Track & Field

Kentucky Track & Field to Compete at Clemson and Vanderbilt

by Sommer Thomas

CLEMSON, S.C. — Kentucky track & field will one of its biggest weekends of the indoor regular season at two meets: the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, South Carolina and the Music City Indoor Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee from Friday-Saturday, February 11-12. 

The sprinters and field athletes will compete in the Clemson Indoor Track & Field Complex while the distance runners will compete in the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility for the second time this season. 

Two weeks remain before 2022 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas so this weekend will mark an important opportunity for Wildcats to record season-best times that will put them in the National Top-16 in their respective events to qualify them for the NCAA Championships in March, allowing them to go for points and medals at the Conference Championships. 

Tiger Paw Invitational Information 

Friday’s events in Clemson begin at noon with the women’s long jump and women’s 60-meter hurdles qualifying and end at 4:30 p.m. with the men’s DMR. Day two begins at 11 a.m. with the men’s shot put (running events begin at noon) and ends at 3:40 p.m. with the men’s 4x400m relay. 

Live results can be found at adkinstrak.com

The teams competing in Clemson include Texas, Southern California, Pitt, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Harvard, Hampton, NC A&T, UCF, Tennessee, Georgia, Auburn, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, Houston, Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas, Villanova, Virginia. 

Indoor Music City Challenge Information 

Friday’s competition starts at 3:30 p.m. with the men’s high jump and ends at 9 p.m. Events begin at 10:30 a.m. in Vanderbilt on Saturday with the women’s unseeded 3000m. 

Live results can be found at pttiming.com

The meet will be streamed live on SEC Network+ on both days of competition. 

Admission is $5 per person. Children 10 and under are permitted free entry. Vanderbilt has a clear bag policy in place. 

The teams competing in Nashville include Alabama, Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, FIU, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kennesaw State, Kentucky, Lipscomb, LSU, Memphis, Meridian Community College, Miami [Ohio], Michigan State, Mississippi State, Murray State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Samford, SMU, Southern Illinois, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UMass Lowell, Vanderbilt, Villanova, and Western Illinois. 

Wildcats Competing at Clemson 

Abby Steiner, the 200m and 300m collegiate record-holder, will make her return to the 200m since running 22.58 at the Jim Green Invitational in January. The time leads the SEC and NCAA so far this season. At Texas Tech in January, Steiner also earned a personal best of 7.19 in the 60m (7.17 before altitude conversion), which currently stands as the fifth-fastest time in the NCAA according to TFRRS. 

Kennedy Lightner, the 200m school record holder, will be competing at Clemson. He set the new 200m school record mark of 20.52 at Texas Tech. He also ran the fifth-fastest time in Kentucky history in the 300m at the Jim Green Invitational (32.75). 

Some more Wildcats with recently set school records will also be competing, including Keaton Daniel and Luke Brown. 

Daniel tied Matt Peare’s indoor pole vault record for Kentucky at the Jim Green Invitational (18’0.5″/5.50m) and will be competing again for the first time since then. That vault is currently the fifth-highest vault height in the NCAA. 

The last time Luke Brown competed he also earned a school record. He broke his own school record in the triple jump (52’8.25″/16.06m), improving on the 51’8.25″/15.54m he leapt to in December.  

The women’s 4x400m team of Masai Russell, Steiner, Karimah Davis and Alexis Holmes set a new school record with a time of 3:28.62 at Texas Tech. 

Alexis Holmes has made an impressive return to the track after last competing in April 2021. She won the 400m at the McCravy with a time of 52.07, a new personal best and the second-fastest in UK history behind Sydney McLaughlin. 

Russell is now the third fastest 60m hurdler all-time for UK after tying her personal best at the McCravy meet, winning the race in 8.00 seconds. She only trails behind Olympians Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and Keni Harrison in the 60m on the all-time top times list. 

Lance Lang took the 60m with a time of 6.61 at the McCravy, earning a personal best and notching fourth fastest time on the UK all-time list. 

Tai Brown has had a great season so far, running a personal best in the 60m hurdles (7.72) at Texas Tech. 

Josh Sobota and Molly Leppelmeier will highlight Kentucky’s throwers in Clemson. Sobota is currently undefeated in the shot put this season, winning the event three times (Jim Green, Vanderbilt, McCravy). Leppelemeier recently earned a personal best in the weight throw, bumping her up to second all-time for Kentucky with a throw of 69/11″/21.31m. 

Wildcats Competing at Vanderbilt 

Dylan Allen, Jenna Gearing and Tori Herman highlight Kentucky’s distance runners competing at Vanderbilt. 

Gearing earned a personal best in the mile (4:41.01) at the Camel City Elite Invitational and is now the fifth-fastest mile runner in UK history. 

Herman placed 10th in the same race with a time of 4:42.64. She earned her personal best at 2021 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships (4:39.52), which made her the third-fastest mile runner in UK history. 

Dylan Allen also competed well in the mile, placing second with a time of 4:04.06. His converted time is 4:00.99. 

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