Jayhawks Record 12 First Place Finishes in Outdoor Opener

March 26, 2005


TULSA, Okla. –


After a record-breaking and successful indoor season, the University of Kansas track and field teams hit the ground running to record 12 first place finishes and seven regional qualifying marks in the first outdoor meet of the season, Saturday. The Jayhawks competed at the Tulsa Duels in Tulsa, Okla. It was a non-team scored event.

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KU junior Sheldon Battle took two first place victories and two regional marks on the day in the discus and the hammer throw. Battle’s throw of 183-00 in the discus was good enough to beat sophomore teammate Gavin Ball, who finished second with a toss of 170-03. Battle’s throw of 184-07 in the hammer was good enough for first place in the meet and the fourth best effort in school history.

Ball went on to win the shot put with a regional qualifying mark of 56-04.50.

Freshman Julius Jiles turned heads in his first collegiate meet with a regional qualifying mark of 14.21, and a first place finish in the 110-meter hurdles.

The KU men took the top four spots in the 3,000-meter run. Freshman Paul Hefferon won the event with a time of 8:30.97. Hefferon was followed in the event by senior Chris Jones (8:35.97), junior D.J. Hilding (8:36.44) and freshman Colby Wissel (8:36.65). Those four times were all good enough to eclipse the previous Tulsa Duels record of 9:05.30.

On the women’s side, senior Brooklyn Hann took first place and regionally qualified in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.65. Hann dominated the event almost winning by a complete second. Tracy Partain of Southwest Missouri State finished second in the event with a time of 14.64.

The Jayhawks took the top two spots in the high jump. Sophomore Joanie Nelson won the event with a best jump of 5-07.25, while senior Sondra Rauterkus finished second with a mark of 5-05.25.

In her first meet as a member of the Kansas track and field team, junior transfer Denita Miller dominated the javelin with a regionally qualifying throw of 151-00.

Freshman Crystal Manning also regionally qualified as she won the triple jump with the fifth best effort in school history of 40-09.00.

Sophomore Janiece Gatson won the 400-meter hurdles with a Tulsa Duels record of 1:03.26.

“Competitors find a way to compete and that is what we did today,” Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine said. “There were adverse conditions today, the windchill was in the 30’s. I thought it was awesome to do what we did in these conditions.”

“We had some time off and this was a good start,” Redwine added. “This is the first time since we’ve been here that we have had so many regionally qualifying marks in our first meet.”

The Jayhawks will next be in action April 9 when the teams travel to Emporia, Kan., to compete in the State-Farm Euler Invitational.