Numerous Personal Bests Highlight McCravy Memorial
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky track and field athletes set numerous personal-bests and charted six NCAA provisional qualifying marks on Saturday to highlight a successful Rod McCravy Memorial in E.J. Nutter Field House.
“We did a lot of good things today,” UK head coach Don Weber said. “We had a number of people make substantial improvements from last week. We came out a little more confident and competitive. I feel very confident about where we are right now."
The meet featured three women’s teams and four men’s teams ranked in the Trackwire Top 25. The ranked women’s teams included No. 4 South Carolina, No. 8 Tennessee and No. T19 Georgia, while the teams in the men’s rankings were No. 8 Florida, No. 10 Louisville, No. 11 South Carolina and No. 17 Tennessee.
Junior Stephan Smith (Tallahassee, Fla.) notched a significant improvement with a personal-best 4:11.83 to finish second in the men’s mile. It proved to be a strong day for Kentucky’s distance runners as five competitors in the women’s mile notched personal-best marks.
Senior Georganne Way (Lititz, Pa.) finished fifth in the race with a time of 4:52.61 to lead all Wildcats, while fellow Cats Taylor Miller (Owensboro, Ky.), Katherine Peterson (Louisville, Ky.), Andrea Halasek (Georgetown, Ky.), Emily King (Dublin, Ohio) and Leah Ryan (Louisville, Ky.) each recorded personal-best times. Junior Lavera Morris (Orlando, Fla.), a reigning All-American in the 800 meters, ran a 2:07.52 provisional-qualifying time in that event Saturday.
Against a tough field that included a number of top-ranked teams, Kentucky’s signature strength – the 4x400 relay squad - again came through. The group consisting of Jose Acevedo (Caracas, Venezuela), Nate Browning (Petersburg, Ill.), Justin Harrison (Wheaton, Ill.) and Luis Luna (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) finished first with a provisional-qualifying time of 3:08.99. The time was a McCravy meet record in the event.
Sprinter Jenna Martin (Nova Scotia, Canada) continued to impress in her rookie campaign, finishing the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.71 and the 200-meter dash with a 24.51. Sophomore Gordon McKenzie (Queens, N.Y.), who participated in the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships as a member of the US Junior National Team, finished third in the 60-meter dash with a provisional-qualifying time of 6.74.
Throwers Ashley Muffet (North Canton, Ohio) and Andy Fryman (Maysville, Ky.) both notched NCAA provisional qualifying marks for the second consecutive week in the shot put. Muffet’s throw of 55-1.5 was just shy of her school-record toss last week, while Fryman recorded a throw of 59-4. Gavin Ball (Cottage Grove, Wisc.) also was a provisional qualifier in the shot put with a 58-8.
Senior Rachel Kohler (Georgetown, Ind.) finished fourth in the high jump with a leap of 5-7, while sophomore Lindsey Moody (Avon, Ind.) had a jump of 5-3.
Kentucky has a week off before returning to action in the Big Apple. The Wildcats will participate in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York Feb. 2-3.
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