Track & Field
UKTF Returns Split Squads to Blacksburg and Winston-Salem

UKTF Returns Split Squads to Blacksburg and Winston-Salem

by Sommer Thomas

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky track and field throwers will compete at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. In the Virginia Tech Challenge from February 18-19 while the distance runners will run on the JDL Fast Track in Winston Salem, NC for the JDL DMR Invite on Friday, February 18. 

Kentucky’s throwers begin the competition at Virginia Tech with the women’s weight throw at 7 p.m. Saturday’s events will feature Wildcats in the men’s shot put at noon and women’s shot put at 1:30 p.m. 

Four distance runners will compete in the women’s DMR at 6:40 p.m. in Winston-Salem. 

Live results for the Virginia Tech Challenge can be found on There is no live stream.

Live results for the JDL DMR Invite can be found at and the live stream can be found at The live stream can only be accessed by those with a RunnerSpace +PLUS subscription.


Kentucky will feature three throwers in Blacksburg: Molly Leppelmeier, Jade Gates and Josh Sobota. 

The teams competing against UKTF’s pole vaulters include Virginia Tech, Virginia, Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Pitt, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, Hampton, Towson, James Madison, Elon, High Point, Radford, Roanoke, Winthrop, William & Mary, and VMI. 

Gates will compete in the women’s weight throw on Friday alongside Leppelmeier, who will also compete in the shot put on Saturday 

Sobota will compete in the men’s shot put on Saturday. 

Sobota, the two-time Southeastern Conference shot put bronze medalist and second-team All-American, has won three of his four event appearances in the shot put this season. His highest mark of 62’11.5″/19.19-meters came at the Jim Green Invitational, his first competition of the season. 

Sobota, alongside Leppelmeier and Gates, look to post qualifying marks for NCAA Championships since they are on the brink of qualification. 

Leppelmeier, a six-time SEC meet scorer and honorable mention All-American, has made consistent improvements in both events all season. She started the season with an under 50-foot mark in the shot put and recently earned a personal best throw of 52’7.25″/16.03m at Clemson, making her the sixth best shot putter for UK all-time. 

Leppelmeier also has UK’s top weight throw of the season from the McCravy meet (69’11″/21.31m), which is second all-time for UK. 

Gates comes close behind Leppelmeier in the weight throw with her best throw coming at Clemson last weekend (68’11.75″/21.02m), the third best mark in the event for UK all-time. 


UKTF sends Tori Herman, Jenna Gearing, Jenna Schwinghamer and Dajour Miles to compete in the women’s DMR on Friday evening at 6:40 p.m. 

Kentucky’s best DMR of the season ranks sixth in the nation with a time of 11:01.81 seconds from the McCravy, which featured Herman, Gearing Schwinghamer and Megan Moss. Miles will replace Moss in the 400m leg of the relay. 

Herman will run the mile leg, Gearing will run the 1200m and Schwinghamer will run the 800m leg of the DMR. 

Gearing has impressed in the mile this season for UKTF, running a personal best 4:38.13 at the Music City Challenge last weekend, becoming the second fastest female miler in UKTF history. 

Herman has Kentucky’s top time in the 3000m (9:10.59) from the McCravy, which made her the fifth fastest 3000m runner for UK all-time. A 2021 All-American in the mile, Herman’s best mile of this season is 4:42.65.

Schwinghamer ran a personal best 2:05.96 in the 800m at the Music City Challenge last weekend, becoming the fifth fastest female 800m runner in Kentucky history. 

Follow Kentucky Track and Field and Cross Country on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at

Related Stories

View all