Kansas Track and Field Gets On the Board at 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships
May 13, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. –
Kansas track and field had a solid performance on the opening day of the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships here Friday at the John Jacobs Track Complex on the University of Oklahoma campus. KU got on the board in the team standings quickly after capturing fourth place finishes in both the men’s and women’s javelin throw.
Jayhawk sophomore Heather Bergmann got Kansas on the board with five points with her fourth-place finish in the javelin. Bergmann, a native of Concordia, Kan., saved her best for last as she recorded a mark of 47.73 meters (156-07 ft.) on her third attempt in the finals.
“In prelims, I started off with a good mark, but my form was not where I need it to be,” said Bergmann, who is the KU record-holder in the javelin. “My second throw was not good. On my third throw my form was better so I went in to finals feeling good about hitting a big mark today. My throws were consistent, but not as far as I wanted to throw.”
Despite not reaching her season’s best mark of 51.38 meters (168-07 ft.), Bergmann was pleased she got KU off to a good start in the team standings.
“I was hoping to throw well so we could have a good start to the weekend,” said Bergmann. “I was able to score five points for the team so hopefully that will give us the push we need to have a big weekend.”
Kansas was able to get six team points in the men’s javelin as freshman Johann Swanepoel captured fourth place and sophomore Jesse Vaughn finished in eighth place. Swanepoel, who is nursing a shoulder injury, recorded his best mark of the day on his first throw of the day with his toss of 67.14 meters (220-03 ft.).
“I didn’t throw very much because of my shoulder injury,” said Swanepoel. “I was taking it easy today. Overall I didn’t throw that well, but I was very consistent. I didn’t come in very confident. I just wanted to see how my shoulder was feeling. I didn’t expect to place in the top three, but hopefully I will be back healthy in the next couple of weeks and be able to do well at regionals.”
Vaughn entered finals in fifth place after recording his top mark of the day on his third throw in the prelimaries with his mark of 60.45 meters (198-04 ft.). Vaughn did not better his mark in the finals and ended up scoring one point for KU by finishing in eighth place.
KU senior Scott Penny got the Jayhawks four more points with his fifth place finish in the hammer throw. Penny battled throughout the competition moving up and down the order reaching as high as second before finishing in fifth place with his mark of 59.36 meters (194-09 ft.).
“I came out and got a good mark to begin with that I felt good about,” said Penny, a Lawrence, native. “From there I was just trying to go for it and see what I had. I am a little upset because I thought I could have done better, but I am proud of being able to compete throughout the event and score some points for the team.”
Sophomore Rebecca Neville got a start on Friday as she competed in the first four of seven events in the heptathlon. Neville started her day off strong as she finished second in the 100-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 14.04, earning 974 points.
After an 11th place finish in the high jump, Neville again recorded a new personal best in the shot put, notching a mark of 9.77 meters (32-00.75 ft.) and earning an additional 514 points.
In the last event of the day, the 200 meters, Neville again hit a new personal best time, crossing the finish line in 24.80 finishing third and collecting 905 points. After the race Neville was pleased with her first day, but knows another good performance is needed Saturday in the final three events.
“After the hurdles I was second overall with a PR time of 14.03 so I was very thankful for that,” said Neville. “Even though high jump wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be I still PR’d in the rest of my events. It’s not over until it’s over. I’ve learned throughout the years that you have seven events to get it done. Even if you have one event that doesn’t go your way you need to forget about it because you have six more events to get it done.”
Neville is currently sixth in the overall standings and will look to move up the standings Saturday in the final three events (long jump, javelin throw and 800 meters) and give her team a boost in the overall point standings.
“I’m just going to go out tomorrow and keep setting PR’s and just try to stay positive,” Neville explained. “If I can do that we’ll see what happens.”
Kansas will return to the John Jacobs Track Complex Saturday with action beginning with the heptathlon long jump at 10:30 a.m.
Big 12 Championships
10. Amanda Miller, 35:36.15
11. Tessa Turcotte, 35:41.73
12. Kara Windisch, 35:45.49
18. Elise Umbarger, 46.66m (153-01 ft.)
4. Heather Bergmann, 47.73m (156-07ft.)
2. Rebecca Neville, 14.04 (974 points) ***Personal Record***
11. Rebecca Neville, 1.58m (5-02.25 ft.) (712 points)
10. Rebecca Neville, 9.77m (32-00.75 ft.) (514 points) ***Personal Record***
3. Rebecca Neville, 24.80 (905 points) ***Personal Record***
Overall Standings (Thru 4 of 7 events)
6.Rebecca Neville, 3,105 points
7. Kansas, 5 points
13. Nick Caprario, 30:37.20
17. Josh Baden, 31:35.42
5. Scott Penny, 59.36m (194-09 ft.)
4. Johann Swanepoel, 67.14m (220-03 ft.)
8. Jesse Vaughn, 60.45m (198-04 ft.)
11. Iain Trimble, 57.02m (187-01 ft.)
5. Kansas, 10 points