April 25, 2010

Courtesy of Kentucky

Philadelphia, Pa. - In front of a Penn Relays record crowd of 54,301 fans the University of Kentucky track and field team finished among the top-six in each event entered including wins in the men's triple jump and the women's 4x400-meter relay at Franklin Field on Saturday.

The day began early for two Wildcats David Banks and Steve Crouse who competed in the men's triple jump at 9:00 a.m. ET. In spite of the early start Banks took control of the event with a jump of 50-05.50/15.38m as he moved into first place where he would end the event. Crouse also had a respectable outing with a mark of 48-01.75/14.67m setting a new personal best and finished in sixth place.

Much later in the day after an intense session of USA vs. the world the UK women's 4x400m relay team took to the track in front of a crowd like nothing you will ever see for a collegiate meet. Stepping up to the challenge the combination of Jazmyn Shorter, Jenna Martin, Brittany Cabbler and Precious Nwokey cut more than three seconds off their preliminary time to claim victory with a final time of 3:37.83. On their way to the win the foursome defeated Southeastern Conference opponents Florida, Mississippi State and South Carolina.

The men's 4x100m Championship of America included the toughest field of any event Kentucky athletes were placed in and in addition to that difficulty UK would be without senior leader Kwasi Obeng due to injury. Freshman Ben Mason was the alternate for the race and filled in nicely with Alex Williams, Rondel Sorrillo and Sean Lange. With a time of 40.42 they finished just .03 slower than yesterday even with a rearranged team and were able to come away with a sixth place finish.

"I told the women's 4x4 last night `let's take advantage of the second chance we were given' and they went out and successfully represented the Big Blue Nation," Sprints Coach Erin Tucker said. "They did an awesome job and I am so proud of those ladies. I am equally happy and excited about the men's 4x1 that had two freshmen, a sophomore and a senior who ran against the best in the nation and did very well. They showed they can run toe to toe with the best."

Another great performance came from Kentucky's 4x800m relay team who came up just short in one of the most exciting finishes of the day. The team consisted of Josh Nadzam, Patrick McGregor, Jeremy Zagorski and the anchor leg was run by Sharif Webb. Webb was part of the exciting finish as he started the final lap well behind but gained ground consistently until he came into the stretch passing Clemson for the lead. Everything looked good until Army passed Webb on the outside in the final 20 meters giving UK a second place finish.

The Kentucky track and field team will be back in action at the Jesse Owens Track Classic in Columbus, Ohio April 30 - May 1.

Penn Relays
Philadelphia, Pa.
Pos. Event Athlete Year School Time/Mark
6 Men 4x100m Relay Team A Kentucky 40.42
2 Men College 4x800m Championship Team A Kentucky 7:27.93
1 Men College Triple Jump David Banks Jr. Kentucky 50-05.50/15.38m
6 Men College Triple Jump Steve Crouse Jr. Kentucky 48-01.75/14.67m
1 Women College 4x400m Relay Final Team A Kentucky 3:37.83