Gibbs-Francis, Obino, Burke, & Hansen All Walk-On at UK

Track and Field Announces Walk-on Class of 12
Wildcats’ Incoming Class Now at 49

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Twelve non-scholarship additions to the Kentucky track and field and cross country roster were announced by head coach Edrick Floreal on Friday.

Nine men and three women make up the newcomers joining UK for the 2013-14 season. Three of the new Wildcats are college transfers, while the other nine come to Lexington from the high school ranks.

Three of the new Wildcats announced on Friday have combined to win five high-school state championships. 

UK's incoming class is now made up of 49 (33 men and 16 women) newcomers who hail from 17 states.

The entire class of newcomers now fetures 22 high-school state champions with more than 55 state titles between them. 

John Burke – Transfer – Centre College – Louisville, Ky.
John Burke will join UK as an experienced distance runner having competed at Centre College the past two years. He was a NCAA Division III Regional competitor in cross country. Burke was a cross country all-conference selection in 2012. He owns a 3,000-meter steeplechase best of 10:09.12, a 5k best of16:16.0 and a cross country 8k best of 26:01.36.

Paul DeGregorio – Transfer – Duquesne University – Pittsburgh, Pa. 
A distance specialist with two seasons under his belt at Duquesne. DeGregorio specialized over 3k at Duquesne as his collegiate-best performance 8:55.60 came in a top-5 finish at the Bucknell Team Challenge. He also brings academic success to UK having made the Duquesne Athletics’ Honor Roll the past two seasons.

Brandon Embody – Crespi High School – Encino, Calif.
A high potential pole vault prospect with experience at some high profile prep meets including the Mt. SAC Relays. His personal best clearance is 15 feet 8 inches / 4.778m to win the 2013 ASICS Mt. Carmel Invitational. His top clearance ranks No. 22 in the nation for high school vaulters in 2013.

Jordan Gibbs-Francis – Fort Campbell High School – Fort Campbell
Jordan Gibbs-Francis Comes to UK as one of the top quarter-milers to come out of Kentucky in some time. Gibbes-Francis Class A 400m State Champion and a member of the winning Class A 4x400m relay team . He also helped lead his team to the Class A State Team title. He was the state bronze medalist in the 200m. He owns a 400m best of 48.57 and a 200m PR of 21.95. Gibbs Francis was also a top-10 finisher in the State Championship triple jump with a PR 40’ 11” / 12.48m.

Brian Isanda (Obino)  - Somerset High School – Somerset, Ky.
Brian Obino joins the UK ranks of horizontal jumpers as a newly crowned Kentucky High School Triple Jump Champion. Class A State Champion in the triple jump with a PR 45’  /  13.7m. He recently won the USATF Kentucky meet in both the long jump and triple jump. He was a top-10 finisher at the state meet in the long jump. His long jump PR is 21’3.75” / 6.5m.

Zach Kuzma – Cheyenne Mountain High School – Colorado Springs, Colo.
Kuzma will look to reinforce UK’s men’s middle distance and cross country ranks in 2013. He qualified for the Colorado State Championships in three events (800m, 1,600m and 3,200m) in 2013. He won events at five separate meets this past season. Kuzma. He owns a 1,600 meters personal best time of4:32.10, and 3,200m PR of 9:47.12, 5k best of 15:52.00 and a 800m PR of 1:59.83.

Cole Oliver – Holy Trinity Academy – Melbourne, Fla.
Cole Oliver is a middle distance prospect, who was one of the top prep runners in Florida last season. He placed second at the Florida state meet after winning Region Three. His 1,500m PR is 4:24.27, his 3k best is 9:09.47 and his half mile PR is 2:03.97. He won the 3,200m at the FSU Relays and he ran a 1,600m PR at the Florida Relays.

Sean Willard – Midlothian High School – Chesterfield County, Va.
Sean Willard will join UK’s distance group as a quality prospect out of Virginia. He has produced at some of the top levels of the Virginia prep ranks including a top-10 finish at the 2012 state cross country meet, a top-15 time at the Virginia Outdoor Championships at 1,600m and a top-20 performance at 2012 New Balance Nationals. He was also an selection for cross country in 2012.

Raine Wireman – Fairland High School – Proctorville, Ohio
Raine Wireman joins Kentucky as a distance prospect out of Ohio with experience at some of the highest levels of track and field and cross country in that state. His 1,600m PR of 4:21.03 came in a top-10 performance at the AA State Championship after he had won his Regional Championship in the event. He also produced a top-10 finish at the Midwest Meet of Champions in the 800m. His PR in that event is 1:56.56.

Amy Hansen – Notre Dame Academy – Park Hills, Ky.
Amy Hansen is one of the top middle distance prospects out of Kentucky. Hansen placed third in the Kentucky State Meet with a 1,600m PR of 5:09.41. She was also eighth at the state meet in the 3,200m with a PR 11:19.85. She was a Class AAA All-State selection, and regional champion in both the 1,600m and 3,200m. She was a top-15 finisher at the 2012 State Cross Country meet, and also turned in a top-20 finish at 2013 New Balance Outdoor Nationals in the 2k steeplechase.

Lauren Kahre – Transfer – South Carolina – Carmel, Ind.
Lauren Kahre will join UK’s women’s distance group with experience in the SEC. She has competed at top-quality cross country meets such as NCAA Pre-Nationals. She owns a 3k PR of 10:46.48 and a 5k PR of 18:40. As a high school athlete Kahre was a member of the Carmel cross country team that won the state high school championship three years during her career. She contributed to her team's seventh place finish at the Nike Cross National Championships in Portland, Ore. Kahre is also a two-time state champion in track, winning the 4x800 relay in both 2011 and 2012.

Brandi Walker – Rancho Bernardo High School – Poway, Calif.
Brandi Walker joins UK as an accomplished throws prospect out of the state of California. She owns a discus personal best throw of 35.05m/115 feet and a shot put PR 12.68m/41’6.5”. Walker competed at the California State Championships this past season in both the shot put and discus, with a top-10 performance in the shot put. She won the California Palomar League Titles in both the shot put and discus the past two seasons.