Williams Secures Pentathlon Gold On Opening Night of SEC Championships
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Annika Williams scored 4,346 women’s pentathlon points to win the first Southeastern Conference gold medal of her career, shattering her personal best by 173 points on Friday at the SEC Indoor Championships inside Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center. Williams’ 4,346-point five-event total ranks third in NCAA Division I this season compared with scores recorded before this weekend with Conference Championships happening across the country.
Williams broke Precious Nwokey’s 12-year-old school record by 161 points. Williams scored 10 points in the team competition with the victory. She turned in personal bests in the final two of five events, the long jump and grueling 800 meters, and had season bests in the first three events, the 60m hurdles, high jump, and shot put.
“I knew I had to go out here and give it everything I had left,” Williams said trackside with ESPN’s John Anderson after the competition. “I knew I had to go out here and PR. Because one, I scored my ticket to Nationals. Two, it’s my first time ever winning SECs. I knew what I needed to do. I listened to the coaches, and I followed through … I’m pretty proud of myself. I executed everything they told me to do. I can’t wait to go back there and see my teammates and my coaches.”
Williams was Kentucky’s third-ever SEC pentathlon champion and first since Nwokey in 2011.
Keaton Daniel won his first SEC Indoor Pole Vault title to go along with his two outdoor golds in 2021 and 2022 scoring the first 10 points of the meet. Daniel cleared 17’8.5″/5.40m for the win.
Wildcats have won three of the last four SEC Indoor Pole Vault titles as Matt Peare claimed the crown in 2020 and 2021. Dave Franta was the only other Wildcat to win the SEC Indoor Men’s Pole Vault in 1960.
Dalton Shepler added three men’s pole vault points with a sixth-place, personal best vault clearance of 7’0.25″/5.20m. Shepler moved to No. 5 on UK all-time indoor performers’ list.
Siobhan Szerencsits earned her first SEC medal, a pole vault silver, clearing 14’1.75”/4.31 to score eight points. The mark ranks tied for 13th in NCAA Division I this season based on marks recorded before this weekend. Payton Phillips split the eighth place point three ways (.33) with a clearance of 12’11.75”/3.96m.
Anthaya Charlton claimed bronze in the women’s long jump with a personal best of 21’5.25”/6.53m. The mark ranks sixth in NCAA Division I this season based on marks recorded before this weekend.
Logan Coles scored a point in the men’s weight throw with a new personal best of 66’05.75”/20.26m that moved him up to No. 5 on the UK all-time indoor performers’ list.
Michael Browning placed ninth, just outside Coles’ last scoring place, with a mark of 64’01.00”/19.53m.
Kentucky qualified eight Wildcats, four men and four women from Friday’s preliminary heats into Saturday’s finals.
Collegiate record holder Masai Russell was the top qualifier in the women’s 60m hurdles with a “big Q” time of 7.90Q. Yasmin Brooks also qualified for Saturday’s women’s 60m hurdles final with a “little q” 8.18q.
Freshman Jordan Anthony earned a “big Q” automatic qualification into the men’s 60m final with a heat-wining timer of 6.64, which was the second fastest overall in the heats.
Dylan Allen unleashed a big kick on the bell lap of the men’s mile prelims, winning his heat in 4:04.25Q, a season best. He was the third fastest of the prelims.
Kennedy Lightner won the first of seven men’s 200m preliminary heats and was fifth fastest overall running 20.66q. Brandon Miller was the seventh fastest of the heats in 20.74q.
Graduate transfer Wayne Lawrence Jr. Ran a season-best 46.10, the seventh-fastest of the men’s 400m prelims to qualify for the final at his first SEC Championships. He moved up a spot to No. 3 on the UK indoor all-time list.
Phoebe McCowan earned a “little q” time qualifier in the women’s mile running 4:49.74, the 10th fastest of the prelims.
DeAnna Martin earned the last little q of the women’s 800m running a personal best 2:05.25q to place third in the first of three qualifying heats. Martin had the sixth fastest time of the prelims with an advancement procedure of top two in each heat plus the next two fastest times. Jenna Schwinghamer was .05 off Martin’s last “little q,” missing the final despite running faster than two “big Qs” from heat No. 3.
Men’s heptathlon day one report
Jacob Sobota had a personal best in the heptathlon long jump, equaled his PB in the heptathlon high jump, and turned in a season-best heptathlon shot put. Sobota sits in ninth place, one spot outside the scoring positions, through four events with the 60m Hurdles, pole vault, and 1000m to be contested on Saturday.
Simi Akinrinsola’s weight throw season-best 65’4”/19.91m was good for ninth place, one spot outside the scoring positions. Akinrinsola moved up a spot to No. 5 on the UK all-time list.
A new DMR team consisting of Phoebe McCowan, Christal Mosley, Jenna Schwinghamer, and Tori Herman finished the evening with a fifth-place finish and a time of 11:13.18 to place No. 9 on the UK all-time indoor performance list.
The men’s DMR team made of Dylan Allen, Justin Swann, Alex Justus, and Jake Allen also took fifth place with a season-best 9:42.50.
At the end of day one, the women’s track and field team find themselves in third with 28.33 total points while the men sit tied for fifth with Auburn (Ala.) at 18 points.
The Wildcats will wrap up the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships tomorrow from the Tyson Indoor Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The meet will be broadcast on SEC Network+ live streams, and SEC Network linear will air the meet replay on Sunday afternoon.
|Friday, February 24|
|Women||Pent. 60 Hurdles||Final||9. Annika Williams: 8.80, season-best | 952 points|
|Women||Pent. High Jump||Final||1. Annika Williams: 5’10.00”/1.75m, season-best, | 953 points|
|Women||Pent. Shot Put||Final||2. Annika Williams: 43’3.75”/13.20m, season-best | 741 points|
|Women||Pent. Long Jump||Final||2. Annika Williams: 20’1”/6.12m | personal-best | 887 points|
|Women||Pent. 800 Meter||Final||4. Annika Williams: 2:20.76 | personal-best | 813 points|
|Pentathlon Total||1. Annika Williams: 4346 points | 173 personal-best, new school record by 161 points 10 points|
|Friday, February 24|
|Men||60 Meters||10. Jacob Sobota: 7.22 | 806 points|
|Men||Long Jump||7. Jacob Sobota: 23’0.5”/7.02m | personal best | 818 points|
|Men||Shot Put||7. Jacob Sobota: 41’10.50”/12.76m | season-best | 653 points|
|Men||High Jump||7. Jacob Sobota: 6’3.50”/1.92m | equal personal-best | 731 points|
|Day One Total||9. Jacob Sobota: 3008 points|
|Saturday, February 25|
|Friday, February 24|
|Men||Pole Vault||Final||1. Keaton Daniel: 17’8.5”/5.40m – 10 points
6. Dalton Shepler: 17’0.25″/5.20m – three points | personal best, No. 5 on UK all-time indoor performers’ list
|Men||Weight Throw||Prelim/Final||8. Logan Coles: 66’05.75”/20.26m | personal-best, No. 5 on UK all-time indoor performers’ list | 1 point
9. Michael Browning: 64’01.00”/19.53m
11. Dennis Ohene-Adu: 63’04.75”/19.32m
|Men||Mile||Prelim||3. Dylan Allen: 4:04.25Q | season-best|
|Women||Mile||Prelim||10. Phoebe McCowan 4:49.74q
18. Ally Kruger: 4:57.95
|Men||60 Meters||Prelim||2. Jordan Anthony: 6.64Q
16. Langston Jackson: 6.78
|Women||60 Meters||Prelim||18. Victoria Perrow: 7.42
21. Anthaya Charlton: 7.45
|Men||400 Meters||Prelim||7. Wayne Lawrence Jr.: 46.10q | season-best, No. 3 on UK all-time indoor performers’ list
32. Brandon Nyandoro: 48.55 | personal-best
33. Beck O’Daniel: 48.92 | personal-best
|Women||Pole Vault||Final||2. Siobhan Szerencsits: 14’1.75”/4.31m | season-best | 8 points
8. Payton Phillips: 12’11.75”/3.96m |0.33 points
|Women||400 Meters||Prelim||9. Dajour Miles: 53.06
16. Christal Mosley: 53.27 | personal-best
|Men||Long Jump||Prelim/Final||11. Jordan Turner: 24’10.50”/7.58m | personal-best | No. 7 on UK all-time indoor performers’ list
15. Robert Springfield III: 24’6.25”/7.47m
|Men||800 Meters||Prelim||16. Justin Swann: 1:51.18|
|Women||800 Meters||Prelim||6. DeAnna Martin: 2:05.25q | personal-best
7. Jenna Schwinghamer: 2:05.30
11. Sydney Steely: 2:07.40
15. Bryanna Lucas: 2:10.14 | season-best
|Women||Long Jump||Prelim/Final||3. Anthaya Charlton: 21’5.25”/6.53m | personal-best, No. 2 on UK indoor all-time list | 6 points|
|Women||Weight Throw||Final||9. Simisola Akinrinsola: 65’04.00”/19.91m | personal-best, No. 5 on UK all-time list|
|Women||60 Hurdles||Prelim||1. Masai Russell | 7.90Q
6. Yasmin Brooks: 8.18q |equals season-best
|Men||5,000 Meters||Final||16. Aaron Withrow: 14:43.71
18. Jackson Watts: 14:46.32
|Men||200 Meters||Prelim||5. Kennedy Lightner: 20.66q
7. Brandon Miller: 20.74q
11. Jordan Anthony: 20.91
17. Langston Jackson: 21.34
|Women||5,000 Meters||Final||16. Kaylie Kenne: 17:16.77|
|Women||200 Meters||Prelim||11. Karimah Davis: 23.18
27. Victoria Perrow: 24.03
29. Tamiia Fuller: 24.11
|Men||DMR||Final||5. UK (Dylan Allen (1200m), Justin Swann (400m), Alex Justus (800m), Jake Allen (1600m)): 9:42.50 | season-best | 4 points|
|Women||DMR||Final||5. UK (Phoebe McCowan, Christal Mosley, Jenna Schwinghamer, Tori Herman): 11:13.18 | 4 points|