KU Athletes Move Up in National Rankings, School Record Books at Jayhawk Classic

Jan. 27, 2012

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  • Kansas Student-Athletes
  • Kansas Head Coach Stanley Redwine
Jayhawk Classic
Post Meet Coverage
Junior Austin Bussing ran to a victory and a personal-best 4:12.57 in the mile Friday evening at the Jayhawk Classic

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – It was a successful day for Kansas track and field at the 2012 Jayhawk Classic, as 14 Jayhawks won individual titles Friday evening inside Anschutz Pavilion and also earned top finishes in all four of the relay events. 17 Jayhawks have now moved into the NCAA top 25 rankings in their individual events this season.

“It was a really good meet for us today,” said 12th-year head coach Stanley Redwine. “We had several winners, facility records and top performances in the nation so things are really shaping up. We, as coaches, thought this would be a really good meet. We had better competition and our athletes stepped up.”

As she has done numerous times over her young career, sophomore Diamond Dixon again stole the show. In her first 400-meter competition of the young season, the Houston, Texas native not only won the event, but did it in style. Dixon ran the two-lap race in 53.75 to take the event title and also break the Anschutz facility record by .27 seconds. Dixon’s time, which converts down to 53.05 since it was ran on an unbanked surface, now is the best mark in the NCAA this year, making Dixon a top candidate to again earn All-American honors in the event later this season.

I was really nervous before the race because I was racing against Monica Hargrove and she’s a professional,” said Dixon. “I just told myself, `I’ve got this, just have fun with it.’ I feel like I could’ve run just a little faster but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.”

Sharing the spot light with Dixon was another KU female that put together a nation-leading performance. Andrea Geubelle would finish third in the triple jump on Friday afternoon, however her mark of 13.20 meters (43-03.75ft.) is the best in the NCAA this season. Geubelle was going up against former Jayhawk and All-American triple jumper Crystal Manning, as well as five-time NCAA champion, Kimberly Williams, who jumped for Florida State from 2008-11. Both are now professional jumpers and could very well be competing in the Olympics later this year. Williams won the event with Manning coming in as the runner-up.

“It definitely got me excited for the meet,” Geubelle explained of going up against Manning and Williams. “It really prepared me for some bigger, professional meets and hopefully the Olympic Trials (in July). It definitely helped push me today, which was awesome.”

Senior Rebeka Stowe continued her outstanding season thus far, competing in her first 3,000-meter race of the year. The Olathe, Kan., native smashed the Anschutz Pavilion record by nearly three seconds, running in a time of 9:37.70 to win the race. Stowe’s time now ranks among the top 25 in the country and gives her a great mark to improve upon as she heads into the more competitive meets.

On the men’s side, senior Donny Wasinger collected his first victory of the season, claiming the 1,000-meter title in 2:26.49, a personal best. The Winona, Minn., native and an All-American in the 1,500 meters a season ago, is recovering from an injury that sidelined him for the cross country season, and is glad to be back to his winning ways.

“I felt good, but I still have a little pain,” Wasinger said following his win. “It’s going to be one of those things I’m going to have to push through for the rest of the season. We’re working with the training staff to try and get it better and once that happens, I think I will really be a step above.”

Junior Austin Bussing joined his distance teammate, Wasinger, on the winner’s stand, claiming the men’s mile run. Bussing led for nearly the entire race and stretched his lead over the last 400 meters, crossing the finish line in 4:12.57 and notching a new personal best.

The women continue to dominate the field events claiming all but one of the six competitions. Alena Krechyk made her triumphant return to the throws ring after redshirting in 2011. She made her 2012 debut a memorable one as she broke the facility record in the weight throw, unleashing a throw of 19.69 meters (64-07.25ft.) on her fifth attempt of the day to take the event crown by nearly 10 feet. Jessica Maroszek continued her throwing teammate’s success by taking home the gold in the shot put. The sophomore hit a mark of 14.80 meters (48-06.75 ft.) on her first heave of the day, which would be good enough to eventually win the event.

Senior Joel Krause picked up his third win of the season in the shot put. On his fifth throw of the day, the Wichita, Kan. native unleashed a throw of 16.48 meters (54-01.00 ft.), moving him into the top spot on the leader board and giving him the victory over McMurry’s Paul Davis by just over an inch. Krause’s last meet in the friendly confines of Anschutz Pavilion would be a memorable one, as his mark would turn out to be a career best.

Sophomore pole vaulter Demi Payne and freshman high jumper Colleen O’Brien each collected their fourth victories of the season in their respective events. Payne, who for the second-straight meet notched a personal best, cleared a height of 4.11 meters (13-05.75 ft.) which now puts her at No. 10 in the NCAA this season. O’Brien also had a solid outing, cruising to a top jump of 1.72m (5-07.75ft.) without a single miss.

In her first attempt in a pentathlon at the collegiate level, freshman Lindsay Vollmer didn’t disappoint. Earning personal bests in two of the five events, Vollmer would go on to collect 3,841 points throughout the day to win the competition. Her early season mark is the third-best in the Big 12 this year.

Other notable performances came from junior-transfer Paris Daniels, claiming the 200 meters in 24.24 and now boasting one of the top 15 times in the NCAA, junior Taylor Washington, who won the 600 yards in a time of 1:23.96, senior Cori Christensen, who took the 1,000-meter title in 2:52.58, and freshman Kenneth McCuin, who won his first collegiate race in the 600 yards, crossing the finish line in 1:11.50.

The Jayhawks turn up the competition next week as they travel to New York City for the New Balance Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 3-4. Dozens of the country’s best teams will be in action and will give the Jayhawks their first true test of the 2012 campaign.

“We’re starting to get in really good shape but, unfortunately, I’m never satisfied,” concluded Redwine. “We look at the areas where we can get better and there are definitely spots where we can improve on both the men’s and the women’s teams. We want to correct mistakes and continue to get better.”