Several former Kentucky track and field stars stole the show last week at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Headlined by Sydney McLaughlin – who managed two medals – former Wildcats finished with four total medals.
McLaughlin, who set a personal-best time of 52.23 in the 400-meter hurdles, finished with the silver behind only Dalilah Muhammad and her world record time of 52.16. She also went on to win a gold medal in the 4x400m relay with the United States, as her team recorded a time of 3:18.92 and beat second-place Poland by nearly three seconds. Individually, McLaughlin ran a 48.8-second leg in her portion of the relay.
Outside of McLaughlin, Keni Harrison also won a silver medal with her phenomenal showing in the 100m hurdles, recording a personal-best time of 12.46. She fell short of the gold medal by just .12 seconds following USA teammate Nia Ali’s 12.34 performance. Harrison won two NCAA titles and five SEC Golds between 2014-2015 at UK.
Dezerea Bryant earn a bronze medal in the 4×100 relay as her and the USA squad ran a 42.10, just behind Great Britain (41.85) and Jamaica (41.44). She also ran a 22.63 in the 200m final, placing her fifth after winning the U.S. Gold earlier this summer. The former Wildcat won two NCAA 200m gold medals and an SEC title between 2014-15 in Lexington.
Elsewhere, Canadian Michael Mason finished seventh in the high jump final with a mark of 7’6.5” (2.30m) while Sha’keela Saunders earned a ninth-place finish in the long jump final with a mark of 21’5.5” (6.54m), missing the final cutoff by two centimeters. Saunders won the NCAA Title in the indoor long jump in 2017, in addition to a SEC gold the year before.
It wasn’t just the athletes that stole the show, either. Kentucky assistant coach Tim Hall coached Christian Coleman, a Tennessee alumnus who trains at UK and mentors several of the current Wildcats, won the 100m in Qatar with a time of 9.76. With the victory, Coleman is now considered the fastest man in the world.
While the aforementioned former Wildcats and those associated with the program stole the show, a few others didn’t find as much success.
Former UK superstar Daniel Roberts won the third heat of the 110m hurdles, but was later disqualified for clipping a hurdle in the adjacent lane.
Great Britain star Tim Duckworth also suffered an injury prior to the men’s decathlon, forcing him to withdraw from proceedings.
All in all, though, it was an elite performance across the board for former Wildcats, with the Kentucky track and field program now boasting top-10 athletes in the world across eight different events.