Josh Sobota, Keaton Daniel set indoor school records to kickoff 2022-2023 season



Kentucky Wildcats thrower Josh Sobota participates in the 2022 Commonwealth College Opener on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at the Norton HealthCare Sports & Learning Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo provided by UK Athletics. Kentucky Track and Field competed at Commonwealth Opener. Photo by Ethan Rand | UK Athletics

Drew Johnson, Reporter

Kentucky track and field kicked off its 2022-2023 season on a good note this past weekend, dominating the 2022 Commonwealth College Opener.

The performance was highlighted by school records in both pole vaulting, courtesy of Keaton Daniel, and shot-put, courtesy of Josh Sobota

Daniel, a senior from Nevada, originally shared the pole vault record along with Matt Peare at 18 feet and 0.5 inches, but with his performance over the weekend he now holds the record all to himself after getting over 18 feet and 1.25 inches. He also now ranks second in the nation in pole vault.

Daniel is no stranger to the spotlight having earned numerous accolades for his athletic performances, being a two-time SEC outdoor gold medalist, 2021 and 20211 pole vault winners, an NCAA outdoor bronze medalist in 2022 and an NCAA outdoor silver medalist in 2021.

On the other hand, Sobota, a graduate student from Knoxville, Tennessee, also nabbed his first career school record with a shot-put toss of 66 feet and 5.75 inches, winning the meet by over seven feet. His performance notched him the top toss in the nation thus far this season.

The Wildcats as a team put together quite a performance with the entire squad winning 16 events in total.

Especially notable performances include the womens 200-meter final in which Kentucky snatched first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth all in a row with Masai Russell claiming the first-place spot. 

Russell also picked up wins in the 60-meter hurdles and 4-by-400-meter relay.

UK ultimately swept the aforementioned 4-by-400-meter womens relay, with runners Karimah Davis, Megan Moss and Yasmin Brooks joining Russell to finish with a time of 3:40.05.

The men also came in first in the 4-by400-meter relay with runners Brandon Miller, Wayne Lawrence Jr., Markevus Jackson and Kennedy Lightner putting up a time of 3:11.14, the fastest time in the NCAA so far this season.

The Cats also claimed second in the Men 4-by-400-meter relay thanks to the team of Beck O’Daniel, Justin Swann, Langston Jackson and Brandon Nyandoro.


A full list of Kentucky’s winners in the event can be found below:

-Josh Sobota: mens shot put (66 feet and 5.75 inches)

-Simi Akinrinsola: womens shot put (49 feet and 2.5 inches)

-Keaton Daniel: mens pole vault (18 feet and 1.25 inches)

-Sophie Galloway: womens triple jump (41 feet and 11.50 inches)

-Langston Jackson: mens 60-Meter (6.65) and mens 200-Meter (21.30)

-Masai Russell: womens 60-meter hurdles (8.11), womens 200-meter (23.51), womens 4-by-400-meter relay (3:40.05)

-Victoria Perrow: womens 60-meter (7.29)

-Katelyn Hutchinson: womens 400-meter (58.27)

-Brandon Nyandoro: mens 400-meter (49.38)

-John O’Donnell: mens 1000-meter (2:26.16)

-Justin Swann: mens 600-meter (1:20.50)

-Kennedy Lightner: mens 300-meter (32.85) and mens 4-by-400-meter relay (3:11.14)

-Karimah Davis: womens 4-by-400-meter relay (3:40.05)

-Megan Moss: womens 4-by-400-meter relay (3:40.05)

-Yasmin Brooks: womens 4-by-400-meter relay (3:40.05)

-Brandon Miller: mens 4-by-400-meter relay (3:11.14)

-Wayne Lawrence Jr.: mens 4-by-400-meter relay (3:11.14)

-Markevus Jackson: mens 4-by-400-meter relay (3:11.14)


The Wildcats will be looking to follow up on their impressive season opener on Jan. 13 when they compete in the Rod McCravy Memorial meet in Lexington, Kentucky.