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    SEC Track & Field Today: Friday, January 24

    Fondren's High Jump Win Leads Alabama on First Day at Kentucky

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Alabama track and field team turned in 12 performances that rank in the school's all-time top 10 as eight individuals set personal records Friday in the first day of the Rod McCravy Memorial at the University of Kentucky.

    Led by Justin Fondren’s first-place finish in the high jump, Alabama earned six top-5 finishes, including three field athletes claiming second place in their respective events. Lacey Dent (women’s pentathlon), Nia Barnes (women’s weight throw) and Charodd Richardson (men’s weight throw) had performances that landed them on the school’s top-10 list.

    “Overall, it was a big day for us,” said Crimson Tide head coach Dan Waters. “We had some great performances and some new personal records, and I’m really pleased with the progression we’ve made since last week. I hope we can continue our advancement, and I look forward to getting after it again tomorrow.”

    Alabama will return to Kentucky’s Nutter Field House Saturday for another full slate of action in the second and final day of the Rod McCravy Memorial, which on Friday was named the “National Meet of the Week” by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The event earned the title “based on the outstanding sprints/hurdles match-ups and the concentration of top-10 and top-25 teams in both the men's and women's competitions.”

    Here’s an event-by-event breakdown of Friday’s Alabama competitors:

    MEN

    High Jump: Sophomore Justin Fondren took first place in the high jump while setting a new personal best of 7-0 1/2. Fondren cleared 2.09 meters and 2.14 meters without a miss before three missed attempts at 2.17 meters. Fondren’s previous best was 6-11 3/4.

    Weight Throw: Junior Charodd Richardson threw a mark of 65-10 1/2 on his final attempt of the evening to finish second in the men’s weight throw. Richardson’s throw lands at eighth on the school’s all-time list and breaks his previous personal best (59-8 1/4), set less than a week ago at the Auburn Invitational.

    Long Jump: Senior Kamal Fuller finished runner-up with a mark of 24-9 1/4, the ninth-best mark in the nation in 2014. Sophomore Josh McCullan placed fifth after recording a personal best of 24-0 1/4. His previous PR was 23-8 3/4. In his long jump debut for the Tide, freshman Jeremiah Green took 10th place with a jump of 22-9, while sophomore Nathan Vardaman jumped 22-1 3/4 to place 12th.

    600-yard run: Junior Brennan Parks placed eighth in the 600-yard run with a time of 1:15.53.

    WOMEN

    Pentathlon: Sophomore Lacey Dent finished fourth in the women's pentathlon with 3,643 points, good for third all-time in school history. Dent scored 961 points with a top finish in the 60-meter hurdles (8.76).

    Weight Throw: Sophomore Nia Barnes set a personal record with a 64-0 1/4 mark to take sixth place in the weight throw. Barnes’ throw, which ranks fourth-best in Alabama indoor history, shattered her previous best of 60-8 1/2. Junior Candicea Bernard finished 14th with a throw of 52-9 1/2.

    Long Jump: Sophomore Callie Ives registered a mark of 19-1 1/2 — her best mark of the young season — in the long jump to finish seventh in her section and eighth overall. Ives fouled on her first attempt but registered legal marks on her next two jumps before passing on her final three chances. In her long jump debut, freshman Quanesha Burks registered three legal marks, improving with each jump, and placed 13th with a mark of 17-11 1/2.

    Pole Vault: Senior Alexis Paine tied for second with a mark of 13-6 1/2. Freshman Lakan Taylor cleared 12-8 3/4 to finish tied for seventh. Sophomore Anna Rawles (12-2 3/4) finished 15th, while sophomore Autumn Conn set a personal record of 11-9 to finish 17th.

    5,000 Meters: Sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf finished fourth with a time of 17:25.74.
     




    Gators’ DMR, Bostic & Burke Highlight Strong Opening Day for Track & Field at Rod McCravy Memorial

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Jayla Bostic, Taylor Burke and the Gator women’s distance medley relay put on several of UF’s remarkable performances on the opening day of competition at the top-25 saturated Rod McCravy Memorial at Nutter Field House Friday in Lexington. Tabbed USTFCCCA’s Division I National Meet of the Week, the Gators are among an elite contingent of programs competing at the Kentucky-hosted invitational.

    UF’s DMR crew on the women’s side, composed of newcomer Rebekah Greene and seniors Ebony Eutsey, Agata Strausa and Cory McGee, cruised to an 11:00.16, the second fastest time in the nation and the second-fastest mark in UF’s indoor record book, while Bostic claimed the women’s weight throw title with a personal best 20.46m/67-1.5. Burke dueled it out in the high jump Friday afternoon, clearing a season-best 1.83m/6-00.00 good for second place, to help open the two-day competition for the Orange and Blue.




     

    Williams Sets American Junior Record on Opening Day of Cherry and Silver Invite

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. and NASHVILLE -- Georgia freshman Kendell Williams set a new American junior record in the pentathlon with a total of 4,302 points on Friday evening at the opening day of the New Mexico Cherry and Silver Collegiate Invitational.

    The previous American junior record in the pentathlon was set in 2005 by Penn State's Gayle Hunter with 4,059 points. Williams' mark is currently leading the nation and is also No. 2 in the Lady Bulldog record books.

    Senior Lucie Ondraschkova finished second overall with 4,218 points, just 10 points off of her personal best mark and currently the No. 2 mark in the nation behind Williams. Quintunya Chapman finished sixth in the competition with 3,670 points in her multi event debut.

    Williams won the high jump in the pentathlon by clearing a height of 5-11.25 which ranks tied for 10th in the Georgia record books. Ondraschkova finished fourth with a mark of 5-7.75. Chapman cleared 5-1.75.

    Williams claimed first in the long jump with a mark of 20-6.25, which stands at sixth place all-time in school history. Ondraschkova was directly behind in second with a career-best jump of 20-1 to move into ninth place all-time at Georgia. Chapman placed sixth with a 17-9.50.

    Williams also took the title in the 60 meter hurdles with an 8.40, just one second off of her time from last week's Auburn Invitational. Ondraschkova placed third in the event with a personal-best 8.66 to move into ninth place in school history. Chapman finished sixth in 8.91.

    In the 800 meter run, Ondraschkova took first in 2:19.64, followed by Champman in second (2:24.98) and Williams in third (2:26.64).

    On the opening day of the men's heptathlon competition, sophomore Maicel Uibo finished third in the 60 meter dash with a 7.24 while claiming top honors in the long jump with a mark of 23-10.25.

    Union continued his strong outing in the shot put, tossing for a mark of 46-00.50 before rounding out the day with a second-place finish in the high jump with a 6-11.

    Also in New Mexico, Freshman Asianna Covington finished fourth in the weight throw with a toss of 65-7.75, which ranks her fourth all-time in school history. Elizabeth Tepe finished ninth with a throw of 56-00.50.

    Half of the Bulldogs' squad competed in Nashville at the Vanderbilt Collegiate Indoor Invitational where the Commodores played host to the meet on their brand new indoor track facility.

    Sophomore Chanice Porter placed fourth in the long jump with a mark of 19-11.75, and Torrenzia Lyles finished 15th in the event with a jump of 18-2.5.

    Freshman Rachael Doverspike finished 16th in the high jump with a mark of 5-2.5, while Georgia alum Saniel Atkinson-Grier won the event with a jump of 6-1.5. On the men's side, sophomore Maurice Freeman claimed fifth place in his signature event by clearing a height of 6-8.75.

    Check back to georgiadogs.com later this evening for complete coverage of the later action in both meets. Action continues tomorrow in both meets, with the women's shot put set to kick things off at noon EST in New Mexico.
     




    Field Events Highlight Thrilling McCravy Memorial Opener

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s Rod McCravy Memorial Meet was initially billed as the best track meet anywhere in America all weekend. The level of competition lived up to expectations on Friday, and that excitement will only build with a talent-laden Saturday schedule in store.

    Yet on Friday, meet and facility records fell, nation-leading times and marks were posted and fans inside Nutter Field House were treated to a day of track and field as good as any thus far in 2014.

    Combined and field events dominated the Friday program with the action culminating in the always-exciting distance medley relays.

    UK enjoyed a solid day in both combined events and in the field.

    Justin Kretchmer turned in a collegiate-best high jump, clearing 2.14m/7’0.25” on his second attempt for second place, narrowly missing the win on a tiebreaker. Kretchmer’s jump was two inches short of Michael Mason’s UK freshman indoor record.

    Sha’Keela Saunders was comparatively impressive in her long jump debut, finishing third with a top jump of 6.05m/19’10.25”, giving UK fans great hope as to the redshirt freshman’s horizontal jumping potential.

    Saunders finished only behind the nation-leading jump that Oregon’s Jasmine Todd recorded: 6.4m/21’ and Jenna Prandini’s (Oregon) jump of 6.13m/20’1.5”, which ranks No. 13 nationally. Saunders’ jump is the 22nd best in the country this year.

    Michelle Canterna posted an indoor personal-best pole vault clearance of 3.88m/12’8.75” to place 10th in a competition won by the top clearance in the United States this year.

    Joanne Imbert started the day with an indoor pentathlon 60-meter hurdles personal-best time of 9.69 beginning a day in which she would post PRs in four individual events as well as in her pentathlon total score. The Valley Stream, N.Y. native finished sixth overall, a solid effort for the recently-converted multi-event competitor.

    Ibn Short also turned in an impressive performance in the men’s heptathlon; as he sits in second place overall with 2928 points after four events. Nathan Donnellon also got off to a strong start to his UK heptathlon debut.

    Two Wildcats placed inside the top-10 in the women’s 200m as Morganne Phillips was fifth with a time of 24.37 and Alisha Adair was ninth in 24.58. Dominique Booker placed second as an unattached runner with a time of 24.03.

    The day culminated with two thrilling, if not lightning fast, distance medley relays.

    The UK men’s team entered the weekend ranked second in the national rankings based on its performance at last weekend’s Kentucky Invitational, while the UK women have the ability to return three of four legs from the 2013 NCAA fifth-place squad.

    Despite the hosts’ potential talent to call upon, the Wildcats would take a back seat on this night due in large-part to injuries.

    Four of the nation’s five fastest times were recorded in the women’s distance medley relay as Oregon best took advantage of UK’s oversized track. Megan Patrignelli outdueled Florida’s 2013 American 1,500m Bronze Medalist Cory McGee down the stretch of the anchor leg.

    Oregon’s time of 10:56.77 also broke the McCravy Meet and Nutter Field House record.

    The men’s race provided a worthy second-act as all four of the nation’s top times were recorded with Virginia winning in 9:36.11, again smashing the meet and facility records in the process.

    Saturday Preview

    The Saturday action will begin at 10 a.m. ET. Admission to the weekend’s meet is free to the public. Parking will be available in the C-6 lot adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.

    The action will ramp up on Saturday as the track will feature some of the most competitive fields for any regular season meet all year.

    The women’s “Blue” 60-meter hurdles will take center stage first as the preliminary heats include three of the top-five performers in America this season.

    Headlining the event is UK junior Kendra Harrison, who set a school-record and nation-leading time, 8.09, last weekend. Florida’s Bridgett Owens has the nation’s fourth-fastest 60h time, while Oregon’s Sasha Wallace ranks No. 5 in the country. UK’s Kayla Parker has the nation’s eighth fastest 60h time, but she is schedule to race in the “White” prelims.

    The men’s 60m hurdles will pit defending NCAA Champion Eddie Lovett (Florida) against current national-leader Demoye Bogle of Ohio State. The field will also include the nation’s fifth-ranked 60m hurdler Jon Cabral (Oregon), while former UK All-American Keith Hayes will run unattached. Hayes placed seventh at the 2013 NCAA Championships in the event.

    The women’s 60m is perhaps the meet’s most top-heavy event as the nation’s top three performers this season are scheduled to face off.

    Topping the list is Kentucky’s Dezerea Bryant, who broke a UK record and posted the fastest time in America, 7.19, last weekend. Oregon’s Jasmine Todd and Jenna Prandini rank Nos. 2 and 3 respectively, and all three of them are in the first preliminary heat together.

    The women’s 3,000m should also hold fireworks in store as Chelsea Oswald will lead the way for UK as she was All-American in the event during a 2012-13 season in which she earned three All-America honors, two SEC Championships (5k and 10k outdoors), two Honorable Mention All-America honors, thee All-SEC honors and was named SEC Student-Athlete of the Year across all sports.

    Florida will enter an impressive distance duo into the event, led by Cory McGee who was SEC 3k runner-up to UK’s Cally Macumber in 2013, and was American Bronze Medalist and NCAA Runner-up at 1,500m last season. McGee’s fellow Gator Agata Strasa was herself an honorable mention All-American at 1,500m.

    Tennessee’s Chelsea Blaase finished fourth in the SEC 3k Championships last year.

    The men’s 800m could turn into a showdown between Kentucky’s Keffri Neal, who is undefeated this season and placed sixth in the event at SEC’s last year, and Florida’s Sean Obinwa, who was a First Team All-American and SEC Champion in the event last season.

    The men’s 60m will pit the nation’s Nos. 5 and 8 performers this year, Antwan Wright (Florida) and Trayvon Bromell (Baylor).

    The nation’s largest concentration of elite teams has descended upon the Kentucky track and field team’s Nutter Field House for the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet this weekend.

    Of the 14 teams participating, six are ranked inside the national top-25 (both men’s and women’s) including No. 3 Oregon men, No. 4 and defending NCAA Indoor Champion Oregon women, defending NCAA Outdoor Co-Champion and 2013 NCAA Indoor runner-up and second-ranked Florida men, No. 3 Florida women and No. 24 Alabama women in addition to the No. 6 UK women’s team.

    Additionally, the meet will feature seven student-athletes who appeared in the Preseason Watch List for The Bowerman Award, which is the most of any meet this weekend.

    Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio State, Baylor, Miami (FL) and Illinois are other marquee names in the field.

     




    MSU Dominates Day One At Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With unrivaled performances in the men’s and women’s long jump and men’s distance medley relay, Mississippi State track and field rolled over its competition on day one of the Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational, capturing six Top 10 finishes, including three wins.

    The Bulldog quartet comprised of Scottie Hearn, Brandon McBride, Patrick Monaghan and Damian Roszko clocked a 9:44.28 to finish ahead of all competitors by an outstanding nine seconds in the men’s distance medley relay. The foursome’s winning time currently ranks fifth in the nation in the event.

    “We have a great group of guys to work with this year, and middle distance is especially on the upswing,” McBride said. “This group of hard workers is really going to achieve something special.”

    Meanwhile, off the track, a pair of MSU jumpers had successful showings to qualify for NCAA Indoor Nationals. All-Americans Erica Bougard (21-11.00) and Marcus Jackson (7-03.75) posted first and second-place finishes in the long jump and high jump, respectively, to earn a spot in Albuquerque, N.M., on March 12-15.

    Long jumper Jarrett Samuels won his event with a leap of 23-11.50, while Rochelle Farquharson posted a 19-11.75 to finish third in the women’s competition. Following Samuels were A.J. Ward (22-10.00) in sixth and Zachary Taylor (20-08.00) in 11th.

    “I am extremely proud of how well our teams did today,” MSU Coach Steve Dudley said. “If they continue to perform like this, they will keep getting the national attention they deserve. I’m excited to see how we finish tomorrow.”

    Action will continue Saturday in Nashville at 10 a.m., starting with the women’s 3000-meter run, and will conclude at 4:35 p.m. with the 4x400-meter relays.

    “Mississippi State has started the first day of the meet off great,” Hearn said. “With two national qualifiers this early in the season and an outstanding win in the distance medley, I am very excited for the rest of the season. I expect great things for our team, and it’s time to make people proud.”
     



    Georgia's Williams Sets American Junior Record

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Georgia freshman Kendell Williams set a new American Junior record in the pentathlon with 4,302 points on Friday at the opening day of the Cherry & Silver Collegiate Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. 
     
    The previous American Junior record in the pentathlon was set in 2005 by Penn State's Gayle Hunter with 4,059 points.  Williams' mark is currently leading the nation and is No. 2 in the Lady Bulldog record books.
     
    Lady Bulldog senior Lucie Ondraschkova finished second overall with 4,218 points, just 10 points off of her personal best mark and currently the No. 2 mark in the nation.  Quintunya Chapman finished sixth in the competition with 3,670 points in her collegiate multi-event debut. 
     
    “Kendell and Lucie have gotten the weekend off to a great start with performances that are highly-ranked nationally,” said head coach Wayne Norton.  “That is important because to be the caliber of team we aim to be, we need our top people to begin to get high up on the national list.  And Asianna’s mark is superb considering it is her first one ever.  As she gains experience, she will get better and throw a lot farther.  Maicel also had the kind of first day that sets him up well for a good score.”
     
    Williams won the high jump in the pentathlon by clearing a height of 5 feet, 11 ¼ inches, which is tied for 10th in the Georgia record books.  Ondraschkova finished fourth with a mark of 5-7.75. 
     
    Williams claimed first in the long jump with a mark of 20-6.25, which stands sixth place all-time in school history.  Ondraschkova was directly behind in second with a career-best jump of 20-1 to move into 10th place all-time at Georgia. 
     
    Williams also took the title in the 60-meter hurdles with an 8.40, just one second off of her time from last week's Auburn Invitational.  Ondraschkova placed third in the same event with a personal-best 8.66 to move into ninth place in school history. 
     
    In the 800, Ondraschkova won at 2:19.64, followed by Chapman in second (2:24.98) and Williams in third (2:26.64), giving the Lady Bulldogs a 1-2-3 finish. 
     
    On the opening day of the men's heptathlon, sophomore Maicel Uibo is leading with 3,313 points after four events.  He finished third in the 60 with a 7.24 while claiming top honors in the long jump with a mark of 23-10.25. 
     
    Uibo continued his strong outing in the shot put, tossing mark of 46-0.50 before rounding out the day with a second-place finish in the high jump with a 6-11.  This is the second-best high jump mark of his career. 
     
    For the second consecutive week, freshman Leontia Kallenou hit the 6-foot mark in the high jump.  She went over the bar at 6-0.75 on her opening attempt at the height and finished second behind national leader and South Carolina senior Jeannelle Scheper (6-2).
     
    Also in New Mexico, freshman Asianna Covington finished fourth in the weight throw with a toss of 65-7.75.  This ranks her fourth all-time in school history.  Senior Elizabeth Tepe finished ninth with a throw of 56-0.50 in the event. 
     
    Despite three fouls, freshman Alex Poursanidis reached 63-5.50 on his second attempt to take fourth in the men’s weight throw.
     
    Half of the Bulldogs' squad competed in Nashville at the Vanderbilt Collegiate Indoor Invitational where the Commodores played host to the meet on their brand new indoor track facility. 
     
    “Taking advantage of the fabulous facility in Vanderbilt, the group who competed for us showed some improvement over last week,” Norton said.  “We competed with some real intensity in the 5000 races and especially in the (distance medley relays).  All of the distance runners did well, but Bret McDaniel produced an inspiring result that gave us a nice emotional boost.  It was a productive day.”
     
    The women’s distance medley team cruised to a victory with the program’s third-best time in history.  The Lady Bulldogs clocked an 11:24.86 to top the nearest competitor, Vanderbilt, by more than 24 seconds.
     
    The Bulldog men were the runner-ups in the distance medley relay with a time of 9:55.17.  With the finish, Georgia moved to fifth on the school’s all-time list with Georgia’s top time since 2011.
     
    Also on the track, Bret McDaniel topped 28 competitors to win the 5000 with a mark of 16:40.74.  Her personal-best finish improved her No. 8 spot in the UGA record books.
     
    Sophomore Brendan Hoban and junior Charlie Sparks went 2-3 in the men’s 5000 with a pair of indoor personal bests.  Hoban finished his laps in 14:43.14 while Sparks shot across the finish line 10 seconds later in 14:53.03.
     
    Sophomore Chanice Porter placed fourth in the long jump with a mark of 19-11.75 on her final attempt.  On the men's side, sophomore Maurice Freeman claimed fifth place in his signature event, the high jump, by clearing a height of 6-8.75.
     
    Action continues on Saturday in both meets, with the women’s 3000 set to start at 11:30 a.m. ET and women's shot put set to kick things off at noon in New Mexico.