Kansas Track and Field Embarks for Midwest Regionals

May 23, 2007


The University of Kansas track and field teams head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the NCAA Midwest Regionals Friday and Saturday on the campus of Drake University. The Jayhawks will be sending 27 student-athletes to the meet with hopes of advancing to the NCAA Championships June 6-9 in Sacramento, Calif.

Several Jayhawk men rank first overall in the region in their respective events. Freshman Jordan Scott leads the region in the men’s pole vault with his Big 12 Championship-winning vault of 18-02.50 (5.55m). Fellow Big 12 champion Barrett Saunders headlines the men’s long jump field with his season-best jump of 25-10 (7.87m). Finally, two-time Big 12 hammer throw champion Egor Agafonov heads into the meet with the best hammer throw in the region, a staggering 230-01 (70.14m).

On the women’s side, Ashley Brown heads into the meet ranked fourth and second in the 100 and 400-meter hurdles, respectively. Brown set new Kansas records in both events at the 2007 Big 12 Championships, claiming the 100-meter crown in the process. Crystal Manning’s school-record triple jump of 44-11.75 (13.71m), which won the Big 12 title, leads the field in the event. Senior Abby Emsick and junior Kate Sultanova each check in at third in the discus and pole vault, respectively.

The meet starts Friday with Saunders and teammate Eric Babb competing in the long jump at 1 p.m. Agafonov will also compete in the hammer Friday, as will Scott in the pole vault and Stephanie Horton in the shot put. Friday will also feature the preliminary heats of most of the track events and will conclude with the running of the 5000-meter run, featuring junior Colby Wissel, the 2006 Big 12 Cross Country champion.

Action resumes Saturday with the men’s javelin, featuring junior Hugh Murphy, at 1 p.m. Big 12 hammer throw champion Zlata Tarasova will also compete Saturday, as will Manning in the triple jump and Emsick in the discus. Saturday will feature the finals of the track events and will conclude with the running of men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relays.

The top five finishers per event at the Midwest Regionals will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships. After the automatic bids are established by the NCAA, the remaining field for the championships will be determined based upon the student-athlete’s best mark of the season.

At last year’s Midwest Regionals in Austin, Texas, the men’s team finished ninth with 26 points while the women’s team came in at 12th with 24 points.

– KU –