Eight Jayhawks Earn Spots at NCAA Championships

March 13, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Eight Jayhawks, two men and six women, are headed to Fayetteville, Ark. for the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this Friday and Saturday as announced by the NCAA.

Defending weight throw National Champion, senior Egor Agafonov and two-time Big 12 indoor pole vault champion, sophomore Jordan Scott will be representing the Kansas men. Representing the Jayhawk women are seniors Crystal Manning and Kate Sultanova and juniors Stephanie Horton, Nickesha Anderson, Sha’Ray Butler and Charity Stowers.

“The athletes that did make the NCAA Championships are very competitive,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “They are what we want Kansas to be. I think our assistant coaches have done a great job. On the women’s side we have more than we’ve ever had at the Indoor Championships.”

Agafonov currently leads the nation in the men’s weight throw after his final toss of the Big 12 Championships sailed 22.67 meters (74 feet, 4 ½ inches). With that effort, the Togliatti, Russia, native became the first Jayhawk in program history to win three straight conference championships in the weight throw. His NCAA championship throw of 23.60 meters (77-05 ¼ ft.) in 2007, stands as the second-best toss in school history.

Scott won his second Big 12 title with a height of 5.50 meters (18-00 ½ ft.), the third time he has exceeded the 18-foot mark this season. His height of 5.55 meters (18-02 ¼ ft.) at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational set a new facility record at the renowned Armory Track in New York, N.Y. That effort also ranks the Watkinsville, Ga., native third in the nation and in the KU record book.

Butler, Stowers, Manning and Anderson make up the women’s 1,600-meter relay team which set the school record to qualify for the Championships. At the ISU Invite on March 8, the women raced to a finish of 3:35.86, topping the old record by nearly four full seconds.

Anderson will also compete in the 60-meter dash, where she ranks third in the nation at 7.22, and in the 200-meter dash, where she is just one of two women in the world to break the 23-second barrier. The Hanover, Jamaica, native holds the school record in both events and earned Midwest Region Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year honors on Tuesday.

Manning, the third leg in the relay, competes in the triple jump as well. The Terrell, Texas, native is sixth in the NCAA in the event and set the school record at 13.54 meters (44-05 ½ ft.) at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 15. She was the co-high point scorer of the meet at the Big 12 Championships where she won the event as well as the long jump.

Sultanova is the KU record holder in the pole vault and like Scott, she also won the Big 12 title for the second straight year. The Krasnodar, Russia, native placed third in the event at the NCAA’s in 2007.

Horton had an impressive meet at the Big 12 Championships where she finished second with a school-record toss of 16.80 meters (55-01 ½ ft.). The Tigard, Ore., native is ninth in the country in the event.

The NCAA Indoor Championships March 14-15 are hosted by the University of Arkansas and will be held at the Randal Tyson Track Center, the home of the NCAA Championships since 2000. One of the fastest indoor tracks in the nation, the Randal Tyson Track Center seats over 5,000 spectators and has a six-lane banked track that has seen 11 of 20 NCAA Indoor records broken on its surface.

Be sure to log on to www.kuathletics.com for all the results from the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.