KU Vaulters Head West for UCS Pole Vault Summit
Jan. 17, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With the majority of the team getting a weekend off, the Kansas pole vaulters will try to continue their early season success Saturday at the UCS Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev. The meet, which will take place inside the Reno Livestock Events Center, will play host to hundreds of high school, collegiate and professional pole vaulters from across the nation.
KU_TRACK QUICK HITS
- Kansas is sending its vaulters to the UCS Pole Vault summit for the first time. The meet will feature hundreds of collegiate and high school vaulters from around the nation.
- Kansas has four athletes who currently boast NCAA leading marks. (Diamond Dixon – 600yd, Andrea Geubelle – TJ, Natalia Bartnovskaya – PV and Kyle Clemons – 600yd).
- 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 in the nation as well.
- After opening his season with a PR in the 600 yards, sprinter Kyle Clemons ran to a facility record and an NCAA-leading time of 1:09.77 in the 600 yards at the Jayhawk Challenge to take home his second victory of the season.
- Natalia Bartnovskaya moved to No. 2 on KU’s all-time indoor pole vault list at the Jayhawk Challenge with her clearance of 4.29 meters (14-0.75 ft.)
- 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.
- With her win at the Jayhawk Challenge sophomore Colleen O’Brien has now claimed seven 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.
Natalia Starting Strong
Natalia Bartnovskaya has only suited up in a KU uniform three times, but has already made school history in the pole vault. The junior college transfer has notched two victories in the event, the first coming at the Bill Easton Classic (Jan. 5) and the second at the Jayhawk Challenge (Jan. 11). Most recently she shattered the five-year-old Anschutz facility record and leaped to an NCAA-leading clearance of 4.29 meters (14-0.75 ft.).
The junior out of Krasnoyarsk, Russia was a two-time NJCAA Champion in the pole vault at Vincennes University (Ind.). She is expected to be in action this weekend in Reno, Nev., for the UCS Pole Vault Summit.
Last Time Out
Featuring strong performances from Kyle Clemons, Andrea Geubelle and Natalia Bartnovskaya, the Jayhawk track & field teams again looked impressive at the Jayhawk Challenge on January 11. Kansas saw three facility records fall as well several of its athletes move up the national ranks in its third home meet of the season.
For the second week in a row, the junior, Bartnovskaya, put on a show in front of the home fans as she won her second pole vault title in as many weeks. Geubelle was never challenged in the long jump, soaring to a mark of 6.25 meters (20-6.25 ft.) on her second attempt of the day to not only break the Anschutz facility record by more than four inches, but to give her the NCAA-leading mark in the event.
Sprinter Diamond Dixon made her 2013 debut last Friday at the Jayhawk Challenge and took part in the 600 yards and 4×400-meter relay. The junior, who claimed an NCAA indoor 400m title and an Olympic gold medal last season, kicked off her 2013 campaign strong, running an NCAA-leading time in the 600 yards (1:22.69). She then anchored the 4×400-meter relay team to a come-from-behind win with a time of 3:44.93.
Dixon was a member of the 2012 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).
Jayhawks Flying at the Top of the NCAA
Kansas saw many of its athletes put up nation-leading performances at the first three meets of the 2013 season. Sixteen Jayhawks currently find themselves ranked in the NCAA top-10 in 13 events including Natalia Bartnovskaya (pole vault), Diamond Dixon (600 yards), Andrea Geubelle (triple jump) and Kyle Clemons (600 yards) who each boast NCAA-leading marks.
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 three meets complete in the 2013 season, Jayhawks have already begun to move their way up the school’s indoor record books. Four KU women have already toppled some Anschutz Facility records; Paris Daniels in the 200 meters, Alena Krechyk in the weight throw, Natalya Bartnovskaya in the pole vault and Andrea Geubelle in the long jump. Kyle Clemons also recently inserted his name into the Anschutz record books with his 1:09.77 in the 600 yards at the Jayhawk Challenge.
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.
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.
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.
IN STANLEY’S WORDS
What are you hoping the vaulters take away from the big meet this weekend?
“This will be a great experience for them. It will be an opportunity to be around nothing but vaulters and compete. To do well there will not only be good for them but be good for Kansas so we’re looking forward to everyone going out there and having a great experience.”
When Natalia Bartnovskaya came to KU did you think she would be this good this fast?
“We thought that she could be really good and she’s proving that right out of the gates. Coach Hays has done a great job with her and she’s responded really well to his style of coaching.”
The majority of the team has the next week-and-a-half off, what will the main emphasis be for them?
“We’ll be training hard through the weekend. We’ll be changing our phase of training a little bit and speed it up. Hopefully these two weeks will benefit us and show well at our next meet on the 25th.”
With the announcement of Rock Chalk Park and the new state-of-the-art track, can you talk about what this new facility will mean to the program?
“It’s a great opportunity. We’re really excited about it and can’t wait to see that finished product. Our team is really excited and it’s great for the athletes and our future athletes because we’re now at a place where we’re competing with teams around the country and it’s time we had a competitive facility also.”
The Jayhawks return home to for their final home meet of the indoor season when they host the Jayhawk Classic on Friday, Jan. 25.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.