LEXINGTON, Ky. The numbers don't lie. The 2015 Rod McCravy Memorial Track and Field Meet was billed as the best regular-season meet of the year in the lead-up, and the performances that went down inside Nutter Field House the past two days substantiated the initial hype.
A staggering nine athletes ran world-leading times.
Furthermore, 15 athletes posted the best time/mark in the NCAA in their respective events, and 67 of the times/marks that now rank in the top-5 of each respective event this season came at the McCravy.
Fourty-two percent of the times/marks, which rank No. 1 in the NCAA happened this weekend in Lexington.
"You had all the national powerhouses in the same place," UK head coach Edrick Floréal said, "They call it the 'Pre-National Meet,' which was what I wanted. I wanted to elevate the sport in Lexington and give our athletes a chance to bring the best people here to compete so they would have a chance to measure themselves.
Seventeen meet-records were broken, and nine Nutter Field House-records went down an impressive number considering the facility has hosted the Southeastern Conference Championships five times previous. More facility records could be in jeopardy in a month's time when the building will again be the setting for the SEC Meet, which is widely considered the nation's best conference championships.
"We also wanted to show we can run a high-class, high-caliber event. I think today changed a whole lot in terms of impressions of our University when it comes to hosting high-class track and field meets."
Indeed some of the brightest stars in collegiate, let-alone world track and field, shined bright on the UK campus this weekend.
Among them was Oregon's sophomore sensation Edward Cheserek, who has won five NCAA Individual Titles in a year-plus of college. Cheserek blew away an elite 3,000m field on his way to a world-leading time of 7:49.56, which set meet and facility records.
Another track young gun who entertained the Lexington crowd was Baylor's Trayvon Brommell, who set the world-junior record with a 100M time of 9.97 en route to the NCAA Championship last June. He blazed down the back straight-away of Nutter Field House to win the 60M in a world-leading time of 6.54.
Neal Outclasses Top-Notch Field In front of Home Fans
Keffri Neal was the Wildcats' top performer on Saturday. He defeated a stacked 800-meter field in what could have been the most-competitive half-mile of this season prior to the NCAA Championships.
Neal ran an indoor personal-best of 1:48.52 to outrace a field, which included Forida's Ryan Schnulle, and Arkansas' Patrick Rono, who sandwiched Neal to finish 2-3-4 in the 2014 NCAA Outdoor 800M Final in June.
The Canadian senior's time currently ranks No. 2 in the NCAA, and made Neal the No. 4 indoor 800M performer in UK history.
Wildcats show strong early form on McCravy Saturday
Sha'keela Saunders, who on Friday posted a NCAA-leading long jump mark, finished third in the triple jump. Her personal-best mark of 42'11.75"/13.10M, which is the No. 6 mark in the NCAA this year. Saunders' triple jump ranks No. 2 on the UK all-time performers' list, to go along with the long jump school-record she broke on Friday.
Bradley Szypka began to show the form that took him to the SEC Shot Put Title and All-America status last indoor season, with an indoor-personal best throw in a stacked shot competition.
Szypka finished fourth, but his fifth attempt, which traveled 64'6.75"/19.68M increased his grip on the status as the No. 2 all-time performing Wildcat, and brought him within a foot of the school record.
Sha'Keela Saunders leapt to the collegiate-leading long-jump mark of 21'5.25"/6.53M on Friday. Saunders' top-ranked jump gave UK a total of three NCAA-leaders in this early season.
Dezerea Bryant, the defending NCAA Champion, ran the world-leading 200M time of 23.12 last Saturday at the Kentucky Invitational one month after running what remains the world-leading 300M time of 36.70 (not a NCAA event).
Bryant did not compete this weekend.
In all, Kentucky athletes have turned in eight performances, which rank inside the NCAA top-5 this season so far.
Other results involving Wildcats
Sophomore Nick Anderson finished fourth in the men's 60M hurdles with a time of 7.88, breaking his personal record of 7.90.
Leah Nugent finished fifth in the 60M hurdles with a time of 8.37.
Kentucky's lineup of Janmine Mitchell, Morganne Phillips, Angelica Whaley and Ariah Graham finished sixth in the women's 4x400M relay with a time of 3:39.44. The five higher finishers produced all five of the fastest times in the country this year.
Junior Rebecca Famurewa finished sixth in women's shot put with a throw of 49'4.25"/15.0M. Famurewa won the weight throw on Friday with a school-record improving mark of 70'10.75"/21.61M, which is the No. 4 mark in the country.