The University of Kentucky track and field team will compete in this weekend?s 112th running of the Penn Relays at historic Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The pretigious meet will run Thursday-Sunday and feature competitors ranging from high school to Olympic. Live stats will be available on ukathletics.com.
With two meets remaining (Penn Relays and SEC Champs) before the regional meet, the Cats still have opportunities to pick up more marks. Look for sophomore Stephan Smith (800, 1:51.17 season-best, sixth SEC) and junior Gavin Ball (shot put, SEC indoor champ) to potentially add to the list. This season, the Wildcats own a combined 21 marks. The men?s squad has 13 total, with 11 individuals and two relays, while the women have nine overall. Last year?s squad produced 15 total marks (seven male, seven female, one relay-male). In 2003, Kentucky claimed 16 marks, and in 2002, the Cats produced 28 total marks.
UK thrower Andy Fryman notched a personal-best in the shot put (63-4.25) last weekend. In the field of 37 throwers, Fryman produced the top collegiate mark and third place finish. Fryman?s toss ranked seventh nationally and was first in the SEC this season. The third-year thrower also finished 11th in the hammer throw with a mark of 182-4, just short of his personal-best of 183-2 set at the Yellow Jacket Invitational (4/1). Fryman owns regional qualifying marks in the shot put, hammer and discus. First-year standout Ashley Muffet continued her breakthrough freshman campaign with a new PR of 53-1.50 in the shot put. Muffet?s toss ranks second all-time at Kentucky behind school record holder Cindy Crapper (53-7.50) and second in the conference. In the hammer throw, Muffet posted another new personal record with a toss of 186-6, falling just shy of recent UK grad Gennessa Guzman school record mark of 187-1. Like Fryman, Muffet owns regional marks in the shot put, hammer and discus. Senior Ildiko Varga set a PR in the hammer throw with a regional qualifying mark of 178-8 (fifth all-time UK), giving UK three qualifiers in the event. Varga also finished eighth in the discus (173-9). Varga?s personal-best remains 185-10 in the discus (UK school record), set last week at the Mesa Classic. Senior Nicole Allyn reached a seasonal-best in the hammer with a throw of 182-3 ? two inches short of a PR.
Looking Ahead to the SEC Champs
Needing to place in the top eight in an event to earn team points at the SEC Championships (May 11-14 at Fayetteville, Ark.), both UK squads have plenty of potential for success. For the men, there are seven different instances where the Cats rank in the top eight in conference. Of those in the top three, sophomore John Richardson ranks third in the 1,500, senior Dedrick Tillerson sits third in the 400 hurdles, and Fryman ranks first in the shot put. The 4x400 relay ranks second. On the women?s side, Varga ranks second in the discus and Muffet second in the shot put.
The Cats are expected to participate in multiple relays races and a few individual events. The No. 2-ranked men?s 4x400 team will potentially face off against perennial power and top-rated LSU. The women?s distance medley relay team of Lavera Morris, newcomer Kleo Mack, Ashley Trimble and Georganne Way will try and continue UK?s success in the event after winning the SEC indoor title. Both the men and women will field 4x800 teams, and the men?s sprinters will compete in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Individually, Trimble is slated to run in the women?s 400 hurdles, while Dedrick Tillerson and Tom Masthay will run in the men?s portion of the event. John Richardson is expected to run in the Olympic Development mile run.