Jayhawks Prepare For Big XII Championships

Feb. 23, 2005

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas track and field teams will travel to Lincoln, Neb., this weekend to compete in the 2005 Big XII Indoor Championships. The meet will be held at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Track, Friday and Saturday.

Action begins Friday at 9:30 a.m. with multi-event action, while running and field events kick-off at 2 p.m.

“I believe that everybody is healthy and ready to compete this weekend,” Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine said. “I hope that everyone is going into the championships with the attitude to win every event.”

“Since we’ve been here, I have seen that the level of competition get better each year at the Big XII Championships. Every year at this time your team has to get 15 to 20 percent better for this meet,” Redwine added.

Leading up to the Big XII Championships, the Jayhawks have had a lot of success on the track in 2005.

Junior Benson Chesang broke one of the oldest records in KU history as he eclipsed the eight-minute mark in the 3,000 with a run of 7:59.46 at the Tyson Invitational. That mark broke Jayhawk legend Jim Ryun’s record that he set in 1968. Chesang currently ranks second in the Big XII in the event.

Two newcomers to the women’s team have turned heads around the conference in the pole vault. Senior Amy Linnen, who transferred from the University of Arizona, automatically qualified for the pole vault and broke the KU record in the event with a best effort of 13-11.25 at the Tyson Invitational. That mark is the best in the Big XII and second in the nation this season.

Freshman Ekaterina Sultanova from Krasnodar, Russia is also enjoying a great first season at KU. Sultanova also broke the school record in the pole vault this season with a best vault of 13-7.75. Linnen later topped that effort, but Sultanova currently ranks third in the Big XII.

Junior thrower Sheldon Battle has provisionally qualified in both the shot put and the weight throw. Battle just missed and automatic qualification in the shot put with a toss of 63-3.25. Battle ranks first in the Big XII in the shot and second in the weight throw (68-11.00).

Senior Brooklyn Hann has also rewritten the KU record books in 2005. Hann broke her own school record in the triple jump with a best effort of 42.4.25.

The Jayhawks will look to improve on last year’s ninth (men) and seventh (women) place finishes at the Big XII Indoor Championships.