By Jacob Most
June 12, 2014 -
EUGENE, Ore. - Kentucky sent two Wildcats into running-event finals on the second day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field on Thursday.
Kendra Harrison, who advanced into the 400-meter hurdles final on Wednesday, moved into the 100m hurdles final on Thursday. She ran a time of 13.07 into a -1.6 wind to take second in her heat and advance automatically.
She was the top seed into the 400m hurdles final, and was the sixth fastest qualifier in the short hurdles.
Allison Peare also cruised into the 1,500m final. She finished third in her heat with a time of 4:21.21.
Peare only needed to place in the top-5 in her heat to reach the final. Her time was the 11th fastest to qualify.
Two of Kentucky's five (four women's, one men's) entries competing in prelims advanced to finals on Thursday.
Matt Hillenbrand ran a season-best 1,500m time of 3:41.69, but finished eighth in his prelim, and missed the final on time by 0.02 seconds. Hillenbrand's semifinal heat had the nine fastest preliminary times, but only seven of those could qualify as the advancement procedures stipulated that the top-5 finishers in each heat, plus the next two fastest times from either heat would move on.
Hillenbrand's time was faster than all five of the automatic qualifying times from heat one.
Kayla Parker ran 13.26 for third in heat two of the 100m hurdles prelims. She finished ninth overall, with the fastest time to miss the final, by one spot and 0.12 seconds.
Madison Jacobs wrapped her first NCAA Championships 15th in the discus with a mark of 166-5/50.72m. Rebecca Famurewa finished 19th in the discus with a best throw of 159-8/48.67m.
The women's 4x400m relay of Leah Nugent, Angelica Whaley, Kenyattia Hackworth and Sha'Keela Saunders ran 3:39.09 for seventh in the second semifinal heat. They did not advance to the final.
Four Wildcats will be in action on Friday, including Kendra Harrison and Leah Nugent in the 400m hurdles final and Keffri Neal in the 800m final. Andrew Evans, the top-ranked American in the event this year, will compete in the NCAA Discus Championships.
UK advanced five (four women's entries, one man) to NCAA Finals from the 10 preliminary races it entered over the first two days of the championships.
Sha'Keela Saunders scored eight points for the UK women on Wednesday with a Silver Medal performance in the women's long jump.
The Wildcats are currently in a six-way tie for seventh place overall in the women's team standings with eight points.