Jayhawks To Be Tested This Weekend at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational
Feb. 1, 2012
|New Balance Collegiate Invitational|
Friday, Feb.3, 2012
|Location||New York, NY|
|Start Time||Fri – 9:25 a.m.
Sat – 7:30 p.m.
|Coverage||Meet Central (will go live Friday)|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track and field squads will hit the road this weekend when they make their way to New York for the 2012 New Balance Collegiate Invitational Feb. 3-4. The meet will take place at The Armory Track and Field Center in New York City and will feature 17 of the top-25 ranked teams in the country on the men’s and women’s sides.
“We’re very excited to go to New York this weekend and to have the opportunity to compete against the nation’s best,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “This meet will get competition from all over the country and we’re looking forward to competing against them to see where we are as a team.”
A total of 31 Jayhawk men and 29 Jayhawk women will represent Kansas at the meet. For the KU women, sophomore sprinter Diamond Dixon will return to action for the first time since being named the Big 12’s female track and field athlete of the week after recording the NCAA’s top time in the 400 meters this season at the Jayhawk Classic on Jan. 27. Dixon, who turned in an Anschutz Pavilion facility record of 53.75, will compete in the 200 meters as well as the 4×400-meter relay this weekend.
Juniors Andrea Geubelle and Francine Simpson, who both boast NCAA top-10 marks in the long jump, will be competing in the event on Friday afternoon. Geubelle will also race in the 60-meter dash Friday at 11:53 a.m., while Simpson will run in 200 meters on Saturday morning.
On the men’s side, sophomore Alex Bishop enters the meet ranked third in the Big 12 in the pole vault and will lead a young, talented group of vaulters into the competition Saturday. Freshmen Casey Bowen and Greg Lupton will join Bishop in the Championship flight while freshmen Aaron Blevins and Regan Gilbert will compete in the College flight.
The KU throwers have gotten off to a blistering start in 2011-12 and will attempt to continue their hot streak in New York over the weekend. Senior Alena Krechyk returned to competition for KU after a one-year hiatus and promptly broke the school record during her weight throw victory last week. She will be in the women’s weight throw on Saturday morning.
Senior Joel Krause is also coming off an event victory in the Jayhawk Classic a week ago. The Wichita, Kan. native recorded a mark of 16.46 meters (54-01.00 ft.) in the win, which marked the third time this season he has broken the 16-meter mark. Krause will enter the shot put ring at 2:15 (CST) Friday afternoon.
Six Jayhawk women will compete in the pole vault in New York led by sophomore Demi Payne, who currently ranks 12th in the NCAA with her top vault of 4.11m (13-05.75 ft.). Also competing for KU will be seniors Claire Christie and Julia Cummings, junior Sarah Hedberg, sophomore Abby Row and freshman Jaimie House.
Sophomore Jessica Maroszek and freshman Colleen O’Brien will each be going for their fifth wins of the season in their respective events. Maroszek has won each shot put event she has thrown in this season, and the same goes for O’Brien who is undefeated as a Jayhawk in the high jump. Maroszek is set to throw at 11 a.m., Friday, with O’Brien taking her first high jump attempts later Friday at 1:10 p.m.
The men’s sprinters and middle distance runners are primed for some strong performances at the meet. Freshman Kenneth McCuin, who will take part in the 500-meter race on Friday night, currently holds the Big 12’s third-fastest time in the 600 yards. Teammates Kyle Clemons, Shawn Smith, Michael Hester and Dominique Manley will join McCuin in the sprints and middle distances, and will team-up in the relays that close out the meet on Saturday afternoon.
The Jayhawks will take a strong distance contingent to The Armory Track and Field Center, led by seniors Donny Wasinger for the men and Rebeka Stowe for the women. Wasinger is coming off his first win of the season last week in the 1,000 meters, while Stowe also made her way into the winner’s circle, taking the 3,000 meters at the Jayhawk Classic. Both Wasinger and Stowe were All-Americans in 2011 and will be competing in the mile races on Saturday evening.
The New Balance Collegiate Invitational will begin Friday at 9:50 a.m. (CST) with the collegiate men’s 3,000 meters and will conclude Saturday evening with the running of the 4×400-meter relays at approximately 5 p.m. (CST). Log on to kuathletics.com for live updates and results from both days of action.
“Tough competition brings out the best and the worst in you,” concluded Redwine. “And in order to do well at the meets toward the end of the year we have to be able to handle the pressure of having really good athletes going up against us. This meet will give us a good head-start to seeing how we can handle that pressure.”
This weekend for the New Balance Invitational, be sure to visit the New Balance Invitational Meet Central page at kuathletics.com for live results, a link to a live web video feed and the meet blog. Coverage will begin at approx 10:30 a.m. (CST) on Friday and 9 a.m. (CST) Saturday.
SIGNING DAY 2012
National signing day took place Wednesday and KU signees have begun mailing their national letters of intent into the Jayhawk track and field office. Follow the progress on the track and field page at kuathletics.com early next week for complete coverage of Kansas’ 2012 class.