Bartnovskaya Shatters KU Record on Day One of Tyson Invite

Feb. 8, 2013

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Day 1 Coverage
Senior Kyle Clemons won the 400 meters Friday with a time of 46.85, the second-fastest in the Big 12 this year.

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K. Clemons in the 400 Meters

B. Soucie in the 800 Meters

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Natalia Bartnovskaya smashed her own school pole vault record as the Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams competed on day one of the Tyson Invitational Friday. Bartnovskaya claimed her fifth-consecutive pole vault win with her mark that is five inches better than the previous school record.

Bartnovskaya, who hails from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, entered the competition inside the Randal Tyson Center already holding a share of the school’s top vault after clearing 4.30 meters (14-1.25 ft.) last week at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City. She began the day Friday on a shaky note, fouling on her very first attempt at 3.83 meters (12-6.75 ft.), but the junior then rattled of five-consecutive clearances without a failed attempt to shoot herself up the leaderboard.

After clearing 4.33 meters (14-2.5 ft.) Bartnovskaya was one of only two left standing as she was joined by former Arkansas national champion and the current NCAA-record holder, Tina Sutej, who was competing unattached. After two-near makes, Bartnovskaya slid over the 4.43 meter (14-6.25 ft.) with just millimeters to spare, clinching the victory over the three-time Arkansas All-American and snagging the new school record.

The record mark elevates Bartnovskaya to No. 8 on the all-time NCAA pole vault list and No. 2 in the nation this year. She will also enter the Big 12 Championship meet in two weeks boasting a streak of five-consecutive pole vault victories.

Earlier in the afternoon, Kyle Clemons posted one of his men’s team’s best performances of the season. Running in his first 400 meters of the year, the senior ran his fastest race in nearly two season. He was competing in the eighth of 16 heats and against a 54-man field, but the jam-packed event didn’t slow the Rowlett, Texas native. Clemons sprinted the two laps in 46.85 to win his heat by nearly a second and eventually claim the overall victory by .03 seconds. His time is the second-fastest among Big 12 athletes this year and puts him at No. 11 in the NCAA standings. Sophomore Michael Stigler also turned in an impressive performance, finishing 14th overall with a personal-best time of 48.19.

Senior Sarah Hedberg kicked off the day as she took part in the college division pole vault. The senior was joined teammates Jaimie House and Abby Row. The trio was each able to make it past the first two heights, with Row notching a new career-best height when she cleared 3.70 meters (12-1.5 ft.). With Hedberg and Row comprising two of the final three vaulters, Hedberg inched over the 3.95 meter (12-11.5 ft.) bar to take home the event title. The height was Hedberg’s best indoor mark of her career and earned the senior her first victory as a Jayhawk.

The KU women sprinters had a successful day with freshman Tianna Valentine leading the way in the 60-meter dash. Valentine sprinted to a time of 7.54 to finish 22nd in the preliminary heats and advance to the semifinals later in the day. In the semis she managed to shave .01 seconds off her qualifying time to clocking in at 7.53 and take 23rd.

Diamond Dixon also saw action in the invitational 400 meters. The junior All-American posted a season-best time of 54.07 to finish 11th among what was a national-championship caliber field.

Elsewhere on the track, Brendan Soucie ran a season-best time in the Olympic Development division of the 800 meters. The junior, who led for nearly 400 meters of the event, crossed the finish line in ninth with a time of 1:53.02. On the women’s side freshman Hannah Richardson completed a career night with a personal-best in the invitational women’s mile, finishing third with a time of 4:52.95. Senior teammate Kathleen Thompson also broke the five-minute barrier, clocking in at 4:58.44 to finish eighth.

The Jayhawks will return to the track tomorrow as they take part in the second and final day of the Tyson Invitational. Action will begin at 11 a.m. with the college division of the men’s pole vault and will conclude at 5:50 p.m. with the invitational men’s 4×400-meter relay. Follow all the action on Twitter at KU_Track and log on to for a complete recap of the day’s events.

AMES, Iowa – Several Jayhawks turned in season-best performances as a small but strong contingent of KU track & field’s men’s and women’s teams competed at the Iowa State Classic Friday.

Junior Alex Hermes recorded career-bests in two events. The first came in the 60-meter dash, where he crossed the finish line in 7.15 to finish 34th, improving on his previous best by .05 second. He then completed the 200 meters in 22.46 to place 26th. His new career record is .3 seconds faster than his previous personal best.

In the men’s 600 yards the KU duo of freshman Nick Ucherek and junior Teddy Oteba impressed with their finishes. Ucherek, who hails from Richardson, Texas, smashed his previous personal best with a time of 1:13.84, propelling him to a 13th-place finish. Oteba wasn’t far behind. The junior out of Junction City, Kan., crossed the finish line just .01 seconds behind his teammate at a personal best of 1:13.85 to finish 14th.

On the women’s side, juniors Timmie Morris and Maddy Rich turned in season-best times in some middle distance races. Morris finished sixth in the 600 yards after clocking in at 1:27.40, while Rich placed 21st in the 800 meters with a time of 2:18.12.

Kansas will conclude action in Ames tomorrow. Isaac Bradshaw and Dominique Manley will kick things off in the 600 yards at 1 p.m., with the men’s 4×400-meter relay ending the day at 3:05 p.m. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.