Track and Field to Make Annual Trek to Kentucky Meet Looking to Replicate Past Successes

MOREHEAD, Ky. –  For the fifth time in the last six springs, the Morehead State and field team will travel east on I64 to compete at the University of Kentucky. Over the years, the names of the meets have changed and this time it will be the Jim Green Invitational. It is a two-day affair that will take place on Friday and Saturday at the UK and Field Complex in Lexington, Ky.

In addition to MSU and the host Wildcats, 28 other teams are expected to compete: Akron, Asbury (Ky.), Bellarmine, Berea (Ky.), Bowling Green, Campbellsville (Ky.), Centre (Ky.), University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), Eastern Kentucky, Georgetown (Ky.), High Point, Indiana, Kennesaw State, Kent State, Kentucky State, Louisville, Madonna (Mich.), Michigan, Michigan State, Midway (Ky.), Northern Kentucky, Notre Dame (Ind.), Purdue, Transylvania (Ky.), Tulane, Union (KY), Western Kentucky and Xavier (Ohio). The meet is not expected to be scored.

Coach Clay Dixon is sending 33 athletes to participate in 15 events.

“(The) weather is looking good and I think people are ready for some breakouts,” he said. “We are excited to compete.”

The Blue and Gold has had success at Kentucky in the past.

In 2023, the Eagles featured 15 top-10 finishes. The year prior, the team set 18 “pr’s” and 13 season-best times.

Last spring, sophomore Abby Taylor was second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, crossing the line in 12:18.80. Fifth-year Jarrett Forrest (seventh in 9:54.41) and senior Peyton Fairchild (eighth in 9:55.53) also reached the podium in the men’s race.

Junior Lucy Singleton placed third in the 800-meter in 2:15.8; while senior Wes Grogan and redshirt junior Micah Gray finished fourth and fifth, respectively, also in the 800m. Grogan covered the course in 1:59.08, while Gray did so in 1:59.37. Junior Sam Lucas was not far back in seventh in 2:00.06. Senior Toby Cook ran the invitational 800m race and placed fourth in 1:54.81.

In the 1,500-meter , former Eagle Garrett Watts was sixth in 3:58.42, with senior Laikin Talton 10th in 4:35.39.

Junior Cloe Copas was fifth (11:19.50) and sophomore Christiana Brittian was sixth (11:55.45) in the 3,000-meter , with their male counterparts, recent graduate Justin Chavez (seventh in 8:56.16) and senior Justin Bland (eighth in 9:33.55), also faring well. MSU’s men’s 4×400-meter relay team rounded out the meet by placing fifth in 3:47.32.

Action will kick off on Friday with the women’s heptathlon and women’s hammer throw both at 12:30 p.m. MSU’s first event will be the women’s long jump at 3 p.m. Freshman Ginger Hayden is entered.

The races begin at 4:30 p.m., with the women’s 400-meter hurdles. The first Eagle to hit the will be freshman Cheyenne Stark at 5 p.m., for the 200-meter dash. The men will follow, with freshmen Derril Carr and Cade Sullivan representing the Blue and Gold. The starting gun will go off at 5:25 p.m.

Once again, Taylor will be racing in the 3,000m steeplechase. Her race begins at 6:10 p.m. The final events of the day are the women’s 1,500m, with freshman Taylor Allen, Copas, sophomore Hope Harris, sophomore Kaylyn Holman, senior Jennifer Ramirez, sophomore Casey Skaggs and freshman Emily Spradlin toeing the line for the Eagles. It will begin at 6:45 p.m. The men’s race will start at 7:15 p.m. and include Cook, fifth-year Kyle Embry, freshman Armando Montes and freshman Garrett West.

The rest of the Eagle contingent will be in action on Saturday. The heptathlon resumes at 10:30 a.m. Hayden returns for the triple jump at noon. It will be only the second time she will have competed in that event this spring. UK also will hold its Senior Day ceremony at noon.

The Eagles return to the track at 1 p.m. for the women’s 5,000-meter run. Junior Megan Bush and Tarlton are the lone MSU representatives. Bland, freshman Noah Bunting, Fairchild, Forrest, senior Alex Murray, senior Kyler Stewart, freshman Keghan Thompson and redshirt junior Jacob Vogelpohl are all entered in the men’s race at 1:30 p.m.

Carr and Sullivan will be back for the 100-meter dash. The race will begin at 2:40 p.m. with just the seven heats to determine the winners.

Stark and Gray will each run in the 400-meter dash. Stark’s race will be at 3:05 p.m., with Gray’s event starting at 3:30 p.m.

The women’s 800m will be run at 4:15 p.m., with the men following at 4:30 p.m. Freshman Lani Baskett, sophomore Natalie Curry, Holman, Ramirez, Singleton, freshman Brady Baker, Lucas, Montes and West will all toe the line for the Blue and Gold.

Again this week, Dixon will enter teams in the 4x400m relay. The women will be comprised of Stark, Holman, Ramirez and Curry. Their race will be at 4:50 p.m. The men’s foursome will include Carr, Baker, Sullivan and Gray. Their race is at 5 p.m.

Live results can be found at the link:

Next Friday and Saturday, the Eagles will compete in the Rick Erdmann Invitational at Eastern Kentucky. It will be Morehead State’s final meet before the Ohio Valley Conference Championships, which will run from May 9-11.

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