KU Track Bound to Oklahoma for John Jacobs Invitational

April 12, 2007


The University of Kansas track and field teams continue to prepare for the 80th Kansas Relays and Big 12 Outdoor Championships when they head to Norman, Okla., to compete in the John Jacobs Invitational. The competition will run Friday April 13 and Saturday April 14 from the campus of the University of Oklahoma.

At Friday’s distance carnival, juniors Paul Hefferon and Colby Wissel will compete in the men’s 5000-meter run while junior Patrick McGowan will tackle the 3000-meter steeplechase. On the women’s side, a host of Jayhawks will compete in the 1500-meter run, including senior Melissa O’Rourke, juniors Melissa Moody and Lisa Morrisey and freshmen Cassi Sokol and Kellie Schneider.

On Saturday, Co-Big 12 Student Athlete of the Week Barrett Saunders will look to continue the momentum he generated with a victory in the long jump at the Texas Relays. Senior Benson Chesang will also make his outdoor season debut at the race, competing in the 1500-meter run. For the women, junior Crystal Manning will compete in both the long jump and triple jump competition while also running the 200-meter dash and as a member of the 4×100-meter relay team.

At last weekend’s Texas Relays, Kansas posted some impressive performances, resulting in four individual victories and five new regionally qualifying marks. Saunders led the way for the Jayhawks, winning the men’s section B long jump with a nationally leading leap of 25-10 (7.87m). The mark represented a new personal best for Saunders.

Also winning were a pair of hammer throwers, Zlata Tarasova and Egor Agafonov. Tarasova threw 200-01 feet in the women’s hammer, earning a regionally qualifying mark and finishing second. Agafonov won the men’s hammer, finishing with a 223-04 toss. Agafonov is now ranked No. 1 in the nation by trackwire.com in the event while Tarasova checks in at No. 10. Both are the school record holders in the event.

The fifth winner was senior Abby Emsick, who captured the women’s discus with a season-best throw of 175-05. Emsick, the school record holder in the event, ranks No. 11 in trackwire.com’s national rankings of women discus throwers.

Also competing well at the Texas Relays was junior Ashley Brown, the Big 12 Female Co-Athlete of the Week on April 3. Brown registered a regional qualifying mark in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.55 seconds. She currently ranks third in the event in the Big 12 and first in the conference in the 400-meter hurdles with her season-best time of 59.03 seconds.

Following the John Jacobs Invitational, the teams will return to Lawrence to host the 80th Anniversary of the Kansas Relays April 18-21 at Memorial Stadium.

– KU –