Wildcats Wrap East Prelims With 11 NCAA Championship Qualifiers

By Jacob Most
May 25, 2013 -

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Kentucky track and field took a major step forward as a program at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships, which wrapped up on Saturday at Irwin Belk Track.

Four Wildcats clinched spots in the NCAA Semifinals on Saturday giving Kentucky 11 entries (10 competitors) total going into the National Championship Meet.

The top-12 placers in each event qualified for the NCAA Championships, which will be held June 5-9, 2013 at Oregon’s Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Six Wildcat men will be in the Eugene field, while four women will compete in five events.

"My overall take heading into the NCAA is we are moving forward," head coach Edrick Floreal said. "There is still quite a bit of work to do, but I think the most important thing at a meet like this is leaving an impression. When you make an impression where other people notice how much better and different the team is, to me, is important.

"Making our own mark and being noticed for building something special is the most important thing. Having the kids buy in and realize the possibility of being great is yet there."

Six of the ten Wildcats that clinched spots in the NCAA Outdoor Championship field will compete in the event for the first time.

Chelsea Oswald continued her top form in the 5,000 meters as she posted the No. 3 qualifying time out of the east crossing the finish line in 15:59.20. The 2013 SEC Champion at 5K and 10K will be the lone Wildcat two compete in two events at NCAAs.

Matt Hillenbrand displayed an impressive kick on the bell lap holding off three rival competitors down the home stretch to win his heat in 3:47.72. The SEC Indoor Mile Champion reached the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career.

Keith Hayes confirmed his spot in the fourth NCAA Outdoor Championships of his stellar career with a wind legal season best 110-meter hurdles time 13.66.

Kayla Parker, a junior team captain, cruised into the NCAA 100-meter hurdles semifinal with a time of 13.26. She will be making her debut appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Seven other Wildcats booked their spots in Eugene on either Thursday or Friday.

Andrew Evans, Rebecca Famurewa and Chelsea Oswald, Raymond Dykstra, Bradley Szypka, Keilah Tyson and Luis Orta all qualified for NCAAs before Saturday.

Tamyah Pipkin posted a .03-second wind legal collegiate best time 23.64 in the 200 meters. She was fifth in her heat and placed 15th overall.

Cally Macumber was heartbreakingly sixth in the second 5K heat missing the automatic qualifying place by a spot with a time of 16:13.66. She was 13th overall less than a second off the final automatic qualifier place in heat two. The two time qualifiers came from heat two (16:07.70).

Macumber concludes a spectacular 2012-13 season having been named First Team All-American in cross country as well as in the distance medley relay and 3K indoors. She also was SEC Champion in cross country and the 3K.

Allison Peare was eighth in heat two of the women’s 1,500m with a time of 4:22.50. She placed 16th overall. Peare closes a breakout 2012-13 season having been First Team All-American in the DMR and All-Southeast Region in cross country.

The UK women’s 4x100-meter relay team was disqualified for passing the baton outside the zone on the first exchange.

Kentucky advanced three men -- Luis Orta, Raymond Dykstra and Andrew Evans – to Nationals in 2012.

2013 Kentucky NCAA Championship Qualifiers
Andrew Evans – Discus Throw
Raymond Dykstra – Javelin Throw
Bradley Szypka – Shot Put
Luis Orta – 3,000-meter steeplechase
Matt Hillenbrand – 1,500 meters
Keith Hayes – 110-meter hurdles

Chelsea Oswald – 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters
Rebecca Famurewa – Discus Throw
Keilah Tyson – 100 meters
Kayla Parker – 100-meter hurdles