KU Track & Field to Compete Friday at Jayhawk Challenge
Jan. 9, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field will host the first annual, Jayhawk Challenge on Friday, Jan. 11 in Anschutz Pavilion. The meet will feature 4 different schools from across the Midwest including cross-state rival, Kansas State. The meet is slated to begin at 3 p.m., and conclude at approximately 7:30 p.m. Admission is free to the public.
- Kansas is competing in the Jayhawk Classic for the first time. Over the past four seasons this second weekend in January was reserved for the Kansas vs. Missouri Dual Meet, but was discontinued this season.
- 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.
- Andrea Geubelle once again has found her way to the top of the NCAA triple jump list after leaping 13.16 meters in her first competition of the season at the Bob Timmons Challenge. Geubelle ended the 2012 indoor season ranked No. 1 as well.
- In his first action in the Crimson and Blue of the season, sprinter Kyle Clemons ran to a personal best and NCAA-leading time of 1:11.02 in the 600 yards to take home his first victory of the season.
- Sophomore Michael Stigler, the Big 2012 12 Conference Freshman Track Athlete of the Year, returns one year removed from breaking KU’s 37 year-old 400-meter hurdle record (49.45) and claiming a Big 12 title.
- At the Bill Easton Classic, freshman Tianna Valentine sprinted to her first collegiate win in the 60 meters. Her time of 7.49 is the fifth-fastest in school history.
- Sophomore Colleen O’Brien has now claimed six victories in the indoor high jump during her KU career and has never lost a competition inside Anschutz Pavilion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Kansas Women Ranked No. 2 in the Nation
With the return of two NCAA champions as well as nine of 10 All-Americans from a year ago, the KU women’s track & field team earned a spot on the annual U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason indoor national rankings list. The Jayhawks are ranked second in the nation entering the 2013 campaign, the highest preseason ranking for any Kansas team – men’s or women’s – since the rankings began in 2008.
The Jayhawks are the highest ranked of their conference brethren. KU joins Iowa State (#8), Texas (#14) and Baylor (#15) as Big 12 teams named to the preseason rankings.
Last Time Out
The Kansas women’s track and field team saw winners in all but one event Saturday, Jan. 5 at the Bill Easton Classic. Three Jayhawks posted NCAA-leading marks while 15 individual KU athletes and all four relays took home victories from Kansas’ first meet of the new year.
Pole vaulter Natalia Bartnovskaya soared to a new NCAA-leading mark (4.12m) en route to winning her first event in a Kansas uniform. Senior Andrea Geubelle climbed to the nation’s No. 1 spot in the triple jump after leaping 13.16 meters in her first triple jump competition of the year. Senior Kyle Clemons took part in the 600 yards and clocked in with a new personal best time of 1:11.02. His time is tops in the NCAA so far this season.
Sprinter Diamond Dixon is slated to make her 2013 debut Friday as she runs in the 600 yards and 4×400-meter relay. The junior is coming off quite the 2012 campaign. In addition to bringing home an NCAA Indoor title in the 400 meters, four conference championships and four First Team All-America honors, the Houston, Texas native became the first KU track & field athlete to bring home an Olympic gold medal since Jayhawk great Al Oerter in 1968.
Dixon was a member of the U.S. women’s 4×400-meter relay team which ran to gold in London. Dixon ran in the semifinals and helped her team to the fastest time ever in an Olympic 4×4 semifinal (3:22.09).
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 first two meets of the 2013 season. Fifteen Jayhawks currently find themselves ranked in the NCAA top-5 in 10 events including Paris Daniels (60m, 200m), Natalia Bartnovskaya (pole vault), Andrea Geubelle (triple jump) and the women’s distance medley relay team who each boast the best marks in the nation. Kyle Clemons also boasts a NCAA-leading time in the 600 yards.
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.
Jayhawks Invading the Record Books
With only two meets complete in the 2013 season, Jayhawks have already begun to move their way up the school’s indoor record books. Two KU women have already toppled some Anschutz Facility records; Paris Daniels in the 200 meters and Alena Krechyk in the weight throw, with even more moving into the top-five of KU’s all-time performance lists. Current Jayhawks show up 21 times in the top-five of the women’s all-time charts while, on the men’s charts current Jayhawks show up seven times.
A total of 12 indoor and outdoor school records are currently held by Jayhawks on the active roster, all but one of them by 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.
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 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.
The Kansas pole vaulters will journey to Reno, Nev., to take part in the UCS Pole Vault Summit on Saturday, Jan. 19. Updates and results of the meet can be found on KUAthletics.com or on Twitter at KU_Track.