Sorrillo fifth in NCAA 100; UK relay takes sixth

June 13, 2009

Rondel Sorrillo was Kentucky’s top performer Friday, the rain-delayed third day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Fayetteville, Ark.

Sorrillo ran the third-fastest 100 meters in UK history to place fifth in the country, timed in 10.22 seconds. LSU’s Trindon Holliday won in 10.00.

Sorrillo, a junior who competed for Trinidad and Tobago in the 200-meter dash at last summer’s Beijing Olympics, also anchored the Wildcats’ 4-by-100 relay Friday.

Rondel Sorrillo

Rondel Sorrillo

The foursome of Gordon McKenzie, Jose Acevedo, Kwasi Obeng and Sorrillo clocked 39.27, good for sixth place. The time ranks fourth-best in school history.

Sorrillo is set to run the 200-meter finals Saturday, to be televised live by CBS. Also in the finals is Gavin Smellie of Western Kentucky.

The Southeastern Conference dominated the relay, placing 1-2-4-5-6-7. Clemson, from the Atlantic Coast Conference, broke up the pack by finishing third.

Florida won in 38.58. Holliday anchored LSU to second place in 38.67. After Clemson came Mississippi State, South Carolina, UK and Auburn.

Corey Thorne

Corey Thorne

Tone Belt

Tone Belt

Louisville had two finalists Friday, both placing seventh.

Tone Belt cleared 7-1 1/2 in the high jump. Scott Sellers of Kansas State won at 7-5.

Cardinals steeplechaser Corey Thorne finished the 3,000-meter event in 8:45.86. Kyle Perry of Brigham Young took top honors in 8:29.24.

Janet Jesang

Janet Jesang

In women’s action, Western Kentucky’s Janet Jesang, a junior from Uganda, placed fifth in 16:32.59. Illinois junior Angela Bizzarri snared first place in 16:17.94. Runner-up Nicole Blood of Oregon was more than 8 1/2 seconds back in 16:26.58.

UK heptathlete Ashley Trimble began Friday in 19th place. She rallied to finish 14th with 5,459 points. Oregon’s Brianne Theisen was the only competitor to break 6,000 points, scoring 6,086.

Ashley Trimble

Ashley Trimble

Trimble scored 680 points in the long jump (17-9 3/4), then finished with career bests in the final two events. Her javelin throw of 118-8 was worth 594 points, and her 800-meter time of 2:11.32 scored 945 more.

U of L’s Seidre Forde fell 8 1/4 inches shy of qualifying for finals of the women’s triple jump. Needing a top-12 finish, she finished 21st at 41-10.

13 from state schools awarded NCAA at-large bids; Tyson Gay is USA Track & Field athlete of week

June 2, 2009

Seven women and six men from Kentucky colleges were awarded at-large bids Tuesday to the NCAA Track & Field Championships, June 10-13, at Arkansas.

Joseph Maina (EKU photo)

Joseph Maina (EKU photo)

From Eastern Kentucky, Joseph Maina was added to the men’s 5,000-meter field.

From Kentucky, Rondel Sorrillo made it in the men’s 100, Emily Strot in the women’s discus.

From Louisville, Steve Hnat was added in the men’s shot put; Josh Greenwald and Andrew Hackney in discus; Matt Hughes in the steeplechase. U of L additions to the women’s field are Chinwe Okoro and Khadija Abdullah in the shot put, Rachel Gehret in the high jump and Seidre Forde in the triple jump.

From Western Kentucky’s women’s team, Miaie Williams was added in the 100, Janet Jesang in the 5,000.

The at-large recipients will join automatic qualifiers at Arkansas. Automatic berths went to the top five in individual events and top three in relays at the Mideast Regional, held Saturday at U of L.

Here’s what the combined at-large and automatic lists from Kentucky schools look like, with NCAA seeding; a = at-large berth; q = automatic qualifier.

Rondel Sorrillo

Rondel Sorrillo

Gavin Smellie

Gavin Smellie

100 meters — 24 a, Rondel Sorrillo (UK).

200 — 3 q, Gavin Smellie (WKU); 5 q, Rondel Sorrillo (UK).

5,000 — 26 a, Joseph Maina (EKU).

3,000 steeplechase — 2 q, Cory Thorne (U of L); 14 a, Matt Hughes (U of L).

4-by-100 relay — 6 q, Kentucky.

4-by-400 relay — 11 q, Western Kentucky; 12 q, Kentucky.

Shot put — 8 q, Rashaud Scott (UK); 17 a, Steve Hnat (U of L).

Rashaud Scott

Rashaud Scott

Chase Madison

Chase Madison

Discus — 1 q, Rashaud Scott (UK); 7 q, Chase Madison (UK); 16 a, Josh Greenwald (U of L); 17 a, Andrew Hackney (U of L).

Long jump — 7 a, Mandhla Mgijima (WKU).

High jump — 9 q, Tone Belt (U of L).

Long jump — 16 q, Tone Belt (U of L).

Tarah McKay

Tarah McKay

Janet Jesang

Janet Jesang

100 — 19 a, Miaie Williams (WKU).

1,500 — 24 q, Tarah McKay (U of L).

5,000 — 6 a, Janet Jesang (WKU).

4-by-100 relay — 12 q, Western Kentucky.

Shot put — 10 q, Jere’ Summers (U of L); 20 a, Chinwe Okoro (U of L); 23 a, Khadija Abdullah (U of L).

Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith

Ashley Trimble

Ashley Trimble

Discus — 4 q, Ashley Muffet (UK); 6 q, Jere’ Summers (U of L); 17 a, Emilee Strot (UK).

Hammer throw — 7 q, Kristin Smith (UK).

High jump — 19 a, Rachel Gehret (U of L).

Triple jump — 24 a, Seidre Forde (U of L).

Heptathlon (entries based on pre-regional results) — 11. Ashley Trimble (UK).

USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week: Tyson Gay

The third-fastest 200-meter dash of all time makes Tyson Gay the USA Track & Field choice for athlete of the week.

From Tyson Gay's facebook

From Tyson Gay's facebook photo gallery

Gay, a Lafayette High School graduate who later starred for Arkansas, uncorked a 19.58-second 200 Saturday at the Reebok Grand Prix, in New York’s Icahn Stadium. Only a pair of Olympic champions have ever run faster: Michael Johnson (19.32) and Usain Bolt (19.30).

Gay swept the 2007 World Championships in the 100 and 200 meters, and also ran on the gold-medal 4-by-100 relay.

After winning the 100 in American-record time at last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials, Gay suffered a severe hamstring injury during preliminaries of the 200. He went on to run the 200 at the Beijing Olympics, but the missed practice time left him far off his usual form. A dropped baton in the 4-by-100 put a disappointing end to his Olympic experience.

Saturday’s result, his first 200 since the Olympics, means Gay now has the third- and fourth-fastest 200s ever. No. 4 is 19.62, his winning effort at the 2007 USA Outdoor Championships.

Saturday’s runner-up, Gay’s former training partner and Arkansas teammate Wallace Spearmon, finished in 19.98. Former LSU standout Xavier Carter was third in 20.27.

“It made me very, very happy; 19.5 had been one of the goals I had, but to do that in the first race is very pleasing,” Gay told reporters. “I wanted to work on my reaction and my start. Then I just ran. I ran for my life. When I came toward the finish line, I got kind of tight and I just wanted to bring it on in. I tried to push all the way through, just to see where my body is at.”

Several of the week’s leading national marks were turned in on Louisville’s Cardinal Park facility, site of the NCAA Mideast Regional.

Cory Thorne

Cory Thorne

Louisville’s Cory Thorne had the fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase of the week (8:36.98).

Three winners in men’s field events ranked No. 1 for the week: Kentucky’s Rashaud Scott in the discus (216-2); LSU’s Walter Henning in the hammer throw (231-6), and Arkansas’ Mychael Stewart in the long jump (25-10 3/4).

And two of the women’s field event champions at Louisville led the nation: Purdue’s Kara Patterson in the javelin (192-1), and Indiana State’s Lauren Martin in the triple jump (44-4 3/4).

100 – 10.04 Jacoby Ford (Clemson) – Greensboro, N.C. 5/30
200 – 19.58 Tyson Gay (adidas) – New York, 5/30     World leader
400 – 44.75 LaShawn Merritt (Nike) – New York, 5/30
800 – 1:46.00 Khadevis Robinson (Nike) – New York, 5/30
1500 – 3:34.14 Leo Manzano (Nike) – New York, 5/30    
U.S. leader
3000SC – 8:36.98 Cory Thorne (Louisville) – Louisville, 5/30
5000 – 13:03.06 Bernard Lagat (Nike) – New York, 5/30   
U.S. leader
110H – 13.12 Terrence Trammell (TSA) – New York, 5/30
400H – 48.52 Bershawn Jackson (Nike) – New York, 5/30
HJ – 2.25/7-4.5 Scott Sellers (Kansas State) – Norman, Okla., 5/29
PV – 5.56/18-3 Jason Colwick (Rice) & Maston Wallace (Texas) – Norman, Okla., 5/30
LJ – 7.89/25-10.75 Mychael Stewart (Arkansas) – Louisville, 5/29
TJ – 16.81/55-2 Will Claye (Oklahoma) – Norman, Okla., 5/30
SP – 20.99/68-10.5 Ryan Whiting (Arizona State) – Eugene, Ore., 5/29
DT – 65.90/216-2 Rashaud Scott (Kentucky) – Louisville, 5/30
HT – 70.56/231-6 Walter Henning (LSU) – Louisville, 5/30
JT – 80.34/263-7 Chris Hill (Georgia) – Greensboro, N.C., 5/29
Dec – 8516 Trey Hardee (Nike) – Gotzis, Austria, 5/31    
U.S. leader
100 – 11.04 Shalonda Solomon (Reebok) – New York, 5/30
200 – 22.34 Lauryn Williams (Nike) – New York, 5/30    
World leader
400 – 50.50 Allyson Felix (adidas) – New York, 5/30    
World leader
800 – 1:59.29 Anna Willard (Nike) – New York, 5/30    
World leader
1500 – 4:03.96 Christin Wurth-Thomas (Nike) – New York, 5/30    
U.S. leader
3000SC – 9:26.20 Jenny Barringer (Colorado) – Norman, Okla., 5/30     World leader
5000 – 15:32.39 Jen Rhines (adidas) – New York, 5/30
100H – 12.88 Seun Adigun (Houston) – Norman, Okla., 5/30
400H – 55.44 Tiffany Williams (Reebok) – New York, 5/30
HJ – 1.93/6-4 Sharon Day (Asics) – Havana, Cuba, 5/29
PV – 4.81/15-9.25 Jenn Stuczynski (adidas) – New York, 5/30    
World leader
LJ – 6.72/22-0.75 Funmi Jimoh (Nike) – Belgrade, Serbia, 5/29 & Brianna Glenn (adidas) – New York, 5/30
TJ – 13.53/44-4.75 Lauren Martin (Indiana State) – Louisville, 5/30
SP – 18.43/60-5.75 Michelle Carter (unat) – New York, 5/30
DT – 63.97/209-10 Stephanie Brown Trafton (Nike) – New York, 5/30
HT – 69.76/228-10 Amber Campbell (Mjolnir) – Havana, Cuba, 5/30
JT – 58.56/192-1 Kara Patterson (Purdue) – Louisville, 5/30
Hept – 6,063 Sharon Day (Asics) – Havana, Cuba 5/30     U.S. leader

Today my wide world of sports includes track & field, a Hall of Fame, UK baseball and Olympic sports

March 5, 2009

Spanning the commonwealth and beyond …

The Mason-Dixon Athletic Club will host its 49th annual Mason-Dixon Games, Friday and Saturday, in Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

Approximately 3,000 Kentucky middle school and high school athletes will compete, plus about 70 Masters and Open athletes.

Friday’s schedule begins at 4:30 p.m. with Masters and Open events. Middle school events begin at 5:15 p.m.

Saturday’s high school schedule begins at 8 a.m. for Class A, 1 p.m. for 2A and 5 p.m. for 3A. The meet is designated by the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association as the indoor state championships.

Admission is $5 each day. Officials will again be collected canned goods and non-perishable items, to be donated to the Dare to Care Food Bank.

In conjunction with the Games, the Mason-Dixon Games Hall of Fame induction banquet will be tonight (Thursday) at Wildwood Country Club in Fern Creek.

Inductees include athletes Bobby Brown (long jump), Susie Brutscher (pole vault pioneer), 1976 Olympian Tommy Haynes (triple jump, long jump) and 1968 Olympic gold-medalist (200 meters) Tommie Smith (440 yards), along with officials Ron Althoff, David L. Armstrong, Donnie Ray and Jack Thompson, plus “significant supporter” of the Games David A. Jones.


Al Michaels returns to Olympic broadcasting

Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics, announced Thursday that Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Al Michaels will serve as host of NBC’s live weekend and weekday daytime coverage of next year’s Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

Michaels last broadcast a Winter Olympics in 1988, also in Canada — Calgary, Alberta.

In 1980, Michaels made the call on what, according to a variety of polls, Americans consider the nation’s top sports moment of the 20th century, The Miracle on Ice hockey victory over the Soviet Union.

“Do you believe in miracles? YES!” was his most memorable line as the game neared the finish at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

Michaels will host more than 50 hours of live coverage. Although this will mark Michaels’ debut as an Olympic host, he is no stranger to the Games. Vancouver will mark his sixth Olympic assignment.

He covered hockey, biathlon, speed skating, ski jumping and cross-country skiing at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics; hockey at the 1980 Lake Placid Games; figure skating and hockey at the 1984 Sarajevo Games; track and field, plus road cycling, at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games and hockey at the 1988 Calgary Games.

Michaels is the only broadcaster to call a Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and host a Stanley Cup Final for network television.


12 semifinalists for Sullivan Award are named

The 12 semifinalists for the 79th annual James E. Sullivan Award include three gymnasts and three swimmers.

Nastia Liukin

Nastia Liukin

The Sullivan Award, named in honor of the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) founder and past president, is presented annually to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. In addition to athletic accomplishsments, the Sullivan Award considers the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism.

Gymnasts on the semifinals list are Beijing Olympics all-around champion Nastia Liukin, Olympic balance beam gold-medalist Shawn Johnson and Olympic silver-medalist on the horizontal bar, Jonathan Horton.

Swimming semifinalists are the Olympic men’s 4-by-100-meter freestyle relay champions, Paralympian champion Erin Popovich (four gold medals, two silver) and 41-year-old Olympian Dara Torres (three silver medals).

Also on the list are: Cynthia Barboza, Stanford University, volleyball; Amanda Blumenherst, Duke University, golf; Sam Bradford, University of Oklahoma, football; Tyler Hansbrough, University of North Carolina, basketball; the Lopez family (Olympic medalists Diana, Mark and Steven), taekwondo, and Gerald “Buster” Posey, Florida State University, baseball.

Fan can vote online at The winner will be announced April 15 at the New York Athletic Club.


Trammel is USATF Athlete of Week

Two-time Olympic and World Outdoor silver-medalist Terrence Trammell, winner of the men’s 60-meter hurdles and the Visa Championship Series at last weekend’s USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, is USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week.

Trammell led all the way at Boston, clocking 7.37 seconds to break Reggie Torian’s 10-year-old meet record of 7.38. Trammell just missed the American record (7.36) but did get the fastest time in the world this season.

Among others, Trammell beat Oklahoma State freshman German Fernandez for weekly honors. Running in the Big 12 Indoor Championships at College Station, Texas, Fernandez won the mile in a collegiate-record 3:55.02. Three hours later, Fernandez won the 3,000 meters in the second-best time in meet history, 7:57.21.


60 – 6.51 Jacoby Ford (Clemson) – Blacksburg, Va., 2/28 & Mark Jelks (Nike) – Boston, 3/1     U.S. leaders
200 – 20.66 Trey Harts (Baylor) – College Station, Texas, 2/27
400 – 46.08 Gil Roberts (Texas Tech) – College Station, 2/28    
U.S. leader
800 – 1:48.18 Michael Rutt (Connecticut) – Boston, 2/27
Mile – 3:55.02 German Fernandez (Oklahoma State) – College Station, 2/28 Collegiate Record
3000 – 7:53.67 David Torrence (unat) – Boston, 2/28
5000 – 13:57.49 Jake Schmitt (Washington) – Seattle, 2/27
60H – 7.37 Terrence Trammell (TAS) – Boston, 3/1     World leader
HJ – 2.32/7-7.25 Andra Manson (Nike) – Boston, 2/28
PV – 5.60/18-4.5 Jeremy Scott (unat) – Boston, 2/28
LJ – 7.90/25-11 Mikese Morse (Miami) – Blacksburg, 2/27
TJ – 16.94/55-7 Brandon Roulhac (Shore AC) – Boston, 2/28    
U.S. leader
SP – 20.67/67-9.75 Dan Taylor (Nike) – Boston, 3/1
WT – 23.73/77-10.25 Jake Freeman (unat) – Boston, 3/1
Hept – 5747 Nick Adcock (Missouri) – College Station, 2/28
60 – 7.15 Angela Williams (Nike) – Athens, GRE 2/25 & Lisa Barber (adidas) – Boston 3/1
200 – 22.94 Porscha Lucas (Texas A&M) – College Station, 2/28
400 – 52.34 Dominique Darden (Reebok) – Boston, 3/1
800 – 2:02.39 Phoebe Wright (Tennessee) – Lexington, 3/1    
U.S. leader
1500 – 4:17.37 Anna Willard (Nike) – Boston, 3/1
Mile – 4:25.91 Jenny Barringer (Colorado) – College Station, 2/28 Collegiate Record
3000 – 8:53.27 Amy Begley (Nike) – Boston, 2/28
5000 – 15:55.63 Gwen Jorgensen (Wisconsin) – Bloomington, Ind., 3/1
60H – 7.84 Lolo Jones (Asics) – Boston, 3/1
HJ – 1.93/6-4 Destinee Hooker (Texas) – College Station, 2/28 =U.S. leader
PV – 4.83/15-10 Jenn Stuczynski (adidas) – Boston, 3/1     AMERICAN RECORD
LJ – 6.71/22-0.25 Brittney Reese (Nike) – Boston, 3/1    
U.S. leader
TJ – 13.77/45-2.25 Shakeema Welsch (unat) – Boston, 2/28    
U.S. leader
SP – 18.59/61-0 Jillian Camarena (NYAC) – Boston, 2/28   
U.S. leader
WT – 24.43/ Amber Campbell (Mjolnir) – Boston, 3/1    
U.S. leader
Pent – 4216 Bettie Wade (Michigan) – Bloomington, 2/28

UK baseball opens 3-game set vs. Indiana State

Fresh off Wednesday’s two-out, two-run game-winning ninth-inning homer against Eastern Kentucky, the Kentucky Wildcats will open a three-game series Friday, 4 p.m., against visiting Indiana State.
Wednesday’s 9-8 outcome, courtesy of Chris Bisson’s walk-off homer, was UK’s 24th consecutive home non-conference win.

James Paxton

James Paxton

Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin

The Cats (6-2) and Sycamores (9-2) will meet Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.


UK will go with junior left-hander James Paxton (2-0) in the opener and senior lefty Chris Rusin (1-1) on Saturday. Paxton has 17 strikeouts and only one walk over 11 2/3 innings. Rusin leads the Southeastern Conference with 20 strikeouts, including a career-high 12 in a win over Western Michigan. Sunday’s starter is to be announced.

Cats add two games to schedule

Having lost a game because of inclement weather last weekend, UK has added a pair of games to its schedule.
The Cats will play host to Georgetown College, Tuesday at 4 p.m., and Wright State, April 1 at 6 p.m.

Pre-game clinic Saturday

UK’s third annual (free) coaching clinic will take place before Saturday’s game at Clilff Hagan Stadium, 8-10 a.m.
The clinic will feature drills pertaining to pitching, fielding, hitting, base-running and catching. All coaches in attendance will receive free admission for themselves and a friend to the UK-Indiana State game.

Briefly: James Johnson, Bobby Curtis


James Johnson, right, with Helena Hau and myself in Beijing.

James Johnson, right, with Helena Hau and myself in Beijing.

James Johnson,

a three-time national champion Greco-Roman wrestler out of the University of Kentucky, has been on tour since Feb. 23 as coach of U.S. Greco-Roman athletes competing in the Hungary Grand Prix and in Slovakia. The tour ends Sunday.

* Former state high school champion Bobby Curtis (St. Xavier, Villanova) placed third at last month’s U.S. Cross Country Championships. That earns him a spot on the Team USA squad that will run in the World Championships at Amman, Jordan, on March 28. Meb Keflezighi won the U.S. title, followed by Tim Nelson, Curtis and 2008 Olympic 10,000-meter runner Jorge Torres.
* Former UK standout Allison Grace helped Team USA place seventh at the recent Yokohama International Women’s Ekiden. The 14-team relay event was won by Japan in 2 hours, 20 minutes, 27 seconds. Grace, who trains out of Blowing Rock, N.C., as part of the Zap Fitness club, anchored with a 5.195-kilometer leg in 17:47. Carrie Messner Vickers led off for Team USA, followed by Desiree Davila, Samia Akbar, Stephanie Herbst-Lucke, Melissa White and Grace.