Scott Russell Claims Ninth Javelin Title on Day Three of Kansas Relays

April 20, 2012

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042012aad_621_7705886.jpegLAWRENCE, Kan. – Former Jayhawk Scott Russell once again stole the show Friday afternoon on the third day of the 85th Kansas Relays. The 2002 KU graduate claimed the javelin title for the ninth time in the past 12 years hitting a mark of 80.60 meters (264-05 ft.).

Russell, who originally hails from Windsor, Ontario and currently resides in Baldwin City, Kan., entered Friday coming off one of the most successful years of his career. He became the Canadian national champion and the national record holder in the event in 2011 and competed at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Friday, Russell opened his 2012 campaign in impressive fashion, heaving the javelin a distance of 80.60 meters (264-05 ft.) on his first attempt of the day. The mark is the ninth-farthest in the world thus far this year and makes Russell the top-ranked Canadian thrower in 2012. The javelin sailed to a spot just over four feet shy of his meet record heave from a year ago of 81.96 meters (268-11 ft.) and gave the 33-year-old his ninth Kansas Relays javelin title over the past 12 years.

Russell will now continue the journey as he attempts to make his second Olympic Games later this summer in London. In 2008, he placed 10th overall in the Beijing Games.

Kansas’ All-American Mason Finley earned his third-consecutive Relays shot put title as the junior hit a top mark of 19.89 meters (63-03.25 ft.) on his final throw of the day to win the event. Finley’s mark is the top throw among collegiates this year and is the furthest throw for the Salida, Colo., native in almost 14 months.

Finley will also try to three-peat in the men’s discus Saturday as he hits the ring at 1:30 p.m.

On the track, former Missouri Baptist star Meagan Hudson came within just three seconds of the Kansas Relays record in the women’s 3,000-meter Steeplechase. The race was never close as Hudson quickly sprinted out to an early lead and never looked back. Hudson, a 2011 NAIA All-American in the event, crossed the finish line in 10:37.75, less than a second off her personal best. Hudson’s time is the fastest in four years at the Relays.

Back out at McCook-Olympic Field, Missouri’s Kearsten Peoples had an outstanding performance in the shot put. The freshman never trailed in the event and never recorded a mark less than 51 feet. Peoples twice broke the meet record, launching a throw of 17.09 meters (56-00.75 ft.) on her third attempt. With the victory already in hand, the Tiger uncorked an enormous throw of 17.39 meters (57-00.75 ft.), topping the previous meet record by more than a foot.

Peoples’ mark ranks her fourth in the NCAA this year, and improves upon her previous season best by just over an inch.

It was a two-person affair in the men’s pole vault as Kansas’ Alex Bishop and Rory Quiller (unattached) were forced to share champion honors, tying for first with clearances of 5.25 meters (17-02.75 ft.). Both athletes fouled only once en route to their winning clearances, beating out two other competitors with identical heights on misses.

It was a career day for Kansas’ Allison Mayfield who won her first collegiate high jump competition, leaping over the 1.80 meter (5-10.75 ft.) bar to claim Gold. It was a personal best for the former Kansas volleyball player, who out-jumped Nebraska freshman Marusa Cernjul on her final attempt at that height. The PR clearance moved Mayfield into the top-15 in the nation this year and is the fourth-best jump in the Big 12 Conference on the season.

A pair of Cornhuskers won the men’s and women’s triple jump competitions with sophomore Patrick Raedler winning on a leap of 15.80 meters (51-10 ft.) on the men’s side and junior Mara Griva placing first for the women, hitting a mark of 12.64 meters (41-05.75 ft.).

Later in the day, the relay teams took to the track in finals action with several teams nearly making a mark on the meet records. Both the Kansas men and women made the first-place podium in the distance medley relay, the Jayhawk women for the third-straight year and the men for the second-consecutive year.

In the 4×1-mile relay, the Pittsburg State Gorillas outgunned the Kansas women, passing the baton around in 20:49.30 to claim Gold. On the men’s side, however, the Jayhawk men again earned a spot on the winner’s podium with the quartet running to a time of 17:17.13, the fastest time in seven years at the Relays.

The 85th Kansas Relays is now down to its final day with track and field action concluding Saturday, April 21st. The elite athletes will highlight the day as some of the world’s best sprinters, hurdlers and pole vaulters will hit Jim Hershberger Track in attempts to start the all-important Olympic year off right. The day will begin at 8 a.m. with the high school and collegiate sprint medley relays with the elite athlete races beginning mid-afternoon. Follow all the day’s action through the meet central page at and watch a live broadcast via Jayhawk All-Access beginning at 9:30 a.m.

World Record Nachos
While the athletes look to shatter track and field records and smash their personal bests Saturday, Kansas Athletics will look to set a record of its own, attempting to serve the world’s biggest-ever plate of nachos, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The event is scheduled to take place inside Memorial Stadium with service from noon to 2:30 p.m. Organizers will start building the planned plate of nachos at 10 a.m. It will be over 80 feet long, two feet wide and 10 inches deep, weighing in at a world-record 4,450-plus pounds. Fans with a ticket stub for the Kansas Relays and a canned food donation or a cash donation to the LINK Kitchen, will be able to take part in the festivities and help polish off the world-record nacho feast.

Representatives from the Kansas Department of Agriculture and Food Safety and the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to certify the record-breaking attempt. KU student-athletes will also help serve individual plates of the nachos to the fans.

Alumni Homecoming
Kansas’ track and field program conducted a reunion Friday night starting with a dinner in the Chancellor’s Lounge in the Anderson Football Complex. Ranging from the 1950s to recent grads, around 80 former-student athletes attended the event which included several All-Americans, former coaches and current KU head coach Stanley Redwine. The track and field reunion will continue with a brunch at the football complex Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., and athletes are encouraged to gather at Johnny’s West following the conclusion of the Relays from 6:30-8:30 p.m.