Kansas Track Hits the Road for Trio of Weekend Meets
April 26, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – This weekend, the Jayhawks will divide for three separate track and field competitions across the country. Sixty members of the KU men’s and women’s squad, including sprinters, pole vaulters and jumpers will head to Joplin, Mo. for the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invitational. The throws team travels to San Diego, Calif., for the Triton Invitational, while the distance specialists will conclude the weekend in Stanford, Calif. at the Payton Jordan Invitational.
BILL WILLIAMS/BOB LAPTAD INVITATIONAL – Joplin, Mo.
At the meet hosted by Missouri Southern, the Jayhawks will return to the event in which Kansas athletes claimed five titles and a host of personal records at the event last season.
Highlighting the field for the Jayhawks will be sophomore Diamond Dixon, who is coming off Big 12 Athlete of the Week honors following her runner-up 400-meter performance at the Kansas Relays. Dixon holds the No. 2 400-meter time in the NCAA and anchors school-record holding 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relay teams. She is slated to compete in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 4×100-meter relay this Friday in Joplin.
Andrea Geubelle, who joined Dixon as an indoor national champion early this year, will return to the triple jump pit this weekend. At the Kansas Relays the junior leaped to a new personal best in the long jump and now ranks in the nation’s top 10 in both horizontal jump events. Geubelle, who stands at No. 2 in the nation in the triple jump will look to up her season-best mark Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.
For the men, a strong group of nationally-ranked athletes will hit the track and field at Fred G. Hughes Stadium. In only his second season as a Jayhawk, Alex Bishop ranks second in the Big 12 Conference in the pole vault. He will lead a strong group of men’s and women’s vaulters beginning at 1:30 p.m. Jonathan Fuller had a huge outing last week in Lawrence as the Dallas native became the first Jayhawk in nearly a decade to clear seven feet in the high jump. The freshman ranks 14th in the NCAA’s West Region following his outstanding performance and will try to improve upon his season best at 3:30 p.m.
Other KU athletes to watch in Joplin are freshmen Michael Stigler (100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles) and Kenneth McCuin, sophomore Demi Payne (pole vault) and juniors Paris Daniels (200m, 400m) and Taylor Washington (400m). Action will kick off from the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invitational at 12:30 p.m. with the men’s shot put and will conclude at around 8:30 p.m. Friday night.
UCSD TRITON INVITATIONAL – San Diego, Calif.
Coach Andy Kokhanovsky will take nine of the Jayhawks’ top throwers to San Diego, Calif., for the Triton Invitational hosted by the University of California – San Diego. This meet will give the KU athletes a chance to compete against some top competition from around the world as the events will feature throngs of professional and collegiate Olympic hopefuls.
Mason Finley will return to action after hitting the NCAA’s leading shot put mark last week at the Kansas Relays. The performance earned the junior Big 12 Male Athlete of the Week honors for the fourth time in his career. He’ll head to the shot put ring Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m. (CT). Finley, who holds the nation’s No. 2 mark in the discus, will also compete in that event later in the day at 4 p.m. (CT).
Joining Finley on the men’s side will be Johann Swanepoel, who is beginning to hit his stride at just the right time this year in the javelin. At the Kansas Relays Swanepoel uncorked a new personal best of 74.51 meters (244-05 ft.) to shoot up the national leaderboard to No. 8 in the nation. Swanepoel, along with junior Jesse Vaughn, will be in action at 4 p.m., Saturday.
For the women, a pair of Jayhawks boasting top-10 NCAA marks will be in action. Senior Alena Krechyk smashed the school record in the hammer throw last week in Lawrence and now stands as the fifth-ranked thrower in the event this year. She’ll kick things off for the Jayhawks at 12 p.m. (CT), Friday, April 27. Junior Heather Bergmann, the current school-record holder in the javelin, is on the verge of some more big marks this weekend as she competes in the event at 1 p.m. Saturday. Bergmann, already holding the B-provisional mark for the Olympic Trials later this year, sits at No. 4 in the nation and is ranked second in the Big 12 Conference.
PAYTON JORDAN INVITATIONAL – Stanford, Calif.
The KU distance and middle-distance stars will travel to northern California for the always-competitive Payton Jordan Invitational hosted by Stanford University on Sunday, April 29.
Rebeka Stowe will make her much-anticipated season debut in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase Sunday night at around 8:50 p.m. (CT). Stowe was a First Team All-American in the event a year ago, with her last two Steeplechase races at the Payton Jordan resulting in her breaking the school record. The senior is one of the Big 12’s favorites in the event and will look to start her second All-America campaign off strong this weekend.
Joining Stowe in Steeplechase action at Stanford will be fellow senior Austin Bussing in the men’s division. Bussing sits at No. 2 in the conference and 18th in the NCAA West Region with a time he ran to on the same track he will be competing on this weekend at 6:20 p.m. (CT).
Other Jayhawks in action at Stanford are All-American seniors Cori Christensen (1,500 meters), Shayla Wilson (800 meters), Donny Wasinger (1,500 meters) and underclassmen sensations Brendan Soucie (800 meters) and Reid Buchanan (1,500 meters). The meet will kick-off Sunday at 5:15 p.m. (CT) and will conclude around 1 a.m. (CT) Sunday morning.
There is much to look forward to this weekend when the Jayhawks spread out across the country. Results and a recap of the three meets will be available following each day of competition at www.kuathletics.com. Live results of the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invite can be found at trxctiming.com, while live results of the Triton Invitational are available at ucsdtritonc.com. Flotrack.org will be onsite broadcasting live footage and posting results from the Payton Jordan Invitational.