KU Track & Field Signs 10 Standouts for 2013

Feb. 26, 2013

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Fall Signing Day 2011
2013 Track & Field Signees
Name Hometown Event
Whitney Adams Saint Charles, Mo. Mid. Distance
Kourtney Keller Powder Springs, Ga. Hurdles/
Taylor Klein Denver, Colo. Hurdles
Adriana Newell Sparks, Nev. Sprints
Grace Pickell Prairie Village, Kan. High Jump
Lydia Saggau

Des Moines, Iowa

Mid. Distance
Name Hometown Event
Kenneth Boyer O’Fallon, Mo. Throws
Caleb Cowling Omaha, Neb. Long Jump
Nick Meyer Wichita, Kan. Pole Vault
Tyler Yunk Belvidere, Ill. Distance

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field head coach Stanley Redwine and his staff announced the addition of 10 new members to the KU’s 2013 signing class. The Jayhawks’ 2013 recruiting class features several high school standouts who boast a long list of achievements at the state and national levels.

The Jayhawks add one of the top sprinters and middle distance runners in the Midwest with the signing of Saint Charles, Mo., native, Whitney Adams. A product of Francis Howell High School, Adams was the Class 3-4 Missouri State 400 meter champion in 2012, running an impressive 54.70 to take the title. The time was the fastest in the state last year and earned her the seventh all-state honor of her high school career. She anchored home her 2012 state champion 4×400-meter relay team in 53.9 and was the second-highest scorer as she led Francis Howell to the state team championship. Adams has also shown her versatility as she has earned all-state honors in both the 100 meters and 200 meters with personal bests of 11.79 and 22.46, respectively.

The KU coaches filled some much needed holes in the hurdle events with the signing of two of the nation’s top athletes, Kourtney Keller and Taylor Klein. Keller will come to Lawrence after already collecting some impressive hardware, winning the 400-meter hurdles at the AAU Junior Championships last August. Her winning time of 59.64 was the fifth-fastest recorded in the U.S. last year. Keller is also has a top 200- and 400-meter runner, holding top-15 times in each in the state of Georgia last season.

A state champion in both the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles, Klein recorded some of the nation’s top times in both events last year. She ran 43.30 en route to her 2012 300-meter hurdle title. Last year she was the second-fastest 300-meter hurdler in Colorado with her personal best of 42.72. In the 100-meter hurdles she won her first state title last May, clocking in with a personal best of 14.36. Klein also was the Cenntenial League champion in both events last season.

The Jayhawks snagged the top sprinter out of the state of Nevada as KU got a commitment from Adrianna Newell. Newell was crowned as the 2012 NIAA champion in the 100 meters after running 12.05 at the state meet in May. The time was the fastest in Nevada in 2012. Newell has also posted some impressive times in the 200 meters, boasting a personal best of 25.17, which she ran at the Arcadia Invitational last year and went on to finish eighth in the event a month later at the Nevada state championships.

Grace Pickell joins the women’s squad as one of the top high jumpers in the nation. Competing for Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kan., she was the 2012 state champion in the event after clearing 5-10.5 ft., moving up to No. 4 on the state of Kansas’ all-time high jump list. The jump was also the fourth-highest clearance in the nation last year. Pickell also notched the 2012 Sunflower League title with a mark of 5-8 ft. Her sophomore year she earned a bronze medal at the state championships and took 11th at the Kansas Relays with clearances of 5-4 ft. and 5-2 ft., respectively.

Lydia Saggau will be a welcome addition to the women’s middle distance group, coming in with several impressive credentials out of Valley High School in Des Moines, Iowa. Saggau ran the second-fastest 800-meter time in the state of Iowa last year, winning in a personal best 2:12.07 at the Drake Relays in April. Saggau went on to claim a runner-up finish in the 800 meters at the 4A state championships, clocking in at 2:14.17. She was also an all-district selection in the event last year.

On the men’s side, Nick Meyer joins Tom Hays’ already stellar vaulting group after claiming the Kansas 5A title in 2012. The Wichita native broke the meet record at the 5A state championship meet last year, clearing 16-7 ft. The height was the eighth-highest clearance in the nation last year and moved Meyer up to No. 5 on Kansas’ all-time performance lists. He also took gold at the Kansas Relays last April, notching a mark of 15-5 ft.

Belvidere, Ill., native Tyler Yunk will be a valuable addition to the men’s distance and cross country squads. During his four years at Belvidere North High School, the Blue Thunder won three state cross country championships and finished as the 2A runner-up in 2012. On the track, Yunk was the 2012 conference and sectional champion in the 3,200 meters and has a personal best of 9:03.09 in the event, the fifth-fastest in Illinois last year.

One of the top long jumpers in the state of Nebraska will call himself a Jayhawk next season as Caleb Cowling will be added to the men’s lineup. The Omaha native placed second at the state meet with personal best jump of 23-0.75 ft., the second-farthest mark in Nebraska in 2012. He also notched a third-place finish last April in Lawrence at the Kansas Relays, jumping 22-4 ft. He has also started his senior campaign strong, leaping to a mark of 22-6 ft. at the Jayhawk Indoor Open this past January.

Throws coach Andy Kokhanovsky pulled in another solid prospect with discus specialist Kenneth Boyer. The O’Fallon, Mo., native was ranked among the top-25 discus throwers in the state of Missouri last year. The Lafayette High School product has a personal best of 159-10 ft. and was the Class 4 Sectional champion in 2012. Boyer went on to end his junior year with a seventh-place finish at the state meet in May.

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