Jayhawks Hopeful Going into "Last Chance" Weekend
March 1, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – It will be the final opportunity for the Jayhawks to qualify or improve their marks as they travel to two destinations this weekend in search of securing spots at the NCAA Indoor Championships through the Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday and Saturday, while others will head to Fayetteville, Ark. for the Arkansas Qualifier Friday.
Kansas will have athletes in the men’s and women’s 800 meters and the pole vault competitions in Arkansas on March 2. Maddy Rich will run in the 800 meters at 6:15 p.m. while, sophomores Brendan Soucie and Nick Seckort will run the men’s race at 6:25 p.m.
Sophomore Demi Payne is entered in the women’s pole vault, which is slated to begin at 2 p.m. Payne is currently ranked 18th in the nation and will likely need to improve upon her season’s best clearance of 13-10 ft. by .5 inches to earn a sport at the national meet next week. The men’s pole vault at 6 p.m. will feature a pair of Jayhawk underclassmen, sophomore Alex Bishop and freshman Greg Lupton. Both are within striking distance of moving into the top-20 but need some big jumps this weekend to keep their indoor seasons alive.
At the Alex Wilson Invitational, a handful of Jayhawks will make the journey the campus of the University of Notre Dame with NCAA Championship aspirations. Andrea Geubelle, who has already secured a spot at the national meet in the triple jump, will be competing in the long jump Friday at 6 p.m. The junior is No. 19 in the NCAA in the event, and needs to improve on her season’s best leap by only .5 inches to earn a spot in the Boise finals.
The women’s distance medley relay team has a great shot of running into a qualification for the NCAA’s as they boast a time that is 16 seconds from the nationals cut line. Seniors Cori Christensen, Rebeka Stowe and Shayla Wilson along with junior Taylor Washington, will hit the track at 6:15 Friday.
On the men’s side Saturday, senior Donny Wasinger and sophomore Josh Munsch will be running in the mile at 12:40; junior Kyle Clemons is entered in the 400 meters at 11:30 a.m.; senior Zach Zarda will run in the 3,000 meters early in the morning at 10:45 a.m. and the men’s 4×400-meter relay team of Clemons and freshmen Mike Hester, Kenneth McCuin and Michael Stigler will round out the meet for the Jayhawks at 1:10 p.m.
The sixth-ranked women are coming off their best team finish in Big 12 Conference Championship history where they took home four event titles, the most since the 2008 Jayhawks equaled that number.
Thus far this year, six Jayhawks have NCAA qualifying marks, all of which are women. Diamond Dixon ran the second-fastest 400-meter time (52.55) in the NCAA last week, en route to taking home her second Big 12 title in the event. Senior Alena Krechyk broke the school record for the third time at the conference meet a week ago, earning the NCAA automatic bid and finishing as the Big 12 runner-up. Geubelle also claimed the automatic pass to Boise last weekend in the triple jump. The junior has the nation’s top mark and will try to duplicate her efforts this weekend in the long jump at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Finally, the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Washington, Dixon and juniors Paris Daniels and Denesha Morris will enter next week’s national meet with the top time in the country this season. The quartet ran the eighth-fastest relay in NCAA history at the Big 12 meet (3:31.36) and is coming off All-American seasons in the event both indoors and outdoors in 2011.
Complete results and a recap of all of the Jayhawks’ action throughout Last Chance Weekend can be found at kuathletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the each day’s events. Be sure to follow on twitter at KU_Track for live and updated results.