Kansas Set For Big 12 Outdoor Championships

May 14, 2009

Kansas Big 12 Championship Notes Get Acrobat Reader

LAWRENCE, Kan. — With the regular season complete, Kansas track & field now sets it sights on the 2009 Big 12 Outdoor Championships May 15-17 in Lubbock, Texas. Eleven Jayhawks have regionally qualified in 13 events thus far in the outdoor season, and KU looks to increase that number this weekend.

Kansas returns five scorers from the fourth-place finishing Jayhawk women’s team at the 2008 Big 12 Outdoor Championships.

Leading the way is Nickesha Anderson. The senior from Hanover, Jamaica, scored in both the 100 meters (sixth place) and 200 meters (third) a year ago, and has already regionally qualified in both of those events plus the 400 meters this outdoor season. Anderson will be competing in the 100, 200, 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay in Lubbock.

Lauren Bonds is back after placing fourth in last year’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. The junior from Hutchinson, Kan., will concentrate on the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters at this year’s championships.

Kelsey Erb finished third in the high jump in 2008, Stephanie Horton placed fifth in the shot put and Zlata Tarasova recorded a third-place finish in the hammer throw. All three look to score again for Kansas this year in those same events. Horton, a senior from Tigard, Ore., will also compete in the discus.

Of last year’s KU women’s scorers, Anderson, Bonds, Horton and Tarasova have qualified for the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. The other two regional qualifiers this season looking to boost the Jayhawks in Lubbock are Victoria Howard (200 meters) and Emily Reimer (shot put). Howard will run the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100-meter relay, while Reimer will throw the shot this weekend.

The Kansas men have just one returning scorer from a year ago in junior Kirk Cooper. The Centennial, Colo., product placed fifth in the pole vault in 2008 and will look for a similar performance in 2009.

Also looking to fill the void will be regional qualifiers Brian Bishop (discus), Corey Fuller (triple jump), Keith Hayes (110-meter hurdles) and Keyen Porter (110-meter hurdles). In addition to the events in which they have already qualified, Bishop will also throw the shot put, Hayes will run the 400-meter hurdles, 4×100 and 4×400-meter relays, and Porter will compete in the 400-meter hurdles and 4×100-meter relay.

Action at the Terry & Linda Fuller Track in Lubbock begins Friday, May 15, with the decathlon 100 meters. Live results can be found at http://www.flashresults.com/2009_Meets/outdoor/Big12/. A full recap can be found each day at www.kuathletics.com upon completion of the day’s events.

The 2009 NCAA® Outdoor Track & Field Midwest Regional will take place May 29-30 at John Jacobs Field in Norman, Okla. Eleven Kansas athletes have qualified thus far with a total of 13 regional marks.

– Nickesha Anderson, a 2008 Beijing Olympian for Jamaica, has qualified in three different events. The Kansas school record holder in the 100 meters and 200 meters, Anderson has posted regional times in both of those events as well as the 400 meters. Anderson ranks ninth in the Big 12 in the 100, seventh in the 200 and ninth in the 400.

– Brian Bishop has twice posted a regional mark in the discus, with his best throw coming at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz. (52.11 meters [170-11.75 feet]). The junior from Cantrall, Ill., ranks seventh among Big 12 athletes in the event.

– Lauren Bonds ran the third-fastest time in KU history in the 1,500 meters at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. The junior from Hutchinson, Kan., posted a regional-qualifying time of 4:20.95, the fifth-best time in the Big 12 this outdoor season. Bonds originally qualified for regionals by blowing away the field at the Kansas Relays, sprinting down the stretch to finish in a time of 4:27.36.

– Kirk Cooper regionally qualified in the pole vault at the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla., recording a jump of 5.05 meters (16-06.75 feet). The junior from Centennial, Colo., went on to match that mark at the Kansas Relays. Cooper is tied for seventh in the Big 12 this season.

– Corey Fuller posted a regional mark in the triple jump at the Jim Click Shootout, leaping 15.34 meters (50-04 feet). The freshman from Baltimore, Md., ranks ninth in the Big 12.

– Keith Hayes qualified in the 110-meter hurdles at the John Jacobs Invitational, and proceeded to lower his regional time to 14.05 at the Kansas Relays. The freshman from Wichita, Kan., sits in ninth place on the conference performance list thus far.

– Stephanie Horton had her best performance this year at the Kansas Relays, improving her already-regional qualifying mark in the shot put to 15.47 meters (50-09.25 feet). The senior from Tigard, Ore., ranks sixth in the Big 12.

– Victoria Howard is a regional qualifier in the 200 meters. The senior from Overland Park, Kan., ran a time of 23.76 at the John Jacobs Invitational to earn a return trip to Norman. Howard has the 13th-fastest 200 time in the Big 12 this outdoor season.

– Keyen Porter ran a time of 14.21 at the John Jacobs Invitational to regionally qualify in the 110-meter hurdles. The freshman from Blue Springs, Mo., stands 15th among Big 12 110-meter hurdlers this season.

– Emily Reimer regionally qualified in the shot put at the Jim Click Shootout, recording a throw of 15.23 meters (49-11.75 feet). The senior from Wichita, Kan., has the eighth-best shot put in the conference in 2009.

– Zlata Tarasova earned a trip to Norman for the regional championships with a hammer throw of 55.77 meters (182-11.75 feet) at the Arkansas Twilight. The senior from Togliatti, Russia, ranks eighth in the Big 12 this season.