Jayhawk Track and Field Gears Up for Big 12 Indoor Championships

Feb. 21, 2007

Lawrence, Kan. –

The University of Kansas track and field teams head to Ames, Iowa, Friday and Saturday for the Big 12 Indoor Championships. The event will be held at the Lied Recreational Center, home to a 300-meter track, making it one of the largest and fastest in the nation.

The field events are slated to begin at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon with the women’s weight throw. Sophomore Zlata Tarasova, who threw for a school-record 62-01.50 at the Tyson Invitational, placed fourth in the event at last year’s championships and currently sits op top of the current Big 12 performance list. The men’s weight throw will follow, where junior Egor Agafonov will look to repeat as Big 12 champion in the event. The junior currently ranks first in the Big 12 and third in the nation.

Also scheduled to take place Friday is the women’s pole vault. Kansas currently owns two of the top three individual performers in the event, as junior Kate Sultanova checks in at No. 1 and freshman Britany Parker ranks No. 3. Sultanova became one of only two collegians to clear 14 feet in the women’s pole vault at the Tyson Invitational and was named Big 12 Co-Female Track and Field Athlete of the Week on Feb. 13 for her accomplishment.

A series of track preliminary and semifinal heats are also scheduled for Friday. Sophomore Ashley Brown, who broke the Anschutz Pavilion record with a time of 8.48 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, currently ranks third in the conference in the event.

Men’s runners Matt Baysinger, Paul Hefferon and Colby Wissel will all compete on Friday as well. Baysinger will be running in the 600-yard run, while Wissel and Hefferon will tackle the 5,000 meters. Baysinger placed second in the 600-yard run last season at the championships last year, while Hefferon and Wissel will look to improve upon their NCAA provisionally qualifying marks in the 5,000 meters.

Saturday begins with more field events, including the women’s triple jump at noon. Junior Crystal Manning currently ranks second in the Big 12 and seventh in the nation after tying the school record with a leap of 43-02.25 at the Tyson Invitational. The women’s shot put starts at 12:30 p.m., where sophomore Stephanie Horton will look to improve upon her fifth-place finish at the 2006 Big 12 Indoor Championships. Also taking place Saturday in the field events is the men’s pole vault, where freshmen Jordan Scott and Kirk Cooper and sophomore Ryan Hays will look to improve upon their season-best performances. Scott owns an NCAA provisional mark in the event, as he cleared 17-00.75 at the Jayhawk Invitational.

The track events during Saturday will feature the finals of most events, including the women’s mile run, where senior Melissa O’Rourke hopes to claim an NCAA provisional mark in the event after falling just 72 hundredths of a second short of one at the ISU Classic. O’Rourke also ranks third in the Big 12 in the 1,000-meter run with a season-best time of 2:52.71.

At last year’s Big 12 Indoor Championships, the men’s team finished sixth with 63 points, while the women’s team took ninth with 45 points. Stay tuned to kuathletics.com for all the news and results from the 2007 Big 12 Indoor Championships.

Click Here for the team notes for the weekend.

Click Here for live stats for the weekend.