Kentucky qualified seven of a possible 11 Wildcats on to the NCAA Championships finals site on day one of the NCAA East Preliminary Championships, held for the first time at the UK Outdoor Track and Field Complex, Thursday.

A further four Wildcats from a possible nine made it out of the first round into track event quarterfinals in front of 1,104 fans.
The name of the game at the preliminary championships is advancing to the national championships finals site.

Twelve performers from each event at the preliminary round sites advance to the NCAA Championships – hosted for the fifth-consecutive year as part of a run that is scheduled to continue through 2021 at Oregon’s Hayward Field – June 7-10.

The NCAA East Preliminary Championships continue Friday and Saturday.

 

NCAA Finals Qualifiers
Olivia Gruver bounced back from a disappointing Southeastern Conference Championships with an ideal start to her NCAA postseason in the pole vault.

She needed to clear just two heights (13’5.25″/4.10m and 13’9.25″/4.20m) and did so on her first attempt at each of them to finish as top qualifier out of the East based on no misses to break ties.

Fred Dorsey submitted an early bid for unlikeliest to qualify. Dorsey was initially left out of the East Preliminary Championships field in the long jump, as his season best mark was 49th best in the East – one spot outside qualifying. Yet a scratch led him into the field, and then he made the most of his chance.

He advanced to Eugene out from the first long jump flight.

“My reaction is pure excitement,” Dorsey said. “I was 48th coming in, actually I was 49th. Somebody had to medical scratch so I got in at the last second. When they told me (I qualified) I was really excited, but I had to stay focused because I was getting ready to run the 100m as well.

“I knew it was a possibility. A lot of people don’t go from 48 to top 12, but I just tried to be positive. I knew I did it last year so I knew I was capable. I literally had nothing to lose.”

Jumping in the first flight – statistically filled with the lowest-ranked jumpers – he recorded an early mark of 24’9”/7.54m on his second attempt. That mark was second best through the first two flights, but to the trained eye the mark was well in play to qualify owing to the mental, if physical effects of the chilly, overcast conditions that blanketed Lexington on Thursday.

Indeed the performance held up for ninth best of the competition through the next two flights.

Dorsey competed in Eugene last season as well.

Kentucky finished Thursday a perfect three for three in terms of long jumpers advancing, as Sha’Keela Saunders and Destiny Carter each made it out of women’s qualifying.

Saunders fouled on her first attempt – awaking at least a measure of anxiety derived from last season when the multiple-time NCAA medalist in the event did not make it out of East Prelims. But she got her mark clear as day on the second attempt, soaring to a mark of 21’8.75”/6.62m in the second round to finish third best in the meet.

Since the NCAA East Preliminary Championships are considered part of the NCAA Outdoor Championships broadly, officially speaking Saunders still has time to keep her 2017 record of eclipsing 22 feet at every competition she’s entered this season intact.

If this meet and recent history is any indication however, the reigning NCAA Indoor Long Jump Champion will need to soar well beyond the 22-foot threshold to emerge victorious in Oregon.

Carter found herself way outside the top 12 through two rounds, but perhaps calling on the confidence accrued by her SEC 200m silver and team-high scoring performance earlier this month, she rallied to reach 21’1.75”/6.43m in the final round and make NCAAs in the long jump.

 

Ethan Shalaway apparently had the perfect attitude – to just embrace the moment and feel comfortable competing where he trains all the time – and backed it up with his performance. He qualified ninth in the javelin with a mark of 218’6”/66.60m, by no means all that sterling a mark for him, but plenty enough to accomplish the name of the game.

Sarah Blake advanced in the women’s javelin for the second year in a row with a 10th-best mark of 158’1”/48.18m.

And then Jacob Thomson moved on to Eugene in the only track event where that was on offer for Wildcats on Thursday. He cruised to fourth in the men’s 10k with a time of 29:58.08.

Thursday advancers to quarterfinals

Perhaps of the Wildcat performances to move into quarterfinals from prelims on Thursday, Kenshard Hamilton’s was most encouraging – more for the manner in which it occurred than that Hamilton qualified.

Sure, Hamilton has impressed at multiple times throughout his UK career, but Thursday’s 10.22 100m dash time moved straight to the front of any future discussion of Hamilton’s credentials based on performance to date.

It moved him to No. 4 on the UK all-time performers’ list. Of course by far most importantly in the context of this meet and of his team, the time gave him a spot in the Friday quarterfinal with a trip to Eugene on the line. He was seventh fastest qualifier.
Carter and Kianna Gray cruised into the women’s 100m final running times of 11.20Q and 11.28Q respectively.  Gray’s time was a season best.

Ian Jones advanced into the men’s 800m quarterfinal placing third in his heat to advance automatically, and 13th overall in 1:49.69.

Another notable performance
David Cline was nearly five feet shy of the top-12, yet recorded a 4’5″ personal best in the hammer throw to finish 19th with a mark of 213’6”/66.60m.
Primer
Nearly 2,000 of the best collegiate athletes in the country have descended upon the UK Outdoor Track and Field Complex this weekend as Kentucky serves as host for the NCAA East Preliminary Championships Thursday through Saturday.

The name of the game at the preliminary championships is advancing to the national championships finals site.

Twelve performers from each event at the preliminary round sites advance to the NCAA Championships – hosted for the fifth-consecutive year as part of a run that is scheduled to continue through 2021 at Oregon’s Hayward Field – June 7-10.

The meet features 1824 individual entries (1,728 in individual events and 96 spots for four-person relays). Accounting for individual athletes entered in multiple events 1,695 athletes have converged upon Lexington to compete this weekend.

Sixteen Rio Olympians, including Kentucky’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn who was a semifinalist in the 100m  hurdles for Puerto Rico at The Games last August, are slated to compete at NCAA East Prelims (Nine women, seven men).

 

Kentucky is host site for the NCAA East Preliminary Championships for the first time. UK was the host school on the reconfigured UK outdoor track for the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships in 2014. UK has hosted the SEC Indoor Championships inside Nutter Field House seven times, most recently in 2015.

Tickets
Gates will open at 1 p.m. May 26 & 27. Pre-purchased tickets must be exchanged for a wristband at the ticket windows prior to entering the complex each day.

SEATING TYPE PRICE PURCHASE
General Admission Seating (Adult)  Ages 19-64 $35 BUY NOW
General Admission Seating (Youth/Seniors)  Ages 3-18, 65+ $25 BUY NOW

 

General Admission Seating (College Student)  Valid College ID Required $25 ONLY IN PERSON

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Single-session tickets

Single-session tickets will be available for each of the three days of competition (May 25-27).

 

SEATING TYPE PRICE PURCHASE
General Admission Seating (Adult)  Ages 19-64 $15 ON SALE 5/15
General Admission Seating (Youth/Seniors)  Ages 3-18, 65+ $10 ON SALE 5/15

 

General Admission Seating (College Student)  Valid College ID Required $10 ONLY IN PERSON


Broadcast

The meet will be streamed live on SEC Network+ via WatchESPN/ESPN3. Olympic broadcast veteran Bill Spaulding will call the action.

The coverage windows are set up to broadcast the quarterfinal and semifinal races on the track. The broadcast times were determined to cover the competitions where the advancers move on to the NCAA finals site, and then will also try to show the field events that occurred before the broadcast window opened.

Friday’s show begins at 5:30 p.m., and the Saturday broadcast starts at 6 p.m.

 

The format
The East and West regions are comprised of all Division I institutions in 25 states apiece for each of the two regions. The East and West Preliminary Championship will be held with parallel schedules at two sites next weekend. Texas’ Mike A. Myers Stadium is host site for the West Preliminary Championships.
For each individual event contested at each of the preliminary sites, the top 48 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition.  For each relay event, the top 24 declared relay teams were accepted into the competition.  Combined events (Heptathlon and Decathlon), are not contested at the preliminary sites.

For the heptathlon and decathlon, the top 24 declared student-athletes in each event based on their position on the national descending-order list were accepted into the Championships. Heptahlon and decathlon are not contested at preliminary championships sites.

UKTF outlook
Kentucky already has its first qualifiers for the NCAA National Championships — Tim Duckworth was named to the NCAA Championships decathlon field, which will be contested the first two days of NCAAs.

The seventh-ranked UK women’s team had 24 qualifiers entered into East Preliminary Championships this season. UK had a school-record 31 entries last year, and 25 in 2014 and 2015.
Kentucky has the seventh most women’s preliminary championships entries in the nation (24). Kentucky has the third most women’s entries in the East Region behind LSU (28) and Florida (26).
The men’s team has 20 entries, two more than a year ago, into the East Preliminary Championships. Kentucky’s 20 entries ranks tied for the 15th most in the country.

UKTF NCAA Outdoor Championships Precedent

The UK women’s team advanced 17 of a possible 31 entries to Eugene out of East Prelims last season.

 

The UK men’s team advanced four from a possible 18, in addition to two decathlon qualifiers in 2016
The UK women’s team was 11th, and the men’s team was 22nd at 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships


The most up-to-date coverage of the UK track and field program is available via @KentuckyTrack handles on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

 

Thursday, May 25
Thursday Track Events Round UK Entry
Women 1500 M First Round – 4 heats
24 Advance: Top 5 Each Heat plus Next 4 Best Times
40. Michelle McKinney: 4:33.89
Men 1500 M First Round – 4 heats
24 Advance: Top 5 Each Heat plus Next 4 Best Times
43. Benjamin Young: 3:58.70
44. Kendall Muhammad: 3:59.93
Women 100 M First Round – 6 heats
24 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times
3. Destiny Carter: 11.20Q (+0.3)
7. Kianna Gray: 11.28Q, (+0.0), season best
Men 100 M First Round – 6 heats
24 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times
7. Kenshard Hamilton: 10.22Q (+1.6) | Personal best, No. 4 UK all-time performers’ list
32. Fred Dorsey 10.48 (+1.1)
Men 800 M First Round – 6 heats
24 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times
13. Ian Jones 1:49.69Q
Men 10000 M Semifinal – 1 heat, 12 advance 4. Jacob Thomson: 29:58.08 | Advances to Eugene
47. Mick Iacofano: 32:25.88
Thursday Field Events Round Start List
Women Hammer First Round – 2 flights
3 attempts – Top 12 Advance
21. Brandi Walker: 183’1”/55.81m
Men Javelin First Round 9. Ethan Shalaway: 218’6”/ 66.60m | Advances to Eugene
Men Hammer First Round – 3 flights
3 attempts – Top 12 Advance
19. David Cline: 213’1”/64.96 | Personal best, No. 3 performer in school history
36. Logan Bryer: 194’5”/59.26m
Women Javelin First Round – 3 flights
3 attempts – Top 12 Advance
10. Sarah Blake: 158’1”/48.18m | Advances to Eugene
Men Long Jump First Round – 4 flights
3 attempts – Top 12 Advance
9. Fred Dorsey: 24’9”/7.54m | Advances to Eugene
Women Pole Vault First Round – 2 Flights
Top 12 Advance
1. Olivia Gruver: 13’9.25”/4.20m | Advances to Eugene
Women Long Jump First Round – 4 Flights
3 attempts – Top 12 Advance
3. Sha’Keela Saunders: 21’8.75”/6.62m | Advances to Eugene

7. Destiny Carter: 21’1.75”/6.43m| Advances to Eugene

 

 

 

Friday, May 26
Start Time Friday Track Events Round Start List
4:30 p.m. Women 100 M Hurdles First Round – 6 heats
24 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times
Ht. 1 | Ln. 6: J. Camacho-Quinn
Ht. 5 | Ln. 5: Jacklyn Howell
5 p.m. Men 110 M Hurdles First Round – 6 heats
24 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times
Ht. 1 | Ln. 2: Nick Anderson
Ht. 5 | Ln. 2: Daniel Roberts
5:30 p.m. Women 400 M Quarterfinal
5:45 p.m. Men 400 M Quarterfinal
6 p.m. Women 100 M Quarterfinal – 3 Heats
12 Advance: Top 3 from each Quarterfinal plus next best 3 times to Eugene
Ht. 1 | Ln. 6: Destiny Carter
Ht. 2 | Ln. 7: Kianna Gray
6:15 p.m. Men 100 M Quarterfinal – 3 heats
12 Advance: Top 3 from each Quarterfinal plus next best 3 times to Eugene
Ht. 3 | Ln. 7: Kenshard Hamilton
6:30 p.m. Women 800 M Quarterfinal
6:45 p.m. Men 800 M Quarterfinal – 3 heats
12 Advance: Top 3 from each Quarterfinal plus next best 3 times to Eugene
Ht. 2 | Ln. 3: Ian Jones
7 p.m. Women 400 M Hurdles Quarterfinal
7:15 p.m. Men 400 M Hurdles Quarterfinal
7:30 p.m. Women 200 M First Round – 6 Heats
24 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 6 Best Times
Ht. 1 | Ln. 8: Destiny Carter
Ht. 4 | Ln. 4: Precious Hitchcock
Ht. 6 | Ln. 3: Kayelle Clarke
‘’    Ln. 6: J. Camacho-Quinn
‘’    Ln. 8: Kianna Gray
7:55 p.m. Men 200 M First Round
8:20 p.m. Women 3k Steeplechase Quarterfinal
9 p.m. Men 3k Steeplechase Quarterfinal – 3 Heats
12 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 3 Best Times to Eugene
Ht. 2: Caroline McCaslin
Ht. 3: Katy Kunc
‘’  Amy Hansen
Start Time Friday Field Events Round Start List
2 p.m. Women Discus First Round
4:30 p.m. Women High Jump First Round – 2 Flights
12 advance
Fl 2: Ellen Ekholm
4:30 p.m. Men Pole Vault First Round
4:30 p.m. Men Shot Put First Round – 4 Flights
Top 12 marks advance
Fl. 1: Charles Lenford Jr.
Fl. 2: Noah Castle
Fl. 3: Nikolas Huffman

 

Saturday, May 27
Start Time Saturday Track Events Round Start List
6 p.m. Women 4×100 M Relay Quarterfinal – 3 Heats
Top 3 each heat + Next 3 best times advance to Eugene
Ht. 2 | Ln. 4: Kentucky
6:15 p.m. Men 4×100 M Relay Quarterfinal
6:30 p.m. Women 1500 M Quarterfinal – 2 Heats
Top 5 each QF + Next best 2 times to Eugene
TBD
6:45 p.m. Men 1500 M Quarterfinal – 2 Heats
Top 5 each QF + Next best 2 times to Eugene
TBD
7:05 p.m. Women 100 M Hurdles Quarterfinal – 3 heats
Top 3 each QF + Next best 3 times to Eugene
TBD
7:20 p.m. Men 110 M Hurdles Quarterfinal – 3 heats
Top 3 each QF + Next best 3 times to Eugene
TBD
7:35 p.m. Women 200 M Quarterfinal – 3 heats
Top 3 each QF + Next best 3 times to Eugene
TBD
7:50 p.m. Men 200 M Quarterfinal
8:05 p.m. Women 5000 M Semifinal
8:45 p.m. Men 5000 M Semifinal
9:25 p.m. Women 4×400 M Relay Quarterfinal – 3 heats
12 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat plus Next 3 Best Times to Eugene
Ht. 2 | Ln. 9: UK
9:45 p.m. Men 4×400 M Relay Quarterfinal
Start Time Saturday Field Events Round Start List
2 p.m. Men Discus First Round – 3 Flights
3 attempts – Top 12 Advance
Fl. 1: Charles Lenford Jr.
Fl. 1: Noah Castle
3 p.m. Men Triple Jump First Round
6 p.m. Men High Jump First Round – 2 Flights
Top 12 Advance
Fl. 2: Xaivier McAllister
Justin Kretchmer
Tim Duckworth
6 p.m. Women Shot Put First Round
6 p.m. Women Triple Jump – 4 Flights
3 attempts – Top 12 Advance
First Round Fl. 4: M-J Ebwea-Bile

 

 

 

 

  • All Field Events: Single round, three attempts. Advance top-12 placers from final to Eugene. No ties

 

‑ GO CATS –
Jake Most

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