Vollmer's Pentathlon Record Leads KU at Jayhawk Classic

Jan. 25, 2013

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Freshman Anastasiya Muchkayev broke her own Israeli national shot put record for the second time in two months with a mark of 55-0.75 ft.

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore Lindsay Vollmer broke the 15-year-old school pentathlon record Friday afternoon as the Kansas men’s and women’s track teams wrapped up their home indoor schedule at the Jayhawk Classic inside Anschutz Pavilion. Eleven other Jayhawks collected individual victories including all four of the KU relay teams.

Vollmer, who hails from Hamilton, Mo., got her day started off strong with a personal-best performance in the first of her five events, the 60-meter hurdles. Vollmer crossed the finish in 8.53 to collect an impressive 1,101 points to start her pursuit of the prestigious record off on the right foot.

Another personal best in the high jump (1.72 meters [5-7.75 ft.]) earned her 879 points and a strong throw of 11.66 meters (38-3.25 ft.) in the shot put claimed 639 points and put the sophomore in a commanding lead with two events to go. In the long jump, she notched her third personal best of the day, leaping to a mark of 5.85 meters (19-2.5 ft.). She entered the 800 meters needing only 722 points to post a new school and facility record point total.

Vollmer completed the four-lap race in 2:26.24 to bring her point total up to 4,073, enough to take down Candace Mason’s 15-year-old pentathlon record by 20 points. Vollmer’s mark places her at No. 2 in the NCAA rankings this season and puts her in prime position for a qualifying spot at the NCAA Indoor Championships in early March.

As has become a weekly tradition, the KU women saw another outstanding performance from Andrea Geubelle, one that moved her name near the top of the national lists once again. Competing in the triple jump Friday afternoon, Geubelle leaped her way to an easy victory, recording a mark of 13.45 meters (44-1.5 ft.) on her final attempt of the day. The jump was just an inch off the NCAA-leading mark and is her best ever inside Anschutz Pavilion. Geubelle now finds her name in the nation’s top-five in both the triple jump and long jump with just over a month before the NCAA Indoor Championships.

For the second time in less than a week, junior Alex Bishop recorded a new personal best in the pole vault. The Phoenix, Ariz., native cleared the 5.31 meter (17-5 ft.) bar on his third and final attempt at height, propelling him to a third-place finish overall. The mark is a centimeter better than his winning mark from a week ago at the UCS Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., and ranks him ninth in the national rankings. Former Jayhawk and 2012 NCAA Champion Jordan Scott went on to win the event, breaking the facility record with his clearance of 5.56 meters (18-3 ft.).

In the women’s pole vault, Demi Payne had a career day, posting a new personal best and earning her second victory of the season. The New Braunfels, Texas product needed two attempts at each height, but continued to advance through to the top of the leaderboard. Payne then vaulted her way to a clearance of 4.25 meters (13-11.25 ft.), improving on her previous career-high by an inch and clinching the event win. Payne now joins teammate Natalia Bartnovskaya (who was idle Friday) with marks ranked in the top-five of the NCAA performance list this season.

In her first meet back since breaking her native Israel’s national shot put record in December, Anastasiya Muchkayev managed to one-up herself, recording another new personal best. The freshman launched the nine-pound ball 16.78 meters (55-0.75 ft.), good enough to earn her a runner-up finish. The mark is the sixth-best in the nation this year and is less than an inch from the Kansas school record. Teammate Jessica Maroszek also had a career day, throwing to a mark of 15.69 meters (51-5.75 ft.) to break her previous best by over two feet. The junior’s heave was good enough for third-place and moves her up to fourth on KU’s all-time shot put lists.

Francine Simpson also recorded her best mark of the season Friday, claiming the eighth long jump title of her KU career. The senior out of Chapelton, Jamaica got out to a good start, leaping to a distance of 6.12 meters (20-1 ft.) on her second attempt, with the mark just an inch off the facility record. The jump put her through to finals, where she was unable to improve on the mark but held her spot firm at the top of the leaderboard. Simpson’s jump is tied for the seventh-farthest in the NCAA this season and puts her at third in the Big 12.

Competing against two top professionals in the women’s weight throw, senior Alena Krechyk held her own in a third-place effort earlier in the afternoon. In her first competitive action in over a month, Krechyk hit a top mark of 20.51 meters (67-3.5 ft.) on her third attempt. The mark would have broken her own facility record, however former All-American Gwendolyn Berry launched a throw of 23.53 meters (77-2.5 ft.) to succeed Krechyk’s spot in the Anschutz facility record books. Krechyk finished the day in third with her mark that now ranks eighth in the nation.

Paris Daniels again sprinted her way to a victory in the 60-meter dash. After running to the second-fastest qualifying time (7.43) in the preliminary flights earlier in the day, the senior turned it up in the finals. With world-champion sprinter Simone Facey running in the lane next to her, Daniels outkicked the Jamaican at the finish lane to clock in with a time of 7.34, just .02 off her personal best of 7.32, recorded earlier this season. Daniels currently boasts times in the 60 meters and the 200 meters that rank in the NCAA top-five. Freshman Tianna Valentine also turned some heads with her performance in the 60 meters. The St. Louis native went on to finish fourth in 7.45, which is a season best and the fourth-fastest in school history.

Sophomore Colleen O’Brien entered the day looking to extend her unbeaten high jump streak inside Anschutz Pavilion to eight competitions. O’Brien fouled just twice in clearing her first four heights on the day, but only needed one jump to clear a new career-best height of 1.77 meters (5-9.75 ft.). South Florida’s Courtney Anderson notched the same mark but neither she, nor O’Brien, could go any further. Anderson would be declared the winner after Anderson’s fewer fouls gave her the edge in a tie break, snapping O’Brien’s unbeaten streak inside the friendly confines of her home facility. Even with a runner-up finish, O’Brien’s clearance moves her up to fifth on the all-time school high jump lists.

The men’s distance and middle distance squads had another successful night on Bill Easton Track, claiming victories in three of the four possible events. Junior Brendan Soucie took the title in his first 800-meter run of the season, finishing in 1:54.49. Junior Josh Munsch won his second 1,000-meter run of the young season with his time of 2:27.83 and redshirt freshman Evan Landes claimed his first win as a Jayhawk, completing the 3,000 meters in a personal-best 8:28.26.

Diamond Dixon ran in her first 400-meter race of the season, the same event in which she was a NCAA Champion a year ago. The junior raced to a time of 55.66 to take the win. A couple hours later she returned to anchor the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Denesha Morris, Alisha Keys and Daniels to victory in 3:47.37.

Other KU winners included junior Timmie Morris in the 600 yards (1:29.54) and freshman Drew Matthews in the AM session 400 meters (50.27).

The Jayhawks turn up the competition next week as they travel to New York City for the New Balance Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 1-2. Dozens of the country’s best teams will be in action and will give the Jayhawks their first true test of the 2012 campaign. Follow all the action via Twitter at KU_Track and by logging on to KUAthletics.com/

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