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McLaughlin highlights UK track and field’s gold medal haul at SEC Indoors

Sydney McLaughlin won the women’s 400-meter run at the SEC Indoors in 50.52 seconds.
Sydney McLaughlin won the women’s 400-meter run at the SEC Indoors in 50.52 seconds.

Kentucky freshman phenom Sydney McLaughlin turned in a gold-medal worthy performance in her SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships debut on Sunday in College Station, Texas.

McLaughlin won the women’s 400-meter run in 50.52 seconds, a time that ranks first in Southeastern Conference history and second all-time collegiately. McLaughlin’s time is also a junior record.

Despite the fast time, it wasn’t easy for McLaughlin. Runner-up Lynna Irby of Georgia clocked in at 50.62 seconds, which ranks No. 4 all-time collegiately.

Kentucky also got another gold medal when Jasmine Camacho-Quinn finished first in the women’s 60-meter hurdles in 7.98 seconds. She has won four straight SEC short hurdles titles, including indoors and outdoors.

And Jacob Thomson won the men’s 5K in 13:49.50.

Katy Kunc, who won bronze on Saturday in the women’s 3K, earned silver Sunday in the 5K in 16:20.70.

Kayelle Clarke finished third in the women’s 200 meters in 22.83 seconds, which ranks second on UK’s all-time indoors list.

Rifle

The third-ranked Kentucky rifle team finished second to No. 1 West Virginia at the Great American Rifle Conference Championships in Morgantown, W.Va. The Cats posted the highest air rifle score (2,367) and finished with 4,686 for the championships. The Mountaineers won with 4,699 points.

“I’m very proud of the effort that we gave today,” UK Coach Harry Mullins said. “The atmosphere was intense and the team scores were very close coming into today. The air team really worked through their trouble spots better tan we have in a while in this atmosphere. It was exciting all the way until the last shot.”

Hanna Carr, a junior from Versailles, finish third in combined score for the championships at 1,117.

UK will close the season out at the NCAA Championships on March 9-10 in Charleston, S.C.

Men’s tennis

After falling behind 3-1, UK’s men’s tennis team rallied to defeat No. 7 Illinois 4-3 at the Boone Tennis Center. Junior Austin Hussey clinched the match in a dramatic three-set win over 83rd-ranked Zeke Clark 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (9-11), 6-4.

“This is what we’ve been working for. It paid off today,” said Hussey, a junior out of Covington Catholic. “The fans helped us. When you win a point and have an explosion in the crowd, it’s amazing. Every point gives you confidence and (with the fans) you feel unstoppable out there.”

Softball

The UK softball team, ranked 23rd nationally, improved to 9-3 on the season after a 5-3 defeat of Purdue on Sunday at the Citrus Classic at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Autumn Humes pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs while striking out four batters. Grace Baalman closed out the game with 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Katie Reed was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single.

Dennis Varney: 859-231-3514, @ExCats

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