Vollmer, Bishop Get Jayhawks Off To Strong Start at Texas Relays
March 29, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas – The Jayhawks are off and running at the 85th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas for the four-day meet that began Wednesday. Thirty-three members of the men’s and women’s teams will see action this weekend and are poised to continue their strong start to the 2012 outdoor season.
Multi-event specialists Lindsay Vollmer and Rebecca Neville kicked things off Wednesday in the heptathlon, which ran the duo through seven events in a two-day span. Vollmer had an outstanding outing, recording personal bests in two of the seven events and topping the field in the javelin portion of the competition. When all was said and done, the freshman finished seventh and set a new career high in total points with 5,323. The finish marks the second-highest point total in school history and tops Anne O’Conner’s 5,314 set in 1988.
Neville also had a solid two-day outing with her top performance coming in the 100-meter hurdles and the 200 meters. She also claimed a personal best in the 800 meter event, propelling her to a 14th-place finish with a score of 5,072.
After the multi-event competitions came to a close, it was sophomore Alex Bishop’s turn in the B-section of the men’s pole vault. The Phoenix, Ariz. native didn’t get off to an ideal start, needing all three attempts to clear his first bar at 4.90 meters (16-00.75 ft.). Once he was through to the next height however, he quickly moved himself ahead of the field. It took him only three vaults to advance through the next two heights, giving him momentum for the biggest clearance of his career to date.
After fouls on his first two attempts, Bishop slid over the 5.30 meter (17-04.50 ft.) bar on his last try, notching a new personal best and moving him into the top ten of the NCAA rankings. The clearance earned him a first-place finish, tying him with LSU’s Thomas Reinecke.
A pair of KU relay teams took the Mike A. Myers Stadium track Thursday evening as the men’s and women’s 4×800-meter races were held. The Jayhawk women’s team of Shayla Wilson, Rebeka Stowe, Maddy Rich and Cori Christensen had an impressive performance that would end with a shuffling atop the all-time school performance list. The quartet passed the baton around in 8:52.25 to finish fifth in the race. However, their time ties for the third-fastest in school history.
On the men’s side, Brendan Soucie, Donny Wasinger, Dalen Fink and Josh Munsch combined for a 3,200-meter time of 7:40.13 to finish 13th.
Earlier in the day freshman Michael Stigler took part in the preliminary heats of the 400-meter hurdles. The highly-heralded freshman out of Texas got his homecoming week off to a good start as he ran the fourth-fastest time in the qualifying rounds. His time of 51.16 earned him a spot in the finals to be held Saturday at 12:15 p.m.
Three distance specialists saw individual action in Thursday night races. Junior Austin Bussing opened his outdoor season with one of the best races of his Kansas career. The Houston native turned in a new personal best in the 1,500 meters, securing himself a runner-up finish in the B-race. Junior Kathleen Thompson also notched a new personal best in the 1,500 meters as she took sixth in the women’s B-section race, while freshman Evan Landes put on the KU track singlet for the first time, placing 10th in the 5,000 meters and crossing the finish line in 14:58.39.
Two more days of Texas Relays action are in store from Mike A. Myers Stadium. The Indoor All-American 4×400-meter women’s relay team will take to the track in preliminary action Friday morning, while national champion Andrea Geubelle will hit the triple jump pits later in the afternoon at 2 p.m. Some Jayhawks will also compete Friday afternoon in the Arkansas Spring Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Senior Alena Krechyk will headline the Friday competitors as she will throw in the women’s hammer throw at 5 p.m. Stay updated on all the KU performances over the next two days by logging on to kuathletics.com and following on twitter at KU_Track.