EUGENE, Ore. – The Kentucky women’s track and field team finished as the national runner-up, the program’s best-ever finish, at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships in front of 11,734 fans inside Hayward Field on Saturday, June 13. Meet-host Oregon edged Kentucky 59-50. Texas A&M scored 47, Arkansas had 43 and Georgia was fifth with 41 points. Seniors Kendra Harrison and Dezerea Bryant, the duo so responsible helping turn the Wildcats into a national track and field power, led UK on Saturday with each turning in their best performances as collegiate competitors. “It was a group effort,” third-year head coach Edrick Floréal said. “Nine points short is not bad in year three. Now we have to find a way to get the next color trophy.” Harrison won the 100-meter hurdles NCAA Title and Bryant won the 200m Championship with a time of 22.18, which is the non-altitude collegiate record and the second fastest wind-legal time in NCAA history. Bryant edged hometown favorite Jenna Prandini in a photo finish, running a time which ranks No. 3 in the world this season. Bryant’s also defeated previous NCAA Champions Kamaria Brown (Texas A&M) who was third in 22.24 and Kyra Jefferson (Florida) who was fourth in 22.24. Bryant was the 2014 NCAA Indoor 200m Champion. “I wasn’t expecting it,” Bryant said of winning the 200m. “The only thing that was going through my mind was ‘just finish the race and lean as hard as you can.’ I wasn’t worried about anyone else, my main focus was finishing. I saw Jenna (Prandini’s) leg so I was just like ‘stay relaxed and try to finish as best you can.’ “ Harrison scored a team-high 18 points for the meet, as she finished as Silver Medalist in the 400m hurdles for the second year in a row. Her total was the second best of anyone at the meet behind only Prandini (24 – won 100m, second in 200m and third in long jump). Bryant claimed the Bronze Medal in the 100m to finish with 16 points for the meet, which tied her with Arkansas’ Dominque Scott and Wisconsin’s Kelsey Card for the third most of any competitor at the NCAA Championships. Harrison completed the 2015 NCAA short hurdles double as she won the 60m hurdles indoors in March. She ran 12.55, to become the third fastest woman in the history of the NCAA Championships. Her personal best of 12.50, at the Southeastern Conference Championships last month made her the third fastest woman in NCAA history at any meet, a place which she also holds in the 60m hurdles.
Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics