Track and Field Octet Earns Regional Honors
SACRAMENTO, Calif. ? Eight Kentucky track and field athletes have earned nine All-Mideast Region honors as announced by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association from the organization?s office in Metarie, La.
Athletes are eligible for All-Region honors if they finish in the top eight of an event at their regional championship. The 10,000 meters, heptathlon and decathlon are not contested at regional meets.
Each member of the men?s 4x400 relay team ? Jose Acevedo (Caracas Venezuela), Nathan Browning (Petersburg, Ill.), Justin Harrison (Wheaton, Ill.) and Luis Luna (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) earned the distinction after becoming the first 4x4 relay team to knock off LSU in NCAA Mideast Regional history.
The relay team, which finished second in the nation at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Meet and second at last year?s Mideast Regional, finished in a time of 3:04.49. Luna was trailing two competitors at the start of the anchor leg, but came on strong around the turn and ran a gutsy 100 meters to take the win. Prior to that feat, LSU had never lost in the 4x400 relay in the previous four years of the NCAA Mideast Regional.
Luna also earned All-Region honors in the 400 meters after finishing fourth overall at the Mideast Regional. After notching a collegiate-best time of 46.15 in the preliminaries, which ties for the second-fastest time in school history, Luna ran a 46.17 in the finals to qualify nationally.
Junior mid-distance runner John Richardson (Ocean City, N.J.) has claimed back-to-back Southeastern Conference 1,500-meter titles and won the 2007 NCAA Mideast Regional Championship to earn the All-Region distinction. He finished regionals in a time of 3:44.44 and captured the SEC title in a personal-best time of 3:43.02, which ranks eighth all-time at UK.
Freshman sprinter Jenna Martin (Nova Scotia, Canada), who in the preliminaries set the rookie school record in the 400 meter, returned to run a time of 53.05 in the finals and finish in fourth place to punch her ticket to Sacramento and earn regional honors.
Sophomore thrower Ashley Muffet (North Canton, Ohio) rebounded from a difficult first day at the NCAA Mideast Regional and came through with a decisive final throw in the discus to advance to the NCAA Championships and garner regional attention. Her personal-best toss of 170-0 in that event placed her second all-time in school history.
Senior thrower Gavin Ball (Cottage Grove, Wisc.) rallied to record the sixth-best toss in school history in the shot put with a throw of 59-5.0 to advance to the NCAA Championships and be named All-Region.
Each of Kentucky?s all-region selections are currently in competition at the NCAA Championships which begin today in Sacramento, Calif., at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex. The four-day event concludes Saturday and complete coverage of the meet will be available at ukathletics.com.