All four University of Kentucky athletes competing on the opening day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Eugene, Ore., posted top-16 finishes, but none were able to advance.
Chelsea Oswald, the only UK athlete taking part in an event finals on Wednesday, took 18th place in the 10,000 meters, finishing in 35 minutes, 6.02 seconds. Oswald, the only Cat participating in more than one event in Eugene, will come back Friday for the 5,000 meters.
Kentucky's highest finisher Wednesday was sophomore Bradley Szypka, who took 10th place in the shot put with a throw of 60 feet, 11.25 inches (18.57 meters). The toss left Szypka one spot and 3 inches behind Michigan’s Cody Riffle for the final place in the nine-thrower finals.
Sophomore Keilah Tyson, competing in her first NCAA Championships, ran 11.40 rounded up from 11.391 with a 2.8 tailwind in the women’s 100 meters semifinal to finish fifth in her heat and 15th overall.
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Luis Orta wrapped up his stellar Kentucky career in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a 16th-place time of 8:59.33. He did not move on to the finals, but earned his best-ever NCAA Championship finish.
Four more UK athletes compete Thursday: Rebecca Famurewa in the discus, Matt Hillenbrand in the 1,500 semifinals, Kayla Parker in the 100-meter hurdles semifinals and Keith Hayes in the 110-meter hurdles semifinals.
The top eight finishers in each event earn points toward their team score. The points are assigned as follows: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.