The Rebels will now set their sights on a big showing in Fayetteville, Ark, for the Feb. 22-24 SEC Championships. Last year, the men finished sixth and the women placed eighth. Already considered among the best, if not the best, track conference in the nation, the SEC will be even tougher this year with the addition of track superpower Texas A&M and Missouri.
COLLEGE STATION – Aggie senior Henry Lelei lowered his own school record in winning the 3,000 meters at Saturday’s Texas A&M Invitational before a crowd of 1,878 fans inside Gilliam Stadium and eclipsed the meet record as well with a time of 7 minutes, 55.80 seconds.
Amid 17 victories during the meet the nationally ranked Aggies swept the team titles in their final home meet of the season. Up next for Texas A&M is the SEC Indoor Championships, held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from Feb. 22-24.
The No. 3 A&M men scored 207.5 points to top the field of Texas State (83), TCU (62), UTEP (58), Houston (47), Rice (43.5) and Cal State Northridge (34). The No. 6 Aggie women rang up 198 points for a victory over TCU (93.5), Texas State (93.5), Rice (42.5), Cal State Northridge (42), UTEP (38.5) and Houston (33).
Lelei improved upon his school record of 8:01.01 as well as the meet record of 8:08.17 set by Barnabus Kirui of Mississippi in 2010. Runner-up to Lelei was teammate Stephen Curry in 8:20.99 while Isaac Spencer placed fourth in 8:23.02. Lelei is currently fifth on the 2013 collegiate list with the top time in the SEC.
Other A&M teammates – C.J. Brown, Colin Slattery and MacLean O’Donnell – helped establish an early pace for Lelei, who had splits of 2:41.14 (1000) and 5:16.98 (2000) on the way to his record performance. Earlier in the meet Brown posted a 4:08.70 for third in the mile.
Texas A&M’s LaQue Moen-Davis moved to No. 3 on the Aggie all-time list in the triple jump as she took over the SEC lead with a 43-7.25 (13.29) effort. Moen-Davis, currently ranked third on the collegiate list and first in the SEC, also ran 8.53 for fifth place in the 60 hurdles.
Moen-Davis led an A&M first through fifth finish in the triple jump. Jennifer Madu, who later won the 60 meters in 7.41, hit a mark of 41-0.5 for second place. Melissa Mays placed third with a 40-2.25 while Haley Gooch registered a 40-0.5 for fourth. Jordan Wilson came within half of inch of reaching 40 feet as her 39-11.5 claimed fifth place.
Also climbing to new heights on the Aggie all-time list is Chase Wolfle, who won the pole vault with a career best clearance of 17-5 (5.31). Wolfle, who is now No. 6 on the A&M all-time list, defeated Rice’s Chris Pillow (17-1). Dustin Phillips placed fifth in picking up points for the Aggies with a clearance of 16-9.25 (5.11).
Hector Hernandez won another 800m race and led a 1-2-3 sweep by A&M. Hernandez ran 1:50.54, No. 7 all-time, with James Bonn (1:51.33) and Josh Hernandez (1:52.49) finishing second and third.
In the women’s 200 a first through fifth sweep was led by Kamaria Brown, who was second to Madu in the 60 with a 7.43. In the 200 Brown earned a 23.57 win over Ashley Collier’s 23.73. They were followed by Kanika Beckles (23.79), Madu (23.96) and Olivia Ekpone (24.01).
Ameer Webb claimed the men’s 200 in 21.00 as career best times were clocked by Michael Bryan (21.06) in second place and Jermaine Davis (21.36) in fifth place. An even closer finish in the 60 meters had the Aggies placing 2-3-4 with Webb (6.72) getting the decision over Bryan (6.72) behind a winning 6.71 from TCU’s Charles Silmon while Davis placed fourth in 6.81.
Field event victory sweeps were turned in by Brea Garrett (61-2) and Casey Strong (63-4.75) in the weight throw along with Devion Harris (6-7.5) and Jena Hemann (5-8.5) in the high jump. This marked the sixth consecutive victory for Strong in the weight throw this indoor season.
The Aggies also won a pair of 400 titles with Bralon Taplin and Janeil Bellille. Taplin clocked 46.85 ahead of a career best of 47.17 by Carlyle Roudette. Bellille ran 54.65 for the women’s 400 win.
To close out the meet A&M won both 4 x 400 relays. The women ran 3:36.82 to defeat Houston (3:41.74) and Texas State (3:44.41) with a foursome of Bellille (54.3), Ibukun Mayungbe (53.2), Ekpone (54.5) and Beckles (54.8).
The men ran 3:07.77 to pull away from TCU (3:11.21) and Houston (3:15.73) in their section. The Aggie men ran with Ricky Babineaux (47.9), Bralon Taplin (46.9), Deon Lendore (45.9) and Carlyle Roudette (47.1).
Other victories were recorded by Wayne Davis II (7.86) in the 60 hurdles and Aliese Hyde (2:10.82) in the 800 with Ashley Chamberlain supplying a career best 2:14.78 for fourth place. Runner-up efforts for A&M included Donique’ Flemings (8.32) in the 60 hurdles, Dave Brown (50-5.25) in the triple jump and Chelsea Utley (5-7) in the high jump.
Personal best times were set by Hillary Montgomery (4:58.71) and Grace Fletcher (5:03.89) as they finished third and fourth in the women’s mile. In the 3,000 the A&M tandem of Gabby Salazar (9:54.44) and Tara Upshaw (9:58.48) had a third and fifth place finish.
Lady Tigers FInish Strong at Tyson Invitational
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 3-ranked Lady Tigers certainly positioned themselves for a title run at the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships with a trio of top-five performances nationally during Saturday’s finale at the Tyson Invitational held at Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Track Center.
Two Lady Tigers certainly solidified their NCAA qualification as senior Kimberlyn Duncan and junior Lynnika Pitts each set personal records with runner-up finishes in their invitational events.
LSU’s Lady Tigers also wrapped up the meet with a third-place finish in the invitational 4x400-meter relay while slashing nearly three seconds from their previous seasonal-best in the event and locking up a top-five national ranking in the event as they sprint toward the postseason.
The LSU women emerged from the weekend with a total of 10 performances that rank among the NCAA’s Top 10 for 2013.
Perhaps none were more impressive on Saturday afternoon than Pitts, who twice smashed her lifetime PR in a runner-up finish in the women’s triple. After jumping into second place with a mark of 41 feet, 10 inches on her second attempt, Pitts added to her mark with a jump of 42-2 on her third attempt before soaring to a new lifetime best of 43-1 on her fourth attempt to lock up second place overall in the final. She even finished the day with an impressive 42-10 ¼ on her sixth and final jump that also eclipsed her PR entering the meet.
Pitts, who now is the NCAA’s No. 5-ranked triple jump this season, eclipsed her previous lifetime best of 42-9 ¾ set during the indoor season as a sophomore in 2012. She finished runner-up to the 45-7 ¾ by national championship contender Andrea Geubelle of Kansas in the second round of jumps.
“I felt really good today. My back has been bothering me a little bit this season, but I woke up this morning and I felt ready to go,” Pitts said. “I knew I had to get something done. Everybody else has been pulling their weight this year, and I knew it had to be my turn today.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a series like that before. That’s been my main thing this year, just working on being consistent and having good series. It’s good to get a big jump, but it’s even better to do it in a series like I had today. I think it shows that I’m starting to have some consistency in my jumps.”
Pitts also talked about the importance of her performance coming in the same venue that will play host to the SEC and NCAA Championships in the coming weeks.
“I love the runway here at Arkansas. I don’t know what it is about jumping here, but I always seem to do pretty well here. I already know when I get here that I expect to have good jumps. I don’t know if I was expecting to have the kind of series like I had today, but it gives me a lot of confidence for when I come back here. I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
As Pitts wrapped up second place in the invitational triple jump, the Lady Tigers eyed an improvement of their seasonal-best time entering the meet of 3 minutes, 36.45 seconds in the 4x400 relay.
And they responded with a seasonal-best performance as the team of senior Siedda Herbert (54.36), Duncan (53.23), sophomore Montenae Roye-Speight (53.15) and junior Natoya Goule (53.17) ran the NCAA’s No. 4-ranked relay of the year at 3:33.91 for third place behind the national leaders from Texas (3:30.95) and runner-up Arkansas (3:31.78).
Saturday’s finale at the 2013 Tyson Invitational also witnessed the end of one of the remarkable streaks in the history of collegiate track and field as Duncan saw her run of 18-straight collegiate victories in the 200-meter dash come to an end, despite racing to an indoor personal best in the event.
While lining up in lane No. 5 in the first section, Duncan battled Central Florida All-American Aurieyall Scott all the way to the finish line as Scott took the tape with an NCAA-leading and world-leading run of 22.68 seconds for the win. Duncan claimed second place with her indoor PR of 22.72, eclipsing her previous mark of 22.74 set in defending her national crown in the 200-meter final at the NCAA Indoor Championships held at the Jackson Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho, a season ago.
It marked Duncan’s first collegiate defeat at 200 meters in more than two years when she finished in third place at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational held Feb. 5, 2011, at The Armory in New York.
Ironically, Duncan’s streak comes to an end at the same meet in which it began when she won the 200-meter title at the 2011 Tyson Invitational during her sophomore season.
Despite Saturday’s setback, Duncan is poised to defend the NCAA crown she has won in each of the last two seasons as the only sprinter in the history of collegiate track and field to sweep NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor 200-meter titles in back-to-back seasons with her performance as a sophomore in 2011 and as a junior in 2012.
While Duncan ran an indoor PR of 22.72 for the No. 2-ranked time in the NCAA and world rankings for 2013, both Herbert (24.38) and Roye-Speight (24.59) also ran indoor personal bests during the event. Roye-Speight actually wrapped up the weekend with indoor PRs in both the 200 meters at 24.59 and 400 meters at 54.73.
“Our women turned in some really strong performances today that will help our team when we come back here in a few weeks for the NCAA Championships,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “This is exactly what we hoped for coming to the Tyson meet this weekend. We’ve done about all we can do to this point to give ourselves an opportunity to compete in the postseason.”
The Tigers were also impressive with their performance in Saturday’s 200-meter heats as they also featured three athletes sprinting to indoor personal bests during the competition.
Freshman Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake continued his progression as one of the NCAA’s rising sprint stars as he raced into the Top 20 of the national rankings while smashing his lifetime PR in the 200 meters. He won the 10th section with the fourth-fastest time of the afternoon at 21.08, breaking his previous lifetime best of 21.40 set two weeks ago on the same track at the Razorback Invitational. A product of Kingston’s Jamaica College, Mitchell-Blake signed with the Tigers with a lifetime PR of 21.49 in the event.
Mitchell-Blake, who also set a personal best of 6.79 in the 60 meters on Friday night, is now ranked No. 18 among all sprinters nationally and No. 2 among freshmen in the NCAA for 2013. His 21.08 clocking also ties him for the No. 10 spot on LSU’s all-time indoor performance list in the men’s 200-meter dash.
Also running indoor personal bests for the Tigers in Saturday’s 200-meter sections were freshmen Darrell Bush (21.43) and Cyril Grayson (21.89).
Bush even ran a career-best and team-leading split of 46.02 seconds on the third leg of LSU’s 4x400-meter relay in the invitational event to wrap up the meet as he raced with sophomore Quincy Downing (48.73), sophomore Aaron Ernest (48.37) and senior Caleb Williams (47.38) to a time of 3:10.49 for fourth place in the final.
It was another Jamaica College alum who got the ball rolling for the Tigers on Saturday afternoon as freshman Fitzroy Dunkley set a pair of personal bests while pulling double duty in simultaneous events in the college section of the men’s high jump and triple jump.
After setting an indoor PR with a third-attempt clearance at 6-7 ½, Dunkley then cleared the bar at 6-9 on his third attempt to lock up seventh place in the event while establishing a lifetime best. Dunkley also jumped an indoor personal best of 48-10 ¼ on his first attempt in the triple jump to take fourth place in Saturday’s opening event.
The Tiger jumpers continued their momentum into the afternoon when three athletes cleared matching heights of 17-3 in an exciting finish in the invitational pole vault.
Junior Thomas Reinecke and sophomore Andreas Duplantis recorded first-attempt clearances at 16-9 ¼ and 17-3 before going out of the competition with the bar resting at 17-9 to tie one another for the fifth position. Junior Jaora Johnson cleared a lifetime PR of 16-9 on his first attempt before raising his best with a clearance of 17-3 on his third and final attempt en route to an eighth-place finish. With the lifetime best for Johnson and an indoor best for Reinecke at 17-3, the Tiger tandem ties one another for the No. 10 spot on LSU’s all-time performance list in the men’s pole vault.
Also running indoor personal bests for the Tigers during Saturday’s finale were sophomore Philip Primeaux (8:36.11) and junior William Wiesler (8:45.68) in the 3,000 meters.
“We came there and got some things accomplished as a team,” Shaver said. “Next week is an important week when we go back home as it will give a number of our athletes a chance to rest up and come back here in two weeks ready to compete for a championship. It will also give others another opportunity to get to where they want to be at the most important time of the year.”
With this year’s Tyson Invitational now in the rearview mirror, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will return home next weekend to play host to the annual LSU Twilight meet being held Friday, Feb. 15, at the Carl Maddox Field House in Baton Rouge. They will then return to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville for the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships as they kick off the postseason on Feb. 24-26.
Georgia’s Hamilton Sets Second School Record During Georgia Track’s Weekend
BLACKSBURG, Va. --- Georgia’s track and field teams won four events, set five new all-time top-10 marks and broke yet another school record during their meets at the Husky Classic and VT Elite Meet on Saturday.
Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton, who was with his team members in Blacksburg, Va., is satisfied with how his teams’ regular season concluded.
“I am happy with how we are coming along and I am seeing many bright spots throughout these teams,” said Norton, whose women’s team has now set four school records during the 2013 indoor season. “This year’s regular season has been as good a regular season as any in history at Georgia. But we understand that this is just the regular season and now we have to improve and perform at the Championships. When you have a weekend like this, it helps keep hope alive.
“There are many young and inexperienced newcomers on each team this year. People asked me before the season, ‘How are we going to be?’ And I would tell them, ‘This is just going to be one of those wait and see years.’ But over the last three weeks or so, our younger, inexperienced crew keeps getting better and although we don’t have a lot of national leaders, we have some positive things brewing that I am excited about.”
Sophomore Carly Hamilton highlighted the weekend by setting a school record in the mile at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. Hamilton sped to one of the nation’s top times this year after crossing the finish line in 4:36.06 to take ninth in the mile Invitational.
This topped Natalie Picchetti’s mark of 4:38.66 set at the 2008 SEC Championships. Two weeks ago, Hamilton moved to the top of the school’s all-time top-10 list in the 3000-meter run at the Razorback Invitational as well.
"This was a very strong meet for us, and shows that we are making progress though the season,” said Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff, who joined his corps on Washington’s campus. "Our 5K runners really got the ball rolling in the right way on Friday night. They all ran hard and competed hard. Bret (McDaniel) ran a great last mile to move onto the all-time list. All four women ran indoor personal bests and Luke Baker picked up right where they left off."
Cunniff also said Saturday’s action featured “solid efforts and one spectacular one.”
"Carly Hamilton ran an awesome race,” said Cunniff. “She was fast and poised throughout the race but really attacked the last 400 meters. It was fun to watch since she was so in control all the way to the line. Matt (Cleaver), Stella (Christoforou) and Megan (Malasarte) were all very strong and showed that they are running at a high level and getting excited to compete at SECs.”
Norton has also been pleased with Hamilton’s development.
“I talked to her all last year about what her potential was and she, like many freshmen, kind of had that glazed over look,” said Norton. “But she is a super talented runner and after the cross country season she had, I think she started to gain confidence and realize that she belongs up there with the top distance runners.”
Junior Megan Malasarte has now run four consecutive personal bests in the 800, including a pair recorded to end the 2012 outdoor season. Malasarte finished seventh in Seattle after crossing the Invitational finish line with the third-best time (2:06.42) in school history.
Her junior teammate Stella Christoforou was fourth in the regular mile with a career-best time of 4:48.26. This improved her No. 7 mark on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list.
In the men’s 3000, senior Matt Cleaver finished just a bit slower than his performance at the 2012 meet to take 12th (8:09.01).
A majority of Saturday’s action came from the VT Elite Meet as Georgia tallied four wins and eight finishes in the top three.
True freshman sprinter Shaunae Miller nearly set her second record of the season, this time in the 200. The Nassau, Bahamas, native took off and finished in 23.26 to win her event with the second-fastest time in school history and the fastest for the Lady Bulldogs since 1996. Miller is now sixth on the national performance list in both the 200 and the 400.
Georgia had its most impressive meet of the season in the shot put as UGA swept the event on the men and women’s side. In fact, the Bulldog men finished 1-2-3-4 thanks to a trio of personal bests.
Sophomore Nick Vena improved his No. 4 spot in the school record books with a throw of 62 feet, 10 inches. This puts Vena at 10th on the national performance list.
While junior Caleb Whitener earned runner-up honors with an effort of 60-8.75, freshman Ashinia Miller and junior Petr Novotny each picked up career-best marks to take third and fourth, respectively.
Miller’s sixth throw traveled 60-5.25 to give him his third straight improvement. Novotny’s sixth attempt measured 58-11.25 to strengthen Georgia’s dominance in the event.
On the women’s side, junior Hilenn James followed up her school record performance in the shot with the second-best outing of her life. James also saved her top effort for her sixth throw and picked up a two-inch victory with a heave of 54-7.50.
Georgia’s fourth winner of the day was its men’s 4x400 relay team. Chris Foster, Drew Branch, Corey Ashbourne and Eric Mills finished in a season-best 3:13.20 to give the unit its first victory of the year.
The Bulldogs also had success handing off the baton in the distance medley relay. Featuring a quartet made up of all freshmen, Zane Coburn, Kisean Smith, Wade Voyles and Zack Sims combined to finish in 9:58.83 for third place. This is the ninth-best time in school history.
Senior Saniel Atkinson added a third-place finish in the high jump after clearing 5-10.75 on her first try.
The Bulldogs take next weekend off before traveling to Fayetteville, Ark., for the SEC Indoor Championships on February 22-24. The NCAA Championships (March 8-9) will also be in Arkansas’ facility.
Arkansas Caps Weekend at Tyson
FAYETTEVILLE – The No. 1 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team got a win from junior Anthony May II in the high jump Saturday to cap the team’s weekend at the Tyson Invitational. Overall, the Razorback collected five top-five invitational finishes on day two of the annual meet. Including May’s win Saturday, the team collected three wins over the weekend with wins on day one from Caleb Cross and Patrick Rono.
Competing in the invitational section of the high jump, May set a lifetime best with his first-attempt clearance of 2.23m/7-3.75. He progressed through the competition with just two misses prior to three unsuccessful attempts at the final bar. Based on jumps entering the weekend, May moves into 10th place on this season’s national qualifying list. Including May, three Razorbacks had clearance over seven feet along with Noah Kittelson and Brede Ellingsen.
In the final event on the track, the Razorbacks’ 4x400-meter relay team finished second in the event’s invitational competition. The foursome of Anton Kokorin, Travis Southard, Eric Janise and Marek Niit combined for a time of 3:07.20 Arkansas enters the postseason portion of its schedule with a season-best time of 3:06.26, run two weeks ago at the Razorback Team Invitational.
Arkansas picked up a 2-3 finish from Andrew Irwin and Kevin Lazas, respectively, in the invitational portion of the pole vault. Both Razorbacks had a final clearance of 5.41m/17-9 which represented a season best for Irwin and a personal-best performance for Lazas. Based on marks entering the weekend, that jump will move Irwin and Lazas into the national top 10. Lazas, the program’s school-record holder in the heptathlon and decathlon, replaced his previous best of 17-3.5, set earlier this year.
“Today was a huge PR for me and I was happy with my attempts at 18 feet,” Lazas said after the competition. “It’s always good to get those attempts at a higher bar. The more attempts you get, the more likely you are to make it. Hopefully next time I can come out and make 18 feet which would be huge. If I can do that in the (heptathlon), that would be amazing.”
Tarik Batchelor was the top collegiate performer in the event with a season-best jump of 16.38m/53-9, another last-jump mark. He added half an inch to his season best from the Razorback Team Invitational Batchelor finished third overall behind a pair of unattached athletes. May posted another personal-best showing in the invitational triple jump, getting out to a mark of 15.65m/51-4.25 in his final pass down the runway.
The Razorbacks also got a personal-best effort from redshirt freshman Devin Randall in the shot put. On his second throw of the day, he posted a best of 16.95m/55-7.5. Randall added more than a foot to his previous best of 53-11.75. He was the top performer in the second flight of the shot put and finished 10th overall, one spot shy of qualifying for the event final.
Running at the Husky Classic in Seattle, junior transfer Kemoy Campbell ran to a ninth-place overall finish and a time of 7:53.61 in the invitational section of the 3,000 meters. The time is just shy of cracking the program’s top-10 list in the event. Teammate Solomon Haile finished in 15th place in the race with a personal-best time of 8:01.17. His previous best of 8:01.68 was set season at the Arkansas Last Chance meet.
Friday night at the Husky Classic, Razorback newcomer Stanley Kebenei ran to a time of 13:42.15 and a ninth-place finish in the invitational section of the 5,000 meters. The top 10 in the race all posted times after than the NCAA leader heading into the weekend. With his performance Friday, Kebenei moved into sixth place on the program’s all-time list and is the first to crack the Arkansas top 10 since the 2009 season.
For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas cross country and track and field through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackTF Facebook and Twitter pages.
Four Tigers Earn Titles for Auburn Saturday
AUBURN – Senior Maya Pressley along with juniors Stephen Saenz and Niklas Buhner and freshman Valentina Muzaric each earned event titles and multiple teammates established new personal bests for Auburn track and field on Saturday in meets at three different locations.
“We are trying to put everyone in situations to get sharp and get a good mark before SECs,” Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. “We really wanted to have a good weekend all the way around. Those guys are just some of our athletes that had good weekends. We have several personal bests and for the most part it was a successful weekend with multiple national-level performances. We are right in line for where we need to be progression wise.”
Stephen Saenz won his first shot put title in just his second meet of the season. The junior from Texas recorded a top mark of 62-10.5 (19.16m) to take the title. Teammate Marcus Popenfoose was eighth with a long throw of 56-1 (17.09m).
In the women’s high jump at Samford, Maya Pressley won her second title in as many weeks. The senior from Florida was the lone competitor to clear at 1.77m as she earned the title. Muzaric brought home her first career indoor shot put title with a long throw of 54-3.75 (16.55m), a new personal best.
Auburn placed three men in the top four of the mile at the Samford Invite. Niklas Buhner won his third event of the season and second mile race with a new PR of 4:05.14. He was followed in second place by teammate Kane Grimster (4:08.35).
Senior Jeff Sanders also set a new personal-best time of 4:10.92 with a fourth-place finish.
Also in Birmingham, three Tigers finished in the top seven in the 800 meters. Francis Hernandez was fourth in 1:52.97, while Grimster (1:53.40) bounced back with a fifth-place finish in his second event of the day. Sanders also set a new personal best and finished seventh in the race in 1:53.58.
Hunter Hayes set a new person best with a mark of 1:56.32 in the 800 meters.
Tori Nwadiogbu set a new personal best with a throw of 54-11.25 in the women’s weight throw and Anna McCloskey equaled her career-best with her mark of 48-0.5.
In a limited day of action for Auburn at the Tyson Invitational, Kai Selvon ran the 200 meters for the first time in 2013 and finished 10th overall in a loaded field in 23.90 seconds.
In Blacksburg, Andrew Scott (15:05.41) and Jason Miller (15:08.63) both set personal bests in the 5,000 meters. Auburn’s ‘A’ team competed in the men’s 4x400m relay for the first time this season and placed third overall in 3:13.86. The top three teams were all finished within six tenths of a second.
The next action for Auburn is February 22-24 at the SEC Indoor Championships.
Macumber Breaks Kentucky 3K Record
SEATTLE and FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Rewriting the Kentucky track and field record books has become almost commonplace for Cally Macumber in 2013. Her performance Saturday was no exception.
Competing at the Husky Classic inside Dempsey Indoor on the Washington campus Macumber smashed the Kentucky 3,000-meter record.
As they have in nearly every race through the 2012-13 cross country/indoor track and field seasons Macumber and Oswald ran side by side among the lead pack for much of the race.
Oswald pulled ahead in the middle of the race before Macumber surged to the front on the penultimate lap, opening a commanding lead by the bell’s sound.
Dempsey Indoor was the sight of Macumber’s best indoor 3K performance before this season, and she continued to look comfortable at the facility on Saturday.
Macumber’s 5K winning-time of 8:59.98, broke three-time 5K NCAA champion Valarie McGovern’s school record of 9:05.74.
Macumber set a new personal-best by more than 10 seconds. Chelsea Oswald took eighth with a PR 9:06.64, which was the third-fastest indoor time in school history.
The rest of the Wildcats spent the weekend competing at the Tyson Invitational inside the Randal Tyson Track Center on the Arkansas campus.
On Saturday, Bradley Szypka finished second in the shot put with a PR-tying throw of 18.50m/60-08.50 to take second. That mark maintains his hold on the No. 4 Southeastern Conference mark as of Saturday evening. Isiah Kent also produced a PR mark of 18.20m/59-08.50 to take eighth.
Keffri Neal took second in the men’s 800-meter final with a PR, team-best time of 1:49.79, which currently ranks No. 5 in the SEC.
Allison Peare ran a season-best, team-leading 2:09.04 in the women’s 800 meters to finish fourth on Friday.
Keith Hayes produced a season-best time of 7.79 in the 60-meter hurdles finals to place fourth.
More than 2,000 miles from Macumber and Oswald, Anna Bostrom continued the strong women’s distance weekend for Kentucky with a career-best 9:48.35 in the Tyson women’s 3K to finish fifth. Hiruni Wijayaratne took seventh in that race.
Joanne Imbert posted a top-five performance for the second straight week finishing fourth in the women’s high jump (1.72m/5-07.75).
Ben Mason notched a team-leading 21.70 in the men’s 60 meters.
More than 40 colleges and universities competed at the Tyson Invitational, including seven men’s teams ranked in this week’s national poll.
The Wildcats next compete at the SEC Championships in two weeks. This weekend was the first of at least three trips the Wildcats make to Arkansas this season as the Tyson Track Center is host site for the conference as well as NCAA Championships.
Kentucky athletes could also find themselves at either Arkansas or Washington for “last chance meets” in early March.
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Tennessee Pole Vaulters Sweep Titles at Samford
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A week after tying the mark, Tennessee pole vaulter Jake Blankenship broke a 20-year old UT freshman record, leaping to his third-consecutive title with a vault of 18-feet, 1-inch (5.51m) at Samford's Multi and Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Saturday.
The vault, which came on his second attempt at the height, puts Blankenship ahead of legendary former Vol and Olympic silver medalist Lawrence Johnson, who set the mark in his rookie season in 1993. Blankenship has now won the pole vault title in four of five meets this season.
The Blacklick, Ohio, native, who picked up SEC Co-Men's Freshman of the Week Honors this week, also took attempts at the nation's leading mark of 18-4.75. Blankenship's new career-best now ranks seventh in the nation and second in the SEC. For freshmen, he sits at second in the country and first in the league. The mark is also tied for 30th in the world in 2013.
"It's great for Jake to break the record, especially after tying it just last week," said Tennessee Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark. "He took good jumps at the nation's leading mark and just missed it.
"Last night in Washington, Peter (Okwera) ran the seventh-fastest time in school history in the men's 5,000-meter and Hannah (Davidson) ran the school's fifth-fastest 5K at the Husky Classic," said Clark. "Our goal was for them to go out there and run times that can help in us two weeks at the SECs, and they accomplished that."
Okwera posted a personal-record time of 14:07.22 at the meet, while Davidson crossed the line in a career-best 16:22.74.
Junior Lady Vol pole vaulter Linda Hadfield, who set the school record earlier in the season, also picked up a win at the CrossPlex with a mark of 12-11.5. On the men's side, Vols Chase Brannon and Tyler Porter followed Blankenship in second and third in the pole vault, respectively.
At the Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., sophomore thrower Matthew Hoty went over 60-feet for the first time this season in the shot put. Hoty, the freshman record holder in the event, placed third with a push of 60-feet, 3.25-inches. That mark ranks in the top 10 in UT indoor history.
"Hoty came up big in the shot so it's exciting for him to be performing at his best with SECs approaching," said Clark. "Cameron Brown also broke his own freshman record again on Friday with another good mark and Austin Whitelaw was just off the freshman record pace in the mile."
For the Lady Vols, junior Allison Outerbridge set a personal-record in the triple jump, eclipsing 40-feet for the first time. Outerbridge finished in second place with a leap of 40-4.75. That mark ranks in the top five in UT indoor history.
On the banked oval at Randal Tyson Track Center, junior Amber Zimmerman added a personal record in the women's 3K, crossing the tape in 9:47.31 to finish in fourth place on Saturday. Freshman sprinter Felicia Brown also notched a career-best in the 200-meter with a time of 24.06 seconds.
"We had a lot of good marks on the women's side," Clark Said. "Nijgia (Snapp) and Kianna (Ruff) ran some of the best times in the SEC in the 800m on Friday and Hannah performed well in Washington. The throwers are also really coming around as we look to bring it all together at the conference meet in two weeks.
"We had a lot of good performances and PRs this weekend," said Clark. "Collectively, it's all really starting to come together and we'll look to keep the ball rolling this week with practice and then return for the SEC Championships."
The Big Orange returns to Fayetteville, Ark., in two weeks for the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center from Feb. 22-24.