Kansas Track and Field Inks Seven as Part of 2012 Signing Class

Feb. 16, 2012

Fall Signing Day 2011
Track and Field Signees
Name Hometown Event
Jasmine Edwards Kearney, Mo. Distance
Rhavean King Memphis, Tenn. Mid Distance
Drew Matthews Sammamish, Wash. Mid Distance
Hannah Richardson Kirkwood, Mo. Distance
Lynn Robinson Lawrence, Kan. Distance
Tianna Valentine St. Louis, Mo. Sprints
Ty Williams Telluride, Colo. Distance

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Head Coach Stanley Redwine and his staff are pleased to announce the signing of seven new members to the Kansas track and field team. The Jayhawks’ 2012 recruiting class features several high school standouts who boast a long list of achievements at the state and national levels.

The Jayhawks landed three prized recruits out of the state of Missouri. The first was standout sprinter Tiana Valentine out of St. Louis. In 2011, Valentine had the fastest 100 meter (11.48) and 200 meter (24.31) times in the state of Missouri. Valentine won the Class 4 state 100 meters in 2011 in 11.72, the fourth-fastest time in the state history. Following her junior season, Valentine ran a PR of 11.48 at the Great Southwest Classic for first place, the time ranked seventh in the U.S. in 2011 and makes her the No. 3-ranked sprinter in the class of 2012. She also was on the record-setting 800-meter relay team at the Great Southwest for Team Missouri that ran 1:35.39. She boasts a PR of 24.31 in the 200-meter dash from last summer’s AAU Junior Olympic Games, where she finished third.

Hannah Richardson joins the Jayhawks as one of the top high school distance runners out of the state of Missouri. She notched a sixth-place finish at the state championships this past fall, running the 5K in 19:15.32. She also collected a top-five finish at the state meet level on the track, taking fifth in the 800 meters at the Missouri state meet in May. Her season best in the event was 2:14.07 and was the sixth-fastest time among high schoolers in Missouri last year.

Jasmine Edwards will be another welcome addition to KU’s distance group out of Missouri. Like Richardson, Edwards has some impressive accomplishments on the cross country courses, being named to the all-state team multiple seasons. She was the runner-up at the Class 3 girls cross country state championships in the fall of 2011, which helped guide her Kearney High School squad to the state title. She boasts PR’s on the track of 2:26.36 in the 800 meters and 5:31.81 in the 1,600 meters.

KU adds one of the top middle distance runners in the nation in Rhavean King, who is a product of Ridgeway High School in Memphis, Tenn. King is the defending state champion in the 800 meters where she ran a personal-record time of 2:11.70, the fastest time in the state in 2011. King has also gathered experience at the national level, competing at the AAU Junior Olympics where she took third in the 800 meters. She has even shown signs of talent in the shorter distances, running a 56.93 400 meters two weeks ago at the KTC Indoor Classic, the fastest time in the state so far this year.

A local product out of Lawrence Free State High School, Lynn Robinson joins the KU family as one of the top distance runners out of Kansas. An accomplished cross country runner, Robinson was an all-state and all-region selection in 2011 after her seventh-place finish at the state championships in October. Robinson has also collected accolades on the track, running to a fifth place finish in the 1,600 meters at the 2011 state championships, clocking in with a time of 5:24.24. Her personal best in the event is 5:20.42, which she ran at the Kansas Relays last April.

On the men’s side, the Jayhawks add Drew Matthews out of Sammamish, Wash. Matthews is a middle distance specialist who ran the second-fastest 400 meters in Washington last outdoor season (49.89). Throughout his high school career he qualified in 10 events of the USAT&F National Junior Olympic Championships in Track & Field and Cross Country. He also helped his 4×400-meter relay team break the school record at 3:19.6 with his 48.6 split. In 2011 he qualified in both the 4×400-meter relay and the 400 meters at the state level, finishing eighth and 12th, respectively.

Rounding out the 2012 class for Kansas will be Ty Williams, an all-state distance runner from Telluride, Colo. Williams is the 2011 Gatorade Colorado Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year after racing to his third-consecutive Class 1A-2A individual state championship this past season with a 5K time of 16:26.03, leading the Telluride High School Miners to a fourth place-team finish. Williams also won the St. Vrain Invitational, the Ron Keller Invitational, the Delta Invitational and the Region 4 Championship all in his senior year. He was named to the Colorado All-State Boys cross country team in three of his four seasons, as well. On the track, he was the state runner-up in the mile and two mile runs in the spring of 2011.

“We’re really excited about this class,” said Redwine. “The athletes we have coming in will be able to contribute immediately on the Big 12 level, if not on the national level as well.”

The seven signees will report to campus at the start of the fall 2012 semester and will begin competition with the cross country and track teams for the 2012-13 seasons.