UK track breaks records


Senior Keffri Neal competes in the men’s 800 Meter Run on Saturday, January 24, 2015 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Hunter Mitchell

By Leslie Hobbs

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The Rod McCravy Memorial, arguably the top regular-season track meet in the nation, wrapped up on Saturday as UK walked away with school-records, national level placements and several personal bests.

Sophomore long-jumper Sha’Keela Saunders set a new UK and national record with her 6.53-meter long-jump. She remains undefeated on the season.

Saunders also finished third in the triple-jump competition on Saturday with a 13.10m distance. It was the second-longest triple-jump finish in school history.

Fellow sophomore hurdler Corey Williams had a successful meet as well, as his 7.22m long-jump was a career best.

Head coach Edrick Floreal said he was pleased with the way the team competed this weekend and that it has fewer improvements to make.

“If that long list of improvements can get smaller and smaller, that’s a good thing,” Floreal said.

Other UK standout performances at the event were senior Leah Nugent finishing in fifth place in the 60m hurdles, freshman Aundrea Busse placing third in the 5k with a new personal record and sophomore Nick Anderson setting his own personal best in the 60m hurdles with 7.88 seconds.

Floreal said the biggest improvement the team needs to make going forward is for everyone to give it their all.

“We don’t look for people to run a specific time or finish in a specific place. I just want them to compete and fight to the best of their ability,” Floreal said.

The coach alluded to senior shot putter Bradley Szypka, who finished in fourth place after throwing a season-best 19.68m, despite suffering a groin injury earlier in the event.

“Brad getting hurt and still finishing the meet and throwing almost a personal record; that’s what I want,” Floreal said.

Floreal added that when athletes give their best effort, everything else changes.

“I’m almost like on a Cal bandwagon,” Floreal said, referencing UK men’s basketball head coach John Calipari’s coaching mindset. “I just want energy.”

The Cats will be on the road for their next five meets, starting with the Virginia Tech Elite Meet on Feb. 6-7.