June 9, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The collegiate men’s and women’s outdoor track and field seasons came to a conclusion Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, with the Kentucky men’s team finishing in a tie for 43rd at the NCAA National Outdoor Championships with five total points.
The Wildcats were led at the championships by a pair of throwers in freshman Raymond Dykstra and sophomore Andrew Evans. Junior distance runner Luis Orta also competed in Des Moines for UK.
A Second Team All-Southeastern Conference performer and All-SEC Freshman Team selection, Dykstra finished sixth in the javelin Thursday, earning the Wildcats’ men’s team three points. On his second throw of the day, Dykstra recorded his best mark of the day, 242-11/74.04m, and finished sixth. Dykstra finished the year as the top freshman javelin thrower in the country and as the UK record holder in the javelin after throwing 247-05/75.41m at the Texas Relays in late March. He is also a United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association First Team All-American.
Facing the best of the best Wednesday, Evans rose to the occasion with a career-best mark of 193-03/58.91m to finish seventh in the event and earn the Wildcats’ men’s team two points. Evans’ career-best mark, the sixth-best in school history, was on his second attempt of the day, and only adds to his already fantastic season.
A native of Portage, Mich., Evans won the discus at the SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, earning All-SEC First Team honors in the process. Evans can now also claim the title of a USTFCCCA First Team All-American.
Orta, a Caracas, Venezuela, native who was a Second Team All-SEC performer in the 3,000m steeplechase this year, finished 22nd with a time of 9:08.78. Orta had qualified for the national championships behind a career-best time of 8:44.25, which is the second-fastest 3,000m steeplechase recorded in Kentucky history.
The Florida men’s team and the LSU women’s team were crowned as champions Saturday. The Gators finished with 50 team points, while the Tigers had 76 points.
The Kentucky men’s team finished eighth at the SEC Championships in Baton Rouge, La., and the women’s team finished 12th. Four Wildcats earned All-SEC honors for their performances at the SEC Championships. Evans was a First Team All-SEC selection in the discus, while Dykstra and Orta were Second Team All-SEC selections in the javelin and steeplechase, respectively. Dykstra was also named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in the javelin, and sprinter Keilah Tyson was an SEC All-Freshman Team selection in the 100m and 200m dash.
For all Kentucky track and field news and information, follow the Wildcats on Twitter at “KentuckyTrack” and go to UKathletics.com.
NCAA Outdoor National Championships
Drake Stadium – Des Moines, Iowa
June 6-9, 2012
Men’s Team Standings (Final)
1. Florida – 50 points
2. LSU – 48 points
3. Texas A&M – 40 points
4. Florida State – 38 points
5. Virginia Tech – 33 points
T43. KENTUCKY – 5 points
Kentucky Individual Point Scorers
Raymond Dykstra – 3 points (6th – Javelin)
Andrew Evans – 2 points (7th – Discus)
7. Andrew Evans – 193-03/58.91m
6. Raymond Dykstra – 74.04m/242-11
Men’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase (Semifinals)
22. Luis Orta – 9:08.78