Jayhawks Headed to 99th Annual Drake Relays

April 23, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. — One of the most historic track and field meets of all time awaits the University of Kansas track and field teams this week as the 99th Annual Drake Relays begin on Wednesday, April 23rd and continues through Saturday, April 26th. Approximately 8,000 athletes from 686 teams are expected to compete in what is one of the largest and most competitive meets in the country each year. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Competition begins Wednesday with the heptathlon and decathlon along with an invitational pole vault event. The multi-events conclude Thursday afternoon with a carnival of long distance runs at 4:45 p.m. (CST) and the first field events at 5 p.m. Drake Stadium will then open early on Friday for with field events starting at 8:30 p.m. and running events at 8 a.m. The third day then concludes with fireworks following the 8:30 p.m. boy’s 1,600-meter relay. The final day will start with the shuttle hurdle relays at 8 a.m. Field events begin with the women’s hammer at 9 a.m. and the meet is concluded with the men’s 1,600-meter relay at 6 p.m.

Kansas is coming off its lone home meet of the outdoor season. With six victories at the 81st Annual Kansas Relays, KU now boasts 17 athletes and two relay teams with regional marks. Junior Nickesha Anderson, who has qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regionals in three events, highlighted the meet for the Jayhawks by breaking a 30-year-old school record in the women’s 100-meter dash. Her time of 11.23 topped Sheila Calmese’s run at the Arkansas Relays in 1978 and Natasha Shafer’s 1994 Kansas Relays finish of 11.44. On the men’s side, senior Egor Agafonov remained perfect on the year by winning the hammer throw. Including his indoor weight throw season, he has been victorious at all seven meets in which he has competed.

Many of Kansas’ Big 12 opponents will also venture to Des Moines, Iowa, this weekend. Baylor brings both their ranked men and women, while Texas Tech’s women are also ranked. Kansas’ women stand at 27th in the country this week and will see another 10 ranked foes at the meet. There are eight men’s teams in the top-25 scheduled to compete.

For complete results of all the Jayhawk action from each day’s events from the Drake Relays, log on to www.kuathletics.com or www.drakerelays.org.