Harrison is 60 meter hurdles National Champion as UK women finish in top five

champion

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Kendra Harrison became Kentucky’s first-ever 60-meter hurdles National Champion, leading the Wildcats to a school-record team finish — fifth overall — at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Arkansas’ Randall Tyson Track Center.

Kentucky finished with 35 points, which was also a school-record total. Arkansas, the meet host, won the women’s NCAA Championship with 63 points. Oregon finished second with 46.5, Georgia placed third with 37.

Florida claimed the fourth and final podium place with 36 points, one ahead of Kentucky.

The UK men’s team finished 38th on five points. Bradley Szypka picked up four points in the shot put and Keffri Neal earned one point in the mile.

Harrison, the top-seed entering the meet, vanquished her prior NCAA-Championship demons running a Tyson Center Record 7.87 to edge Florida’s Bridgette Owens by .01 seconds. She broke her school-record and ran .05 seconds better than her previous personal best, 7.92, set two weeks ago en route to the SEC Title.

Harrison’s time was the fifth fastest in collegiate history, and made her the No. 3 collegiate performer all-time in the 60m hurdles. She sits behind only reigning 100m hurdles World Champion Brianna Rollins and two-time U.S. Champion Virginia Crawford (née Powell) on the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s all-time collegiate list.

Dezerea Bryant claimed the Bronze Medal in the 200m with a time of 22.86, which won her section — considered the slower section based on Friday’s qualifying times. Florida’s Kyra Jefferson won the NCAA 200m Title in 22.63 and Oregon’s Jenna Prandini placed second in 22.74. Bryant earned six points in the 200m.

Sha’Keela Saunders finished as Kentucky’s top individual scorer for the meet after she placed sixth in Saturday’s triple jump. Her top jump 42-feet, 9.5 inches/13.04m earned three points after she tallied eight with a Silver-Medal long jump on Friday.

Fourth-place came down to the 4x400m relay with Florida reeling in UK on the last turn.

Kentucky ran 3:33.17 to place seventh overall in the three-section relay final. Morganne Phillips led off in 54.10, Bryant ran an eye-popping 51.75, Harrison gave UK a fighting chance passing two runners to run a head-turning 52.35 and Graham anchored in 54.98. The Cats scored two points in the relay.

Bryant placed seventh in the 60m with a time of 7.27. She finished the meet having scored 10 points.

Saunders earned the Silver Medal and Kenyattia Hackworth placed fifth in the long jump on the first day of the NCAA Championships.

Oregon won the men’s NCAA title with 74 points.

Kentucky finished in the NCAA Women’s Indoor Top 5 for the first time ever, and the top 10 at NCAA indoors for the third time ever (2014 and 1989).

Szpka placed fifth in the shot put with a mark of 63’6″/19.35m. Neal ran 4:04.93 for eighth place in the mile.

A post-produced condensed version of the Championships will air on ESPN on Sunday, March. 22 at 7:30 p.m.

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