Women Back in Top 25 After Big 12 Performance

May 22, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Coming off their highest team finish in Big 12 history, the University of Kansas women’s track and field team has cracked the top 25 of the USTFCCCA weekly rankings. While the women rank 21st, the Kansas men are just outside the rankings, standing at 31st in the country.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Including school records by the 400-meter relay team and juniors Nickesha Anderson (200 meters) and Stephanie Horton (shot put), seven other members of the women’s team either set or improved upon regional marks. Seniors Maresia Pencil (800 meters), Libby Harmon (pole vault) and Crystal Manning (triple jump), junior Zlata Tarasova (hammer throw) sophomores Kelsey Erb (high jump) and Lauren Bonds (3,000-meter steeplechase) and freshman Julia Cummings (pole vault) each had season-best qualifying performances.

Also at Potts Field, senior Kate Sultanova won her second outdoor Big 12 title in the women’s pole vault. Senior Egor Agafonov led the men, winning the hammer throw conference championship for the third consecutive year. He became the first person in Big 12 history to do so.

This is the first time the women have been in the top 25 since April 16 when they were 22nd. Texas A&M, the 2008 Big 12 women’s champions, are ranked number one in the nation. LSU is on top of the men’s rankings.

A replay of the best Big 12 performance in Kansas women’s track and field history will be shown on national television Friday afternoon. FSN will show a two-hour taped broadcast at 12:30 p.m. of the 2008 Big 12 Outdoor Championships that were held in Boulder, Colo. May 16-18.

The 2008 USTFCCCA Division I rankings are released every Wednesday during the outdoor season. The rankings, based on the top regionally qualifying performances for each team, are compiled by Tom Lewis, assistant sports information director at Missouri. For more information about the rankings, please visit www.ustfccca.org.

Next up for the Jayhawks is the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Lincoln, Neb. May 30-31. Kansas will enter the meet with 29 regional qualifying marks. The top-five finishers in each event will then automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, June 11-14. The rest will rely on their season-best performance to earn them an at-large berth to the Championships. Check back with kuathletics.com for all the information and results.

Jayhawks in the Rankings

Kansas‘ Week-By-Week Outdoor USTFCCCA Rankings (Top 30)

Week: Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Men 18 — — — — 29 28 —

Women 15 — 22 27 29 28 30 21