LEXINGTON, Ky. (4/22/13) – Kentucky opened the new UK Outdoor Track and Field Facility in emphatic fashion winning all but one of the 29 events the team entered at the inaugural collegiate Heart of the Bluegrass Classic on Saturday.
“The point today was less about performance, more about putting on a good show for the crowd,” head coach Edrick Floreal said. “We also wanted the alumni to be part of this after 17 years without an outdoor track meet. It was more of a thank you.
“We wanted to make sure people understood that we appreciate them coming out here and supporting us as a team. Hopefully we can enlist their (UK alumni and fans) support in the future so we can develop and build as a team.”
Cally Macumber and Michelle Canterna, set the school records in their respective events.
Macumber’s mile time of 4:37.75 shattered the previous outdoor top time and bettered former NCAA 3K Champion Lisa Breiding’s record. Macumber spent much of the race running alongside fellow cross country and indoor All-American Chelsea Oswald, who posted her own personal best mile time 4:40.84.
Canterna came within inches of clearing the school outdoor pole vault record late last month in Cincinnati, so it came as little surprise that she made it UK’s previous threshold while competing in front of the home crowd. She ultimately cleared the new outdoor school record vault height at 3.87 meter /12’08.25”.
Competing in his first, and last, home outdoor meet Keith Hayes enjoyed a spectacular day as he won all four of the events he entered. As a highlight Hayes took the baton from fellow senior Ben Mason to anchor a meet-concluding victory in the 4x400-meter relay.
The Wildcats honored their seniors on Saturday. Katy Achtien, Kevin Bonfield, Hayes, Shelby Kennard, Mason, Shiara Robinson, Danielle Sampley, Luis Orta and Megan Wright’s UK careers were recognized in a moving ceremony toward the end of the afternoon.
Given the chance at easing through a relaxing meet program, the Wildcat seniors instead leaped at the opportunity to perform before the Big Blue Nation for the first time outdoors.
“I told the seniors that I just wanted them to do one event so they could be part of the action, but they all refused,” Floreal said. “They wanted to do multiple events because this was their first time ever competing at home. We let them run and they went out there and enjoyed it.”
Robinson also excelled in multiple events on Senior Day. She won the 400-meter hurdles with a season-best 1:02.62, before raising an arm in victory while crossing the finish line as the anchor leg of UK’s victorious 4x400-meter relay squad.
Sampley won the 100 meters in 11.99, while she also placed second in the 100-meter hurdles.
Heading into the meet the women’s 200 meters appeared as if it would be among the meet’s headlining events as the top heat would feature a stacked field that featured four of the fastest Wildcats at that distance all-time.
The actual race did not disappoint, as Morganne Phillips edged Keilah Tyson with a time of 23.78 (2.8 wind). Tamyah Pipkin placed third, Angelica Whaley and Sampley finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Andrew Evans won two events, claiming the discus and hammer throw. The 2012 All-American’s hammer mark of 57.70 meters / 189'4" was a personal best.
Rebecca Famurewa won the shot put, discus and hammer throw, highlighted by a PR 53.64 meters / 176' 0" throw in the latter event.
Bradley Szypka won his second-straight shot put title on the back of an outdoor season best 18.15 meters / 59'06.75”.
Kadeem Kushimo swept the 100 and 200 meters for the second time in as many weeks.
A number of former Wildcat greats, as well as current staff members also posted impressive performances. Two-time long jump Olympian and volunteer assistant coach Arantxa King won her specialty event.
Graduate assistant Ann Detmer stuck with Macumber and Oswald for the duration of the mile as she placed second with a time of 4:39.35. Three-time All-American and 2008 NCAA Discus Champion Rashaud Scott placed third in the discus, and fourth in the javelin.
Fans in attendance also participated in the UK track and field shoe drive this weekend. Spectators have the option to donate any type of shoes in any condition into collection bins, which will be located at the front entrance to the track and field complex.
The Kentucky Track and Field team is running the shoe drive benefitting those less fortunate around the world for the third consecutive year.
The UK shoe drive runs until May 10. Other shoe drive drop-off locations include the Johnson Recreation Center, Shively Sports Center (adjacent to Cliff Hagan Stadium) and CATS (attached to Memorial Coliseum).
Information provided by Jacob Most
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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