Kansas Sprinters Shine in Day One of Indoor Big 12 Championships

Feb. 25, 2011

LINCOLN, Neb. –

Kansas’ men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 25-26 for the 2011 Big 12 Indoor Championships. The Jayhawks entered the meet, which is being held at the Devaney Center, looking to improve on their team finishes from last season.

Sophomore Rebecca Neville kicked off the weekend for Kansas in the women’s pentathlon on Friday morning. In the first event, the 60 meter hurdles, Neville tied a personal best with a time of 8.80 and finished with the fourth fastest time, earning her 952 points toward her overall pentathlon score. Neville then worked her way to an 11th place finish in the high jump, clearing a top height of 1.58m (5-2.25ft.). In the shot put she had a best throw of 8.99m (29-06.00ft.), giving her an overall point total of 2,110. In the long jump Neville made a big move up on the overall point standings with a third place finish. She had her third best jump of the season with a distance of 5.71m (18-09.00m). Neville closed out the pentathlon strong with a second place finish in the 800 meters. She crossed the finish line in personal best time of 2:25.47. The strong finish was good enough to push her back up the leaderboard for a seventh place overall finish in the pentathlon, earning the women’s team two points toward the overall Big 12 Championship.

Both KU representatives in the women’s 400 meter dash qualified for the finals Saturday. Freshman Diamond Dixon broke the school record by running a time of 53.48 to finish second in her heat. Senior Kendra Bradley easily finished first in her heat with a time of 55:65. Both Jayhawks will run in the final Saturday at 4:05pm.

Four Jayhawks competed in the preliminary rounds of the mile run on Friday afternoon. Junior Rebeka Stowe and freshmen Natalie Becker competed in separate heats on the women’s side. Stowe finished in sixth place overall with a time of 5:03.45 after an extremely competitive heat, while Becker notched a time of 5:07.95, finishing 13th overall. Stowe’s time was good enough to qualify her for the mile run finals on Saturday.

On the men’s side of the mile run Junior Donny Wasinger and Freshman Josh Munsch both put forth terrific efforts against one of the most competitive fields of the Big 12 Championships. Munsch led off in the first heat and finished ninth with a time of 4:08.86, this time was just .3 of second from qualifying for the final Saturday. In the second heat Donny Wasinger crossed the finish line in 4:15.22, placing him 13th overall.

Junior Shayla Wilson had a great start toward her goal of bringing home a Big 12 title in the women’s 600 yard run. Wilson ran her second fastest time of the season, finishing in 1:22.31 and fifth overall, which will qualify her for the final Saturday at 3:45pm. Teammate and defending Big 12 Champion in the 600 yards, Taylor Washington also ran in the event, finishing 16th overall with a time of 1:29.25.

Keron Toussaint continued his great indoor season with a sixth place finish in the prelims of the men’s 600 yard run. The Senior ran his second best time of the year in the event with a time of 1:11:05. Toussaint will run in the 600 yard finals Saturday at 3:55pm.

In the men’s 400 meter dash prelims, Sophomore Kyle Clemons set a new PR and qualified for the finals with a time of 46.65.

Two Jayhawks competed in the men’s pole vault final Friday afternoon, finishing sixth and seventh in the event. Sixth place went to senior Cooper Merrill, who cleared a height of 5.00m (16-04.75ft.). In seventh was freshman Alex Bishop, who also had a jump of 5.00m (16-04.75ft.) and tied a personal best.

Junior Cori Christensen smashed her PR time in the 1,000 meter run, qualifying for the finals Saturday. She crossed the finish line in 2:49.92 and finished fourth in her heat, seventh overall.

In the women’s long jump sophomore Francine Simpson had her second longest jump of the season, finishing fourth overall with a top jump of 6.16m (20-02.50ft.). Her finish gave the women’s track team seven points through two events scored and put the Jayhawks in fourth place in the race for the Big 12 Championship.

Despite setting a personal best and running the third fastest 200 meter time in KU history, sophomore Denesha Morris failed to qualify for the finals on Saturday. Morris ran a 23.91 200 meters and finished first in her heat, but was not among the eight fastest qualifying times of the night.

39members of the men’s and women’s teams will be in Big 12 finals action on Saturday. Sophomore standout Mason Finley will be looking to repeat as conference champion in the shot put, while Sophomore Andrea Geubelle will be looking to improve upon her third place finish in the triple jump in this event last year. The women’s team is currently ninth in the overall team standings with nine points, while the men earned four and a half points on Friday, putting them in 12th place.

The action from the Bob Davaney Center will begin at 1:30pm Saturday, with the women’s triple jump.

Kansas Agate

Big 12 Championships – Lincoln, Nebraska (2/25, 2/26)

Women

-Pentathlon

60 meter Hurdles – Complete

(952 points) 4. Rebecca Neville, 8.80 ***Ties Personal Best

High Jump – Complete

(712 points) 11. Rebecca Neville, 1.58m (5-2.25ft.)

Shot Put – Complete

(464) 17. Rebecca Neville, 8.99m (29-06.00ft.)

Long Jump – 3:15pm Friday

(762) 3. Rebecca Neville 5.71m (18-09.00ft.)

800 Meters – 4:30pm Friday

(751) 2. Rebecca Neville, 2:25.47 ***Personal Best

Pentathlon – Total Points

7. Rebecca Neville – (3,641 points)

Mile Run Prelims – Complete

6. Rebeka Stowe – 5:03.45 (qualified for finals)

13. Natalie Becker – 5:07.95

60 Meter Dash Semifinals – Complete

17. Denesha Morris, 7.59

600 Yard Run Prelims – Complete

5. Shayla Wilson – 1:22.31 (Qualified for finals)

16. Taylor Washington – 1:29.25

400 Meter Dash Prelims – Complete

4. Diamond Dixon – 53.48 (Qualified for finals) ***Personal Best, ***School Record

5. Kendra Bradley – 55.65 (Qualified for finals)

1,000 Meter Run Prelims – Complete

7. Cori Christensen, 2:49.92 (Qualified for finals) ***Personal Best

Long Jump – Complete

4. Francine Simpson, 6.16m (20-02.50ft.)

10. Andrea Geubelle, 5.84m (19-02.00ft.)

800 Meter Dash Prelims – Complete

18. Anna Barber, 2:23.84

200 Meter Dash Prelims – Complete

Denesha Morris, 23.91 ***Personal Best, Third fastest in KU History

Francine Simpson, 25.24

5,000 Meter Run Finals – Complete

Amanda Miller – DNF

Tessa Turcotte – DNF

Kara Windisch – DNF

Distance Medley Relay – Complete

7. Christensen, Kilwein, Stowe, Wilson, 11:44.61

Men

Mile Run Prelims – Complete

9. Josh Munsch – 4:08.86

13. Donny Wasinger – 4:15.22

600 Yard Dash Prelims – Complete

6. Keron Toussaint, 1:11.05 (Qualified for finals)

14. Dominique Manley, 1:12.02

400 Meter Dash Prelims – Complete

5. Kyle Clemons, 46.65 (Qualified for finals) ***Personal Best

Weight Throw – Complete

9. Scott Penny, 17.43m (57-02.25ft.)

Pole Vault – Complete

6. Cooper Merrill, 5.00m (16-04.75ft.)

7. Alex Bishop, 5.00m (16-04.75ft.) ***Tied personal best

1,000 Meter Dash Prelims – Complete

10. Sean Proehl, 2:30.93

13. Brendan Soucie, 2:31.86

800 Meter Dash Prelims – Complete

14. Dalen Fink, 1:57.96

5,000 Meter Run Finals – Complete

Josh Baden – DNF

Nick Caprario – DNF

Long Jump – Complete

13. Jareb Stallbaumer, 6.90m (22-07.75ft.)

Distance Medley Relay – Complete

9. Munsch, Marx, Seckfort, Wasinger, 10:10.85