What you missed: UK sports during the offseason

By Joshua Huff

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Offseason notes.

After the UK Women’s Outdoor Track and Field team wrapped up its 2015 season as National Runner-Ups in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, it concluded a busy and successful year for UK sports.

Here’s a rehash of what’s happened since the spring semester ended:

· Senior hurdler Kendra Harrison won the 100-meter hurdles NCAA Title, and sprinter Dezerea Bryant set the non-altitude collegiate record in the 200m Championship. Bryant also set the second fastest wind-legal time in NCAA history. UK finished nine points behind Oregon, 59-50, in the NCAA Championship.

· Despite a poor regular season record, (32-26), UK Softball blew through the Notre Dame Regional with three-straight wins against Notre Dame, Ball State and Northwestern, but fell short against Florida, the eventual national champions, in the Super Regionals in two games.

· Trevor Gott, a product of Tates Creek High School and UK Baseball’s career and single-season record holder in saves, was called up last week to the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels. It was his first big-league call up. Gott pitched one inning with one strikeout in his debut game against the Oakland Athletics on June 14.

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· Women’s soccer head coach Jon Lipsitz has had a busy, yet successful offseason. He signed two transfers to a team that finished 16-6-1 in 2014. Mexican National Team starter Tanya Samarzich, who suffered a foot injury in a friendly against Canada, joined UK after she left USC in 2013 to train with the National Team. Lipsitz also added Penn State sophomore transfer Katy Keen, who appeared in 22 games for the Nittany Lions.

· Former UK guard Jennifer O’Neill went undrafted in the 2015 WNBA Draft, but was signed by the Minnesota Lynx. She earned a spot on the 12-person roster and has played five games for the Lynx, averaging 14 minutes and five points per game.

· On Monday, UK Basketball freshman Isaiah Briscoe was named one of 16 finalists for the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team. Briscoe’s previous USA Basketball experience came when he helped Team USA win a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

· A new synthetic turf design was installed in the nearly-completed Commonwealth Stadium. The surface is the same as was used in the 2013 and 2014 Super Bowls.