Five Jayhawks Qualify for Regionals

April 11, 2009


LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kirk Cooper won the men’s pole vault with a regional-qualifying mark, Dustin Turner took the title in the men’s long jump andKansas won the women’s 4×400-meter relay as a total of five Jayhawks qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships to lead the KU track & field team Saturday at the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla.

“We’re definitely excited,” Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine said of his team’s regional qualifiers. “Now we have our home meet for the one’s that haven’t qualified to get it done there. We’re excited about being prepared for the Kansas Relays. Hopefully we can continue to get better and do well at the Relays and then later on in the season at the Big 12 Championships.”

Cooper, a junior from Centennial, Colo., vaulted a season-best 5.05 meters (16-06.75 ft.) to take home the championship and qualify for the NCAA Regional Championships. Sophomore Cooper Merrill placed second behind Cooper with a jump of 4.90 meters (16-00.75 ft.). Junior Ryan Hays finished in fourth place (4.75 meters [15-07.00 ft.]) and freshman Clint Robison took fifth (4.60 meters [15-07.00 ft.]) to give the Jayhawks four of the top-five spots.

Turner, a senior from Oak Grove, Mo., jumped a season-best 7.28 meters (23-10.75 ft.) to win the long jump by 1.25 ft. over Neelon Greenwood of Oklahoma.

The Jayhawk women’s 4×400 team of seniors Sha’Ray Butler, Victoria Howard, Charity Stowers and freshman Shayla Wilson posted a season-best time of 3:43.69 to take home the title.

Nickesha Anderson regionally qualified in her third different event in two weeks, placing second in the women’s 400 meters with a time of 54.36.

A week removed from his victory and regional-qualifying performance in the men’s triple jump in Tucson, Ariz., freshman Corey Fuller triple jumped 14.98 meters (49-01.75 ft.) to finish in second place.

Victoria Howard regionally qualified in the women’s 200 meters, recording a time of 23.76 to finish in fifth place.

Lauren Bonds finished as the runner-up in the women’s 600 meters after clocking in at 2:11.47. The junior from Hutchinson, Kan., crossed the finish line just .33 seconds behind the winner, SMU’s Ilyssa Pettigrew. Bonds also finished second in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:39.37.

In the 1,500 meters, freshman Donny Wasinger placed second in a time of 3:54.23. Right behind in third place was junior Bret Imgrund, who finished in a time of 3:55.92. Senior Patrick McGowan placed fourth behind his Kansas teammates with a time of 3:56.89. Imgrund also placed third in the men’s 800 meters, running a time of 1:57.94.

Junior Jacob Breth placed second in the men’s javelin, recording a throw of 42.91 meters (140-09 ft.).

Two KU freshmen took the third and fourth finishing spots with regional-qualifying times in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, as Keyen Porter placed third with a time of 14.21 and Keith Hayes finished right behind in fourth (14.22).

Sha’Ray Butler was the runner-up in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, finishing in a time of 1:02.01.

The KU men’s 4×400-meter relay team of juniors Jacob Breth, Reggie Carter, freshman Keith Hayes and junior Chandler Frigon recorded a third-place finish, posting a season-best time of 3:11.41.

Junior Kelsey Erb placed third in the women’s high jump, equaling her season-best mark of 1.65 meters (5-05.00 ft.).

The Kansas Relays now await the Jayhawks, beginning Wednesday, April 15 and spanning through Saturday, April 18 here at Memorial Stadium.

“It’s always a fantastic time to have most of the athletes’ families come to see us compete at our one and only home meet,” Redwine said. “It’s fun for the athletes and fun that their families can watch them run here. We have several families that traveled out to Arizona when we went there. We will get more of our families and fans to watch us compete this week.

“I think for the freshmen that competed at the Relays as high schoolers, it’s a step up for them. At the Kansas Relays, there’s great competition among the high schools. For those athletes that are on the team here at KU, it means a little more because now they’re at home and they’re representing their University.”

Tickets can be purchased during the Kansas Relays at Memorial Stadium, or in advance at on the Ticket Office page. Contact the ticket office by e-mail at or by phone at 800-34-HAWKS.