Jayhawks Have Strong Outings on Day One of Last Chance Weekend
March 1, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Freshman Sydney Conley and the men’s distance medley relay team each posted new season bests Friday as the members of the Kansas Jayhawks’ track & field teams took part in the first day of the Alex Wilson Last Chance meet Friday evening.
In one of the most exciting and competitive relays in the U.S. this year, the KU men also moved up the school’s all-time performance list in the distance medley relay. Sophomores Reid Buchanan, Michael Hester and juniors Brendan Soucie and Josh Munsch combined for the fourth-fastest time in Kansas history. Buchanan was first up, running the 1,200-meter leg, and passed off to Hester after running a 2:59.6 split. Hester then posted an impressive 46.8 in his 400 meter leg. Soucie continued to keep Kansas moving up the field in his 800-meter third leg of 1:49.2. Munsch then anchored the team home with a 4:03.10 mile. The quartet passed the baton around in 9:38.89 to finish 21st in a field that saw the top-15 finishers post times faster than the previous NCAA-best.
Conley, a horizontal jumper out of Fayetteville, Ark., had the best performance of her freshman campaign to date as she competed in the long jump. She began the day with a pair of solid leaps, going 5.84 meters (19-2 ft.) and 6.02 meters (19-9 ft.) on her first two attempts. Conley then recorded three-consecutive fouls, giving herself only one more opportunity to extend her indoor season with a NCAA-qualifying mark. On her final jump she soared to a distance of 6.17 meters (20-3 ft.), notching a new personal best and a fourth-place finish in the event.
Conley’s leap moved her up to fifth on the all-time school long jump charts and elevated her to No. 26 on the national performance list, one of only four freshmen ranked among the top-30 long jumpers in the NCAA this year.
More Jayhawks will be in action Saturday in South Bend with the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay teams looking to move up in the national rankings with less than a week to go before the NCAA Championships.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A pair of underclassmen turned in career bests as a small, but strong, contingent of the KU men’s and women’s track teams competed at the Arkansas Last Chance Qualifier and attempted to earn NCAA-qualifying marks in the same facility that will host the NCAA Indoor Championships in just one week.
Freshman Tianna Valentine continued to turn heads with another personal best, just a week after earning a runner-up finish in the 60-meter dash at the Big 12 Championships in Ames. The St. Louis product kicked off the day Friday with the second-fastest 60-meter qualifying time, clocking in at 7.46 to move on to the final later in the day. In the final, Valentine sped to the finish in 7.38 to finish second overall. The time was another career-best for the freshman and is the third-fastest in school history. The time won’t be good enough however to let her return for the national meet next week in Fayetteville, moving her up to No. 30 in the NCAA this year.
In the men’s pole vault, Casey Bowen cleared the highest bar of his career and ended the day with a 10th-place finish in one of the most competitive fields he will see this season. The sophomore needed only three attempts to get over his first two bars but then needed all three vaults to earn his best mark of his career. Bowen soared over 5.30 meters (17-4.50 ft.), making him the fourth Jayhawk this season to clear that height or better. Junior teammate and Big 12 champion, Alex Bishop, claimed a tie for 12th with his height of 5.15 meters (16-10.75 ft.), while sophomore Greg Lupton finished 17th after also vaulting over the 5.15 meter (16-10.75 ft.) bar.
Jonathan Fuller was the only other KU male to make the trip to Fayetteville as he took part in the high jump. The sophomore out of Dallas collected the second-highest indoor clearance of his career, jumping over 2.12 meters (6-11.5 ft.) to finish in the runner-up position.
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