Kansas Track and Field Begins Outdoor Season with Successful Debut

March 24, 2007

TULSA, Okla. –

The University of Kansas track and field teams saw a new school record fall and earned several NCAA regional marks at the season-opening Tulsa Duels Saturday in Tulsa, Okla. Junior Ashley Brown set a new Kansas record in the women’s 100-meter hurdles and junior Hugh Murphy made an impressive KU debut in the javelin, recording the fifth-longest throw in KU history.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Brown nearly set a new <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas record and won the women’s 100-meter hurdles in 13.31 seconds, which would have also been an NCAA regional mark in the event. However, the wind was too fierce during her performance to register as a qualifying or record-setting performance. She also finished second in the 400-meter hurdles in a career-best time of 59.03 seconds, also a regional mark. Senior Janiece Gatson finished right on her heels, placing third in the 400-meter hurdles.

Murphy finished second in the javelin with a throw of 215-10 feet (65.80m), which represents a regional qualifying mark. The Baldwin, Kan., native who transferred from Brown University, now owns the fifth-longest throw in Kansas history.

The Jayhawks saw several impressive performances in the long jump competition. Junior Crystal Manning won the women’s long jump with a career-best leap of 20-06.50 feet (6.26m), also a regional qualifying mark. Junior Barrett Saunders and seniors Josh Kirk and Eric Babb finished first through third, respectively, in the men’s event. Saunders leapt a career-best 24-07.75 feet (7.51m), which is a regional qualifying mark, while Kirk jumped 23-06.25 feet. (7.17m) and Babb finished with a mark of 23-06 feet. (7.16m).

A pair of senior captains swept the discus events for the Jayhawks. Cody Roberts won the men’s discus with a throw of 181-01 feet (55.19m), well ahead of the regional qualifying standard of 51.70 meters. Abby Emsick captured the women’s event with a throw of 168-02 feet (51.25m), also well ahead of the regional qualifying standard of 47.30 meters.

In other field events, junior Libby Harmon tied for first in the women’s pole vault with a vault of 11-11.75 feet and freshman Kirk Cooper finished second in the men’s event by clearing 16-00.75 ft. Sophomore Stephanie Horton registered a NCAA regional qualifying mark in the shot put, winning the event with a put of 50-05.50 feet (15.38m).

Junior Maresia Pencil placed second in the women’s 800m and sophomore Charity Stowers finished fourth. Senior Melissa O’Rourke and freshman Lauren Bonds finished second and third, respectively, in the women’s 3000m. The women’s 4×400-meter relay team won the event in 3:47.83.

The Jayhawks return to the track when they head to Austin, Texas for the Texas Relays April 5-7 as they prepare for the Kansas Relays at Memorial Stadium April 18-21.