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Track and field: Sha’Keela Saunders sets personal best in triple jump

UK’s Sha’Keela Saunders finished second in her heat (and 12th overall) with a time of 7.6 seconds in the 60-meter dash at the Kentucky Invitational track and field meet at Nutter Field House in Lexington on Saturday.
UK’s Sha’Keela Saunders finished second in her heat (and 12th overall) with a time of 7.6 seconds in the 60-meter dash at the Kentucky Invitational track and field meet at Nutter Field House in Lexington on Saturday.

Kentucky’s women, ranked No. 8 in the preseason poll for track and field, picked up three first-place finishes in the Kentucky Invitational on Saturday at Nutter Field House in Lexington.

Sophomore Katy Kunc won the mile in 4:56, freshman Kianna Gray took the 200-meter dash in 23.86, and junior Sha’Keela Saunders prevailed in the triple jump (13.20 meters).

Saunders’ triple jump was a personal best, and it ranks second in the nation this year. The jump was 4 inches better than her previous best.

Sophomore Jacklyn Howell started the day with a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.36 seconds. Teammate Destiny Carter, a junior, followed with a second-place finish in the 60-meter dash.

On the men’s side, Nick Anderson won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.92 seconds, and Jacob Thompson was second in the mile in 4:09. At 800 meters, the UK duo of Lou Styles and Shane Dillon finished second and third, respectively. Fred Dorsey took second in triple jump with 14.36-meter effort.

The meet got started on Friday night with a UK sweep in the distance medley relay. On the women’s side, the team of Michelle McKinney, Ariah Grahm, Precious Hitchcock and Caroline McCaslin edged Central Florida with a time of 11:32.35.

For the men, Dillon, Styles, Gabe Harm and Ian Jones ran a 9:57.85 to defeat Ohio State by two seconds.

Next up for the Cats is the Rod McCravy Memorial next weekend at Nutter Field House.

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