Kansas Concludes History Making Indoor Season

March 21, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Records and milestones were reached in historic numbers by the University of Kansas track and field teams and individuals throughout the 2008 indoor season. Nine school records were topped, while the women’s team undoubtedly had one of their most impressive seasons in team history. Kansas was just one of 10 schools to have both their men’s and women’s team finish within the top-25 at the NCAA Championships. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Senior Egor Agafonov joined a prestigious list with Karl Salb, Jim Ryun and Leo Bookman as the only Jayhawks to successfully defend their indoor national titles. Agafonov won the weight throw for the second-straight year to lead the men to a 22nd-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The men were in the national rankings on every occasion after the first week of the season, topping at 11th.

Agafonov, in his last indoor season, also became the first student-athlete in the 108-year history of Kansas track and field to win three straight conference championships in the event as well as earn All-America honors in the event for three-consecutive years.

“I am glad to be a Jayhawk,” the Togliatti, Russia, native said of his Kansas career. “I have a lot of favorite parts; the track, Memorial Stadium, everything. I like school and I like my professors. Everything is great. I am just proud to be a Jayhawk and support the crimson and blue.”

Sophomore Jordan Scott joined Agafonov as a Big 12 champion and All-American in 2008. Scott won the Big 12 pole vault title for the second time in as many years and launched himself into third on the event’s all-time performance list. The Watkinsville, Ga., native is Kansas’ first back-to-back pole vault champion in Big 12 history.

Also entering their names into the men’s record book were seniors Julius Jiles and Matt Baysinger. Jiles tied Aaron Thompson’s mark in the 60-meter hurdles at 7.84 while Baysinger’s time of 1:20.08 in the inaugural running of the 600 meters at Anschutz Pavilion is the school’s best mark.

The women were particularly successful throughout the indoor campaign. While climbing to sixth in the national rankings this year, the women’s team placed 10th at the NCAA Championships and third at the Big 12 Conference Championships – the best finish in team history at both events.

Six women qualified for the NCAA’s, the most under the tenure of head coach Stanley Redwine and four earned All-America honors, tying a team record, in five events, a team record.

The Jayhawks saw their first women’s triple jump All-American in senior Crystal Manning, and their first 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash All-American in junior Nickesha Anderson. Anderson became the first woman since Kristi Kloster in 1996 to win All-America honors in two events.

Anderson had one of the best seasons of any Jayhawk as she broke both the 60 and 200-meter dash records on numerous occasions. Her career-best time of 7.22 in the 60 meters earned her the Big 12 championship in the event.

Manning had one of the best conference championships in women’s team history as the triple jump school-record holder won both the long jump and triple jump titles en route to becoming the meet’s co-high point scorer. Also at that meet, she and Anderson joined juniors Sha’Ray Butler and Charity Stowers on the school-record breaking 1,600-meter relay team (3:35.86).

Juniors Stephanie Horton and Zlata Tarasova led the women’s throwers as they also broke into the school record book at the conference championships. Horton placed second as she set the KU standard at 16.80 meters (55 feet, 1 ½ inches) in the shot put while Tarasova’s weight throw of 18.97 meters (62-03 ft.) placed her fifth and now stands as the school’s best.

Senior Kate Sultanova matched the school’s best pole vault in 2008 which she shares with Amy Linnen. For the second-straight year, the Krasnodar, Russia, native won the Big 12 title and earned All-America honors.

With 12 out of 17 scorers from the Big 12 Championships underclassmen, Kansas will have an excellent opportunity to stretch the limits of their success for yet another indoor season in 2009.

The 2008 outdoor season begins March 28-29 at the Missouri Relays in Columbia, Mo.Kansas hosts the Kansas Relays April 16-19.