Marta Paces Kentucky on Night One of SEC Outdoor Championships

Posted at 11:46 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 23:46:03-04

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior Elijah Marta used a one-foot-two-inch javelin personal best to place fifth and score the Kentucky track and field team’s first four points of the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships on Thursday at John McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus.

Marta hit a PB on his last throw of the six-throw series to move into fourth place, but was passed by Texas A&M’s Sam Hardin a few positions later to be knocked back into fifth where he finished. The All-American’s mark of 233’6”/71.17m improved Marta’s No. 2 mark on the UK all-time performers’ list.

Six Wildcats advanced out of preliminary track rounds into Saturday finals on Thursday.

Abby Steiner paced the 200-meter qualifiers with the top time of the heats, 22.79wQ (+2.1). Kianna Gray also advanced to the final with a time of 22.92Q (+2.0) to win her prelim heat in a season best.

Two Wildcats made the men’s 200m final as well as Dwight St. Hillaire ran 20.73q (+1.0), fifth fastest of the prelims and freshman Jacob Smith ran 20.84wq (+2.2), seventh best of the nine qualifiers.

Two Wildcats made the women’s 400m hurdles final with Faith Ross getting third best of the rounds with a 58.23Q and Masai Russell sixth best (59.13Q).

Cole Dowdy placed 15th in his first career 10k running 31:17.79.

Caitlin Shepard, Kelli Walsh and Sarah Michels placed 19th, 21st and 23rd respectively in the women’s 10k.

The meet resumes at 1 p.m. ET on Friday and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The SEC Championships will be streamed live on SECN+ Friday at 7 p.m. The meet will air live on the SEC Network Saturday at 6 p.m. The broadcast talent includes Dwight Stones, Larra Overton, Jill Montgomery and John Anderson.

Meet format
The name of the game at the SEC Championships is scoring points by virtue of top-eight finishes. First place scores 10 points in each event, and the point correlations reduce down to one point for eight place.

The team that accrues the most points at the end of the meet wins.

Peripherally, this weekend will serve as the last chance for individuals and relay teams to record marks that will rank inside NCAA Preliminary Championships-qualifying positions on individual-event Division I rankings lists (top-48 for individuals and top-24 for relay teams in each of the two regions (east and west) that will qualify for the NCAA Preliminary Championships in two weeks.

Pre-meet primer
A total of 16 SEC men’s and women’s track and field teams are ranked among the nation’s top-25 teams, according to the latest national rankings announced Monday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The Kentucky women’s team is No. 4.

Florida won both the men’s and women’s titles last year in Knoxville, Tenn. It was the sixth SEC crown for both programs. Tennessee has claimed a league-leading 25 SEC men’s titles, while LSU has claimed a league-leading 13 SEC women’s titles.

The UK women’s team tied for sixth place with 70 points, and the men’s team placed seventh with 54.33 points at the SEC Outdoor Championships last season.

The UK women’s team finished sixth in the team standings with 51 points, and UK men’s team finished ninth on 31 points at the 2019 SEC Indoor Championships – at Arkansas’ indoor facility in March.

UK had three event victories at the SEC Outdoor Championships last year – two by individual hurdlers who turned professional following the season. The UK women’s 4x400m relay are the defending SEC Champions with Faith Ross the lone returner from that squad.

UK’s women’s 4x100m relay, which returns Celera Barnes and Kianna Gray from last years’ squad took silver a year ago. Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile Excel was bronze medalist in the triple jump at SECs outdoors last May.

Dwight St. Hillaire and Daniel Roberts claimed SEC silvers in the 400m and 110m hurdles respectively a year ago, and Noah Castle took bronze in the discus.

Tickets are available for purchase, with all-session passes $25 for adults and $10 for students.


Meet: 2019 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Site: Fayetteville, Ark.

Venue: John McDonnell Field

Dates: Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11, 2019


SEC Network + Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET)

SEC Network + Friday (7 p.m. ET)

Television:SEC Network (Saturday 6 p.m. ET)


UKTF @ 2019 SECTF Outdoor Championships  
Thursday, May 9  
Thursday Track Events Round Start List  
Men 800 M Prelims | 3 heats

9 Advance: Top 2 Each Heat Plus Next 3 Best Times

10. Ben Young: 1:50.62   Men 200 M Prelims | 5 heats

9 Advance: Top 1 Each Heat Plus Next 4 Best Times

5. Dwight St. Hillaire: 20.73q (+1.0)

7. Jacob Smith:  20.84wq (+2.2)

37. Cameron Council: 21.99 (+1.9)

  Women 200 M Prelims| 5 heats

9 Advance: Top 1 Each Heat Plus Next 4 Best Times

1. Abby Steiner: 22.79wQ (+2.1)

4. Kianna Gray: 22.92Q (+2.0) | SB

17. Chloe Abbott: 23.61 (+0.8) | Wind legal SB

18. Celera Barnes: 23 .73w (+2.1)

20. Janie O’Connor: 23.79w +3.6

  Men 400 M Hurdles Prelims | 3 heats

9 Advance: Top 2 Each Heat Plus Next 3 Best Times

17. Will Walker: 54.03   Women 400 M Hurdles Prelims | 2 heats

9 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat Plus Next 3 Best Times

3. Faith Ross: 58.23Q

6. Masai Russell: 59.13Q

  Men 10000 M Final 15. Cole Dowdy: 31:17.79   Women 10000 M Final 19. Caitlin Shepard: 36:10.60

21.Kelli Walsh: 36:42.04

23. Sarah Michels: 38:09.36

  Thursday Field Events Round Start List   Men Hammer Finals 10. Charles Lenford Jr.: 207’2”/63.15m | 12’9” PB (No. 4 on UK all-time list)   Men Javelin Finals 5. Elijah Marta: 233’6”/71.17m – 4 points, 1’2” PB (improves No. 2 mark on UK all-time list)   Friday, May 10 Time Friday Track Events Round Start List 6:00 PM Men 110 M Hurdles Prelims | 2 heats 9 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat Plus Next 3 Best Times Ht. 1 | Ln. 2: Daniel Roberts | Ln. 6: Tai Brown


Ht. 2 | Ln. 5: Caleb Wilt

6:15 PM Women 100 M Hurdles Prelims | 2 heats
9 Advance: Top 2 Each Heat Plus Next 3 Best Times Ht. 1 | Ln. 3: Faith Ross


Ht. 2 | Ln. 3: Masai Russell

6:40 PM Men 1500 M Prelims | 3 heats
12 Advance: Top 3 Each Heat Plus Next 3 Best Times Ht. 1  | Ln. 1: Kendall Muhammad | Ln. 8: Gabe Szalay


Ht. 2 | Ln. 6: Ben Young

7:00 PM Women 1500 M Prelims   7:20 PM Men 400 M Prelims | 4 heats
9 Advance: Top 1 Each Heat Plus Next 5 Best Times Ht. 1 | Ln. 3: Dwight St. Hillaire | Ln. 6: Nathaniel Bann 7:45 PM Women 400 M Prelims | 5 heats
9 Advance: Top 1 Each Heat Plus Next 4 Best Times Ht. 5 | Ln. 4: Chloe Abbott 8:10 PM Men 100 M Prelims 8:35 PM Women 100 M Prelims | 4 heats
9 Advance: Top 1 Each Heat Plus Next 5 Best Times Ht. 2 | Ln. 4: Abby Steiner

Ht. 3 | Ln. 2: Tatiana Aholou | Ln. 3: Janie O’Connor | Ln. 6: Celera Barnes

Ht. 4 | Ln. 8: Kianna Gray

9:00 PM Men 3000 M Steeplechase Final Matthew Thomas, Brennan Fields, Dylan Allen 9:20 PM Women 3000 M Steeplechase Final Perri Bockrath, Rachel Boice, Mallory Liggett Time Friday Field Events Round Start List 12 PM Women Hammer Finals Molly Leppelmeier 4:30 PM Women Long Jump Finals | 2 flights Fl. 1: Tatiana Aholou

Fl. 2: M-J Ebwea-Excel, Zhane Smith

5 PM Men High Jump Finals Rahman Minor 6:05 PM Women Pole Vault Finals Jaci Bickett 6:20 PM Men Shot Put Finals | 1 flight Charles Lenford Jr., Noah Castle, Josh Sobota 7:05 PM Men Long Jump Finals | 2 flights Fl. 1 | Robbie Springfield 8 PM Women Shot Put Finals Nicole Fautsch, Molly Leppelmeier Saturday, May 11   Time Saturday Track Events Round Start List 5:05 PM Men 4×100 M Relay Final UK 5:15 PM Women 4×100 M Relay Final UK 5:25 PM Men 1500 M Final TBD 5:35 PM Women 1500 M Final 5:45 PM Men 110 M Hurdles Final TBD 5:55 PM Women 100 M Hurdles Final TBD 6:05 PM Men 400 M Final TBD 6:15 PM Women 400 M Final TBD 6:25 PM Men 100 M Final 6:35 PM Women 100 M Final TBD 6:45 PM Men 800 M Final 6:55 PM Women 800 M Final 7:05 PM Men 400 M Hurdles Final 7:15 PM Women 400 M Hurdles Final Ross, Russell 7:25 PM Men 200 M Final St. Hillaire, Smith 7:35 PM Women 200 M Final Steiner, Gray 7:45 PM Men 5000 M Final Fields, Warren, Muhammad, Thomas, Dowdy 8:05 PM Women 5000 M Final Shepard, Walsh 8:30 PM Men 4×400 M Relay Final | 2 sections Sec. 2 | Ln. 8: UK 8:40 PM Women 4×400 M Relay Final | 2 sections Sec. 2 | Ln. 3: UK Time Saturday Field Events Round Start List 12:30 PM Men Discus Finals  | 2 flights Fl. 2 |Charles Lenford Jr., Josh Sobota, Noah Castle 2:30 PM Men Triple Jump Finals | 2 Flights Fl. 1 | Robbie Springfield 2:45 PM Women Discus Finals | 2 Flights Fl. 2 | Nicole Fautsch, Molly Leppelmeier 5:00 PM Men Pole Vault Finals Joseph Jardine, Matthew Peare, Lincoln Young 5:15 PM Women Triple Jump Finals | 2 Flights Fl. 1: Zhane Smith
Fl. 2: M-J Ebwea-Excel 5:45 PM Women High Jump Finals Carly Hinkle, Ellen Ekholm