No. 2 Tennessee amongst elite teams UK will host tomorrow

By Patrick Kenkel

Today and tomorrow UK will host the annual Rod McCravy Memorial Track and Field meet, the Cats’ last home meet of the season.

It promises to be one of the team’s greatest challenges. Several ranked teams will compete, including Tennessee, ranked No. 2 in both men’s and women’s track and field.

UK has hosted the Rod McCravy Memorial meet for the past 15 years. The event is named after UK track star Rod McCravy, who died at 19 while still competing for the Cats. McCravy set the UK freshman record for the 400 hurdles and finished sixth at the TAC National Junior Championships.

Several of last season’s stars are returning to build on last year’s accomplishments, including Jenna Martin.

“I’m definitely shooting to reach the finals in each event this year,” said Martin, who reached the national semifinals in the 400-meter dash last year.

Jose Acevedo, a member of last year’s All-American 400 relay team, is also looking to improve on last year’s performance. Acevedo said he hopes to break 47 seconds on the 400-meter dash this year, and the Rod McCravy Memorial meet is his first opportunity to do so.

One highlight of the season will be watching the highly touted freshman class. National Track and Field magazine ranked UK’s freshmen as the top recruiting class in the nation. Head coach Don Weber believes this year’s freshmen could help make something great.

“In 1996 we were third in the SEC and sixth in the NCAA,” Weber said. “And I believe this is the best team since then, and I think this is the foundation for our best team ever.”

This is the team’s third meet of the season, but Weber believes the team may have underachieved.

“I was a little disappointed with where we were two weeks (ago),” he said. “I think a lot of it, for some of the new people and some of the older people too, it was nerves. We’re a lot further on now.”

Field events for the meet begin at 5 p.m. today at the Nutter Field House, and the track events begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.