Track & Field

Ellen Ekholm’s HJ Win Leads UKTF Saturday at Tiger Paw Invite

by Jake Most

CLEMSON, S.C. and AMES, Iowa – Kentucky track and field junior Ellen Ekholm won the women’s long jump at the Tiger Paw Invitational to lead the way for the Wildcats on the penultimate Saturday of the indoor regular season.  
 
Ekholm, whose indoor personal best 6’0″/1.83 meters to win at the Razorback Invitational two weeks ago continues to lead the Southeastern Conference, ranks fifth nationally and tied the Kentucky school record, cleared 5’11″/1.82m to win on Saturday.

All in all, the Wildcats concluded the Tiger Paw Invitational (held on a traditional indoor 200m banked track) and the Iowa State Classic (held on distance runners’ preferred oversized flat indoor track) with three individual event wins, four new marks that moved into the current top-16 rankings nationally in their respective events, Daniel Roberts’ 60m hurdles performance that ranks inside the collegiate all-time top-10, two new UK freshman records and 18 personal bests.
 
Latavia Coombs was runner-up in the Tiger Paw triple jump with a mark of 42’8.25″/13.01m, a season best that moved her up to No. 14 on the NCAA Division I performance list for this season.
 
Molly Leppelmeier took eighth in the women’s weight throw reaching a mark of 64’5″/19.63m, less than an inch from the PB she tossed last week, which moved her to No. 4 on the UK all-time list.  Micaela Hazlewood placed 11th with a toss at 63’1″/19.24m, a PB that moved to No. 5 on UK all-time list.
 
Jacob Smith took third place in the men’s 200m with a time of 21.25.

UK’s women’s 4x400m relay of Faith Ross, Abby Steiner, Masai Russell and Chloe Abbott ran 3:33.63 to finish third in the meet-concluding competition.
 
Kianna Gray and Abby Steiner continued a run of finishing with strikingly similar times going 7-8 in the women’s 200m, both with times of 23.36 (measured to the thousands place, Gray ran 23.355 and Steiner ran 23.356).

Rahman Minor placed fourth in the men’s high jump clearing 6’10.75″/2.10m.

ISU Classic Saturday Dispatch
Ben Young ran 4:03.55 to place 11th in the men’s mile, a raw-time season best although he ran a converted 4:01 last weekend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Kendall Muhammad was 42nd in 4:10.90 and Gabe Szalay was 44th in 4:11.43.
 
Rachel Boice and Perri Bockrath ran respective PBs in the women’s mile of 4:56.68 and 4:57.57.

Friday report
Daniel Roberts smashed his own school record and catapulted into the all-time collegiate top-10 of the 60-meter hurdles to headline the Wildcats’ Friday.
 
Roberts won the 60m hurdles in 7.52, making him the ninth-fastest collegian ever and moving to No. 2 in the DI rankings for this season, only behind collegiate record holder Grant Holloway (Florida). Those two figure to race against each other in two weeks at the Southeastern Conference Championships.
 
He lowered the personal best he set just last week by .14 seconds, a considerable margin in a 60m race.

Roberts has consistently quickened his PBs all season as in the semifinal round on Friday he tied the PB and school record he had run just last week – 7.66.

Roberts also tied his PB to place fifth in the 60m dash, running 6.63 in both the final and semifinals. That time ranks 11th nationally at publication time.

Noah Castle won the men’s shot put at the Tiger Paw Invite with a mark of 62’6.5″/19.06m.
 
In the men’s 60m hurdles final Tai Brown and Caleb Wilt placed 5-6 respectively. They both ran personal best times in the semifinals that of course were justifiably overshadowed by Roberts’ historic performance. Brown ran 7.86, breaking Roberts’ UK freshman record and moving to No. 5 on the UK indoor all-time list and Wilt ran 7.87 moving to No. 6 on the same list.
 
Kianna Gray maintained the form she began showing last weekend by placing fourth in the women’s 60m final with a PB time of 7.25, which moved her to No. 3 on the UK indoor all-time list. The time would rank tied for eighth nationally as of press time. Celera Barnes placed eighth in the final.
 
Masai Russell placed fifth and Faith Ross was eighth in the women’s 60m hurdles final. They each ran 8.18 in the semifinals which tied them for No. 5 on the UK all-time list and ranks 14th on the DI descending order list. Russell’s time broke three-time NCAA Champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn’s Kentucky freshman record (two 100m hurdles golds plus a 4x100m relay title).
 
Alison D’Alessandro took 13th in the women’s pole vault, clearing 12’6.75″/3.83m, a PB that moved her to No. 6 on the UK indoor all-time list.
 
Micaela Hazlewood placed fourth in the women’s shot put, while Molly Leppelmeier tossed a PB 51’9.75″/15.79 to place fifth. Leppelmeier moved up from 10th to No. 8 on the UK indoor all-time list.

ISU Classic Friday dispatch
UK sent a select group of distance runners to compete on the oversized track at the Iowa State Classic.

Brennan Fields lowered his 3k PB by seven seconds to place 11th in 8:12.53. Trevor Warren ran a PB 8:20.87 to place 28th.
 
Sophie Carrier placed 26th in the women’s 5k with a PB time 17:18.47. Caitlin Shepard was 32nd in a PB 17:28.93 and Kelli Walsh was 34th in a PB 17:33.63.
 
Patrick Schaefer was 57th in the men’s 5k in 14:52.21, a PB.
 
Meet primer
Two weeks before indoor track and field postseason’s onset, the Kentucky track and field teams embarked upon some of their last best opportunities to show out at two meets – Clemson’s Tiger Paw Invitational and the Iowa State Classic.

Broadly speaking, UK sent a lot of its distance runners to the oversized track in Ames, Iowa, while UK’s sprinters and field athletes and a few distance runners competed on Clemson’s steeply-banked 200-meet track.
 
UK entered the weekend with 12 team members (counted as marks) currently inside NCAA Championships-qualifying positions on individual-event Division I rankings lists (top-16 for individuals and top-12 for relay teams), which is notable because if the season ended today, their marks would correspondingly qualify for Nationals.

So to a good extent the name of the game this week was posting a mark that will hold up on this season’s qualifying list, as well as rounding into shape for the SEC Championships in two weeks.
 

Tiger Paw Invitational

Saturday, Feb. 9

Men

Pole Vault

Final

13. Joseph Jardine: 15’5.5″/4.71m

Women

High Jump

Final

1. Ellen Ekholm: 5’11.5″/1.82m

5. Carly Hinkle: 5’8.5″/1.74m

Women

Triple Jump

Prelim/Final

2. Latavia Coombs: 42’8.25″/13.01m

Women

800m

Final

19. Brooke Nohilly: 2:15.78

28. Emily Akin: 2:17.39

Women

200m

Final

7. Kianna Gray: 23.36 (23.355)

8. Abby Steiner: 23.36 (23.356)

12. Celera Barnes: 23.83

14. Chloe Abbott: 23.88

 

Open

16. Devine Parker: 24.53

Women

Weight Throw

Prelim/Final

8. Molly Leppelmeier: 64’5″/19.63m

11. Micaela Hazlewood: 63’1″/19.24m – PB, No. 5 on UK all-time list

Men

High Jump

Final

4. Rahman Minor: 6’10.75″/2.10m

Men

200m

Final

3. Jacob Smith: 21.25

10. Cameron Council: 21.62

25. Tai Brown: 21.95

45. Caleb Wilt: 22.98

Women

4 x 400 Meter Relay

Final

3. UK (Ross, Steiner, Russell, Abbott): 3:33.63

21. UK (Barnes, Gray, Nohilly, O’Connor): 3:56.26

Friday, Feb. 8

Women

Long Jump

Prelim/Final

5. Tatiana Aholou: 19’11.75″/6.09m

8. Zhane Smith: 19’9″/6.02m

Men

Shot Put

Prelim/Final

1. Noah Castle: 62’6.5″/19.06m

3. Charles Lenford Jr.: 61’10.5″/18.86m

6. Josh Sobota: 59’5″/18.11m

Women

5k

Final

6. Sarah Michels: 17:40.85

Women

Pole Vault

Final

13. Alison D’Alessandro: 12’6.75″/3.83m – PB, No. 6 UK indoor all-time list

14. Riley Caudill: 12’0.75″/3.68m

14. Jaci Bickett: 12’0.75″/3.68m

Men

Mile

Final

15. Dylan Allen: 4.20.52

Men

Long Jump

Prelim/Final

15. Robbie Springfield: 23’1.75″/7.05m

Women

Shot Put

Prelim/Final

4. Micaela Hazlewood: 52’3.25″/15.93m

5. Molly Leppelmeier: 51’9.75″/15.79m – PB,

11. Nicole Fautsch: 47’0.75″/14.34m

Women

400m

Final

5. Masai Russell: 54.94

Men

400m

Final

26. William Walker: 49.37

Women

60m Hurdles

Final

5. Masai Russell: 8.25

8. Faith Ross: 8.29

 

Semifinal

5. Faith Ross: 8.18 (8.172) – PB, No. 5 on UK all-time list

6. Masai Russell: 8.18 (8.175) – PB, UK freshman record, No. 5 on UK all-time list

 

Qualifying

4. Masai Russell: 8.34Q

8. Faith Ross: 8.40q

Men

60m Hurdles

Final

1. Daniel Roberts: 7.52 – PB, Shatters School Record, No. 9 on NCAA all-time performers’ list (T-No. 7 fastest time), No. 2 in DI this year

5. Caleb Wilt: 7.93

6. Tai Brown: 7.98

 

Semifinal

2. Daniel Roberts: 7.66Q – Then-PB, improves school record

6. Tai Brown: 7.86q – PB, UK freshman record No. 5 on UK indoor all-time list

7. Caleb Wilt: 7.87q – PB, No.6 on UK indoor all-time list

 

Qualifying

1. Tai Brown: 7.91Q

3. Caleb Wilt: 8.00Q

Women

400m Invite

Final

5. Chloe Abbott: 53.07

19. Faith Ross: 56.47

Men

400m Invite

Final

15. Dwight St. Hillaire: 47.43

Women

60m

Final

4. Kianna Gray: 7.25 – PB, T-No. 3 on UK indoor all-time list

8. Celera Barnes: 7.40

 

Semifinals

2. Kianna Gray: 7.29Q

8. Celera Barnes: 7.39q

14. Abby Steiner: 7.44

 

Qualifying

4. Abby Steiner: 7.41Q

22. Janie O’Connor: 7.61

Men

60m

Final

5. Daniel Roberts: 6.63 – T-PB

 

Semifinals

3. Daniel Roberts: 6.63 – T-PB

18. Dwight St. Hillaire: 6.80

 

Qualifying

5. Daniel Roberts: 6.76Q

12. Dwight St. Hillaire: 6.78q – T-PB

Iowa State Classic

Saturday, Feb. 9

Women

Mile

Final

29. Rachel Boice: 4:56.68 — PB

31. Perri Bockrath: 4:57.57 – PB

Men

Mile

Final

11. Ben Young: 4:03.55

42. Kendall Muhammad: 4:10.90

44. Gabe Szalay: 4:11.43 – PB

Friday, Feb. 8

Women

5k

Final

26. Sophie Carrier: 17:18.47 — PB

32. Caitlin Shepard: 17:28.93

34. Kelli Walsh: 17:33.63 – PB

Men

5k

Final

57. Patrick Schaefer: 14:52.21 – PB

Men

3k

Final

11. Brennan Fields: 8:12.53 – PB

28. Trevor Warren: 8:20.87 — PB



For the most in-depth coverage of the UK cross country and track and field program follow the @KentuckyTrack social media channels on InstagramTwitter and Facebook as well as on UKathletics.com.
 

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