Track and field: Host Kentucky sweeps relays

mmaloney@herald-leader.comJanuary 17, 2014 

  • Saturday

    Kentucky Invitational

    When: 9 a.m.

    Where: Nutter Field House

    Admission: Free

Fans entering Nutter Field House for Saturday's Kentucky Invitational indoor track and field meet may be doing some double takes.

Second-year UK coach Edrick Floreal has opened the infield to spectators.

Also, with the addition of raised board runways, a pole vault pit and long jump/triple jump pit have been added to the infield.

"The goal is, to get people comfortable to come, you've got to make it so they feel comfortable to walk around," Floreal said. "I guess one of the issues with the facility, and every facility, is how much access do you give spectators. ... We're going to make it so people can walk in and loop the whole thing."

Floreal says that reaction from athletes regarding the board runways has been "they love them."

"It takes a little getting used to. They are significantly faster than the track, so there is some danger. But if you can navigate it correctly, you're going to get something out of it."

Another tweak to the facility is on the wall adjacent to the main stands, where posters of UK's NCAA champions have been added.

Floreal credited his predecessor, Don Weber, for helping everything run smoothly.

"His attention to detail is phenomenal," Floreal said. "He's just unbelievable. ... It makes my job easier. Now I can worry about coaching and getting this team better."

UK is host to 22 squads Saturday.

Floreal just finished putting his team through a week of two-a-day drills, similar to "Camp Cal" extended workouts for men's basketball.

So Saturday's meet is somewhat of a tuneup for next weekend's Rod McCravy Memorial. The McCravy has attracted such powers as Florida, Baylor and Oregon.

The Invitational got underway Friday night with finals in the distance medley relays and weight throws.

UK swept the relays, while Southern Illinois took the throwing events.

"I'm glad we got the win," said Chelsea Oswald, who anchored the women's relay. "I wish I would have run a little better on my part."

Cassidy Hale led off for the UK women, followed by Sha'Keela Saunders, Allison Peare and Oswald.

The winning men's combination was Matt Hillenbrand, Clyde Gross, Robbie Scharold and Adam Kahleifeh.

"I think the goal right now was just trying some different things," Floreal said. "Keffri (Neal) didn't run and everybody's getting into the shape we want them to. So for us right now, it's just getting used to winning, putting in a winning effort. The kids just have to get used to just competing right now. It's early.

"I guess call this a dress rehearsal. Next week will be the real thing, so we're just trying some different combinations. We've still got a couple of kids dinged up, but I think we'll be healthy in the next couple of days."

Kentucky Invitational

MEN

35-lb. weight throw — Curtis Wideman (Southern Ill.) 61 feet; Josh Freeman (Southern Ill.) 60-2½ ; Richard Chavez (Ark. State) 60-1.

Distance medley relay — Kentucky (Matt Hillenbrand, Clyde Gross, Robbie Scharold, Adam Kahleifeh) 9:52.06; Wake Forest "A" (Thomas Bojanowski, Daniel Harrison, Kyle Eager, Simon Holden) 9:55.97; Wake Forest "B" (Alexander Rose, Malcolm Nunley, Ryan Horgan, Jake Poyner) 10:04.48.

WOMEN

20-lb. weight throw — Sophia Lozano (Southern Ill.) 67-7; DeAnna Price (Southern Ill.) 65-3¼; Ashley Gaston (Southern Ill.) 62-2¼.

Distance medley relay — Kentucky (Cassidy Hale, Sha'Keela Saunders, Allison Peare, Chelsea Oswald) 11:46.56; Ohio State (Sakiko Minagawa, Rebecca Rings, Rachel Weber, Katie Borchers) 11:55.09; Miami, Ohio (Megan Beaver, Lauren Hoover, Taylor Wickware, Laura Bess) 12:00.97

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