5 track and field athletes to compete for NCAA Championships

Staff report | @KYKernelSports

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Five athletes will compete for NCAA titles in track and field events.

This past weekend, members of the UK track and field teams attended qualifiers for a chance to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships, coming up this Friday.

The Cats split up, with the distance runners at Notre Dame competing in the Alex Wilson Invitational, sprinters and hurdlers at the Virginia Tech Invitational and shot putter Brad Szypka competing at the Iowa State Qualifiers.

At Notre Dame, the women’s distance medley relay team demolished UK’s school record with an impressive finish of 11:00.55 minutes, beating the previous school record by more than 17 seconds.

With this new time, the Cats women’s medley team maneuvered itself to qualify for the National Championships on Friday.

“I can’t be prouder of these young women. They exemplify the courage we want our team to display,” head coach Edrick Floreal told UK Athletics.

Cally Macumber and Chelsea Oswald, members of the medley team, enter field as the Nos. 3 and 10 seeds respectively in the women’s 3,000 meters.

Junior Keith Hayes also broke a school record while competing in the 60-meter hurdles at the Virginia Tech Invitational. In the semi-final heat, he crossed the finish line at 7.73 seconds, breaking the 7.74 record set by two-time Olympian Mikel Thomas in 2009.

Hayes then went on to win the qualifier meet with a time of 7.79 seconds, qualifying to compete in the NCAA Championships.

“Our student-athletes are growing in confidence, and they have started to realize their potential. I couldn’t be happier with how far we have come,” Floreal said.

Every competitor from UK posted a school-record or PR time at the Alex Wilson Invitational.

At the Iowa State invitational sophomore Brad Szypka was unable to better his PR shot put throw of 18.83m, finishing about one inch short from qualifying for the NCAA Championships with a throw of 18.05m.