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Kentucky track ranked and ready for SEC championships

Kentucky's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn reacts after winning the women's 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, June 11, 2016.
Kentucky's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn reacts after winning the women's 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, June 11, 2016. AP

The Kentucky men’s and women’s track and field teams hunt for postseason hardware this week at the SEC Outdoor Championships in Columbia, S.C.

Kentucky’s women’s team ranks No. 6 in the nation and is led by sophomore hurdler Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and senior sprinter Destiny Carter. The UK men’s team ranks No. 21 in the nation behind the efforts of senior hurdler Nick Anderson and decathlete and long jumper Tim Duckworth, a junior.

The action begins Thursday. Friday and Saturday events will be broadcast live online via SEC Network Plus. ESPNU will air a recap show at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Camacho-Quinn, a 2016 Olympian for Puerto Rico and defending NCAA outdoor champion, has posted the third fastest 100-meter hurdles time in the NCAAs this season at 12.69 seconds, just four hundredths of a second off the mark posted by Texas’ Rushelle Burton.

Carter just came off a second place in the 100 meters behind LSU’s Aleia Hobbs at the SEC Relays last month with a time of 11.05, the third best run of the year in the NCAAs. Senior Javianne Oliver finished fourth in the same event with a time of 11.16. Carter also has the seventh best long jump of the season at 21 feet, 6 inches, good for third at the SEC Relays.

The SEC owns the top two long jump marks in the nation this year, with UK senior and NCAA indoor champ Sha’Keela Saunders’ mark of 22 feet 3.5 inches falling short of Alabama senior Quanesha Burks’ jump of 22 feet, 7.75 inches at the SEC Relays.

Sophomore pole vaulter Olivia Gruver posted the fifth best mark of the season at the Texas Invitational April 14 with a clearance of 14 feet, 8.25 inches.

On the men’s side, Anderson has set the sixth best 110-meter hurdles time in NCAA competition this year with a mark of 13.5 seconds, winning the SEC Relays. Freshman Daniel Roberts ran a 13.75 earlier this season for 17th best on the year.

Duckworth should contend in the decathlon and long jump. Duckworth has the fourth best decathlon score in the event this season with 7,973 points attained at the Spec Towns Invitational on April 7. He finished second in that event to Georgia senior Devon Williams (8,345). Duckworth’s long jump of 25 feet, 10 inches is 12th best in the NCAAs this year.

Also competing in the long jump is junior Muhammed Abubakar, who set the eighth best mark in the nation with a leap of 26 feet, 2.25 inches at the Texas Invitational.

Following the SEC event, UK will host the NCAA East Preliminary Championships May 25-27. Those who advance from there will compete in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 7-10.

This week

SEC Track and Field Championships

When: Thursday-Saturday

Where: Columbia, S.C.

Online: SEC Network Plus (Friday and Saturday)

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