EUGENE, Ore. — Senior Rondel Sorrillo became the University of Kentucky's first national champion in the 200-meter dash during Saturday's NCAA Track and Field Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field.
Sorrillo, now an eight-time All-American, pulled away from the field coming off the curve and down the straightaway to claim his first NCAA title in 20.36 seconds. Sorrillo's time was the second-fastest of his career, trailing his school-record 20.29 set earlier this year.
"It really hasn't hit me that I am the 200-meter champ," Sorrillo said. "The cold weather played a major part in the race. I believe this race could have been a lot faster if the conditions had been favorable. I am just glad to get the victory."
Sorrillo's eight All-America honors are second in UK history behind former sprinter Tim Harden's 10. Sorrillo is the first Southeastern Conference athlete to win the 200 since Wallace Spearmon of Arkansas in 2005.
"Rondel bounced back pretty well from what happened in the 4-by-100 and didn't let it affect his 200," UK assistant coach Erin Tucker said. "He didn't have the greatest start of the 200 but, into the turn, he didn't feel like anyone was running with him. ... We wanted to improve on last year and the only way to do that was win — after a second-place finish last year — and that's what happened."
UK's men's 4-by-100 relay team did not finish after the baton was dropped on the second exchange between Sorrillo and senior Kwasi Obeng. The relay came into the finals as the seventh seed with a school-record time of 39.62.
Sorrillo scored all 18 points for Kentucky, getting 10 for first place in the 200 and eight for finishing second in the 100. It's the most points by one UK athlete in a single NCAA championship meet. UK finished 13th in the men's team standings.
"Rondel has been spectacular in a short but brilliant career," UK Coach Don Weber said. "He's as good a person as he is an athlete, and it's really gratifying to see him go out like he did."
The women's team finished tied for 51st with three points, all coming from senior Ashley Muffet. Muffet placed seventh in the shot put for two points and eighth in the discus for one point.