KU Heads to Last Chance Meet

March 3, 2006


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The University of Kansas men’s and women’s track and field teams will be back in action this weekend in Ames, Iowa, for the Cyclone National Track and Field Qualifier. Saturday’s meet will serve as several athletes’ last chance to qualify for next weekend’s NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Field events are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. with the women’s pole vault. The 5,000-meter run will kick off running events at 10:25 a.m. and the men’s 4×400-meter relay will conclude the meet at 4:20 p.m. Results will be posted throughout the day and at the end of the meet at www.cyclones.com.

Big 12 Championship Leftovers…
The 2006 Big 12 Championship featured five Olympians, 16 NCAA champions, 58 NCAA All-Americans, and 25 defending champions in 38 events.

Two KU tracksters broke their own school records in competition at the conference championship. Senior Tiffany Cherry set her new school standard in the 60-meter dash, running a 7.41 in her qualifying heat. The time, which was an NCAA provisionally qualifying performance, broke her previous record of 7.45. Freshman Zlata Tarasova was the other Kansas athlete to break a record, hers in the weight throw. Tarasova’s throw of 61-11 at Big 12s bested her old record of 61-0 that she had set at this season’s ISU Classic (2-10-06). Her toss of 61-0 broke the old record held by Lisa Brien (54-11 1/4).

Several Jayhawks had provisionally or automatically qualifying times/marks at the conference championship. They include: Josh Kirk (Pentathlon/Prov/5,373), Sheldon Battle (Shot Put/Auto/65-3 1/4 & Weight Throw/Auto/69-10 1/4), Egor Agafonov (Weight Throw/Auto/ 72-7 3/4), Charisse Bacchus (Long Jump/Prov/20-5 1/4), and Tiffany Cherry (60m/Prov/7.41).

All four of Agafonov’s throws in the weight throw finals exceeded 70 feet in length. In his final attempt, the Togliatti, Russia, native unleashed a mammoth hurl of 77 feet, but the throw was ruled a foul for stepping out of the ring.

The Kansas men’s team sixth place finish was an improvement on its eighth place result at last year’s championship. The women’s team dropped two spots from last year — from seventh to ninth.

Kansas Men Nationally Ranked…
The University of Kansas men’s track and field team is ranked No. 11 in the country in the new Trackwire.com national poll, up one spot from last week. The Trackwire 25 projects a hypothetical score for the NCAA meet, factoring in injury reports and other variables supported by information gathered from coaches and NCAA-qualifying competitions across the country. Kansas’ projection this week was 19 points for the NCAA Indoor Championships. This projection is generated by scoring the Dandy Dozen, a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event.

ISU Classic Qualifiers…

Senior Charisse Bacchus’ leap of 20-5 3/4 in the long jump and Aaron Thompson’s time of 7.90 in the 60-meter hurdles at the ISU Classic provisionally qualified them for the NCAA Indoor Championships. At the same meet, sophomore Colby Wissel also provisionally qualified in the 3000-meter run (8:04.19), joining teammate Benson Chesang as KU’s representatives in that event.

Jayhawks in the Dandy Dozen…
This week’s edition of the Trackwire Dandy Dozen showcases senior Sheldon Battle and newcomer Egor Agafonov. Battle remained second in the shot put and moved up one spot to eighth in the weight throw. Agafonov remained at No. 1 in the country in the weight throw. The Dandy Dozen is a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event. The list is used in compiling Trackwire’s weekly top 25 team rankings.