Jayhawks Head South for UTEP Invitational
April 12, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With the Kansas Relays just a week away, the KU track and field team will have one final tune-up this weekend as they travel to El Paso, Texas for the UTEP Invitational on Saturday, April 14. The 10th-ranked KU women and 25th-ranked men will send 49 athletes to the meet held at Kidd Field to go up against the best competition they have seen this outdoor season.
“We’re at the point where it’s time to start getting busy and pulling the team together as we head toward the end of the season,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “In the early meets the work load was still high and a lot of the performances reflected that. By now, I’m hoping the athletes are getting accustomed to the workouts and we’ll really start to see some good times and marks.”
Junior Mason Finley, who boasts the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 marks in the shot put and discus, respectively, will be in action in both events Saturday in El Paso. Finley returned to competition for the outdoor season after being sidelined with an injury for the indoor season and began his junior campaign with a bang. In two meets this season he has recorded a new personal best in the discus and has collected four victories. Finley’s day will kick off Saturday in the discus at 2 p.m. and will conclude in the shot put at 3:30 p.m.
Paris Daniels will also take part in the meet this weekend, as she is slated to compete in the 200 meters and a pair of relays. Like Finley, Daniels has marks in two events that rank among the top-20 in the nation. Last week at the Emporia Relays the junior earned personal bests in both the 100 meters and 200 meters. Her 100-meter time of 11.29 ranks eighth in the nation and her 23.53 200-meters hit No. 17 in the NCAA. She’ll run in the 200 meters Saturday at 6:35 p.m. (CT).
Indoor National Champion Andrea Geubelle will return to the triple jump pits two weeks shy of leaping to the second-farthest mark in the nation at the Texas Relays. Geubelle is scheduled to compete Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. The junior joins Heather Bergmann (javelin), Francine Simpson (long jump) and Alena Krechyk (hammer throw) as KU women to compete this weekend who rank in the NCAA top-10 in their events.
For the men, freshman Michael Stigler has jumped out to a strong start his first collegiate outdoor season. The Canyon, Texas native returns to his home state this weekend ranked 14th in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles and 26th in the West Region in the 100-meter hurdles. Stigler will try to shave off a few seconds in both events at UTEP, running in the 100 hurdles at 4:55 p.m. and the 400 hurdles at 6:20 p.m.
The always strong group of Jayhawks pole vaulters will be in action Saturday with the women beginning at 2:15 p.m. and the men at 4:30 p.m. Each group has a pair of vaulters who have clearances that rank them among the top-30 in the nation; sophomore Alex Bishop and freshman Greg Lupton for the men and sophomore Demi Payne and freshman Jaimie House on the women’s side.
“We’re looking forward to the (Kansas) Relays next week,” concluded Redwine. “But we need to make sure we’re not looking past this UTEP meet because there are a lot of really good teams that will be there this weekend.”
The UTEP Invitational will began at 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday with the women’s hammer throw and will conclude at 7:50 p.m. with the men’s 4×400-meter relay. Log on to kuathletics.com and go to the meet central page for complete updates and results of the day’s events. Don’t forget to follow on twitter at KU_Track.