invitational on Saturday.
Ibn Short, a decathlete, had a strong final regular-season tune-up as he competed in three events and finished as runner-up in two of them.
Short placed second in the long jump with a 10 ½ inch PR 7.20m/23-7.5. Short did not take any of his final three attempts as he had to begin preparing for the high jump, where he also placed second.
Short cleared 2.08m/6-09.75, which is just a half-inch short of his PR.
Justin Kretchmer placed third in the high jump, having cleared the bar at 2.04m/6-8.25. Corey Williams placed fourth in the long jump with his collegiate-best mark 7.15m/23-05.50.
Michael Jensen cleared a PR pole vault height, 5.10m/16-08.75 to finish third. Charles Moushey placed fourth with a clearance at 5m/16-4.75, and Brooks Divine cleared 4.60/15-01.00 to place 12th.
Brandon Bagley ran a 400m hurdles PR of 53.22 to place seventh. He was fifth in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.37. Clyde Gross placed eighth in the 110m hurdles (14.68) and 20th in the 400m hurdles (56.67).
Michelle Canterna placed seventh in the Pole Vault with a top clearance at 3.90m/12-09.50.
Robbie Scharold was second in the Billy Hayes Invitational 800m (1:51.09). Tim Layten was 15th (1:54.07) & Gabe Harm was 22nd (1:56.50).
James Brown won the Billy Hayes Invitational 3k with a time of 8:32.49. Lou Styles ran a six-second 1500m PR, 3:52.44, to place fourth. Gabe Harm was 15th, and Sean Willard was 17th in the first heat. Raine Wireman also ran a PR in the second 1500m heat (4:00.41).
On Friday Matt Hillenbrand ran 3:41.92, a 1,500m season-best at the American Track League Bloomington meet. The time ranks eighth nationally.