Nationally Ranked Kansas Track and Field Teams Gear Up for 2011 NCAA Outdoor West Preliminary

May 25, 2011


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Kansas’ men’s and women’s track and field teams will travel to Eugene, Ore., May 26-28 for the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships–West Preliminary held at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

In 2010 the NCAA implemented a new process for qualification into the Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Hard-line qualifying standards are no longer used for entry into a regional meet. Instead of a four-region system, all schools in Division I track and field are categorized into either the East or West region. There are two preliminary sites for the 2011 NCAA Championships, Eugene, Ore. (West) and Bloomington, Ind. (East), both of which will be held May 26-28.

In order to qualify for the Preliminary Meet, which is technically the first round of the championships, an athlete must be among the top 48 per region in the individual event in which they declare, while the top 24 relays per region, that declare, will compete at the preliminary site. The caveat to this rule is for the heptathlon/decathlon events. The top 24 overall that declare for the combined events will contest at the national-final site in Des Moines, Iowa.

Some events, like the sprints and up to the 1500m, will have four rounds as part of the national championship: two contested at the preliminary sites and two at the finals site. Some events contest one round at the prelim site, and two at the finals site. Every round will have a “national” component to its title since this is essentially one big meet. Advancement through the rounds will be determined on placement in the round in question and not on prior performances during the season.

The Jayhawks enter the meet ranked 15th in the country on the men’s side and 18th in the national rankings on the women’s side. KU, which recently finished sixth on the men’s side and seventh on the women’s side at the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships, is sending a total of 29 athletes to the meet, 15 men and 14 women.

Senior pole vaulter Jordan Scott and sophomore thrower Mason Finley will lead the KU men’s team’s effort this week in Eugene. Scott has won three-straight Big 12 outdoor titles and currently is third in the NCAA with his height of 5.50 metesr (18-00.50 ft.). Finley enters the meet ranked first in the region in the shot put and third in the discus. He won the shot put title and was the runner-up in the discus at the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships.

Additionally on the men’s side, freshman Johann Swanepoel is ranked fifth in the region in the javelin, while senior Brian Bishop comes in ranked seventh in the West region in the discus. Kyle Clemons is ranked 18th in the 400 meters, while Keron Toussaint, also in the top-30 in the event, enters the meet ranked 27th. Donny Wasinger will be the lone men’s middle distance runner representing the Jayhawks this week. The junior currently ranks 22nd in the 1,500 meters. The KU men’s 4×400-meter relay team composed of Clemons, Dalen Fink, Dominique Manley and Toussaint arrives in Eugene with the 20th best time in the region.

On the women’s side, KU will look to freshman Diamond Dixon and junior Rebeka Stowe on the track as well as freshman Jessica Maroszek and sophomore Andrea Geubelle in the field to guide the Jayhawks.

Dixon enters the meet with the best time in the nation in the 400 meters with her time of 51.55, which she set two weeks ago en route to a Big 12 title. The freshman collected additional accolades last week when she was named the Outstanding Freshman Female Athlete of the Year for the Big 12 Conference. Stowe was the runner-up at the 2011 Big 12 Championships in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase. The junior has the second-fastest time in the event nationally this season.

Geubelle comes into Eugene ranked eighth in the region in both the triple jump and the long jump. She finished third in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump at the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships. In the discus, Maroszek ranks ninth in the region and sixteenth overall in the NCAA entering the meet with her mark of 54.21 meters (177-10 ft.).

Other notable Jayhawk women entered in the meet are Francine Simpson (10th, long jump), Heather Bergmann (10th, javelin), Jaci Perryman (17th, pole vault), Demi Payne (24th, pole vault), the 4X100 meter relay team ranked 12th regionally composed of Geubelle, Kendra Bradley, Dixon and Simpson and the 4×400-meter relay team ranked 13th regionally composed of Shayla Wilson, Bradley, Taylor Washington and Dixon.

The 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships-West Preliminary will kick-off Thursday, May 26 with the men’s javelin qualifying and will conclude Saturday, May 28 with the running of the 4×400 meter relays.

KU Men’s NCAA Championships-West Preliminary Lineup

Alex Bishop (pole vault)

Brian Bishop (discus)

Nick Canton (high jump)

Kyle Clemons (400m, 4x400m)

Dalen Fink (4X400m)

Mason Finley (shot put, discus)

Dominique Manley (4x400m)

Scott Penny (hammer throw)

Jordan Scott (pole vault)

Johann Swanepoel (javelin)

Keron Toussaint (400m, 4x400m)

Iain Trimble (javelin)

Darryl Trotter (triple jump)

Jesse Vaughn (javelin)

Donny Wasinger (1,500 meters)

KU Women’s NCAA Championships-West Preliminary Lineup

Heather Bergmann (javelin)

Kendra Bradley (4x100m, 4x400m)

Cori Christensen (1,500m)

Julia Cummings (pole vault)

Diamond Dixon (400m, 4x100m, 4x400m)

Andrea Geubelle (long jump, triple jump, 4x100m)

Jessica Maroszek (discus, shot put)

Denesha Morris (100m)

Demi Payne (pole vault)

Jaci Perryman (pole vault)

Francine Simpson (long jump, 4x100m)

Rebeka Stowe (3,000m steeplechase)

Taylor Washington (400m, 4x400m)

Shayla Wilson (4x400m)