Four Records Go By The Books In Day Two At Kansas Relays

April 21, 2006

Results | GOLDZONE II Press Conference Quotes | Day One Recap

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Day two of the 2006 Kansas Relays was highlighted by perfect weather, the Gold Zone II press conference and several record-breaking performances.

“What a great crowd today,” said Kansas Relays Meet Director Tim Weaver. “It’s definitely the largest Friday crowd during my stint as the director of this event. This is a solid indication of what’s going to happen tomorrow. We saw four records broken in the field and on the track today; I fully expect to see one in the stands tomorrow.”

Former Kansas All-American Scott Russell captured first-place in the men’s javelin with a Kansas Relays record toss of 258-02. Russell’s heave shattered the former standard set by Ed Kaminski (251-04) in 1996.

The Wichita State 4×1 Mile Women’s Relay team shattered the old Kansas Relays record by more than 42 seconds — a mark the Shockers set during last year’s meet. Mica Land, Sarah Becker, Jenna Wood and Desiraye Osburne combined to run the event in 20:06.04 to claim victory. WSU’s men, comprised of four freshmen, also claimed victory in 4×1 Mile Relay.

An unattached team consisting of past and present Jayhawk runners captured first-place in the men’s distance medley relay with a time of 10:00.83. Charlie Gruber, Brandon Hodges, Jeremy Mims and Benson Chesang finished the race more than two seconds ahead of second-place, University of South Dakota. Not to be outdone, the Kansas women also captured first-place in the event with a time of 12:04.96. The foursome of Melissa O’Rourke, Cortney Jacobs, Angela Pichardo and Dena Seibel finished nearly 17 seconds ahead of the competition.

KU runner Erik Sloan had a solid third-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:32.82 while Jayhawk sophomore Crystal Manning placed second in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 41-09.5.

The Littleton (Colo.) High School girls and Park Hill (Mo.) High School boys both broke Kansas Relays records in the shuttle hurdles. LHS ran a 1:03.45 to break the same record it set last year, while PHHS posted a time of 1:01.26 in its race. In addition, Grandview (Mo.) High School set a Relays record in the prelims of the Girls 4×100 meter relay by posting a time of 48.29 in its heat.

In the middle of the afternoon, several of the world’s best athletes, including former Olympic Champions Maurice Greene, Shawn Crawford and Justin Gatlin, and World Champion Torri Edwards participated in the Gold Zone press conference. All of the athletes will be competing between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

“I love this,” Greene said. “This is where I grew up. I love to come back here and run and compete for all the fans here and just put on a great show.”

Quotes From Day Two

Kayla Wilkinson, Nebraska (1st place, 167-04)
On her performance:
“I was a little disappointed, I’m still glad I won but I was warming up a lot better that I was actually throwing.”

On the competition:
“This isn’t the toughest competition I’ve faced. I have gone against the number one girl in the nation a lot. It was still very tough competition.”

Denita Young, Kansas (2nd place, 154-03)
On her performance:
“I’ve been down a little bit lately so it felt good to come in and get a decent throw.”

On competing at home:
“It was good because I love this runway. I was really comfortable. My family is here so it was really a good feeling.”

Ross Walker, Dickinson (1st place, 56-02.50)
On winning with his final throw:
“I just needed to relax. I didn’t throw as well as I wanted to because I was too tight. I ended up lasting until the finals and got a lucky throw.”

On the competition:
“It was really good competition. The Wichita State kid (Brian Baker) and the Nebraska kid (Sam Lambert) both had good throws. Either one of them could have won.”

Dominique Stafford, Barton (1st place, 1:23.78)
On the race:
“We ran better than I thought we would. The handoff was smooth and we did a good job all the way around.”

On running at the Kansas Relays:
“It is different seeing yourself on the TV screen. I’ve never seen that before.”

Seidre Forde, Missouri Baptist (1st place, 41-01.75)
On her performance:
“Considering my injury I think I did well today. Because of my injury I have been unable to train. I just came out and gave it all I could today.”

Angela Pichardo, Kansas (1st Place, 12:04.96)
On winning the event:
“It is a big deal. We won it last year and we were trying to come out and repeat as champions. We accomplished our mission.”

On their finishing time:
“I thought we did pretty decent with our times. Our goal was to come out here to win and we did that.”

Benson Chesang, Unattached (1st Place, 10:00.83)
On the race:
“It was so easy to run today. It was a pretty good time we just all went out there and did our thing. I have ran with them all before and it was nice to be able to run with them again. I was just doing this for fun today.”

Brandon Hodges, Kansas
On the race:
“It was nice to run at the relays. My eligibility is up and it was great to end my Kansas Relays career with the guys that I have been running with for the last four to five years. We ran hard, had a good time and won and that was the purpose of it all.”

Jeremy Mims, Kansas
On his outlook for the season:
“I try not to focus on anything long-term. I try to concentrate on today and each week refocus because I got behind early in training.”

On running at the Kansas Relays:
“This relay is always awesome because it is all my teammates. We all look up to Charlie (Gruber). When he agreed to run in the race with us it made it even more exciting. It is an all-star cast of recent KU track athletes which makes it a lot of fun.

Paul Gensic, Air Force (1st place, 17’6.5″)
On winning the event:
“This is just really exciting. This is my first outdoor meet of the season.”

On the crowd’s impact:
“The big crowd definitely helps. Earlier there was a bunch of kids yelling and screaming. I just love to see that kind of excitement about track and field.”

On the day’s weather:
“It was the perfect temperature out here today. We had a nice tailwind and anytime you have nice weather like this, you cannot help but jump well.”

Scott Russell, Nike (1st place, 258′-02″)
On competing in the Kansas Relays:
“It’s awesome! I’ve still got some connections here at KU and there are a ton of people around Lawrence that said, `Hey what time do you compete tonight?’ It’s awesome to have some of that home crowd feeling. It’s just nice to throw at home on the home runway. I come here everyday.”

On setting the Kansas Relays record:
“I didn’t expect that at all. Coming into the meet I wanted to work through it and think of it as a glorified practice to work on a few things. I did what I wanted to do and it was a good meet. I’ve been working on some technical things over the last year and they are finally starting to come together. Hopefully I will continue on in my next meets.”

Daniel Maina, Cowley College (1st place, 8:58.09)
On winning at the Kansas Relays:
“I am pretty excited because this is a big championship. My time was good. It was great to be in a big stadium like this with a lot of people cheering for me.”

On the crowd:
“Every time the announcer said my name I felt good. The crowd’s cheering was motivation to my heart and every time (the public address announcer) said my name, I felt like a champion.”

Tiffany Czarnomska, University of Mary (1st place, 10:54.37)
On holding the lead wire to wire:
“It is great to come to a meet and have people actually running with me.”

On the crowd:
“It is always great to be cheered for, and it definitely helps.”

On Friday’s weather:
“It was beautiful outside, but I was not used to the heat.”
Wilbert Walker, Lincoln University (1st place, 53′-6.25″)
On winning his event:
“I am excited about the win, but I am not really excited about my jump. I came out hoping to jump better, but the wind was a real factor. The wind was in our chest. I just thank God for the opportunity.”

Sarah Becker, Wichita State (1st place, 20:06.04 – KR Record)
On winning the night’s last women’s event:
“We ran well, but we were trying to break 20 minutes, so we did not reach our goal. We ran awesome and we ran as hard as we could.”

On the weather conditions:
“The weather could not have been any better. It was absolutely perfect.”

On the nature of the event:
“This is like our fun race. We not get a lot of chances to run relays and this is a chance to take our best runners and show how deep our team is.”

Nick Garcia, Wichita State (1st place, 17:56.50)
On winning their home state’s event:
“It is a pretty big deal because we are all freshmen, and we’ve been getting beat pretty bad. It feels really good to team up with these guys.”

On the atmosphere of the Relays:
“It is definitely an honor that we are running in the same event as some of the elite athletes. Even though we are not running tomorrow, we are all going to come back and watch. This is definitely a cool place.”

Records Broken On Day Two

-The girl’s 4X100-meter shuttle hurdle relay team from Littleton, Colo., bettered its own Kansas Relays record. Its time of 1:03.45 bested the school’s previous record of 1:06.54 set last year.

-The Kansas Relays boy’s 4X100-meter shuttle hurdle relay record was also broken. Park Hill’s time of 1:01.26 narrowly bested Kansas City Central’s time of 1:01.98 set in 2004.

-Former Kansas great Scott Russell set a new Kansas Relays record in the men’s javelin throw with a throw of 258-02. The previous record was 251-04 by Nike’s Ed Kaminski.

-Wichita State established a new record in the women’s 4-mile relay in a time of 20:06.04. The foursome of Mica Land, Sarah Becker, Jenna Wood and Desiraye Osburn topped the previous record of 20:48.33, set Wichita State in 2005.