Jayhawks Trek to Austin, Fayetteville for Weekend Meets
March 28, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track and field is set for two more competitive meets Wednesday through Saturday as the Jayhawks split up between the 85th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas and the Arkansas Spring Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. A total of 81 Jayhawks will be in action this weekend, each hoping to continue their strong starts to the 2012 outdoor campaign.
All-American Mason Finley made a splash in the shot put and discus last weekend at the Baker Relays with two of the best marks the NCAA has seen in 2012. He will be in action in both events at the Arkansas Spring Invitational Saturday, starring in the discus at 11 a.m., and the shot put at 3:30 p.m. In addition to having the NCAA’s No. 1 and 2-ranked marks in the discus and shot put, respectively, Finley has already attained provisional marks that could earn him a spot in the Olympic Trials in late June. Look for him to take aim at the automatic qualifying marks this weekend in Fayetteville.
Other top Jayhawks who will join Finley at John McDonnell Field in Arkansas are senior Alena Krechyk, who currently sits fifth in the NCAA after her victorious performance last weekend at Baker; All-American Johann Swanepoel, who will lead three other Jayhawks in the javelin at 6 p.m., Saturday evening; sophomore Jessica Maroszek who, like Finley, will double up in the shot put and discus and Heather Bergmann in the women’s javelin. The junior had a break-out, All-American-caliber season in 2011 will look to head in that direction again as she throws at 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
The KU talent pool will be even deeper in Austin at the four-day Texas Relays. Indoor national champions Diamond Dixon and Andrea Geubelle will highlight a strong group that could make a big impact at the 85th installment of the legendary meet. Dixon will be joined by her 4×400-meter relay teammates; juniors Paris Daniels, Denesha Morris and Taylor Washington, who will try to carry-over their All-American success from the indoor season. The quartet will be in action on Saturday evening at 5:10 p.m.
Geubelle, who claimed the indoor national title and is the school record holder in the triple jump will turn her attention to outdoors this weekend as she is slated to jump on Friday at 2 p.m. The junior will also compete in the long jump, alongside fellow All-American and Big 12 Indoor Champ Francine Simpson. The two will hit the runway around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Others who will be going up against some of the nation’s best in Austin will be senior Donny Wasinger, who is scheduled to run in the 1,500 meters, the same event in which he earned All-America honorable mention honors a year ago; sophomore pole vaulter Demi Payne, who had a break-out indoor season and currently stands at No. 24 in the nation; junior Kyle Clemons, who is slated to lead three different relay teams on the weekend; the 4×400-meter, distance medley and sprint medley relays and senior Rebeka Stowe, who will see her first action in the outdoor season, running in the 1,500 meters, the distance medley relay and 4×800-meter relay.
Multi-event specialists Rebecca Neville and Lindsay Vollmer will kick-off the weekend for the Jayhawks in the heptathlon in Austin on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Action will begin from Fayetteville Friday evening with the men’s and women’s hammer throw at 6 p.m. Be sure to follow the Jayhawks’ progress at both meets this week with updates on kuathletics.com and through twitter at KU_Track.