Five NCAA events coming to Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The University of Kentucky will play host to five NCAA events – one national championship and four preliminary round competitions – from 2020-22 in the sports of rifle, outdoor track and field, men’s basketball, cross country and gymnastics, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

“We are honored to earn the right to host these five NCAA events in the coming years,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “Hosting in the postseason is important to reaching the elite status we are pursuing and I would like to thank our staff for all the hard work that goes into hosting championship-caliber events. We are proud to continue to show off the city of Lexington by bringing thousands of visitors to our community through these events.”

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Here is a list of the events in the order they will occur:

-Rifle – The rifle national championship will be held in the Nutter Field House on March 13-14, 2020. UK has played host to several regional qualifiers but this will be the first time that the championship will be held in Lexington.

-Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field – The East Regional will be May 28-30, 2020, at the UK Track and Field Complex. UK is also hosting the East Regional this year, set for May 25-27.

-Men’s Basketball – Rupp Arena will be a site for the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds on March 19 and 21, 2021. This will be the 13th time that the NCAA tourney – first/second rounds, regional or Final Four – has been played at Rupp.

-Men’s and Women’s Cross Country – For the first time, UK will play host to a cross country regional, with the event set for Masterson Station Park on Nov. 12, 2021.

-Women’s Gymnastics – For the fourth time in school history, Memorial Coliseum will be the site for a women’s gymnastics regional on April 2, 2022. UK also held the event in 1989, 1997 and 2010.

Ticket information for the events will be announced later.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.