Jayhawks Open West Prelim Strong with Four National Qualifiers
May 23, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas – Kansas track & field got off to a solid start on the first day of action at the 2013 NCAA West Preliminary Thursday afternoon at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus. Four Jayhawk athletes punched tickets to the 2013 NCAA Championships, which will be held at the University of Oregon in Eugene, June 5-8.
The Kansas women got their first qualifier to the national meet with Alena Krechyk‘s performance in the hammer throw. Each of Krechyk’s fair throws would have earned her a spot in Eugene but her best mark, a toss of 67.85 meters (222’7″), produced the easy pass. Her throw was the fifth-farthest in school history and gave her a second-place finish overall. The senior will participate in her third NCAA Championship meet when she competes in the hammer throw final on June 5 at 3:30 p.m. (CT) at historic Hayward Field.
Sophomore Jonathan Miller got the KU men’s meet started on the right foot by advancing to his first NCAA Championships in the discus. The Tribune, Kan., native posted a career-best throw of 56.12 meters (184’1″) on his first attempt of the day to put himself in a prime position to move on to Eugene. Miller made it hard on himself as he was unable to improve on his first round, but was just able to earn the final qualifying spot, finishing in 12th place. Miller will compete at his first national meet when he takes to the throws ring in Eugene on June 7 at 6 p.m. (CT).
The KU women got a pair of key qualifiers in the women’s long jump as senior Andrea Geubelle and freshman Sydney Conley punched their tickets to Oregon in two weeks. Geubelle only needed two attempts on the day to secure a spot in her fourth NCAA long jump final. A two-time First Team All-American in the event, Geubelle flew to a mark of 6.52 meters (21’4.75″) on her second trip down the runway, a leap that eventually earned her a first-place finish.
Conley secured a spot at nationals by way of a jump of 6.26 meters (20’6.5″). The Fayetteville, Ark., native finished ninth overall, earning an automatic bid to the national meet. Both Conley and Geubelle will vie for All-America honors as they compete in the event final slated for June 5 at 6:15 p.m. (CT).
The KU women suffered a setback Thursday as Francine Simpson, the nation’s No. 2 overall seed in the long jump, failed to qualify for the final. The senior concluded her career as one of KU’s all-time great long jumpers, boasting the school’s outdoor record, four Big 12 titles and a first team All-America honor over her three-year career in Lawrence.
First up on the track was KU’s two-time reigning Big 12 400-meter hurdle champion, Michael Stigler. The sophomore out of Canyon, Texas started his drive to his second-straight NCAA Championships strong by winning his opening round heat. Stigler cleared the 10 hurdles and crossed the finish in 50.42, to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals and notch the second-fastest qualifying time. He will run for a trip to Eugene Friday at 7:45 p.m.
Diamond Dixon had little trouble in getting her preliminary meet started on the right foot after she claimed an easy victory in her first round 400-meter heat. The junior completed the one lap around Mike A. Myers Stadium in 52.60 to earn the automatic pass to the national quarterfinal. She’ll try to earn her third-straight ticket to the NCAA Championships when she runs for a national semifinal spot Friday at 6 p.m.
In the men’s 400 meters, Kyle Clemons also met little resistance in his first round heat. The senior out of Rowlett, Texas ran away from the rest of the competitors down the final 100 meters to take the heat victory, clocking in at 46.24 and finishing fourth out of the 48-man field. Clemons will run in the national quarterfinal Friday at 6:15 p.m.
The Jayhawks will return to Mike A. Myers Stadium Friday for day two of the NCAA West Preliminary. Action will kick off at 12 p.m. with junior Jessica Maroszek and freshman Anastasiya Muchkayev throwing in the women’s discus. Senior Paris Daniels will close out the day on the track at 8 p.m. in the first round of the women’s 200 meters. For updates and results from the final two days of the West Prelim, log on to KUAthletics.com and follow on Twitter at KUTrack.
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