Masai Russell wins gold in hurdles at SEC Indoor Championships


Michael Clubb

A University of Kentucky track and field athlete gets ready for a race during the Jim Green Invitational at the Nutter Field House on Saturday, January 12, 2019, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Kentucky Kernel

Sebastian Rios, Contributor

Kentucky track and field finished a successful showcase at the SEC indoor championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, over the weekend. The Wildcats finished the weekend with nine medal winners with four coming on Friday and five coming on Saturday. 

The Arkansas Razorbacks hosted the event that started on Friday.  

Graduate student Masai Rusell put on a clinic in the womens hurdles to take home the gold medal. Russell broke the SEC championships and facility records, leading to her first 60-meter hurdles conference title. Russell’s time of 7.77 was only .02 seconds off her own record that she set in January at Lubbock, Texas.  

“I wanted to come out with the win. I’ve always been like second or third at SECs so to finally come out on top and win is just a blessing. All my hard work has truly paid off… So it’s about truly trusting the process and honestly trusting your training and trusting your coaches because no one would have expected me to be putting up the numbers that I have been putting up. But it just takes time,” Russell told John Anderson of the SEC network broadcast.  

The Wildcats have been on a roll with the 60-meter hurdles, winning five of the last 10 golds in the competition. 

Apart from Russell, the Wildcats had several other athletes take home medals in Fayetteville.  

Freshman Jordan Anthony took home the silver medal in his first ever SEC final. Anthony competed in the 60-meter hurdles and had a finishing time of 6.57, which was .02 seconds off his own record of 6.55. Anthony’s score of 6.55 ranked within the top 10 in the country.  

In the mens mile, fifth-year senior Dylan Allen brought home the bronze with a finishing time of 4:05.26. In the womens 3k, junior Tori Herman took home the bronze with a finishing time of 9:12.21, a new season best.  

There were also several other significant events that the Wildcats took place in.  

Sophomore Luke Brown placed fourth in the mens triple jump with a score of 54-feet-9.25-inches/16.69 meters, breaking his own school record. Brown earned the Wildcats five points with his performance.  

In the mens shot put, graduate student Josh Sobota placed fourth with a finishing score of 64-feet-four-inches/19.61 meters to earn the Wildcats five points.  

In the womens 800-meter, senior DeAnna Martin passed two runners in the final 60 meters to place fifth with a final time of 2:05.83, earning the Wildcats four points with her performance.  

Sophomore Brandon Miller and senior Kennedy Lightner went 6-7 in the mens 200-meter with Miller posting a personal best time of 20.68, which moved him to fourth place on the UK all-time indoor list, while Lightner posted a time of 20.73.  

Sophomore Phoebe McCowan placed seventh in the womens mile, posting a personal best time of 4:45.82.  

Senior Yasmin Brooks posted a time of 8.24 in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, scoring one point to add to Russell’s 10 points she scored in the event.  

Graduate student Jacob Sobota, brother of Josh Sobota, posted a score of 5,478 in the mens heptathlon, giving the Wildcats one point.

To end the night, the womens 4-by-400-meter posted a season-best score of 3:28.39, which had the team place third for the second season in a row. It was eventually disqualified however, which bumped it down to seventh place, finishing with 51.33 points.  

Next up for the Wildcats is the NCAA Championships on March 10th in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Cats will be looking for another successful showing.