UK's Varga Captures Spot at Nationals

The Cats added another athlete to the list of NCAA Track & Field Championship qualifiers at the Mideast Regional meet in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday. After a day of scattered thunderstorms on Friday, Saturday's weather was partly cloudy and mild, as junior Ildiko Varga qualified in the women's discus.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Cats added another athlete to the list of NCAA Track & Field Championship qualifiers at the Mideast Regional meet in Bloomington, Ind., Saturday. After a day of scattered thunderstorms on Friday, Saturday's weather was partly cloudy and mild, as junior Ildiko Varga qualified in the women's discus.

Varga recorded a fifth-place qualifying heave of 174-06 with her second toss in the finals, and added four points to the women's points total. Last year at the Mideast Regional Varga earned runner-up honors and went on to finish seventh at nationals.

Senior Gennessa Guzman recorded a career-best throw of 167-11 in the discus. Guzman improved on her previous career-best by over one foot, but was one place shy of an automatic bid to nationals, as she finished sixth. The Covina, Calif., native has a chance to compete at nationals, as she will be part of the at-large group considered for advancement based upon season-best performances.

Wildcat junior Dedrick Tillerson ran a solid 400-meter hurdles race, passing two competitors in the last 25 meters to finish sixth. Tillerson's time of 51.63 was his second-best performance of the season, but was one place from automatically qualifying for nationals. The Henderson, Ky., native added three points to the men's team total for Kentucky and will also be a part of the at-large group that has a chance to advance to nationals.

In the women's 5,000-meter run, which was postponed from Friday night to Saturday morning due to inclement weather, senior Allison Grace competed well, finishing with a time of 16:47.66. That time was good enough for 11th place, but was not enough to advance to the national meet.

The men's 4x400-meter relay team ran extremely well with a trio of freshmen, finishing fourth in the first heat with a time of 3:09.22. Junior Dedrick Tillerson led off for the Cats, followed by freshmen Justin Harrison, Stephan Smith and Gabe McLaren. The foursome finished 10th over-all and did not advance to nationals.

The women's squad finished 26th with seven points, while the men concluded the meet in 14th with 16.50 points.

Senior Jeff Chakouian and Varga will compete next in Sacramento, Calif., at the NCAA Track & Field Championships on June 8-11. The NCAA is scheduled to announce the at-large bids on Tuesday, May 31.

Mideast Regional Results - Day Two

Women's 5,000 meters - Finals
Allison Grace 16:47.66 11th

Men's 400-meter hurdles - Finals
Dedrick Tillerson 51.63 6th

Women's Discus - Finals
Gennessa Guzman 167-11 6th
Ildiko Varga 174-06 5th

Men's 4x400-meter - Finals
Justin Harrison, Gabe McLaren, Stephan Smith and Dedrick Tillerson 3:09.22 10th

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