Krechyk Breaks School Record as Jayhawks Conclude New Balance Invitational
Feb. 4, 2012
NEW YORK – Senior Alena Krechyk broke the school record in the weight throw Saturday afternoon at the second and final day of the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. Krechyk’s mark was the highlight of the meet where the women’s team finished seventh overall in the team scoring, with the men’s team placing 20th.
“There are definitely some areas where we can improve, but I thought it was great getting experience against a different class of athletes,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “We had a lot of personal best and people moving into the KU top-five lists. Still with that, we need to be looking to place higher at these types of meets.”
Krechyk (Cray-check), who originally hails from Grodno, Belarus, entered the meet having just broken her previous school record last week at the Jayhawk Classic. Saturday she didn’t waste any time topping that mark, unleashing a throw of 20.42 meters (67-0ft.) on her very first attempt of the day and quickly putting her at No. 1 on the leaderboard. The mark smashed the record she set a week ago and moves her up to No. 12 in the NCAA this year. The senior would again hit a big mark of 19.97 meters on her second attempt and would pass on her final throw in the preliminary round, having already assured herself a spot in the finals.
In the finals, Krechyk again gathered herself for a solid throw, launched the weight to 19.50 meters before passing on her last two attempts. The senior held the lead until Baylor’s Erin Atckinson threw 20.65 meters (67-09ft.) on her final attempt to take the title and send Krechyk home as the runner-up. Her school-record throw now puts her at No. 3 in the Big 12 and makes her the first women in school history to break the 20-meter barrier in the event.
“I’m really excited for Alena,” said Redwine. “She has sacrificed an awful lot to get to this point and we’re glad that she’s back. Not only does she compete well but she’s a phenomenal young lady and she is going to be very important for us this year.”
Senior Rebeka Stowe also made some edits to the school record books Saturday night. The Olathe, Kan. native would go on to finish seventh overall in the mile’s championship division, however, her time of 4:43.11 proved to be the second-fastest in school history behind Lauren Bonds’ school record of 4:41.61. Stowe now has the third fastest mile in Big 12 this season.
KU had four men competing in the college division of the 800 meters. Dalen Fink came out with the best performance of his Jayhawk brethren, making his four laps in 1:53.55 to place fourth. The sophomore’s time is the fastest for the men this year. Freshman Reid Buchanan would be the next KU finisher at ninth in 1:54.22, then junior Nick Seckfort at 14th with a time of 1:55.04, which was his best of the season, and finally sophomore Brendan Soucie, who ran the race in 1:55.57 to finish in 21st.
Sophomore Alex Bishop and freshman Casey Bowen each had solid outings in the championship division of the men’s pole vault. Both tied for ninth place after clearing 5.20 meters (17-00.75ft.), which would end up being a new personal best clearance for Bowen. Freshman Greg Lupton also competed in the event, finishing in a tie for 15th with a top clearance of 5.05 (17-06.75ft.).
Juniors Austin Bussing and Zach Zarda competed in the championship division of the 3,000 meters and held their own against several of the top distance runners in the nation. Both quickly fell to the back of the pack early, however Bussing tactically worked his way up to fourth place midway through the race, followed soon thereafter by Zarda. Both would end their races with some new personal bests, Bussing claiming sixth in a time of 8:11.84 and Zarda crossing the finish line in 8:14.14 to finish ninth.
Junior Tessa Turcotte also had a career day in the 3,000 meters, running in the college division of event earlier in the day. The Albuquerque, N.M. native stuck with the front runners for much of the race, moving up to as high as third with only three laps to go. She went on to finish sixth with a career-best indoor time of 9:53.97.
In the championship division of the women’s 200 meters, the Jayhawks had five sprinters competing. Junior Paris Daniels was the top KU finisher, running a time of 24.26 to place 15th overall. Sophomore Diamond Dixon saw her first action of the meet, running a personal-best 24.47 and finishing 26th. Following them was junior Denesha Morris (24.57) at 30th, freshman Alisha Keys (24.90) in 46th, and junior Francine Simpson (25.25) placing 56th.
The women would end the meet having collected 31 points and finishing seventh, while the men earned 12 points, placing them in 20th.
“Hopefully, at our future meets, it makes them not afraid of competition,” concluded Redwine on the benefits of this meet. “This was our first time this year running on a banked track, and it looked like it. So hopefully next week we’ll have better performances all around.”
The teams will split up next weekend when the distance runners and horizontal jumpers travel to Seattle, Wash. for the Husky Classic with the rest of the team heading to Fayetteville, Ark. for the Tyson Invitational. Both meets will take place on Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11. Stay updated on all the action from the meets by going to the meet central page at kuathletics.com and follow on twitter at KU_Track.