Four Jayhawks Qualify for NCAA Track and Field Championships

May 26, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas –

Friday’s Results

University of Kansas sophomores Egor Agafonov and Paul Hefferon, senior Charisse Bacchus and junior Cody Roberts have all stamped their tickets to Sacramento, Calif., for the 2006 NCAA Track and Field Championships to be held June 7-10. Competing in the first day of competition in <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Austin, Texas, the four KU student-athletes qualified for the national meet by virtue of their top-five finishes at the Midwest Regional Championships from the University of Texas campus. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Agafonov, who won the Big 12 individual crown two weeks ago, added a regional title to his belt on Friday with a toss of 226-4. The Togliatti, Russia, native owns the Kansas hammer record and will head to Sacramento with the second-longest throw in the nation this season. Agafonov easily outdistanced the competition on Friday, winning the event by over eight feet.

Bacchus, KU’s indoor long jump record holder, took home a third-place result at the regional championships with a leap of 21-4 1/4 in the long jump. The runner-up at the Big 12 Championships in the same event, Bacchus finished just a half inch behind the second-place finisher. Bacchus currently holds the nation’s second-longest jump this season as well.

After finishing seventh in the discus at last year’s regional championships, Roberts improved two places to finish fifth at this year’s competition. His toss of 186-3 was a bit shy of his personal best (188-11) that he set at the 2006 Big 12 Championships, but it was good enough to send the Bloomington, Ill., native to his first NCAA Championships.

Competing in the final event of the evening, sophomores Paul Hefferon and Colby Wissel placed fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 5,000-meter run. Hefferon’s time was 14:24.41 to give him the automatic qualification while Wissel ran a 14:33.58.

Several Jayhawks also qualified for the finals in their events to be held Saturday. The 400-meter relay team of Crystal Manning, Tiffany Cherry, Victoria Howard and Charisse Bacchus improved on its previous best time of 45.59, running a time of 44.99 on Friday to qualify for the finals. The time was good for sixth in the preliminary rounds.

Sophomore Ashley Brown took more than a second off her PR in the 400-meter hurdles, running a time of 59.36 on Friday to beat her previous best of 1:00.65. The time, which was good for fourth in the prelims, put her in good position to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Competing in the same event, junior Janiece Gatson finished 12th in a time of 1:01.50.

Also qualifying for Saturday’s finals was senior Cameron Schwehr. His time of 3:53.10 in the 1,500-meter run was good for 12th in the preliminary round of competition.

Competing in the shot put, freshman Stephanie Horton had a throw of 48-4 1/2 to give her a ninth-place finish in her first regional championship meet. Senior Denita Young finished 10th in the javelin with a throw of 155-6.

Senior Angela Pichardo ran a time of 2:15.94 in the 800-meter run to finish fifth in the first heat of the event. In the men’s 400-meter hurdles, sophomore Julius Jiles finished 16th (54.21) while senior Aaron Thompson placed 18th (55.60).

Action from the Mike A. Myers Track Stadium in Austin will continue all day Saturday.