Kentucky in third place after first day of SEC track and field championships

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMay 16, 2014 

  • SEC TRACK AND FIELD

    Saturday's events at UK

    1 p.m. Women's long jump finals; women's javelin finals

    3 — Women's high jump finals; women's shot put finals

    3:45 — Women's 1,500 preliminaries

    4 — Men's long jump finals; men's 1,500 preliminaries

    4:20 — Women's 100 hurdles preliminaries

    4:30 — Women's pole vault finals; men's discus finals

    4:40 — Men's 110 hurdles preliminaries

    5 — Women's 400 preliminaries

    5:20 — Men's 400 preliminaries

    5:40 — Women's 100 preliminaries

    5:55 — Men's 100 preliminaries

    6:20 — Women's steeplechase finals

    6:40 — Men's steeplechase finals

So far, so good for Kentucky in its role as host of the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Coach Edrick Floreal pronounced Friday's showing as "Pretty good. This is kind of in range of what we expected; we're a few points ahead of what we thought."

No. 5 ranked Georgia leads the women's standings after three events with 32 points, followed by No. 8 Arkansas. Then comes No. 6 Kentucky with 13 points.

"We had three girls make it in the 200-meter final. That's also good," Floreal said. "We thought we could get four or five points in the dec(athlon) and we got six; that's a positive. We thought Callie (Macumber) could get top three; we got a couple points over. All of that is good. It's momentum.

"The kids in the locker room were very excited about where we are and about what their chances are of doing well. I just want them to give it their absolute best shot. Where the chips fall, they fall."

No. 7 Georgia leads the men's standings with 48 points through three events. No. 4 Arkansas is second with 14, a point ahead of No. 2 Texas A&M. No. 19 UK is in sixth place with six points.

Macumber sparked the UK women by placing second to Arkansas' Dominique Scott in the 10,000 meters. Scott, a sophomore from South Africa, won in a personal-best 33:51.84.

Macumber, a senior, lopped 42 seconds off her previous best, finishing in 34:01.52.

"I feel good. It wasn't originally the plan to run the 10; kind of a last-minute decision to try and get some points for the team," Macumber said. "So I'm definitely happy with eight points for us.

"The 10K has been tough on me in the past, but this time it was going to be different. ... I just stayed focused. And it's a lot easier when you have your team backing you, and on your home course. I couldn't be happier."

Georgia's Brandon Lord won the men's 10K in 29:36.24.

Alex Poursanidis, a Georgia freshman from Cyprus, won the men's hammer throw (218-4) despite a rain-slickened throwing circle.

"It was good. The weather kind of was awful for everybody here today," Poursanidis said. "But we managed to fight it and throw a decent distance."

UK senior Allison Peare led qualifying in the women's 800, timed in 2:05.15.

Then junior Keffri Neal won his heat of the men's 800, second overall, in 1:48.80.

"Pretty good," Neal said. "The main goal here was to make the final, which I did."

Wildcats junior Dezerea Bryant was fastest in the women's 200-meter preliminaries, clocking .23.15. UK also advanced Keilah Tyson in eighth and Dominique Booker in ninth.

In the men's 200 qualifying, Florida junior Dedric Dukes led the way in 20.34.

Alabama suffered a blow when Diondre Batson, the NCAA indoor champion, pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury as he came out of the curve.

Texas A&M freshman Shamier Little led qualifying in the women's 400-meter hurdles in 56.34. Heat winner Kendra Harrison of UK was second in 57.69, and teammate Leah Nugent had the fourth-fastest time, 56.97.

Georgia went 1-2 in the men's decathlon. Maicel Uibo, a sophomore from Estonia, defended his title with 7,863 points. Then came teammate Garrett Scantling with 7,675.

UK picked up six points in the decathlon as freshman Ibn Short placed fifth with 6,942 and sophomore Nathan Donnellon took seventh with 6,788.

Georgia also finished 1-2 in the women's heptathlon. Kendell Williams, a 5-foot-9 freshman from Marietta, Ga., won the two-day, seven-event discipline with 5,877 points, followed by junior Quintunya Chapman with 5,527.

"Just my ability to maintain decent performances with the weather conditions, I think that's what I'm most proud of," said Williams, the American Junior record-holder. "Because the weather, it was cold, off-and-on raining. I didn't have any PRs except for the 200 ... but everything was pretty solid and decent. So I'm happy that I was able to still perform even if the weather was not in my favor."

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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