Agafonov wins National Championship in Weight Throw
, Ark. – Senior Egor Agafonov successfully defended his national championship in the weight throw with an NCAA-leading toss of 22.71 meters (74 feet, 6 ¼ inches) while the women’s team earned their highest NCAA finish in team history for the University of Kansas at the 2008 Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Kansas’ women placed in a tie for 10th overall with 18 points. The previous best finish for the KU women was 15th at the 1996 NCAA Championships. The 1979 Jayhawks placed third at the AIAW National Championships.
“I thought it was a really good meet for us,” head coach Stanley Redwine said. “At the beginning of the year I thought we could be in the top-15, we got 10th-place and that’s great.” The men placed 22nd with ten points from Agafonov’s win in the weight throw.
“It was difficult,” Agafonov said of defending his national title. “I don’t look at the other guys’ distance. I watch for my own mistakes, don’t collect others and just throw as far as I can.”
Agafonov led the field leading into the finals with his second throw of the day landing at 22.33 meters (73-03). He then put the field out of reach when he topped his own mark with his fifth toss, the winning distance.
“Those guys are really good,” Agafonov said of his competition after taking the lead. “They can all throw 23 meters, at least. It was no time to rest.”
The Togliatti, Russia, native also won the weight throw in 2007 with a winning toss of 23.60 meters (77-05 ¼ ft.). He joins Karl Salb, Jim Ryun and Leo Bookman as the only Jayhawks to win multiple indoor national championships.
“It is really hard to defend (a national championship),” Redwine said. “When it comes down to the competition, he steps up and gets the job done and he definitely did that today.”
Junior Stephanie Horton scored for the women in the shot put with an eighth-place finish. Her initial throw was her best and the second-best effort of her career. The Tigard, Ore., native’s toss traveled a distance of 16.60 meters (54-05 ½ ft.).
“It felt good to get at least one point for the team,” Horton said. “I think for my first National meet, I did great and I feel good about it.”
Senior Kate Sultanova placed third in the women’s pole vault. The Krasnodar, Russia, native cleared 4.25 meters (13-11 ¼ ft.). At the next height, Sultanova just missed on tying the school-record.
Junior Nickesha Anderson scored in her second event of the meet in the 60-meter dash. Her time of 7.28 placed her in sixth. Anderson also placed second in the 200 meters on Friday with the fourth-fastest time in Jamaican history at 22.60.
Senior Crystal Manning finished in 13th-place in the women’s triple jump at 13.07 meters (42-10 ¾ ft.) while the women’s 1,600-meter relay team of Anderson, Manning and juniors Charity Stowers and Sha’Ray Butler placed 10th at 3:37.48.
Sophomore Jordan Scott finished ninth on Friday in the men’s pole vault.
Kansas will try to duplicate their success from the indoor campaign when they begin the outdoor season at the Missouri Relays, March 28-29.
60 Meters: 6-Anderson (7.23p, 7.28f)
200 Meters: 2-Anderson (22.75p, 22.62f)
Pole Vault: 3-Sultanova (4.25m)
Shot Put: 8-Horton (16.60m)
Triple Jump: 13-Manning (13.07m)
1,600-meter Relay: 10-Kansas (3:37.48)
Weight Throw: 1-Agafonov (22.71m)
Pole Vault: 9-Scott (5.40m)