By Boyd Hayes | @KernelHayes
Competing in Lexington for the first time under new head coach Edrick Floreal, the UK indoor track and field team produced a strong performance Friday and Saturday in the Kentucky Invitational.
The Cats won four events and recorded eight top-three finishes over the two days.
UK picked up its first win of the weekend via the UK B team in the women’s distance medley, a relay composed of four legs of different lengths: 1,200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and 1,600 meters, in that order.
Giving the B team a strong start on the first leg was junior Allison Peare, who passed the baton to senior Shiara Robinson for the second leg.
Freshman Mary Kate Ponder ran well in the third leg, giving junior cross-country All-American Chelsea Oswald good position to pull away for the win in the final four laps of the race.
UK clocked a time of 11:30.19, nearly a whole second better than the Cats’ best time last season.
UK entered Saturday with the momentum of the victory and went onto further success in the form of three second-day wins.
Senior Cally Macumber, an All-American and SEC champion in cross-country, set a personal record with a time of 4:42.34 in the women’s 1-mile, ahead of senior Katy Achtien in second. Macumber’s time was more than three seconds faster than the previous fastest 1-mile in the nation this season.
Her victory was over a field that included two unattached 2012 Olympic trials competitors.
Junior Darryl Bradshaw came first in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, recording a time of 8.07 seconds.
This bested his second-place finish in the preliminary run of the event by a tenth of a second.
Sophomore Bradley Szypka gave the Cats one last win, throwing 18.36 meters in the men’s shot put.
The shot marked Szypka’s second straight victory after winning the event at the Hoosier Open and stands as the No. 4 shot in the nation.
Other notable UK finishers included sophomore Kadeem Kushimo, who came second in the men’s 400-meter race; junior Isiah Kent, who placed third in the men’s shot put; and sophomore Terence Boyd, who jumped 7.13 meters to seal second place in the men’s long jump.
Among the schools competing at the meet were: Louisville, Miami (Fla.), No. 11 Central Florida, Memphis, Marshall, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee State, Bellarmine, Eastern Kentucky and Kentucky State.
Leading the pack were Tennessee and Central Florida with six event wins apiece.
Louisville joined UK with four victories, with seven events being won by non-collegiate competitors.
UK’s track and field team next competes Friday, when it travels to Albuquerque, N.M., for the New Mexico Cherry and Silver Invitational.