KU Women Claim Runner-Up Finish at NCAA Indoor Championships
March 11, 2012
Complete Results | PDF Results
- Redwine Recap
- Andrea Geubelle
- Diamond Dixon
- Dixon’s 400 Meters
NAMPA, Idaho – Diamond Dixon and Andrea Geubelle claimed NCAA titles as the two led the University of Kansas women to a second-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday night. The finish is the highest-ever at a NCAA meet for a Jayhawk women’s team in the program’s history.
“We’re really excited,” said a jubilant head coach Stanley Redwine after the meet. “We had such a great day with two national champions and the relay getting third. It was a great total team effort and I’m so proud of this group.”
The women entered the day in a tie for 23rd-place, having collected four points on day one, through the sixth and eighth-place finishes of Francine Simpson and Geubelle in the long jump.
First up for the women Saturday was the junior, Geubelle, in the triple jump. The University Place, Wash., native was the No. 1-ranked athlete entering the meet and was hoping to silence any doubters against the nation’s best.
Geubelle, competing in the first of two sections in the event, got out to a slow start, committing a foul on her first attempt and a jump of just 13.01 meters (42.08-25 ft.) on her second. Knowing she needed a big jump to assure herself in the final round, Geubelle unleashed a huge leap of 13.67 meters (44-10.25 ft.) on her third attempt that would move her into a comfortable first-place position. The mark tops Geubelle’s former school record as well as the nation leading mark, which she set three weeks ago at the conference meet. She entered the eight-person final leading the next best competitor by over five inches.
While Geubelle waited for the final round, her teammate, Dixon, took to the track, looking for the KU women’s first NCAA title on in a track event in over 16 years. The sophomore, who ran the fastest qualifying time of 52.67 Friday, boasted the second-fastest time in the nation this year at 52.55, run at the Big 12 Championships.
Dixon would climb into the blocks in the second of two heats, needing to run better than 52.54 to claim the NCAA title. After Clemson’s Marlena Wesh got out to an early lead, Dixon didn’t waiver. The Houston, Texas native, fought back into first and pushed the pace down the last 100 meters. With over a second and a half lead, Dixon crossed the finish line in an indoor school-record time of 51.78, taking the national title by almost a full second. The finish was also a facility record, the same record Dixon had set Friday in the semifinals.
“This feels amazing,” Dixon exclaimed soon after finishing the race. “I’ve worked so hard for this all season so I’m very proud of what I did today.”
The NCAA title was the KU women’s first since Amy Linnen won the indoor pole vault in 2005 and the first of any KU track athlete since Jordan Scott’s outdoor pole vault title in 2010. Dixon will likely earn first team All-American individual honors for the third time in her young career.
Following Dixon’s win in the 400 meters, Geubelle returned to the triple jump runway in search of her own national championship. Her school-record mark of 13.67 (44-10.25 ft.) in the prelims had given her a comfortable lead and she was looking to give herself even further cushion through her final three attempts. After a shorter mark on her fourth jump, the junior then fouled on her fifth, but still held a big lead.
With all other competitors without any further attempts and the title in her grasp, Geubelle made one more trip down the runway to thunderous applause from the Jackson’s Indoor Track fans. She leaped to a huge mark, one that looked as though would have broken the 45 foot barrier, however the red flag came up, signaling a foul on her last jump. It wouldn’t matter though, Geubelle was the NCAA champion in the event, the first KU female to do so in the triple jump and the second Jayhawk to win Gold on the evening.
“I think this whole season has been building up to this,” said Geubelle following her win. “Just trusting in my coach and trusting in my training and coming out here today, it all worked out. It’s all just really exciting. It’s exactly what I wanted to do.”
With Geubelle’s and Dixon’s 20 combined points propelling the women’s squad up the team leaderboard, the nation-leading KU 4×400-meter relay team took to the track, only needing a top-four finish to give the Jayhawks a runner-up team finish.
Leading off for the women was junior Denesha Morris, who was up against a tough group of starters. She held her own through the first leg, running a 54.57 opening split. She handed off to junior Paris Daniels who kept pace with the group through the first half of the event. With the group in fourth at the 800-meter mark, Daniels gave the baton to junior Taylor Washington who made up some important ground, giving her team a chance as they headed into the final leg.
With the nation’s top 400-meter runner waiting as the anchor, Dixon would be next for KU. Starting her leg in the fourth-place position, she fought for every meter, passing Texas A&M’s Olivia Okpone down the final straight-away to give her team a third-place finish and six additional team points. The quartet passed the baton around in 3:33.13 and will likely be named first team All-Americans for their efforts.
With the 26 points earned in the meet’s final day, the women claimed a runner-up finish and the highest-ever placement at a NCAA meet with their 30 total points. The finish is also the highest for either KU men’s or women’s team under Stanley Redwine.
“This is really a credit to the coaches and the hard work that they’re doing,” concluded Redwine. “This is a great day for the program and I couldn’t be happier.”
Both men’s and women’s track and field teams now have two weeks off to switch gears for the outdoor portion of the season. The Jayhawks will make the journey to Austin, Texas for the Texas Relays March 28-31. The women will look to keep their great momentum started in the indoor season, while the men add several outdoor top performers that will surely bring the team success. Stay updated on everything KU track and field until then through kuathletics.com and on twitter at KU_Track.