First-place finishes by Jose Acevedo and Mikel Thomas, both veterans of the Beijing Olympics, led Kentucky. Chase Madison made it a UK hat trick, winning the shot put.
Top female performer at UK’s Nutter Fieldhouse was double-winner Hyleas Fountain, the Olympic silver-medalist in the heptathlon from Dayton, Ohio.
The meet was the second and last home competition for UK before it plays host to the Southeastern Conference Championships, Feb. 27-March 1.
Acevedo, who competed at 200 meters for in the Olympics, tied the Venezuelan national record for 60 meters in Saturday’s finals, placing third. He later won the 200 in 21.22, an NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
In all, 20 collegiate performances met NCAA provisional standards. Twelve non-collegians also reached provisional standards and four hit automatic qualifing marks.
“It was good. The 60, I opened with my PR (personal record). I was impressed about that – 6.79,” Acevedo said. “It was awesome. And I was trying to do better in the finals. My start wasn’t as good as the prelims, so that cost me a chance to run under 6.70. That was the goal, but I still feel really good about 6.76.”
His 6.76 matched the Venezuelan record set by Victor Castillo, who placed 15th in the long jump at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
D’Angelo Cherry, who set a national high school record for 55 meters last year, won the 60 in 6.64. UK senior Gordon McKenzie took second, with a personal-best and NCAA provisional mark of 6.68. Acevedo was among three runners timed in 6.76. Going to ten-thousands of a second, Acevedo’s 6.7511 edged unattached David Dickens’ 6.7547 and Eastern Kentucky’s Shannon Davis’ 6.7575.
UK freshman Justin Austin ran a provisional-qualifying 6.74 preliminary, but did not test a sore leg in the finals.
In the 200, Acevedo topped UK newcomer Rondel Sorillo, 21.22 to 21.33. EKU’s Davis took third in 21.55.
“I was feeling a little bit tight just because of the 60,” Acevedo said. “That (60) is not my event; I’m not used to it. … But I tried to do my best. I got out with Rondel. He’s a really good competitor. He’s a really good runner.
“I was just trying to run with him more than run my race, and I think that was my mistake in the 200. But 21.22 is a provisional mark. It’s a pretty good day.”
Sorillo, from Trinidad and Tobago, competed in the same Olympic qualifying heat as Acevedo. That August day, Sorillo won in 20.58; Acevedo was fifth in 21.06. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, the eventual gold-medal winner and world record-setter, ran second in the heat.
Sorillo, who has two years of college in Trinidad under his belt, ran unattached as he is not yet eligible for UK.
Thomas, also a Trinidad Olympian last summer, met the NCAA provisional standard by winning the 60-meter hurdles in 7.80. Runner-up Terence Somerville of Cincinnati matched the provisional cut of 7.91.
“In the trials, I didn’t really get out of the blocks,” Thomas said of his 7.95 prelim. “I got out better (in the finals). This one was cleaner, but in between (hurdles) it’s not really where I need to be. A little tight. A little slow.”
UK’s Madison, a senior, won the shot put by more than four feet over Louisville’s Steve Hnat. Madison’s mark of 61 feet, 7 3/4 inches is an NCAA provisional qualifier.
“That’s definitely the best series of my life,” said Madison, who had efforts of 59-6 3/4, 59-0 1/4, foul, 60-2, 59-10 1/4 and 61-7 3/4. “Building consistencey now through SECs and through the national meet, that’s what I want.”
Madison beat his previous best (59-2 3/4) four times.
“A lot more technical work,” he said in explaining his improvement. “A lot more quality work. Not just quantity, but quality.
“Focus on technique, not distance. … Let the distance come in competition, not practice.”
UK’s Colin Boevers placed eighth in the shot. Teammate Rashaud Scott, the NCAA discus champion and a provisional qualifier in Friday’s weight throw, fouled twice and passed his third turn.
Fountain, who won SEC titles for Georgia in the high jump, long jump and pentathlon (collegiate-record 4,417 points) here in 2004, was the Saturday’s quality performer among the women.
Fountain set a meet record of 21-5 1/2 in the long jump, then beat the meet and fieldhouse record with an 8.02 in the 60-meter hurdles.
“Right now, training for USAs (championships) and just trying to retain my title in the long jump there,” Fountain said of her 2009 goals. “The biggest meet, of course, is the World Championships in Berlin.”
A timing malfunction made it necessary to re-run Fountain’s preliminary heat of the hurdles. She won both times, 8.13 in the one that counted.
“I just kind of looked at it as a good warmup,” she said.
Furman’s Patrick Morgan, a former standout for Boyle County High School, came off the final turn to kick past Middle Tennessee State’s Festus Chemaoi and win the men’s mile in a personal-best and school-record 4:05.90. Chemaoi, timed in 4:065.29, caught Morgan by surprise and surged to a big lead with about two laps left.
“He made a really good move there,” Morgan said. “I didn’t think I could catch him. I started to kick with about 300 to go, and he just slowly came closer, so I knew I had to (catch him).”
Eastern Kentucky’s Joseph Maina edged UK’s Luis Orta by three-hundredths of a second for third place, finishing in 4:10.59.
Former EKU all-American Jacob Korir, like Maina a Kenyan, used similar tactics to win the 3,000 meters in a meet-record 8:07.09. Mississippi State’s Matt Cameron, competing unattached, led until the final 200 meters.
Western Kentucky swept the 4-by-400 relays for men (3:12.90) and women (NCAA-provisional 3:37.97). Janet Jesang (9:26.68) and Eimear O’Brien gave the Hilltoppers a 1-2 finish in the women’s 3,000, and Valerie Brown snared the 400 (53.58). Jesang and Brown both met NCAA provisional standards.
Jesang, a junior from Uganda, hopes to qualify for NCAAs at 5,000 meters next week.
Kelly McNeice, from Northern Ireland, swept the women’s 800 (2:09.45) and mile (4:45.71), followed each time by Zamzam Sangau, a Middle Tennessee State junior from Uganda.
Saravia Richardson gave Louisville its lone win with a provisional qualifying time of 7.44 in the women’s 60.
Other female winners included Chandra Brewer in the shot (55-5 1/2), Chelsea Taylor in the high jump (5-11 1/2) and Trish Bartholomew in the 200 (23.64).
Brewer, a South Florida graduate, placed fourth at last summer’s U.S. Olympic Trials.
Taylor, a top-20 ranked jumper and multi-eventer, is scheduled to return here in three weeks, competing for Alabama.
Ohio Northern’s James O’Brien scored one for the smaller schools, taking the lead with 50 meters left en route to winning the men’s 800 in a provisional qualifying time of 1:49.70.
Carl Morgan upheld Middle Tennessee’s reputation as a perennial power in the jumps, taking the long jump (24-3 3/4).
Other winners were unattached Jamil Hubbard in the 400 (46.58) and Cincinnati’s Shane Shockey in the pole vault (16-0 3/4).