Track & Field

Gray, Ebwea-Excel & Roberts Take Silver on SECTF Indoor Saturday

by Jake Most

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  – Kianna Gray, Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile and Daniel Roberts took individual silvers and Ellen Ekholm added a bronze for the Kentucky track and field teams as the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships concluded on Saturday inside Arkansas’ Randal Tyson Track Center.
 
The UK women’s team finished sixth in the team standings with 51 points.
 
The UK men’s team finished ninth on 31 points.
 
The Wildcats picked up five individual medals for the meet – four women’s (three silvers – the two on Saturday plus Micaela Hazlewood’s shot put on Friday – and a bronze) and one men’s.
 
The No. 3-ranked Florida men’s team and the No. 1-ranked Arkansas women’s team claimed the team titles.
 
Saturday medalists
Men
Daniel Roberts took SEC 60m hurdles silver in 7.48, a time that made him the fourth fastest collegian ever in the event (sixth fastest time).

Roberts’ performance is believed to be the fastest non-race-winning time in collegiate history. Collegiate record holder Grant Holloway (Florida) won in a meet record 7.44, .02 off the CR. Roberts’ time would’ve broken his former training partner, and reigning Olympic Gold Medalist Omar McLeod’s previous SEC Championships record.
 
Women (Saturday medalists)
Kianna Gray picked up the first SEC medal of her career with an inspired 60m run for silver out of lane one (7.27).
 
Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile Excel took silver in the women’s triple jump with her best mark of the calendar year: 44’8.75″/13.63m.
 
Ellen Ekholm claimed her first SEC medal, a bronze, with a high jump clearance of 5’9.75″/1.77m
 
Saturday scorers
Men
Ben Young and Brennan Fields combined to put up seven points for Kentucky in the men’s mile, which started the Saturday action on the track. Young finished fifth in 4:04.95 to score four and Fields placed sixth in 4:06.18 to tally three more.
 
The UK men’s 4x400m relay of Cameron Council, Dwight St. Hillaire, Daniel Roberts and Jacob Smith scored three points with a sixth-place time of 3:11.54.
 
Women
Abby Steiner was the top freshman finisher in the women’s 200m, running 23.19 to score five points.
 
Faith Ross and Masai Russell scored a combined six points in the women’s 60m hurdles with Ross running 8.28 to place fifth and score four and Russell finishing in 8.32 for seventh to score two.

Carly Hinkle added a point to the six Ellen Ekholm scored in the high jump, finishing in a six-way tie for sixth after clearing 5’7.75″/1.72m.
 
The UK women’s 4x400m relay of Faith Ross, Chloe Abbott, Masai Russell and Abby Steiner placed sixth with a time of 3:32.43 that was their second best of the season, and ranks No. 7 on the UK indoor all-time list.
 
Molly Leppelmeier added a point in the women’s weight throw with a mark of 61’4.25″/18.70m.
 
Friday report
Senior transfer Micaela Hazlewood took home the shot put silver medal as the highlight of the Wildcats’ Friday.
 
Hazlewood, who transferred to UK from Purdue in January for her final indoor season of eligibility, took second place in her last collegiate shot put competition with a personal best 54’2″/16.51m to score eight points and move to No. 2 on the Kentucky all-time indoor performers’ list. Hazlewood is entered in the weight throw on Saturday.
 
Nicole Fautsch scored three more points in the women’s shot put with a 52’2″/15.90m toss that was a big season best.
 
The UK women’s distance medley relay of Perri Bockrath, Faith Ross, Emily Akin and Rachel Boice scored two points with a seventh-place time of 11:42.26.
 
The UK men’s team got field points from Matt Peare – with a school record pole vault, after Noah Castle and Charles Lenford Jr. combined to start off UK’s total in the shot put.
 
Peare bettered his previous pole vault PB by 4.5 inches, clearing 17’6.25″/5.34m to place fourth and score five points.

Castle (seventh, 60’7.75″/18.48m) and Charles Lenford Jr. (eighth | 60’5.25″/18.42m) got Kentucky on the SEC scoreboard with a combined three points in the men’s shot put. Freshman Josh Sobota just missed scoring, placing ninth, 2.25 inches behind Lenford Jr.’s best mark.
 
Meet primer
The UK women’s track and field team placed third at the SEC Indoor Championships in 2017 and 2018, tying the program’s best ever finish at the meet UK scored 74 points last season, and their best point total ever at the meet was 92 points in 1989.

The UK men’s team was sixth with 45 points at the SEC Indoor Championships last year. The UK men’s team’s best ever finish at SEC Indoors was second, twice in 1960 and 1971.
 
A total of 15 Southeastern Conference men’s and women’s track and field programs were included in the top-25 – with the UK women’s team at No. 6 — of the latest NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index released last Monday.
 
Eight SEC women’s programs were ranked in the top-25, including four in the top-seven.
 
A nation-leading seven SEC programs were ranked in the men’s top-25.
 
Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center played host to the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships for the ninth time. The venue also hosted the SEC Indoor Championships in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2016.
 
Meet format
The name of the game at the Championships was scoring points by virtue of top-eight finishes. First place scores 10 points in each event, and the point correlations reduce down to one point for eight place.

The team that’s accrued the most points at the end of the meet wins.
 
Peripherally, this weekend served as the last chance for individuals and relay teams to record marks that will rank inside NCAA Championships-qualifying positions on individual-event Division I rankings lists (top-16 for individuals and top-12 for relay teams that will qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in two weeks.

Saturday Track

Round

UK results

Men 1 Mile

Final

5. Ben Young: 4:04.95 | 4 points

6. Brennan Fields: 4:06.18 | 3 points

Women 60 M

Final

2. Kianna Gray: 7.27 | 8 points

Men 60 M

Final

4. Daniel Roberts: 6.65 | 5 points

Women 60 M Hurdles

Final

5. Faith Ross: 8.28 | 4 points

7. Masai Russell: 8.32 | 2 points

Men 60 M Hurdles

Final

2. Daniel Roberts: 7.48. | 8 points, No. 2 on 2019 world list, becomes fourth fastest collegian hurdler in history (sixth fastest time)

Women 200 M

Finals

4. Abby Steiner: 23.19 | 5 points (top freshman finisher)

Women 3000 M

Finals

25. Caitlin Shepard: 9:59.00

42. Sophie Carrier: 10:14.36

Men 3000 M

Finals

11. Kendall Muhammad: 8:15.75

21. Trevor Warren: 8:23.26

28. Ben Young: 8:30.33

31. Patrick Schaefer: 8:37.33

35. Brennan Fields: 8:39.77

Women 4×400 M Relay

Finals

6. UK: (Faith Ross, Chloe Abbott, Masai Russell, Abby Steiner): 3:32.43  — No. 7 on UK indoor all-time list

Men 4×400 M Relay

Final

6. UK (St. Hillaire, Roberts, Smith): 3:11.54 | 3 points

Saturday Field

Round

UK results

Men Weight

Finals

13. Charles Lenford Jr.: 61’5.75″/18.74m

Women High Jump

Finals

3. Ellen Ekholm: 5’9.75″/ 1.77m | 6 points

T-6. Carly Hinkle: 5’7.75″/1.72m | 1 point

Women Pole Vault

Finals

Alison D’Alessandro: NH

Women Weight

Finals

8. Molly Leppelmeier: 61’4.25″/18.70m | 1 point

12. Micaela Hazlewood: 59’9.75″/18.23m

Women Triple Jump

Finals

2. Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile Excel: 44’8.75″/13.63m | 8 points

9. Latavia Coombs: 42’7″/12.98m

17. Zhane Smith: 38’10.5″/11.85m

Friday Track

Round

UK Results

Men Mile

Prelims | 10 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat Plus Next 4

4. Ben Young: 4:08.84q

5. Brennan Fields: 4:09.05q

9. Gabe Szalay: 4:12.19

Women 60 M

Prelims | 8 Advance: Top 1 Each Heat Plus Next 5

7. Kianna Gray: 7.30q

10. Celera Barnes: 7.38

15. Abby Steiner: 7.45

Men 60 M

Prelims | 8 advance Top 1 each heat plus next 4

8. Daniel Roberts: 6.69q

12. Jacob Smith: 6.78 – pb

26. Cameron Council: 6.95

Women 400 M

Prelims | Top 8 Advance by Time

11. Chloe Abbott: 53.35

Men 400 M

Prelims| Top 8 Advance by Time

33. Nathaniel Bann: 49.09

35. William Walker: 49.17

Women 60 M Hurdles

Prelims | 8 Advance: Top 1 each heat plus next 6

4. Faith Ross: 8.06q – No. 3 on UK all-time list

6. Masai Russell: 8.20q

Men 60 M Hurdles

Prelims | 8 Advance: Top 1 Each Heat Plus Next 5 

2. Daniel Roberts: 7.61Q

9. Caleb Wilt: 7.84 – PB, No. 5 on UK all-time list

10. Tai Brown: 7.87

Women 800 M

Prelims | 8 Advance: Top 2 Each Heat Plus Next 2

14. Brooke Nohilly: 2:12.93

Women 200 M

Prelims | Top 8 advance by time

6. Abby Steiner: 23.19q

9. Kianna Gray: 23.32

17. Celera Barnes: 23.68

Men 200 M

Prelims | Top 8 advance by time

10. Jacob Smith: 21.02 – PB, No. 7 on UK indoor all-time list

13. Dwight St. Hillaire: 21.13

25. Cameron Council: 21.72

Women 5000 M

Final

19. Sophie Carrier: 17:22.13

23. Caitlin Shepard: 17:37.29

Men 5000 M

Final

21. Patrick Schaefer: 15:17.14

Women DMR

Men DMR

Final

8. UK (Perri Bockrath, Faith Ross, Emily Akin, Rachel Boice): 11:42.26 | 1 point

Final

UK –DNF

Friday Field

Round

Start List

Men Pole Vault

Finals

4. Matt Peare: 17’6.25″/5.34m | 5 points – UKTF absolute school record, 4.5-inch PB

12. Joseph Jardine: 16’0.5″/4.89m

Men Shot Put

Finals

7. Noah Castle: 60’7.75″/18.48m | 2 points

8. Charles Lenford Jr.: 60’5.25″/18.42m | 1 point

9. Josh Sobota: 60’3″/18.36m

Men Long Jump

Finals

12. Robbie Springfield: 23’8.25″/7.22m

Women Long Jump

Finals

12. Zhane Smith: 19’0.5″/5.80m

14. Tatiana Aholou: 18’11.75″/5.78m

Men High Jump

Finals

11. Rahman Minor: 6’11″/2.11m

Women Shot Put

Finals

2. Micaela Hazlewood: 54’2″/16.51m | 8 points – No. 2 UK indoor all-time list (PB)

6. Nicole Fautsch: 52’2″/15.90m | 3 points

9. Molly Leppelmeier: 51’5″/15.67m



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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