Olivia Gruver vaulted to a historic height, leading the way for Kentucky on a Saturday, which saw Wildcats win six events taking the UK weekend total to eight event victories over two days of Kentucky Invitational track and field action.

Gruver, competing on home track for the first time since winning the NCAA pole vault title outdoors last June, cleared 15’1”/4.60m to win the Kentucky Invitational pole vault. The clearance broke her absolute school record by two inches, and improved upon her early-season NCAA leader. It tied No. 7 performer on the all-time collegiate absolute list and equaled the No. 4 performer on the all-time collegiate indoor list.

“It felt really good,” Gruver said. “When I hear the home crowd cheering for me it really makes me feel energized. I was getting tired towards the end, but once the crowd started clapping, it just felt amazing. I just felt re-energized as if I could do anything.

“I’m a lot more confident this year. I’ve just become so much more relaxed. Every bar feels easier and easier. I’m feeling really good to start the year.”

Another one of Kentucky’s returning NCAA Champions, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn who won the 100m hurdles in 2016, also was top collegian in her signature event on Saturday.
Camacho-Quinn and a predecessor of sorts of her’s: Kendra Harrison went 1-2 in the 60m hurdles. Harrison ran a world-leading 7.82, while Camacho-Quinn was second overall in 8.10. Camacho-Quinn, the reigning SEC 60m hurdles champion, already has the NCAA lead – a time of 8.04, which she ran last month.
Stanford alumna/current UK volunteer assistant coach Kori Carter was third in the 60m hurdles in 8.21, while UK sophomore Faith Ross was fifth in 8.40.

UK class on 2017 Javianne Oliver won the women’s 60m dash in 7.20, while UK newcomer Celera Barnes was second overall and top collegian in 7.45. UK alumna Sha’Keela Saunders was fourth in 7.49, and Kayelle Clarke was fifth in 7.58.

Kentucky freshman Dwight St. Hillaire ran a strong season-opening 400m time of 46.55 to win in his home opener. That time ranks fourth nationally in the men’s quarter-mile at time of publication.
Reigning NCAA outdoor triple jump silver medalist Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile won the long jump with a mark of 19’7.5”/5.98m, while UK newcomer Latavia Coombs won the triple jump with a best mark at 42’1.5”/12.84m.

In one of the more anticipated events of the day, Kentucky freshman Phenom Sydney McLaughlin anchored a 4x400m relay with Kianna Gray (55.4), Camacho-Quinn (53.4), Kayelle Clarke (54.7) running the first three legs to a runner-up time of 3:35.31.

McLaughlin grabbed the baton at about a eight-meter deficit to Ohio State’s All-America team. She overtook Ohio State senior Maggie Barrie with about 100m remaining, but the Buckeye veteran reeled her in down the stretch.
McLaughlin’s split was clocked at a 51.9 by the meet timer, while Barrie ran 53.0. McLaughlin’s split was more than a second faster than anyone else in the race over the relay’s four legs.

The UK men’s 4x400m relay of Fred Dorsey, Daniel Roberts, Dwight St. Hillaire and Ian Jones placed second to Ohio State in 3:13.45.

Noah Castle was runner-up in the men’s shot put with a mark of 60’.25”/18.29m.

Kentucky swept the men’s and women’s distance medley relays on Friday.
UK volunteer assistant coach and Arkansas alumnus Omar McLeod ran a world-leading 7.53 to win the men’s 60m hurdles.

2018 Kentucky Invitational | UK entries
Saturday, Jan. 13
Field Events – 3 UK wins
Event UK entry
Women’s High Jump 3. Carly Hinkle: 5’7.25”/1.71m
Men’s High Jump 3. Tim Duckworth: 6’10.75”/2.10m
Women’s Long Jump 1. M-J Ebwea-Bile: 19’7.5”/5.98m
Men’s Long Jump 7. Saahir Bethea: 23’3.5”/7.10m
Men’s Shot Put 2. Noah Castle: 60’.25”/18.29m
6. Charles Lenford 56’11.25”/17.35m
13. David Cline: 48’11”/14.91m
17. Logan Bryer: 47’5’/14.45m
Women’s Pole Vault 1. Olivia Gruver: 15’1”/4.60m | Absolute school record, tied No. 7 performer on collegiate absolute list| tied No. 4 performer collegiate indoor list
14. Nicole Bagby  11’9.75”/ 3.60m
14. Riley Caudill  11’9.75”/ 3.60m
17. Alison D’Alessandro 11’3.75”/ 3.45m
Men’s Pole Vault 5. Matthew Peare: 16’10”/5.13m
12. Tim Duckworth: 15’10”/4.83m
Women’ Shot Put 6. Nicole Fautsch  49’7.75”/ 15.13m
Women’s Triple Jump 1. Latavia Coombs: 42’1.5”/12.84m
Running Events – 3 UK wins
Men’s 60H prelims 1. Omar McLeod (UKTF Volunteer assistant, UA alum): 7.73Q
2. Daniel Roberts: 7.96Q
5. Caleb Wilt: 8.09q
Women’s 60H prelims 1. Kendra Harrison (Adidas): 7.98Q
2. Kori Carter: 8.28Q
4. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn: 8.42Q
5. Faith Ross: 8.47Q
19. Latavia Coombs: 9.00
Men’s 60m prelims 5. Fred Dorsey: 6.87Q
12. EJ Floreal: 6.93
Women’s 60m prelims 1. Javianne Oliver (UK alum): 7.27Q
2. Celera Barnes: 7.49Q
4. Sha’Keela Saunders (UK alum): 7.58Q
6. Kayelle Clarke: 7.64Q
Men’s 60H final 1. Omar McLeod (UK volunteer assistant/UA alum): 7.53 (WL)
6. Caleb Wilt: 8.14
9. Daniel Roberts: 8.70
Women’s 60H final 1. Kendra Harrison: 7.82
2. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn: 8.10 – top collegian –
3. Kori Carter (UK volunteer assistant/SU alum): 8.21
5. Faith Ross: 8.40
Men’s 60m final 6. Fred Dorsey: 6.81
Women’s 60m final 1. Javianne Oliver (UK alum): 7.20
2. Celera Barnes: 7.45
4. Sha’Keela Saunders (UK alum): 7.49
5. Kayelle Clarke: 7.58
Men’s Mile 8. Matthew Thomas: 4:16.84
17. Cole Dowdy: 4:22.57
Women’s Mile 11. Avery Bussjager 5:05.24
12. Sarah Crawford 5:05.19
Men’s 400m 1. Dwight St. Hillaire 46.55
Women’s 400m 5. Faith Ross 55.30
9. Janie O’Connor 56.84
Men’s 800m 3. Ian Jones  1:51.20
Men’s 3k 8.Daniel Southard  8:28.11
9.Tanner Dowdy 8:31.72
21. Alex Mortimer 8:50.75
Men’s 4x400m 2. UK “A”: Dorsey, Roberts, St. Hillaire, Jones 3:13.45
6. UK “B”: Will Walker, Jelani Walker, Floreal, Wilt 3:19.97
Women’s 4x400m 2. UK “A”: Gray, Quinn, Clarke, McLaughlin 3:35.31
5. UK “B”: O’Connor, Ross, Barnes, Howell 3:47.89
Friday, Jan. 12    
Field Events  
Event UK entry  
Men’s Weight Throw 3. David Cline: 67’3.5”/20.51m | 5 inches shy of PR
4. Logan Bryer: 65’9.75”/20.06m
8. CJ Lenford: 56’2”/17.12m
Women’s Weight Throw 16. Nicole Fautsch: 50’8.25”/15.45m
23. Kennedy Krieg: 46’7.5”/14.21m
Running Events  
Men’s DMR 1. UK (A – Young, W. Walker, Jones, Fields): 9:49.16
2. UK (B – Muhammad, J. Walker, Thomas, Thomson):                          : 9:49.95
Women’s DMR 1. UK (McKinney, Gray, Crawford, Kunc): 11:37.33  

For the most in-depth coverage of the UK cross country and track and field program follow the @KentuckyTrack social media channels on InstagramTwitter and Facebook as well as on UKathletics.com.

For more information contact:
Jake Most


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