LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky track and field team heads to the 67th Pepsi Florida Relays for the first major meet of 2011 outdoor season at the Percy Beard Track in Gainesville, Fla.
The Wildcats are making their second consecutive trip to Florida after traveling to Tampa over spring break for a week of training, and also participated in the University of South Florida Bull's Invitational.
Prior to the beginning of the outdoor season, UK ended its indoor season at the NCAA Indoor Championships at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas. Junior Keith Hayes led the Wildcats and capped off an incredible three-week run leading up to the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships, with a seventh-place finish in the finals of the 60m hurdles, grabbing two points for the men's team.
Hayes earned his first All-America honor for his top-eight finish in the hurdles in 7.77 seconds. The junior's time was .02 seconds slower than his preliminary and career-best time of 7.75. Hayes scored Kentucky's only two points of the championships, with Precious Nwokey and Sharif Webb falling outside of the top eight in the pentathlon and 800m run respectively.
Hayes had run 7.75 in three consecutive races, before the finals, dating back to the preliminary round of the Virginia Tech Final Qualifier.
Hayes was the last Wildcat to qualify for the NCAA Championships but ends as its top finisher. After improving throughout the season, he needed to travel to the VT Final Qualifier on the last weekend of competition for the opportunity to post an NCAA qualifying time. The junior ran consecutive 7.75 in Blacksburg, Va., which proved to be the exact time needed to get him to College Station, Texas. The Kansas transfer, with a time of 7.75, ranks second on UK's all-time 60m hurdles list behind Mikel Thomas who ran a 7.74 in 2009.