Anderson Honored as Big 12 Co-Female Athlete of the Week

Feb. 19, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, KAN. – Junior Nickesha Anderson was named Co-Big 12 Female Athlete of the Week for her record-setting performances last weekend at the Tyson Invitational as announced by the conference on Tuesday. Anderson is the fourth member of the University of Kansas track and field teams in the last three weeks to earn Big 12 Athlete of the Week honors.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

With her winning time of 22.94, Anderson claimed the fastest 200 meters time of any woman in the world this year. The Hanover, Jamaica, native became the first woman to break the 23-second barrier in 2008 as she passed Russian Anastasiya Kapachinskaya’s time of 23.02 for the world lead.

“I just want to emphasize how proud I am of her,” sprints coach Elisha Brewer said of Anderson’s performance. “She is a very special kid. This was against some of the best competition in the world and she will only continue to improve – that’s the amazing part of it.”

Prior to the finals of Saturday’s 200-meter dash, which set the school record and automatically qualified Anderson for the NCAA Indoor Championships, the Missouri Baptist transfer had already set the school record in the event and tied her own school record in the 60 meter-dash.

Early Saturday afternoon, during the prelims of the 200-meter dash, Anderson finished in a Kansas-record time of 23.35 before breaking that mark in the finals a few hours later. On Friday night, she matched her 60 meters record time of 7.28, ranking her within the top-10 in the nation in that event as well.

Anderson shares this week’s award with freshman Bianca Knight of Texas. Knight ran the fastest 60-meter dash in Longhorn freshman history in winning the event at the Tyson Invitational. Knight also finished second to Anderson in the 200-meter dash. Her automatic-qualifying time of 23.07 in that race is currently second in the nation behind Anderson’s world-leading time.

Kansas has been well represented in the weekly award given by the Big 12 Conference. This marks the third straight week that a Jayhawk has been honored as the conference’s Female Athlete of the Week. Senior Kate Sultanova earned the accolade for the weeks of Feb. 5 and Feb. 12. The Jayhawks swept the Big 12 honors last week as sophomore Jordan Scott took home the Male Athlete of the Week award on Feb. 12.

Kansas is in preparation for their next meet – the Big 12 Indoor Conference Championships. This year’s conference championships are being held at the BobDevaneySportsCenter in Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 29-March 1.

2008 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week

Jan. 15 Quentin Iglehart-Summers, Baylor, Jr.
Jan. 22 Scott Sellers, KansasState, Jr.
Jan. 29 James Galvan, IowaState, Jr.; Shardae Boutte, Oklahoma, Sr.
Feb. 5 Dusty Jonas, Nebraska, Sr.
Feb. 12 Jordan Scott, Kansas, So.
Feb. 19 Texas Distance Medley Relay Team (Fortson, Hernandez, Manzano, Miller)

Jan. 15 Lauren Hagans, Baylor, Sr.
Jan. 22 Loren Groves, KansasState, Jr.; AlexandriaAnderson, Texas, Jr.
Jan. 29 Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech, Jr.
Feb. 5 Kate Sultanova, Kansas, Sr.
Feb. 12 Kate Sultanova, Kansas, Sr.
Feb. 19 Nickesha Anderson, Kansas, Jr.; BiancaKnight, Texas, Fr.