Kentucky can compete with the big schools just fine.
Wildcats won five of Saturday's finals as the two-day Rod McCravy Memorial indoor track and field meet wrapped up in Nutter Field House.
Kendra Harrison ran the fastest time in the world this season in the 60-meter hurdles, Dezerea Bryant tied for first in the 60 dash, and Harrison and Bryant made up half the winning 4-by-400 relay.
On the men's side, Brad Szypka set a personal best in the shot put and Matt Hillenbrand set a meet record in the 3,000 meters.
"The goal that we have now is just to be relevant, that when people walk out of here that they go 'Kentucky? Really? Kentucky beat us?'" UK Coach Edrick Floreal said. "I think it's going to take people a little bit to adjust. But we're serious about being successful, and I think how you build a successful team is just being competitive.
"If you compete just as hard as you can, you're bound to surprise yourself and your competitors. That's our goal — just to compete. Forget the clock, forget the time. Win everything that you're in and let the rest of the country worry about it."
Of 14 teams on hand, six are ranked among the nation's top 25: No. 2 and defending NCAA Outdoor co-champion Florida, Nos. 3 Oregon men and Florida women, No. 4 and defending NCAA Indoor champion Oregon women, No. 6 UK women and No. 24 Alabama women. Seven individuals are on the pre-season "watch list" for The Bowerman — track and field's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy.
Over the two days, 14 meet records and four field house records toppled.
Harrison, a junior transfer from Clemson, took down Hyleas Fountain's field house record with a world-leading 7.96 in the 60-meter hurdles "blue" (fast) heat. UK's Kayla Parker won the slower "white" heat.
"Coming in, I knew I could run pretty fast," Harrison said. "I knew if I just focused on my race, then the results would show."
Bryant, also a Clemson transfer, tied former Tennessee standout Tianna Bartoletta in the 60. Both clocked in at a meet-record 7.20 and, at first, Bartoletta was posted as the winner.
A review of the photo finish, though, showed both runners crossing the line in 7.194.
"It was a great race," Bryant said. "It was fun. ... I'm consistent. That's all that matters."
Harrison and Bryant combined with Morganne Phillips and Angelica Whaley on the 4-by-400, setting yet another meet record of 3:33.35.
Szypka, a junior, came through on the second of his six turns in the shot, reaching 63 feet, 9 inches, about a foot-and-a-half beyond his previous best.
"It was a real good day," he said. "I've been sick all week, trying to recover from a cold and injuries. ... I was a little stuffed up and I was still feeling a little headachy, but it was a good day. I was hitting things proper and I produced a big PR, so I'm really happy."
In the 3,000, Hillenbrand blew by Oregon's Parker Stinson near the 2,000 mark and steadily pulled away. His time of 7:59.55 also was a meet record.
"The plan was just to follow the rabbit and go as long as I can with the pack and, if I felt good, go from 800 out," said Hillenbrand, a senior. "(Stinson) was doing a lot of work, so he ... kind of signaled me over. I was feeling good, so I figured I'd help this guy out and try to get a PR."
Former UK standout Keith Hayes just missed in the 60-meter hurdles. Eddie Lovett, the defending NCAA champion from Florida, edged Hayes 7.70 to 7.75.
Race distances in meters unless noted.
Heptathlon standings — Cory Kunze (Ohio St.) 5,304; George Wayda (Ill.) 5,040; Anthony Dunavant (Va.) 4,939. Heptathlon 60 hurdles — Kunze, 8.36. Heptathlon pole vault — Kyle Kubera (Cincinnati) 15-3. Heptathlon 1,000 — Dunavant, 2:49.10. 60 "Blue" — Dominique Hubert (unattached) 6.63; Markesh Woodson (Mo.) 6.65; Trayvon Bromell (Baylor) 6.65. Fastest qualifier: Hubert, 6.67. 60 "White" — Jamol James (Tenn.) 6.76; Akeem Hayes (Ala.) 6.76; Alex Reece (Baylor) 6.86. Fastest qualifier: Haynes, 6.79. 400 — Arman Hall (Fla.) 45.84; Mike Berry (Ore.) 46.13; Hugh Graham Jr. (Fla.) 46.58. 800 — Sean Obinwa (Fla.) 1:48.20 (breaks meet record of 1:48.63 set by James Doaty, UK, 2003); Jacopo Lahbi (Ala.) 1:48.77; Boru Guyota (Ore.) 1:48.91. Mile — Luke Carroll (Ill.) 4:07.91; Henry Wynne (Va.) 4:08.59; Mike Marsella (Va.) 4:08.86. 3,000 — Matt Hillenbrand (UK) 7:59.55 (breaks meet record of 8:04.00 set by Soufiane Bouchikhi, Eastern Ky., 2012); Kyle King (Va.) 8:06.64; Jannis Topfer (Ill.) 8:08.85. 60 hurdles "Blue" — Eddie Lovett (Fla.) 7.70; Keith Hayes (unatt.) 7.75; Donovan Robertson (Ohio St.) 7.77. Fastest qualifier: Lovett, 7.71. 60 hurdles "White" — Terrence Somerville (unatt.) 7.77; Moriel Pitt (Fla.) 7.96; Nick Anderson (UK) 8.00. Fastest qualifier: Cam Viney (Ill.) 7.95. 4-by-400 relay — Florida (Nick Uruburu, Hugh Graham Jr., Ryan Schnulle, Arman Hall) 3:07.20 (breaks meet record of 3:07.72 set by Kentucky, 2008); Baylor (Blake Heriot, Karrie Butler, Timothy Holmes, George Caddick) 3:08.39; Alabama (Dwight Davis, Alex Amenkwah, Nick Efkamp, Quincy Smith) 3:08.53. Pole vault — Jake Blankenship (Tenn.) 18-1¼ (breaks meet record of 18-0½ set by Brian Mondschein, unattached, 2007); Mark Hollis (unatt.) 18-1¼; Chase Brannon (Tenn.) 17-5½ . Triple jump — Felix Obi (Baylor) 53-2¾; Ryan Satchell (Va.) 51-3; Jonathon Ilori (Mo.) 50-0½ . Shot put — Brad Szypka (UK) 63-9; Matt Dechant (unatt.) 62-3¼; Matthew Hoty (Tenn.) 61-6¾.
60 "Blue" — (tie) Dezerea Bryant (UK) and Tianna Bartoletta (unatt.) 7.20 (breaks meet record set by Bartoletta in prelims); Jasmine Todd (Ore.) 7.28. Fastest qualifier: Bartoletta, 7.21 (breaks meet record of 7.25 set by Cleo Tyson, 2008). 60 "White" — Dominque Booker (unatt.) 7.33; Kyra Jefferson (Fla.) 7.34; Remona Burchell (Ala.) 7.38. Fastest qualifier: Jefferson, 7.35. 400 — Phyllis Francis (Ore.) 52.14; Ebony Eutsey (Fla.) 52.76; Jordan Lavender (Va.) 53.35. 800 — Laura Roesler (Ore.) 2:01.32 (breaks meet record of 2:03.17 set by Tiffany Williams, unatt., 2008, and field house record of 2:02.39 set by Phoebe Wright, Tenn., 2009); Yanique Malcolm (Ala.) 2:06.58; Amanda Duvendack (Ill.) 2:07.06. Mile — Megan Patrignelli (Ore.) 4:43.85; Agata Strausa (Fla.) 4:44.73; Allison Peare (UK) 4:44.87. 3,000 — Cory McGee (Fla.) 9:18.26; Rebekah Green (Fla.) 9:18.44; Rachel Johnson (Baylor) 9:22.58. 60 hurdles "Blue" — Kendra Harrison (UK) 7.96 (breaks own meet and field house record set in prelims); Tiffani McReynolds (Baylor) 8.05; Sasha Wallace (Ore.) 8.10. Fastest qualifier: Harrison, 8.00 (breaks meet and field house record of 8.02 set by Hyleas Fountain, Nike, 2009). 60 hurdles "White" — Kayla Parker (UK) 8.25; Leah Nugent (UK) 8.27; Skylar Ross-Ransom (Fla.) 8.37. Fastest qualifier: Nugent, 8.33. 4-by-400 relay — Kentucky (Morganne Phillips, Dezerea Bryant, Angelica Whaley, Kendra Harrison) 3:33.35 (breaks meet record of 3:34.61 set by Texas A&M, 2008); Oregon (Chizoba Okodogbe, Christian Brennan, Laura Roesler, Phyllis Francis) 3:35.06; Miami, Fla. (Jamika Glades, Taneisha Cordell, Kelsey Balkwill, Shakima Wimbley) 3:35.58. Triple jump — Ciarra Brewer (Fla.) 43-9 (breaks meet record of 42-8¾ set by Brandy Deplan, Ga. Tech, 2006); Brianna Richardson (Baylor) 43-0½ ; Kaitlin West (Baylor) 41-0¼. Shot put — Kearsten Peoples (Mo.) 53-10¼; Cassie Wertman (Tenn.) 53-5; Jill Rushin (Mo.) 52-10¾.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @markmaloneyhl. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.