Jayhawks Top National Rankings for Third-Straight Week
April 9, 2013
NEW ORLEANS – A host of top-10-ranked field event student-athletes kept the Kansas women ranked atop the NCAA track & field rankings as was announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Tuesday. Kansas has now been the nation’s No. 1 team for three-consecutive weeks, which includes the first two weeks of the regular season as well as the preseason rankings.
The Jayhawk women are flying steady at No. 1 with a slight gain in their lead over the second-ranked squad, Oregon. Several KU women turned in outstanding performances over the weekend at the Sun Angel Classic to contribute to the team’s stay at the top spot. Junior pole vaulter Natalia Bartnovskaya broke the school record and moved up to No. 3 in the NCAA rankings with her winning mark of 4.41 meters (14’5.5″).
Junior thrower Jessica Maroszek posted the second-farthest mark of her career in the discus at the Mesa Classic last Friday. The Seymour, Wis., product hit a distance of 55.60 meters (182’5″), the third-farthest throw in the nation this season.
Kansas six other athletes and one relay team ranked in the NCAA top-10 of their respective events. Senior Paris Daniels ran the eight-fastest 200 meters last week at the Mesa Classic, clocking in with a time of 23.25. Joining Bartnovskaya in near the top of the pole vault rankings is senior Christen Guenther, who checks in at No. 4 in the U.S. after her career-best clearance of 4.31 meters (14’1.75″) two weeks ago at the Texas Relays.
KU’s All-American long jumpers, Francine Simpson and Andrea Geubelle, hold the second- and sixth-farthest marks, respectively in the nation this season. Simpson won the event at the Texas Relays with her mark of 6.62 meters (21’8.75″) while Geubelle notched a third-place finish with a leap of 6.31 meters (20’8.5″) last Saturday at the Sun Angel Classic.
Geubelle is the team’s only current national leader as she holds the NCAA’s top triple jump mark. The senior soared to a distance of 13.76 meters (45’1.75″) in her season-opening performance at the Texas Relays on March 30.
Elsewhere in the field, seniors Alena Krechyk and Heather Bergmann both hold NCAA top-five marks. Krechyk hit a season-best 66.83 meter (219’3″) throw in a winning effort at the Mesa Classic last Friday, while Bergmann posted the second-farthest javelin throw of her career a day later at the Sun Angel Classic, a mark of 52.23 meters (171’4″). Both distances rank fourth in the nation this year.
Sophomore Lindsay Vollmer remained highly-ranked for another week in the heptathlon. The Hamilton, Mo., native opened the outdoor season with a personal best score in the event at the Texas Relays, amassing 5,578 points during the two-day event, the fourth-most by an NCAA athlete in 2013.
The All-American 4×400-meter relay team of Daniels, Denesha Morris, Diamond Dixon and Taylor Washington returned to the top of the NCAA after their winning time at the Sun Angel Classic. The quartet passed the baton around in 3:32.26, the No. 8 time in the nation. The time was also the third-fastest in school history.
The KU men and women will have one final tune-up before they return home for the 86th Annual Kansas Relays as they travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the John McDonnell Invitational this weekend. Action from Arkansas will begin Saturday, April 13 at 5 p.m. with the 4×100-meter relays. Follow all the action by following on Twitter at KU_Track and logging on to KUAthletics.com.
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