KU Women's Relay Punches Ticket to Nationals as Jayhawks Wrap Up Tyson Invite
Feb. 11, 2012
Final Results | Results
- Stanley Redwine
- 4×4 Anchor – Washington
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Kansas’ women’s 4×400-meter relay team ran to an automatic spot in the NCAA Indoor Championships Saturday afternoon at the Tyson Invitational inside the Randal Tyson Track Facility. Denesha Morris, Paris Daniels, Diamond Dixon and Taylor Washington passed the baton around in 3:33.65, recording the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this year and breaking the indoor school record in the event.
“To make the NCAA automatic (time) is always great,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “It’s a school record also, so I’m very happy with their performance today.”
In the final track event of the meet for the KU women, the 4×400-meter relay team of the juniors Daniels, Morris and Washington and the sophomore Dixon ended the day with a bang, running the fastest indoor 400-meter relay in school history. The quartet, competing in the first of four heats, got out to a strong start with Morris and Daniels combining to run a 1:47.32 800 meters. Dixon would get the baton next and extinguished any doubt of whether the Jayhawks would win their heat. After Dixon’s 52.83 split, the Jayhawks had nearly a four second lead over the rest of the field and it would be up to Washington to put the finishing touches on what was on pace to be a record-setting race. The junior out of Houston, Texas finished in fine form, closing at a 53.52 spilt and giving her team the school record with a final mark of 3:33.65.
The foursome now holds the fourth-ranked time in the NCAA this season, which tops the national qualifying standard and gives them an automatic trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships in Bosie, Idaho March 9-10.
Earlier in the day, three of the four 4×400-meter runners competed in several heats of the 200 meters. Dixon was the fastest of the Jayhawks, running to a personal-best time of 23.98 and finishing 13th overall. Freshman Alisha Keys followed at 27th in 24.33, and Morris took 28th at 24.39. Daniels was tripped up down the last straight-away and was unable to finish the race.
In the championship division of the men’s pole vault, Alex Bishop once again led KU as the men’s top finisher. The sophomore cleared 4.21 meters (17-01.00ft.) on his second attempt at height, moving into the final four of the competition and tying his personal best. The mark will keep Bishop in the top-five of the Big 12 rankings as he heads to the conference meet in two weeks. Freshman Casey Bowen also took part in the event. He would end his day with a top height of 5.06 meters (16-07.25 ft.), tying for sixth place.
Kansas had a strong contingent in the men’s 800 meters. Sophomore Dalen Fink led the way, winning his heat with a season-best 1:53.63 and finishing 16th overall. Sophomores Brendan Soucie and Dominique Manley weren’t far behind, placing 22nd and 26th, respectively, with Soucie notching a new personal best at 1:54.32 and Manley finishing in 1:54.70.
Other Jayhawks in action at the Randal Tyson Track Center Saturday were senior Jamaica Collins in the triple jump. She finished 18th with a top leap of 11.58 meters (38-0ft.). Colleen O’Brien finished in a tie for 11th in the championship division of the high jump. She cleared a top bar of 1.63 meters (5-04.25 ft.). Redshirt freshman Jose Munoz ran in the early-morning race of the men’s 3,000 meters and would clock in with a time of 8:51.44. Maddy Rich ran for the Jayhawks in the women’s 800 meters, finishing 19th overall and crossing the finish line in 2:17.45.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay closed out the event for the Jayhawks, running in the final race of the day. The team comprised of three freshmen, Michael Stigler, Kenneth McCuin and Mike Hester and junior Kyle Clemons passed the baton around in a season-best 3:12.63 and ended up finishing eighth overall. Their time now puts them in among the top five in the conference this season.
“The team really looks to be shaping up on both the men’s and women’s sides,” concluded Redwine. “This weekend we had some best performances of the year and those are the types of things we expect to keep happening as we move forward.”
The Jayhawks will now have a week off to prepare for the conference meet in two weeks. They will then travel to College Station, Texas for the 2012 Big 12 Indoor Championships Feb. 24-25. The Jayhawks will have 26 men and women competing on both sides hoping to bring the Jayhawks their first Big 12 conference championship. Stay updated on all of the team’s progress at the Big 12 meet through the meet central blog and follow on twitter at KU_Track.