UK track & field brings home 10 medals from SEC Indoor Championships


2016 NCAA Champion, Olivia Gruver, attempts to break collegiate records for women’s pole vaulting at Nutter Field House in Lexington, Kentucky. on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Photo by Josh Mott | Staff.

Cody Ryan

At the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships, UK’s No. 3 women’s track and field team finished third out of 14 teams with 74 points and UK’s No. 11 men’s team came in sixth out of 13 teams with 45 points.

The Cats reached the podium 10 times during the competition: four gold, one silver and five bronzes. Eight of the medals came from the women’s team while the other two came from Jacob Thomson (gold) and Tim Duckworth (bronze) on the men’s side.

After running a personal best (50.97) in 400-meter qualifiers on Saturday, freshman Sydney Mclaughlin ran a 50.52 to win gold in the 400 meters on Sunday. Mclaughlin’s time is a world junior record, freshman record, SEC record and the No. 2 NCAA fastest time.

Olivia Gruver set an SEC Championships indoor record in pole vault and sat atop the podium by clearing 15-feet-3.75-inches/4.67 meters. Gruver’s height was the second highest clearance by a collegian indoors.

Defending champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won gold in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.98 seconds.

Thomson finished fourth in the 3000 meters to pick up five points on Saturday, just missing the podium. However, Thompson would redeem himself the next day by winning gold in the 5K with a time of 13:49.50.

Katy Kunc won bronze in the women’s 3K, running a personal best at 9:17.60. Kunc made the podium twice by winning silver in the 5000 meters on Sunday with a time of 16:20.70.

Anchored by Mclaughlin, the Kentucky women’s team got a third-place podium spot when it ran 3:31.96 in the 4×400 meters.

Duckworth earned bronze in the long jump, in which he leapt a season-best 25-feet-6.75-inches/7.79 meters.

Kayelle Clarke got on the podium by having the third best time in the 200-meter dash. Clarke’s time of 22.83 was a personal best and moved her to No. 2 on UK’s all-time performers’ list.

Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile had a personal record of 45-feet-7.75-inches/13.91m when she won bronze in the women’s triple jump.

UK’s track and field team will return to Texas A&M’s campus in two weeks to compete in the NCAA Championships on March 9-10.