Anderson and Scott Claim Big 12 titles; Manning wins her second
March 1, 2008
LINCOLN, Neb. – Senior Crystal Manning and junior Nickesha Anderson each claimed Big 12 Conference championships to help propel the women to a third-place finish at the 2008 Big 12 Indoor Championships. Sophomore Jordan Scott won the men’s pole vault as the men finished in 10th-place at the DeVaney Center Indoor Track on Saturday.
Kansas’ women were in contention for their first Big 12 title for most of the meet before falling just short. Their third-place finish is their highest since the inception of the conference as their 93 points were just two behind second-place Nebraska. The meet also marked the first time since the 1992 Big Eight Championships in which the women won four events.
“They competed well and were on a mission,” head coach Stanley Redwine said of the women. “Some didn’t do as well as expected, but then some did better then expected. They really stepped it up and that is a total team effort.”
Manning tied Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech as the meet’s high-point scorers with 21.50. She won her second conference title this year on her first leap in the finals of the triple jump. After two fouls in her first two jumps, Manning reached the finals of the event by successfully completing a jump of 12.80 meters, setting up her championship effort of 13.35 meters (43-09 ¾ ft.).
“I was a little nervous,” Manning said after two fouls in her first two jumps. “Last year I didn’t qualify for the finals because I of fouls and I didn’t want that to happen again. I entered the finals in third and I knew I could do better.”
“She came to compete and competed well,” horizontal jumps coach Wayne Pate said of the Terrell, Texas, native. “Once she got over her nerves, she did great. She’s a great competitor.”
Anderson won the 60-meters at 7.22, the best effort of her career and an automatic qualifying time in the event. She is the first woman in school history to win the conference championship in the event.
“I had a good start. I knew I could win it. It doesn’t matter what you do the day before (in the prelims). You still have to get on the line and do the same thing over again. What happened before that doesn’t matter.”
Scott helped Kansas sweep the pole vault championships for the second straight year after senior Kate Sultanova won the women’s event on Friday. Scott took home the conference championships with a winning vault of 5.50 meters (18-00 ½ ft.), while sophomore Kirk Cooper also scored for the men in the pole vault with a sixth-place effort at 5.05 meters (16-06 ¾ ft.).
“I thought I jumped well,” Scott said of his second straight conference championship. “The competition was good and I feel good, but I don’t want to stop there.”
“We are lucky to have two very talented athletes,” vertical jumps coach Tom Hays said of Scott and Sultanova. “They are the ones that show up everyday and do the little things. They win these events in the fall with their work ethic to match their talent.”
Junior Stephanie Horton claimed second in the women’s shot put with a school-record and NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 16.80 meters (55-01 ¼ ft.). Horton broke Denise Buchanan’s 21-year-old record of 16.26 meters (53-04 ½ ft.) which she set at the 1987 NCAA Championships.
“I can’t really explain the feeling,” Horton said of her record-breaking toss. It was just amazing. (The event) was intense. It was some of the best competition that I have ever seen.”
Senior Ashley Brown had her best performance of the indoor season with a fourth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles in which she finished with a provisional time of 8.43.
Junior Charity Stowers and sophomore Lauren Bonds added points for the women. Stowers finished fifth in the 600-yard run with a finish of 1:23.92 and Bonds placed sixth in the 1,000 meters at 2:52.38.
The women continued to tally points as sophomore Kelsey Erb placed eighth in the high jump with a leap of 1.68 meters (5-06 ft.) and, in her first Big 12 Indoor Championships, freshman Kendra Bradley also scored for the Jayhawk women with an eighth-place finish of 57.27 in the 400-meter dash.
Joining Scott in scoring for the men on Saturday were seniors Julius Jiles and Matt Baysinger and sophomore Jack Sachse. Jiles placed sixth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.95 and Baysinger finished third in the 600-yard run, topping his season-best from yesterday’s prelims with a finish of 1:10.26 in the finals. Sachse placed eighth in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.16.
In the final event of the day, Kansas’ women finished with the second-best time in school history in a third-place effort of 3:40.52 in the 1,600-meter relay. However, it was not enough to surpass Nebraska who placed eighth in the event.
Many Jayhawks will head to Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa State Invitational on March 8. It will be the last chance for athletes to qualify for the National Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. March 14-15.