UK Happenings

Kinesiology and Health Promotion sponsors Central Kentucky All-Comers Track and Field Series

The Central Kentucky All-Comers Series launched earlier this month with more than 100 competitors.
The Central Kentucky All-Comers Series launched earlier this month with more than 100 competitors. Photo credit, Asbury University.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 28, 2024) — Community members of all ages, abilities and experience levels can participate in track and field with the new Central Kentucky All-Comers Series.  

Registration is open for the next meet taking place Tuesday, July 2. The events are co-hosted by the University of Kentucky College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, John’s Run/Walk Shop and ASICS and takes place at Asbury University’s new track facility. 

“All-comers meets provide individuals a chance to try an event for the first time, to compete against others in a favorite event, to secure that PR (personal record) or to simply soak up the spirit and excitement of the experience,” said Hildi Nicksic, Ph.D., clinical associate professor in the UK Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. 

The Central Kentucky All-Comers Series launched earlier this month with more than 100 competitors. Performances in the inaugural meet on June 18 included a 1-year-old recording a 9-inch long jump; a 76-year-old racing the mile in preparation for an upcoming steeplechase; four athletes, from ages 18 to 44, running a sub-6-minute mile; an 11-year-old athlete completing a personal “octathlon” and a family of four running a 4x100-meter relay with a 3-year-old on the lead-off leg. 

“The informal nature of all-comers meets facilitates a special opportunity for community members to come together in a spirit of comradery for fun, but still official, participation in track and field,” Nicksic said. 

As a native of Eugene, Oregon, where “come one, come all” opportunities to participate in the sport of track and field have been taking place for more than 70 years, Nicksic is excited to bring all-comers meets to her new hometown. The vision for the Central Kentucky All-Comers Meets was realized through a collaboration between Nicksic, Randy Crist, Ed.D., a retired UK Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion faculty member and head track coach at Asbury University and Kellen Ague-Kneeland and Riley Marshall from John’s Run/Walk Shop. 

“Track and field is one of the oldest forms of athletic competition on record and is now a premier event in the modern Olympics,” Nicksic said. “But what I love about it is that there is truly something for everyone.”  

The second meet will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 at Asbury University. For $5, interested individuals can compete in the 50-, 100-, 400- or 800-meter; the long jump; and the turbo javelin as well as both relays (4x100-meter and 4x400-meter), where any four runners can create a team. All equipment is provided. Pre-registration is encouraged, but onsite registration is also available. While this first summer of implementation started small, the plan is to expand both number of meets and number of events offered at each meet in future summers. 

As spectators around the globe gear up to watch runners, jumpers and throwers compete for gold at the Olympic Games in Paris starting Aug. 2, Nicksic hopes community members will take the opportunity to experience competing first-hand. 

We want everyone to experience the fun of an all-comers meet and hope the Central Kentucky All-Comers Series becomes an annual tradition within the community,” she said. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.