Six More Advance to Eugene on Soggy Day Two of West Prelim
May 25, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas â€” A six-hour rain delay did not deter six members of the Kansas track & field teams as they advanced to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships Friday by virtue of their top-12 finishes at the West Preliminary inside Mike A. Myers Stadium. Those who are moving on will compete at the national meet, hosted by the University of Oregon, to be held June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.
With heavy downpours pushing the day’s events to the late night hours in Austin, several Jayhawks turned in impressive performances to secure their spots at the NCAA Championships in two weeks. One of those athletes was Jessica Maroszek, who made quick work of the rest of the 48-woman field in the discus. The junior, who won the Big 12 title in the event three weeks ago, notched two throws over 180 feet on the day, a feat no other competitor could match. Her third attempt of 55.18 meters (181’0â€) was her best of the night and gave her the top qualifying mark by over three feet. Maroszek will look to bring home her second First Team All-America honor in the event as she moves on to the NCAA discus final set to take place on June 6 at 4 p.m. (CT).
Diamond Dixon punched her ticket to her third-straight 400-meter national semifinal with another high finish in the event. The junior out of Houston used her strong kick down the final 100 meters to finish second in her heat and earn the fifth overall qualifying spot. Dixon, who finished in 52.61, will continue her drive for a third All-America first team honor in the event when she runs in the semifinal round in Oregon on June 5 at 7 p.m. (CT).
Senior Kyle Clemons followed Dixon’s lead by also running to a qualifying spot in the men’s 400 meters. The Rowlett, Texas native posted the third-fastest time of his career en route to finishing second in his heat, clocking in at 45.49. His time was the fourth-fastest out of all those who ran in the West regional quarterfinal and earned him a spot in his third NCAA Championship meet. He’ll run in the national semifinal inside Hayward Field on June 5 at 7:15 p.m. (CT).
Michael Stigler again proved he was among the top 400-meter hurdlers in the nation as he earned his second-straight spot at Nationals. The sophomore won his quarterfinal heat Friday night in 49.90 to claim the second-overall qualifying spot out of the West Region. Stigler will join Clemons Saturday as the two try to push the men’s 4×400-meter relay team through to Oregon and will then compete in the 400-meter hurdle semifinal slated for June 5 at 8:15 p.m. (CT).
Back on the women’s side, the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks got another pair of field event athletes through as Christen Guenther and Natalia Bartnovskaya advanced by way of their top-12 finishes in the pole vault. It was a low-stress competition for Guenther who only needed two trips down the runway to secure her spot at Nationals. For Bartnovskaya it wasn’t quite as easy however, as she needed two attempts at two different heights to insert herself among the qualifiers. Both Jayhawks got over a top height of 4.11 meters (13’5.75â€) and will journey to the northwest in two weeks for the NCAA pole vault final, scheduled for June 7 at 5:15 p.m. (CT).
Paris Daniels got her weekend started strong by moving through the first round of the 200 meters. The senior turned in the fastest qualifying time, winning her heat in 22.98. Her wind legal time is the seventh-fastest in school history and moved her to the quarterfinal, which is slated for Saturday at 7:35 p.m.
The Jayhawks, who have now seen 10 athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships, will get one last opportunity to earn spots in Eugene on the third and final day of the West Preliminary meet. Action Saturday will kick off from Mike A. Myers Stadium at 12 p.m. with Jesse Vaughn throwing in the third heat of the men’s javelin. The men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relays will close out the day at 9:25 p.m. Follow all the final day’s events through the meet central page at KUAthletics.com and through twitter at KUTrack.
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