Weekend Offers Kansas' Last Chance for NCAA Nationals

March 1, 2007


The University of Kansas track and field teams will disperse throughout the country this weekend in hopes of earning a berth to the NCAA Indoor National Championships Mar. 9-10 in Fayetteville, Ark. Although several student-athletes own NCAA provisional marks in their respective events, the NCAA Indoor National Championships are usually limited to the top 15 qualifiers in each event.

A majority of the team will head back to Ames, Iowa to compete in the ISU Qualifier Saturday. Sophomore Ashley Brown and junior Julius Jiles, who both earned NCAA provisional marks in the 60-meter hurdles at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, will look to improve their times to receive an invitation. Currently, Brown’s time of 8.38 seconds ranks 28th in the nation while Jiles’ 7.85 second mark puts him at 23rd in Division I.

Also competing in Ames will be a series of middle distance runners looking to earn spots in the 400 and 800 meter events. On the men’s side, junior Matt Baysinger and freshman Jack Sachse, who own the fourth and fifth fastest time in KU history in the 800 meters, will need to run the event around 1:49.50 to earn a spot at the NCAA Indoor National Championships.

On the women’s side, sophomore Sha’Ray Butler, who finished third at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in the 400 meters with a time of 55.11 seconds, will need to run around a 53.50 in the event to reach the National Championships.

Most of the Kansas pole vaulters will compete at the Arkansas Last Chance Meet in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday. Britany Parker, who currently ranks 19th in the nation in the women’s pole vault with a season-best vault of 13-04.25, will need to clear just a few more inches to secure an invitation. On the men’s side, Big 12 Indoor pole vault champion Jordan Scott currently sits at 14th in the nation in the event with his winning vault of 17-5.50, but will look to improve as to guarantee himself a ticket to the NCAA nationals.

Finally, junior distance runners Colby Wissel, the Big 12 Indoor champion in the 3000 meters, and Paul Hefferon will travel to the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind., to compete in the 3000 meters. Wissel owns a provisional mark in the event (8:03.33), but currently ranks 44th in the nation. The duo would need to turn in performances under 7:57.00 to potentially earn a berth. Joining them in Indiana will be junior Crystal Manning, who ranks 13th in the nation with a KU record of 43-02.25 feet in the triple jump.

Thus far, juniors Egor Agafonov and Kate Sultanova are the only two Kansas student-athletes guaranteed to compete at the NCAA Indoor National Championships. Agafonov owns an automatic mark in the weight throw with the second-longest throw in the nation at 76-01 feet. Sultanova, the Big 12 Indoor pole vault champion, has an automatic mark in the event and is one of only two student-athletes in Division I to clear 14 feet.

Stay tuned to kuathletics.com for all the results from this weekend’s competition.