UK track men jump to 11th in final national poll; Rashaud Scott is region Field Athlete of Year

June 9, 2009

The University of Kentucky men’s team jumped from 20th to No. 11 in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll of the season. The NCAA Outdoor Championships open Wednesday at the University of Arkansas and continue through Saturday.

Texas A&M moved from No. 2 to No. 1 in the final poll. Oregon also moved up a spot to No. 2, followed by four Southeastern Conference squads — previously top-ranked Florida, Arkansas (up from 6), LSU (up from 8th) and South Carolina. In all, the SEC has eight of the top 20 teams. 

Texas A&M also moved from No. 2 to No. 1 in the women’s poll, switching places with Oregon. Third is LSU, which leads five SEC teams in the top 20.

UK has the top-ranked women’s team from the state, improving from No. 34 to 32.

The UK men are led by Rashaud Scott, the Field Athlete of the Year in the Southeast Region (see below). He is coming off a sweep of regional shot put and discus titles and is defending NCAA champion in the latter event. He is ranked No. 1 in the discus and No. 8 in the shot. Teammate Chase Madison is No. 7 in the discus.

In addition, the Wildcats qualified in both the 4-by-100 and 4-by-400 relays, ranking sixth and 12th, respectively.

Rondel Sorrillo, who anchors the 4-by-100 unit, also made it in the 100 (ranked No. 22) and 200 (No. 5).

Louisville’s men improved from 37th to 29th in the team rankings. The Cardinals are led by a pair of top 10-ranked athletes — Corey Thorne, No. 2 in the steeplecase, and Tone Belt, No. 6 in the high jump.

Western Kentucky jumped 14 spots to No. 37. The Hilltoppers are led by Gavin Smellie, ranked No. 2 in the 200, and Mandhla Mgijima, No. 7 in the long jump.

Eastern Kentucky moved from No. 163 to 137. The Colonels’ lone NCAA qualifier is 5,000-meter runner Joseph Maina (No. 27).

UK’s women have four NCAA qualifiers, all ranked 17th or better: Ashley Muffet (No. 4, discus), Kristin Smith (No. 7, hammer throw), Ashley Trimble (No. 11, heptathlon) and Emilee Strot (No. 17, discus).

Louisville is ranked No. 35, an improvement of 14 spots. The Cards are led by Jere’ Summers, who ranks sixth in the discus and 10th in the shot.

Western Kentucky jumped 19 spots to No. 53. Janet Jesang, No. 5 at 5,000 meters, leads the Hilltoppers.

The final team rankings:

WOMEN

1. Texas A&M

2. Oregon

3. LSU

4. Arizona State

5. Tennessee

6. Florida State; 7. Southern Cal; 8. Penn State; 9. Baylor; 10. Texas.

11. Michigan; 12. UCLA; 13. Miami (Fla.); 14. Florida; 15. Washington.

16. UTEP; 17. Oklahoma; 18. Arkansas; 19. Nebraska; 20. Auburn.

21. Illinois; 22. Virginia Tech; 23. Indiana; 24. BYU; 25. Stanford.

MEN

1. Texas A&M

2. Oregon

3. Florida

4. Arkansas

5. LSU

6. South Carolina; 7. So. Cal; 8. Stanford; 9. Nebraska; 10. Ariz. State.

11. KENTUCKY; 12. Fla. State; 13. Miss. State; 14. Texas; 15. Auburn.

16. Minnesota; 17. Kansas State; 18. Texas; 19. Baylor; 20. Georgia.

21. Wash.; 22. Arizona; 23. Cal; 24. Boise State; 25. Wash. State.

Division I regional athletes and coaches of the year

Rashaud Scott

Rashaud Scott

Erik Jenkins

Erik Jenkins

Kentucky shot put/discus ace Rashaud Scott has been named by the USTFCCCA as men’s Field Athlete of the Year in the Southeast Region.

Western Kentucky’s Erik Jenkins was named Women’s Head Coach of the Year in the Southeast Region.

The full list of award winners follows.

Name (school) region

Tiffany Ofili

Tiffany Ofili

Women’s trackTiffany Ofili (Michigan) Great Lakes; Clara Grandt (West Virginia) Mid-Atlantic; Angela Bizzari (Illinois) Midwest; Jenny Barringer (Colorado) Mountain; Danette Doetzel (Providence) Northeast; Murielle Ahoure (Miami, Fla.) South; Porscha Lucas (Texas A&M) South Central; Francena McCorory (Hampton) Southeast; Charonda Williams (Arizona State) West.

Destinee Hooker

Destinee Hooker

Women’s fieldKara Patterson (Purdue) Great Lakes; Gayle Hunter (Penn State) Mid-Atlantic; Liz Roehrig (Minnesota) Midwest; Blessing Okagbare (UTEP) Mountain; Tahari James (Boston U.) Northeast; Kim Williams (Florida State) South; Destinee Hooker (Texas) South Central; Dorotea Habazin (Virginia Tech); Southeast; Sarah Stevens (Arizona State) West.

Trindon Holliday

Trindon Holliday

Men’s trackAdam Harris (Michigan) Great Lakes; Sean Tully (Villanova) Mid-Atlantic; German Fernandez (Oklahoma State) Midwest; Gil Roberts (Texas Tech) Mountain; Kyle Heath (Syracuse) Northeast; Calvin Smith (Florida) South; Trindon Holliday (LSU) South Central; Sam Chelanga (Liberty) Southeast; Galen Rupp (Oregon) West.

Aston Eaton

Aston Eaton

Men’s fieldDerek Drouin (Indiana) Great Lakes; Clarence Smith (Penn State) Mid-Atlantic; Will Claye (Oklahoma) Midwest; Dimitrios Fylladitakis (UTEP) Mountain; Nico Weiler (Harvard) Northeast; Chris Hill (Georgia) South; Jason Colwick (Rice) South Central; RASHAUD SCOTT (KENTUCKY) Southeast; Ashton Eaton (Oregon) West.

T. Buford-Bailey

T. Buford-Bailey

Women’s head coachJames Henry (Michigan) Great Lakes; Beth Alford-Sullivan (Penn State) Mid-Atlantic; Tonja Buford-Bailey (Illinois) Midwest; Wes Kittley (Texas Tech) Mountain; Bill Morgan (Connecticut) Northeast; Caryl Smith Gilbert (Central Florida) South; Jim Bevan (Rice) South Central; ERIC JENKINS (WESTERN KENTUCKY) Southeast; Dan Steele (Oregon) West.

Brian Forrester

Brian Forrester

Women’s assistantBrian Forrester (Akron) Great Lakes; Chris Miltenberg (Georgetown U.) Mid-Atlantic; Marc Burns (Wichita State) Midwest; Scott Irving (U.S. Air Force Academy) Mountain; Clive Terrelong (Connecticut) Northeast; Karen Harvey (Florida State) South; Vince Anderson (Texas A&M) South Central; Carrie Lane (Virginia) Southeast; Robert Johnson (Oregon) West.

Chris Bucknam

Chris Bucknam

Men’s head coach  – Dennis Mitchell (Akron) Great Lakes; Joe Compagni (Monmouth) Mid-Atlantic; Gary Pepin (Nebraska) Midwest; Mark Robison (Brigham Young) Mountain; Nathan Taylor (Cornell) Northeast; Michael Holloway (Florida) South; Tie: Chris Bucknam (Arkansas) and Sean Brady (Southeastern Louisiana) South Central; Jason Vigilante (Virginia) Southeast; Ron Allice (Southern California) West. 

Don Babbitt

Don Babbitt

Men’s assistant – Rodney Zuyderwyk (Purdue) Great Lakes; Sheila Burrell (Georgetown U.) Mid-Atlantic; Billy Maxwell (Nebraska) Midwest; Dion Miller (Texas Tech) Mountain; Michelle Eisenreich (Brown) Northeast; Don Babbit (Georgia) South; Dick Booth (Arkansas) South Central; Tim Hall (Clemson) Southeast; Mark MacDonald (Washington State) West.


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.

MEN
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).

WOMEN
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).

BEST MARKS BY AMERICANS FOR WEEK ENDING MAY 31
 
MEN
 
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
  
WOMEN
 
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


Olympians dazzle at McCravy track and field meet

February 7, 2009
Some of the names at Saturday’s Rod McCravy Memorial indoor track and field meet had familiar rings.

Olympic rings.

Jose Acevedo

Jose Acevedo

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.”

Rondel Sorillo

Rondel Sorillo

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.

Mikel Thomas

Mikel Thomas

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.”

Chase Madison

Chase Madison

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.

Hyleas Fountain

Hyleas Fountain

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.

Patrick Morgan

Patrick Morgan

“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.

Janet Jesang

Janet Jesang

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.

Jeff Chakouian

Jeff Chakouian

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.

 

 

Elvis Forde

Elvis Forde

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).

* Visiting coaches included former UK All-American weight man Jeff Chakouian, who has Illinois State University on the upswing in his third year as throws coach. Head coach is Elvis Forde, the former Murray State standout who competed at 400 meters for Barbados at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.