Track and Field Puts Five in Regional Finals; Sets Multiple PRs
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Another successful day for the University of Kentucky track and field teams as five individuals advanced to Saturday’s NCAA Mideast Regional finals and more importantly earned a shot at reaching the NCAA Championships.
Freshman Jose Acevedo slipped into the finals of the 200 with a personal-best mark of 20.79 (wind-aided, +2.3). Acevedo’s time was the fifth-fastest mark in Kentucky history and a new frosh record. Acevedo will compete in tomorrow’s eight-man finals.
Senior Dedrick Tillerson put himself a good position for a trip to Sacramento with the sixth-fastest mark of the day (51.42, season-best) in the 400 hurdles and a spot in tomorrow’s finals.
Freshman Gordon McKenzie came up inches short of reaching the finals of the 100, but ran a slightly-winded aided (+2.9) personal-best of 10.29. McKenzie was seven-hundredths of a second from making the eighth and final spot. The Queens, N.Y. native’s time now ranks him t-sixth all-time at UK. McKenzie also posted a PR in the 200 with a wind-legal time of 21.12.
Junior Luis Luna was the second Wildcat to fall just short of a finals berth after notching the ninth-fastest time of the day in the 400 (46.61). Sophomore Nathan Browning ran a personal-best time of 46.75 to move into eighth all-time at Kentucky. Fellow sophomore Justin Harrison showed he is close to 100 percent after a sitting out the SEC Championships with a hamstring injury with a 47.24 mark.
SEC Champion John Richardson continued to excel as he eased into tomorrow’s 1,500 finals with a sixth-place finish (3:49.79).
On the women’s side, junior Georganne Way (2:08.38) and sophomore Lavera Morris (2:08.42) placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 800 and will compete in tomorrow’s finals.
Freshman and school-record holder Ashley Muffet put herself in good contention for an NCAA berth (Sacramento, Calif., June 9-10) with a sixth-place throw of 52-4 in the shot put. The top five finishers received an automatic bid, but of the next three finishers in all four regional meets taking place today, an NCAA committee will select the remaining field.
Tomorrow, those who reached their respective finals will run for a chance to go to the Big Meet. Junior and SEC Outdoor champion Andy Fryman will go to work in the shot put along with SEC Indoor winner junior Gavin Ball. Muffet and senior Nicole Allyn will throw the hammer, and 2005 NCAA participant Ildiko Varga will toss the discus. The No. 2-ranked men’s 4x400 relay will also compete. Live results for the meet can be followed at ncaasports.com.