[Moderated by Matt Jones]
The Payton Jordan Invitational attracts the best runners from around the country, professional and collegiate. Surrounded by such fast competition in every race, athletes are pulled along to career bests as they hang on to keep up with the world’s best. The UK athletes found themselves catapulted to amazing times in the Payton Jordan Invite as the prestigious meet lived up to its bill.
Luis Orta ran a career best 8:47.52 in the 3000 meter steeplechase. The Junior ran third place among collegiate athletes in his section, in doing so completed the second fastest Steeplechase run in UK history. As a reminder of how hard the steeplechase race truly is, runners complete 7.5 laps while jumping over 4 regular barriers and one water barrier each and every lap. Imagine running such a fast clip and having to worry about jumping over barriers. It’s tough.
Josh Nadzam ran an amazing race in the sixth heat of the Men’s 1500 meter run. The senior shattered his previous career best time with a 3:45.10. Nadzam finished 1st in his section with this astonishing run. Matt Hillenbrand was 6th place in his section with a time of 3:47.20. This is over a one second pr for the sophomore from St. Xavier High School in Louisville. Adam Kahleifeh came in behind the two studs in 8th place with a 3:55.11.
Megan Wright cranked out a career best 4:34.81 to finish 8th in her section of the Women’s 1,500 meter run. Wright managed to pass 5 runners in the final lap to secure her 8th place position.
Walter Luttrell demolished his 5k career best with a 14:11.79 in the Men’s race. Luttrell used a late surge to pass many runners like Wright did to place 10th in his section.
Keffri Neal and Robert Scharold both ran career best times out of the collegiate division in the Men’s 800 Meter Run. Neal finished first out of collegiate runners in his heat with a 1:51.04 and Scharold finished 3rd with a 1:51.90 in his section. Trent Halasek notched a fourth place finish right behind his two teammates as he ran a 1:52.89.
Allison Peare competed in her specialty event; the 800 meter run. Peare wasn’t able to get a career best but ran 2:09.13 en route to 7th place in her heat.
That completes the list of UK runners that competed in the Professional/Collegiate event out in California. The athletes are now off until the SEC Championships which begin on May 10 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That should make for a scorching hot meet. Stay tuned for updates on the Track team’s build up to the Conference Championships.
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