Kentucky's track and field teams earned 22 entries — 13 women's and nine men's — into next month's NCAA Outdoor Championships during this week's preliminary qualifications in Tampa.
With 13 women's entries, coach Edrick Floreal's team is poised to contend for its third podium finish in four years when the event takes place June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, the 2016 champion and 2017 silver medalist in the 100 meter hurdles, was the top qualifier in the event Saturday, taking control of her heat in the second half of the race to finish with a time of 12.90Q (-0.1). The 2016 Olympian for Puerto Rico also qualified in the 200 meters, and 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Freshman phenom Sydney McLaughlin, who set the NCAA record in the 400 meter hurdles at the Southeastern Conference Championships, ran slower in her two Tampa qualifying heats this week, but was still best in each. McLaughlin stumbled on Friday and clipped a hurdle but still ran a meet best 55.50.
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Kentucky qualified all three of its women’s 200 meters entries, led by Camacho-Quinn (No. 7 – 22.73Q +0.5), Kianna Gray (No. 8 – 22.88Q +0.5) and Kayelle Clarke (No. 11 – 23.04q +0.5).
The women’s 4x100m relay team of Celera Barnes, Camacho-Quinn, Clarke and Gray qualified to continue their NCAA title defense winning heat one from lane one in 42.49.
The women’s 4x400m relay team of Faith Ross, Clarke, Camacho-Quinn and Gray also qualified with a second-place time of 3:31.70. UK will have the opportunity to put McLaughlin in the mix for this event in Eugene.
Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile had the No. 2 triple jump qualifying mark of prelims, 44’6”/13.56m to advance on to Eugene for the second year in a row. Ebwea-Bile took silver at the NCAA Championships last June.
They will join Tim Duckworth, the reigning indoor heptathlon national champion, who will be the top seed in the decathlon.
Also qualifying for Eugene were:
- Men’s 4x100m relay: Daniel Roberts, Dwight St. Hillaire, Fred Dorsey III and Tim Duckworth.
- Men's 110m hurdles: Daniel Roberts
- Men's javelin: Elijah Marta.
- Men's shotput: Noah Castle and Nikolas Huffman.
- Men's 400 meters: St. Hillaire
- Men's 5K: Jacob Thomson.
- Men's discus: Noah Castle.
- Men's long jump: Fred Dorsey.
- Women's 100 meters: Gray and Barnes. Barnes broke Gray’s UK freshman record by .04, running a PB 11.16.
- Women's pole vault: Olivia Gruver will seek to defend her NCAA title. The junior qualified for the NCAA finals for the third year in a row.
- Women's 3K steeplechase: Katy Kunc.
- Women's high jump: Ellen Ekholm.