UK sports: Hillenbrand wins men's mile at SEC Indoors

February 24, 2013 

SEC Indoor Athletics

Kentucky's Matt Hillenbrand reacts to winning the mile event at the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Indoor Championships college athletics meet in Fayetteville, Ark., Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.

BETH HALL — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Matt Hillenbrand executed a perfect race plan, surging into the lead in the final 20 meters of the men's mile to win the Southeastern Conference indoor championships on Sunday at Fayetteville, Ark.

Hillenbrand stayed close with the pacemakers for much of the race as the leaders started on a faster-than-expected pace.

The St. Xavier graduate waited till the bell lap to take a shot at the lead. With Arkansas' Patrick Rono coasting for home in the final 60 meters, Hillenbrand surged ahead on the outside.

"A few weeks back when we ran at Notre Dame I made a move too soon," Hillenbrand said. "My coaches told me I had to stay right there and make the last move."

Hillenbrand's time of 4:01.55 was a new personal-best, and seventh-best in school history.

Bradley Szypka continued his strong season with a personal-best shot put of 18.83 meters, good for a fourth-place finish.

Cally Macumber was fourth in the women's mile in 4:43.00.

■ The Kentucky's softball team's offense came up big in both games of a doubleheader at Spartanburg, S.C. The Cats (11-3) defeated Howard 14-0 in the first game before winning 12-8 against USC Upstate in 11 innings in the second game. It was Upstate's first loss of the season. Griffin Joiner (Christian County) led Kentucky, going 5-for-8 in both games with two doubles, one home run and six RBI. Joiner is batting .361 with 12 RBI this season.

■ Kentucky's rifle team finished second at the Great America Rifle Conference Championships at Oxford, Miss., shooting a 2,361 in air rifle on Sunday to give the team an aggregate score of 4,690. West Virginia won the title with a 4,705. Freshman Connor Davis (Shelby County) earned individual air rifle title, shooting a 701 to narrowly defeat West Virginia's Petra Zublasing (700.5).

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