Gruver and Camacho-Quinn show out in Kentucky Invitational


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

Despite the cold and snow, fans showed up to support UK’s track and field team when it hosted the Kentucky Invitational in the Nutter Field House Friday and Saturday.

The Kentucky women’s team starts the 2018 indoor season ranked No. 9 and the UK men’s team is ranked No. 18.

After UK captured the NCAA outdoor pole vault championship last year, Cats fans were ecstatic to see Olivia Gruver on pole vault.

“I love competing at home,” Gruver said after the meet. “I’m so used to it here. I love it when I get the support from my teammates and everybody comes here.”

Gruver won by clearing 15’1”/4.60m in the indoor event. She set a school record and tied the No. 7 performance on the absolute collegiate list, and she tied the No. 4 indoor pole vault record.

“I felt really smooth,” Gruver said. “I felt relaxed, and it just went great.”

However, Kentucky fans were left slightly disappointed for another reason.

UK fans were anticipating watching Bowerman Award hopeful freshmen Sydney McLaughlin make her home debut. Unfortunately, a minor illness kept her from competing in the 400 meters. However, she did compete in the 4×400 relay, in which UK finished second.

Dwight St. Hillaire crossed the line first in the men’s 400 meters, with a time of 46.55. St. Hillaire’s time gave him UK’s third place all-time indoor record.

Kentucky alumna Kendra Harrison captured first in the women’s 60-meter hurdles in 7.82. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn crossed the finish line second and the first collegiate athlete to finish with a time of 8.10.

Latavia Coombs landed in first in the women’s triple jump at 42’1.5”/12.84m. 

Carly Hinkle placed third in the women’s high jump (5’7.25”/1.71m), and Tim Duckworth finished third in the men’s high jump (6’10.75”/2.10m).

In the women’s 60-meter, UK alum Javianne Oliver ran a 7.20 giving her the win. Celera Barnes finished second in 7.45. UK alum Sha’keela Saunders finished fourth in 7.59, and Kayelle Clarke finished in fifth with a time of 7.58.

In the men’s weight throw, David Cline landed in third, followed by Logan Bryer in fourth.

UK will host another indoor event in the Nutter Field House on Feb. 3. The team will be in Clemson, South Carolina, next weekend for the Clemson Invitational.