Jayhawks Set to Host Bill Easton Classic Saturday
Jan. 3, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field will host its first meet of the 2013 calendar year, The Bill Easton Classic, on Saturday, Jan. 6 in Anschutz Pavilion. The meet will feature 15 different schools from across the Midwest, as well as several track clubs and individual competitors. The meet is slated to begin at 1 p.m., and conclude at approximately 5:30 p.m. Admission is free to the public.
KU_Track Quick Hits
- The Jayhawks open the 2013 calendar year at the Bill Easton Classic and in their home indoor facility for the fourth-straight year dating back to 2009.
- Senior Paris Daniels leads the nation in both the 60 meters (7.32) and 200 meters (23.62) after a stellar performance at the season-opening Bob Timmons Challenge.
- is slated to compete in her first competitive triple jump since claiming a bronze medal in the event at the U.S. Olympic Trials last June. A year ago she hit the best wind-aided mark of any American in 2012, jumping to 46-5.75 ft. at the NCAA West Prelims.Andrea Geubelle
- The 2013 KU women return nearly 90 percent of the scorers that led the 2012 team to a NCAA runner-up indoor finish and fourth-place outdoor finish.
- Sprinter Kyle Clemons will run in the Crimson and Blue for the first time this season. He enters the year in rare company as he is one of only two Jayhawks to ever post a sub-45.5 second 400 meters. His PR of 45.44 is just .06 behind the 32-year-old school record, held by Deon Hogan.
- Now in his 13th year as Kansas’ head coach, Stanley Redwine is seeing an average of 10 athletes per season earn First Team All-America distinctions.
- Sophomore Michael Stigler, the 2012 Big 12 Conference Freshman Track Athlete of the Year, returns one year removed from breaking KU’s 37 year-old 400-meter hurdle record and claiming a Big 12 title.
- At the Bob Timmons Challenge in December, sophomore high jumper Colleen O’Brien claimed her fifth indoor collegiate victory with the clearance of 5-8 ft., the second-highest of her indoor career.
- Each member of the women’s 4x400m relay team of Denesha Morris, Paris Daniels, Taylor Washington and Diamond Dixon is back after running the eighth-fastest relay in NCAA indoor history (3:31.36) in their Big 12 Championship performance last February.
Happy New Year!
Kansas will try to continue its strong start to the 2013 campaign after a month off from competition. Within its 2013 men’s and women’s rosters, Kansas returns nine First Team All-Americans from a season ago, including NCAA Indoor National Champions Diamond Dixon and Andrea Geubelle. Also returning on the women’s side is senior long jumper Francine Simpson, who tallied All-America honors in the indoor and outdoor long jump as well as the indoor and outdoor Big 12 titles in the event.
On the men’s side sophomore hurdler Michael Stigler is back after an outstanding freshman season, which saw him claim the conference championship in the 400-meter hurdles as well as advance to the final of the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.
Last Time Out
Senior sprinter Paris Daniels broke two facility records en route to claiming two individual titles at the Bob Timmons Challenge, KU track & field’s season opening meet on Dec. 6, 2012. Eight other Jayhawks were victorious in individual events, as were all four relay teams.
Other winners on the day were Alena Krechyk (weight throw), Brendan Soucie (3,000m), Anastasiya Muchkayev (shot put), Michael Stigler (600yd), Jonathan Fuller (high jump), Colleen O’Brien (high jump) and Nick Seckfort (800m).
Women Ranked Third by Track & Field News
With the return of two NCAA champions as well as nine of the 10 All-Americans from a year ago, the Kansas women’s track & field team is ranked third on Track & Field News’ Collegiate Dual Meet Preseason Rankings it was announced in early January.
Jayhawks Flying at the Top of the NCAA
Kansas saw many of its athletes put up nation leading performances at the season-opening meet in December. Jayhawks find themselves ranked in the NCAA top-10 in 14 events including Paris Daniels (60m, 200m), Demi Payne (pole vault) and the women’s distance medley relay team who each boast the best marks in the nation.
A year ago Jayhawk men and women ended the indoor and outdoor seasons ranked in the NCAA top-10 in 17 events and No. 1 in three events.
Incoming freshman sprinter and long jumper Sydney Conley comes from quite the track & field family tree. Her father, Mike Conley, Sr., won the ’92 Olympic gold medal in the triple jump and still holds the indoor American record in the event. Her brother, Mike Conley, Jr., the starting point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, was an all-conference player at Ohio State. Conley is also the niece of Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine, who was a four-time All-American while a middle distance runner at Arkansas in the early 1980’s.
The Fayetteville, Ark., native will make her collegiate debut Saturday in the 60 meters and the long jump.
Jayhawks Invading the Record Books
At the start of the 2013 season, a total of 11 indoor and outdoor school records are currently held by Jayhawks on the active roster, all of them women. As is no surprise, Diamond Dixon and Andrea Geubelle hold both the indoor and outdoor KU records in the 400 meters and triple jump, respectively. Alena Krechyk has been consistently topping her own school record in the weight and hammer throws for two seasons now. Senior Heather Bergmann sits atop the KU modern-day javelin charts after breaking the record last season. And the women’s 4×400-meter relay, which is comprised of all returners, holds the indoor and outdoor marks by quite a wide margin.
For as many Jayhawks as hold school records, there are even more that are not too far off. Senior Paris Daniels is less than a second from breaking Nickesha Anderson’s indoor 200-meter time, junior pole vaulter Demi Payne‘s top clearance is only three inches from Amy Linnen’s 2005 indoor record and senior long jumper Francine Simpson only needs to improve upon her indoor PR by an inch to etch her name in the school record books.
Muchkayev Makes National Headlines
Freshman thrower Anastasiya Muchkayev don’t necessarily make U.S. headlines but was highly publicized in her home country of Israel after her performance at the Bob Timmons Challenge on Dec. 6, 2012. The native of Be’er Sheva, Israel, hit a shot put mark of 53-1 ft. to win the event in her collegiate debut. The mark was not only a personal best but broke the Israeli national record in the event.
After downing Israel’s outdoor shot put and discus records early in 2012, Muchkayev was named the Israeli Track & Field Athlete of the Year in late December.
The women’s team will be chalk chalked? full of veteran leadership this season as the 2013 roster features 34 upperclassmen, including 13 seniors, out of its 45-woman roster.
On the flip side, the men’s team is still in the middle of a youth resurgence as 31 Jayhawks are either sophomores or younger on the men’s 55-person roster.
Both the men’s and women’s teams in 2013 feature a large batch of home-grown talent as the majority of the athletes on each roster hail from the Sunflower State. Thirty KU men and 16 Jayhawk women call Kansas home, with the next-most prolific state, Missouri, boasting a combined 12 natives.
Kansas also has a handful of international athletes, all on the women’s team. Seniors Francine Simpson and Denesha Morris are both from Jamaica, while senior Alena Krechyk is a native of Belarus. Newcomers Natalia Bartnovskaya and Anastasiya Muchkayev are the newest international additions with Bartnovskaya making the trip from Krasnoyarsk, Russia and Muchkayev a native of Be’er Sheva, Israel.
Head coach Stanley Redwine has taken Kansas track & field to a level it hasn’t seen in quite some time during his 12 years at the helm. During Redwine’s tenure, he has seen 73 indoor and outdoor Big 12 Champions, 117 First Team All-Americans and 11 NCAA Champions come through his program at KU.
Redwine’s teams have also collected a combined five top-10 NCAA team finishes, including last year’s indoor runner-up finish for the KU women.
KU_Track Athlete to Watch
Demi Payne – Anshutz Pavilion has been pretty good to Payne over the last few seasons. The junior has won four-consecutive titles in the building dating back to last season and she doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Her winning clearance at the season-opening Bob Timmons Challenge measured 4.10m (13-5.25 ft.), which is tied for the highest vault in the NCAA this year.
In Coach Redwine’s Words
After a month off from competition, what are you and the other coaches most anxious to see out of the athletes?
“I want to see where our conditioning is. Over the holidays it’s always tough because some people don’t have access to tracks and facilities where they can run, or jump or lift. It’s just about the condition they’re in when they get back so we can get them back to where they need to be.”
Some athletes will be making their season debuts on Saturday, who are you excited to see get out there?
“I’m honestly anxious to see all of them. It’s really just an issue of how much they have lost since the fall semester and hopefully we haven’t lost much, if any. Now we can come back and correct some of the things we did poorly in the December meet and get better from there.”
Paris Daniels started her senior season strong in December, where are you expecting her to go from here?
“It’s tough to say because, like everyone, she didn’t have as much access to a track as she’d like, so I can’t say for sure what level she will be at. I know she’s a great competitor and she’s going to compete well regardless.”
The athletes will now have two weeks to practice with no restraints of school, how does that benefit both the athletes and coaches?
“It’s really great because we’re able to train and get back in shape. We can focus on a regimen of training, resting, training, resting, eating and training again. That’s what the athletes will be doing over the next few weeks. This time is to get them back in shape and in a right mindset to compete at the top levels.”
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