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Attack of The New Wildcats

TF2k24: Kentucky dominates Indiana Early Bird Meet

By Winners OnlyPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read
Alexis Glasco & Charity Hufnagle

For the third straight season and fourth out of the last six, we traveled Bloomington, Indiana to see the Hoosier Open.

Wait, we've gotta correct that, the meet known as the Hoosier Open seems to be no more. As change is always inevitable, Indiana has now created the IU Early Bird meet, that took place on Dec. 8. Continuing on the theme that is change, there were many All-Americans and other talents who were sporting new uniforms after transferring. There were also new freshmen who were beginning their collegiate careers at the Gladstein Field House.

We've been covering Kentucky's newest standout Charity Hufnagle since her early days at Ball State. During the 2023 outdoor season, her last at Ball State, Hufnagle, previously known as Charity Griffith won the NCAA Championship in the high jump.

We caught up with Hufnagle after the meet and asked her about her national championship and being a newly wed. She was all smiles, "[Being married] is great," she said. "[My husband] was actually here today." We asked her what was next, a question we've asked her for years. Once upon a time she was big on going pro and wasn't afraid to let us know it. This time around, Hufnagle said, "I guess we'll see." We followed by suggesting another NCAA championship and Hufnagle simply said, "Oh yeah."

The Rushville, Indiana native returned to her home state and opened her season in the 60-meter hurdles, long jump and shot put. Hufnagle qualified for the final round of the long jump (5.62) and shot put (12.08) where she recorded top five and seven finishes respectively.

One of her teammates, Alexis Glasco, also competed in her first meet as Kentucky Wildcat, after an All-American career at Coastal Carolina. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Glasco was a three-time Sun Belt Conference hurdles champ that also qualified for the NCAA championships on three occasions during her time at Coastal Carolina. At the Indiana Early Bird Invite, Glasco was one fourth of Kentucky's winning 1,600-meter relay squad at 3:45.99. She also was a runner-up in both the 60 meters and 60-meter hurdles.

Glasco placed second in the 60-meter hurdles to another new Wildcat, as freshman Emmi Scales recorded a finish of 8.29 for the win. That time is currently the seventh fastest in the NCAA. Scales later won the 200 meters at 24.94. Fellow Kentucky freshman Morgan Davis also earned a win in her collegiate debut with a mark of 6.06 in the long jump. She was also fourth (7.59) in the 60 meters final and seventh as part of the 1,600-meter relay Kentucky C-Squad.

A few regulars over the years were a part of change due to their absences. The last two years, we started the season with All-American thrower Jayden Ulrich who shined at Indiana from 2022 to 2023. She now throws for Louisville. We attended Louisville's first meet, Dec. 2, but Ulrich didn't participate. Another Indiana athlete who was missing in action was All-American long jumper Paola Fernandez-Sola.

Out due to a minor ankle injury, we caught up with her after the meet concluded. "We're working on [my ankle]," she said. "It's better. I could run full speed yesterday, so that's good. Nothing's broken. It was just overstretched. It was a little chubby, swollen, but it's better now." Fernandez-Sola said she will compete next month. This is her final stretch of collegiate sports as she doesn't have any outdoor eligibility remaining.

Other notable performers from the meet were Cincinnati's Spirit Morgan, who competed at last year's Hoosier Open. After transferring from Virginia State, she was a runner-up last season as an unattached competitor with a mark of 1.76. As an official member of the Cincinnati program, she went on to win the silver medal at the 2023 American Athletic Conference indoor meet in the high jump. At the Indiana Early Bird Invite she won the high jump at 1.79 meters, which is currently tied for 11th best in the NCAA.

Kentucky's Victoria Perrow, in her second season at Kentucky after leaving Georgia, where she competed as a sophomore, won the 60 meters. She clocked a time of 7.43 seconds which is tied for 10th best in the NCAA.


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