Track and Field Teams Set to Compete in 79th Kansas Relays

Kansas Relays

April 19, 2006


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The men’s and women’s track and field teams will be in Lawrence this weekend for the 79th Kansas Relays. The meet kicks off on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. with the men’s hammer throw and wraps up on Saturday with the men’s 4×400-meter relay at 6:20 p.m. The Jayhawks are coming off a weekend that saw many strong performances, especially in the throws category. Among several solid showings at the Mesa Classin in Mesa, Ariz., sophomore Egor Agafonov broke the Kansas hammer throw record previously held by Scott Russell. The Jayhawks will remain on the relays circuit next weekend when they will travel to Des Moines, Iowa, for the Drake Relays from April 28-30.

From the Tom Botts and Mesa Classic…
Competing at the Mesa Classic in Mesa, Ariz., sophomore Egor Agafonov shattered Scott Russell’s previous hammer record by over 10 feet. Agafonov’s heave of 228-6 broke the old record of 218-5, won the event and moved him into fourth on the national performance list.

Agafonov’s new record came on the heels of teammate Zlata Tarasova’s setting the women’s hammer record at the Texas Relays on April 14. Tarasova broke her own record over the weekend at the Mesa Classic with a toss of 199-11. She had originally set the standard with a toss of 193-10 in Austin. Both Agafonov’s and Tarasova’s performances were easily regionally-qualifying marks.

Senior Sheldon Battle won the invitational shot put competition at the Mesa Classic with a toss of 64-6. The Jamestown, N.Y., native also finished fourth in the discus with a throw of 198-8. That performance vaulted him into third place on KU’s all-time performance list and sixth on the national performance list. He finished fifth in the hammer (197-3) to round out his weekend. Battle is now in the top three of Kansas’ all-time performance list in the hammer, shot put and discus, the only student-athlete in KU’s history to have that distinction.

The Jayhawks’ final first-place performance came from senior Denita Young. Her throw of 151-7 in the javelin beat the field and gave her another regional mark.

Junior Abby Emsick and freshman Stephanie Horton also had a busy weekend competing in the discus and shot put. Horton moved into third on the Kansas performance list in the shot put with a throw of 49-11 1/4. The toss was also good for third at the competition. Emsick, who owns the KU discus record, finished third in that event (171-1) and fourth in the shot put (47-9). Horton came in fifth in the discus (152-7).

At the Tom Botts Invitational, sophomore Julius Jiles tied his seasonal best in the 110-meter hurdles by running a time of 14.12. His effort was also good for first place in that event.

Junior Shatoya Hill had a very impressive start to her triple jump season. The Lubbock, Texas, native regionally qualified in the event with her leap of 40-6 3/4, taking second place overall in the process.

Wins from sophomores Colby Wissel and Paul Hefferon in the two distance events highlighted the first day of competition at the Tom Botts. Wissel, a native of Elm Creek, Neb., beat the field in the 5,000-meter run, crossing the finish line first in a time of 14:42.61. Competing in the 3,000-meter run, Hefferon finished first in a time of 8:20.22.

Men’s Team Ranked…
The University of Kansas men’s track and field team is ranked at No. 19 in the country with a projected 13 points in the new national poll. It is tied with Wisconsin and South Carolina for that position. The Trackwire 25 projects a hypothetical score for the NCAA meet, factoring in injury reports and other variables supported by information gathered from coaches and NCAA-qualifying competitions across the country. Kansas’ projection this week was 19 points for the NCAA Indoor Championships. This projection is generated by scoring the Dandy Dozen, a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event.