After two frustrating years, Kayla Parker’s collegiate track and field career took off in 2013.
A coaching change at the University of Kentucky brought Parker, who had been working in the heptathlon her sophomore year, back to her specialty, the 100 meter hurdles and both indoors and outdoors the former Port St. Joe athlete burned bright.
After posting the top 60-meter mark in the country early in the 2012 indoor season, Parker posted the 11th best 100 meter hurdle time outdoors in the spring.
She qualified for the NCAA East Prelims and ultimately the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Oregon.
She was one of just four Lady Wildcats to qualify for the national championships.
Parker finished in the top 15 and is ranked number two all-time in school history in the event.
Earlier this month, Parker, now a senior, opened the 2013-14 indoor season as she did the year prior, smashing the 14-year old University of Kentucky record for the 60 meter dash with a time of 8.24, the fastest in the country so far this season.