By Adam Warner
With Februaryâ€™s finish line looming, a group of UK athletes will compete this weekend hoping to catch a little March Madness.
But these Cats donâ€™t hammer it out on the hardwood â€” they comprise the track and field team.
This weekend, UKâ€™s Nutter Field House will play host to this yearâ€™s Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships. The event rotates every year to a different SEC indoor track facility.
Senior Chase Madison is one of the many UK athletes that will participate. Madison will be looking to defend his SEC title in the discus, earning the conference crown in 2008â€™s outdoor meets.
Also, the menâ€™s 4×400 meter relay team will be looking to improve on their run last year, where the outdoor foursome finished third in the NCAA, setting a school-record time of 3:02.00.
UK head coach Don Weber believes that the SEC is the fastest conference in the country.
â€œ(The SEC) is the most competitive conference in the country in terms of sprints,â€ Weber said. â€œOn any given day, someone could win â€” only hundredths of a second separate first place from sixth.â€
Three athletes currently on UKâ€™s roster, including senior sprinter Jose Acevedo of Venezuela, competed in last summerâ€™s Olympics in Beijing. Assistant track coach Erin Tucker, who coaches sprints and hurdles at UK, was asked by the Venezuelan National Team to serve as a guest coach.
Senior sprinter Jose Acevedo anchored last seasonâ€™s 4×400 meter relay, which finished third at the NCAAâ€™s outdoor nationals. The Southeastern Conferenceâ€™s Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held this weekend at UKâ€™s Nutter Field House. Photo by David Coyle | Team Coyle Photography
Even though three of Weberâ€™s athletes earned experience on the worldâ€™s biggest stage, Weber is still taking a modest approach to the SEC championships. With zero injury issues and the right frame of mind, Weber thinks the team is prepared to bring a new tilt on March Madness to Lexington.
â€œWe can only be as good as we set out to be,â€ Weber said.