Jayhawks Split for Drake/Penn Relays, Throwers Head to San Diego

April 22, 2010


Just a few days after wrapping up competition at the 83rd Annual Kansas Relays, the KU track and field team will get back to business this weekend with two more major Relays events, as well as a throws battle on the West coast. The 4×400-meter relay teams will head to Philadelphia, Penn., for the Penn Relays, while the pole vaulters, jumps and middle distances squads travel to Des Moines, Iowa for the Drake Relays. Six members of the KU throws team will also be on the road to compete at the Triton Invitational in San Diego, Calif.

Much like the Kansas Relays, the Drake and Penn Relays are historically two of the largest and most prestigious meets in the country, showcasing many of the top high school, collegiate and professional athletes from around the world.

Kansas will have 43 athletes in tow for the Drake Relays, which get underway Thursday afternoon with the distance carnival. Junior Dan Van Orsdel will kick off the meet for KU with the 10,000-meter run at 2:30 p.m. Freshman Natalie Becker will follow in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 4:20 p.m., while eight other Jayhawks, between the men and women, will compete in the 5,000 meters later in the evening.

Friday and Saturday’s lineups include an array of relays and field events. Senior Eric Fattig, who set a career-best mark in the long jump just two weeks ago, will take the stage in the event at 1:30 p.m. With his mark of 24-05.75 ft., Fattig currently ranks 18th in the West region. Also competing in the horizontal jump events will be freshman Andrea Geubelle, who is among the nation’s top 25 in both the long jump and triple jump.

The KU women will have four athletes competing in the pole vault, while seven Jayhawks will vault for the men’s team. Highlighting the list for the men are junior Jordan Scott, senior Ryan Hays and freshman Corey Shank, all of whom are ranked in the top 48 in the West region. Scott currently shares the top mark in Division I track and field at 18-08.75 ft.

On the track, the women’s distance medley relay team will aim for its second title in two weeks, while the men will have squads competing in the 4×400, 4×800 and 4×1,600-meter relays.

At the Penn Relays, Kansas will focus on its standout 4×400-meter relay teams, both of which are among the top 20 in the West region. The men’s team of Reggie Carter, Keith Hayes, Kyle Clemons and Keron Toussaint are 10th in the West with a season-best time of 3:07.85, while the women’s quartet of Taylor Washington, Kendra Bradley, Taissa Makhmayeva and Shayla Wilson have combined for a season-best time of 3:40.03, which ranks 17th.

Hayes will also compete in the 110-meter hurdles in Philadelphia, where he will look to build upon his performance last week at the Kansas Relays. Hayes turned in a season-best time of 13.93 to finish third in a very competitive field that included two of the nation’s top hurdlers.

Coach Andy Kokhanovsky will take six throwers to sunny San Diego, Calif., for the Triton Invitational on the campus of UCSD. Freshman Mason Finley will vie for his fourth-consecutive title in the discus. Finley has won the event in every meet in which he has competed during the 2010 season, including victories at both the Texas and Kansas Relays. His season-best performance came two weeks ago at the John McDonnell Invitational, where he threw 194-1 ft., which is currently fourth on the NCAA descending order list.

Competition at the Triton Invitational will commence on Friday at 10 a.m. with the women’s Invitational hammer throw, which will feature Kansas’ school record holder Alena Krechyk.

To follow Jayhawks via live results, click one of the following links:

DRAKE RELAYS: http://www.nmnathletics.com/fls/15700/livestats/Relays/10/index.htm?&SPSID=71588&SPID=8142&DB_OEM_ID=15700

PENN RELAYS: http://pennrelaysonline.com/Results/schedule.aspx

TRITON INVITE: http://www.ucsdtritons.com/fls/5800/live/track/index.htm?SPSID=93286&SPID=11064&DB_OEM_ID=5800