FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., and AMES, Iowa. Keffri Neal became the fourth Kentucky Wildcat to break four minutes in the mile, as he recorded a time of 3:58.02 at the Iowa State Classic on Saturday.Neal, who is undefeated in the 800m this season and the defending Southeastern Conference Champion in the indoor half-mile, now ranks second on the UK all-time performers' list in the mile behind Matt Hillenbrand (3:57.0), who graduated last season after winning each of the past two SEC Mile Titles.
Neal ran the 800m at the Iowa State Classic a season ago, setting a then-personal best of 1:49.05. He has come a long ways since then, having won two SEC Titles and a NCAA Bronze Medal in that time, in addition to having lowered his 800m PR by three seconds.
The British Columbian will now have two weeks to fine-tune his racing ahead of a hosting role at the SEC Championships, beginning on Feb. 27.
“"The exclusive sub-four-minute mile club is an accomplishment that can either define or springboard a career," UK head coach Edrick Floréal said. “We believe this is a sign of great things to come for Keffri. The timing couldn't be better as we approach the championship portion of the season. He and his teammates are moving in the right direction and poised for big things."
The Wildcats also got some strong performances at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Saturday.
Chief among them was Keilah Tyson who completed a solid weekend, and more broadly two weeks of sprints.
After running a season best in the 60m on Friday, Tyson placed ninth in the invitational 200m with an indoor PR of 23.47.
Tyson was part of UK's 4x400m relay along with Morganne Phillips, Ariah Graham and Jasmine Mitchell, as that quartet ran a season-best time of 3:37.54, which ranks fifth on the UK all-time performance list.
Spencer Hrycay broke the UK freshman 3k record with a time of 8:16.57 to place third.
Aundrea Busse placed second in the Tyson Invitational 3k with a season best 9:31.89. The time ranks ninth on the UK all-time list. Katy Kunc was fifth in 9:38.07.
Sha'Keela Saunders finished sixth in the women's invitational triple jump with a best mark on her final attempt (42'8.25"/13.01m). Bradley Szypka placed seventh in the invitational shot put with a best throw of 62'5"/19.02m.
Kentucky will next compete in two weeks, when UK hosts the 2015 SEC Indoor Championships inside Nutter Field House.