The Kentucky Wildcats athletics department has had a record year, going deep into multiple tournaments in multiple sports. Most recently, the Kentucky Wildcats baseball and softball teams made runs in their respective NCAA tournaments. Well, Big Blue Nation must make more room for a successful athletic accomplishment, this time turning to the world of outdoor track and field. Sha’Keela Saunders, a redshirt freshman from Suffolk, VA, competed in the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this morning in the long jump event. On her final jump, the freshman recorded a distance of 20-11.25 (or 6.38 meters), which was good enough for a silver medal finish. Check out what UKathletics had to say about the second place finish below.
The freshman – who was the East Region Champion two weeks ago with a school-record mark of 21-feet, 1¼ inches/6.43 meters – equaled that mark on her third attempt. The jump proved to be her best of the evening as she reached 20-5¾/6.24m three times, and soared 20-11¼/6.38m on her final attempt.
Saunders became Kentucky’s highest-ever finisher in the NCAA long jump. Ola Sesay, whose school record Saunders broke, was sixth in 1999.
Saunders entered the final three attempts tied for the lead with Oregon’s Jenna Prandini, but the Duck sophomore recorded the winning mark of 21-6/6.55m on her fifth attempt.
This latest accomplishment further solidifies the improvements that the University of Kentucky’s athletic department has made since Mitch Barnhart’s arrival, something that has proved beneficial for both the University of Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation as a whole.