Four Jayhawks Advance to 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships Friday
May 27, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. –
Kansas track and field saw three more competitors advance to the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships and a fourth athlete move on in a second event here Friday by virtue of their top 12 finish at the West Preliminary held at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. Diamond Dixon, Kyle Clemons and Rebeka Stowe each advanced to the 2011 NCAA Championships, while Andrea Geubelle qualified for the meet in a second event. The 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships, hosted by Drake University, will be held June 8-11 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Dixon made it look easy as she qualified for the 2011 NCAA Championships by winning her quarterfinal heat of the 400 meters with a time of 53.10. Dixon, who earned the fourth lane by virtue of winning her first round heat with the second best time in the field on Thursday afternoon, led throughout the race.
“I ran a pretty good race,” said Dixon, who took home the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor title in the event. “I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I was just trying to make it (to Des Moines). I felt good going into the race and I felt good at the end.”
Dixon, the KU school record holder in both the indoor and outdoor 400 meters, will look to pick up her third All-America honor of her young career when she travels to Des Moines. She was a two-time indoor All-American in 2011, earning the prestigious award in both the 400 meters and as a member of the KU 4×400-meter relay team. She is currently tied for the top time in the NCAA this season at 51.55 with Texas A&M senior Jessica Beard.
“Indoor was definitely fuel for the fire to work hard in outdoors,” said Dixon. “I didn’t do as well as I had wanted to do at the indoor (championships) and I just hate losing. That’s the main thing about track. I lost too many races during indoor, but it’s just been a plan from here on out to win as many as I can.”
The Jayhawks will be well represented in the 400 meters as KU sophomore Kyle Clemons advanced to Des Moines in the event. Clemons will be competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second-straight year after also qualifying in the 400 meters in his rookie season.
“It feels great,” said Clemons, of his ability to advance to Des Moines. “Regionals are all about running good races and moving on. I feel like I got faster. I ran the first 200 in 22 seconds. I felt good in the race, but there are definitely some improvements I can do. I’m just really excited I’m moving on to Nationals.”
Clemons ran in the first lane in the third and final quarterfinal heat and got a great start out of the gates. He made up the stagger at about the 150 meters mark and hung with the leaders, finishing fourth in his heat with a time of 46.34, his second fastest time of the 2011 season. The top three runners in each heat automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships. Clemons posted the top non-automatic qualifying time and advanced to Des Moines on his time.
“I think I really executed well today,” said Clemons, of the technical aspect of his race. “I’ve really been working on keeping my legs under me in the last 200 meters and not getting tight.”
Both Dixon and Clemons will compete on Saturday looking to advance to Des Moines as a member of Jayhawk relay teams. Dixon will participate as a member of the KU women’s 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay teams, while Clemons will compete for the KU men in the same events.
Also advancing to Des Moines on Friday afternoon was Geubelle in the triple jump. Geubelle, who had already punched a ticket to the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the long jump Thursday, finished seventh in the triple jump with her mark of 12.88 meters (42-03.25 ft.) despite once again battling cold temperatures and sporadic rain showers.
“I definitely wanted to leave here with a better mark,” said Geubelle. “It was really cold out there. My legs were freezing the whole time. I guess I should just take it for what it is, I made it to Des Moines. I have two weeks to improve on my technique.”
Geubelle opened the event with a solid mark of 12.81 meters, assuring herself a spot in the 16-athlete final. She then fouled on her second attempt before posting a jump of 12.13 meters (39-09.75 ft.) on her third and final attempt of the preliminary round.
“”I got a mark that I knew would get me to finals,” said Geubelle. “I definitely didn’t think it would keep me as high as it did. I guess everybody was under the same conditions. Everybody was cold and having a tough time jumping.”
Once in the finals, the University Place, Wash., native struggled on her fourth attempt before taking her best leap of the day on her fifth trip down the run way. Geubelle recorded a mark of 12.88 meters (42-03.25 ft.) on her fifth attempt and would not improve on that distance on her sixth and final jump of the day.
Stowe advanced to Des Moines by winning her quarterfinal heat of the 3,000-meter Steeplechase with her time of 10:07.20. The Olathe, Kan., native maneuvered her way into the lead about 200 meters into the race and never let go earning an automatic qualifier status for the 2011 NCAA Championships.
“Coach (Whittlesey) told me to go out and run whatever was comfortable,” said Stowe, of her strategy going into the race. “The race was going out slow so I just told myself, ‘why not take over the lead and just run what I can run.’ Overall I felt really good about it. I was peaceful going into it and that’s when I run my best.”
Stowe will compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second-straight year in the Steeplechase as she finished ninth at the 2010 Championship meet here in Eugene. The junior captain has recorded the second-fastest time in the event in the NCAA in 2011 as she clocked in at 9:53.12 at the Payton Jordan Invitational earlier this month.
“I’m just going to try and feel fresh going in because we have two heats there,” said Stowe, of her approach leading up to the NCAA Championships. “I’ll have to make it through a heat in order to make it to finals. In the Steeple one is enough to get you through to finals. I’m just going to try and stay relaxed. Emma Coburn from Colorado is running really well right now so I’m going to try and get aggressive and practice going after somebody.”
Kansas athletes will get the third and final day of action at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships—West Preliminary under way Saturday with freshman Jessica Maroszek competing in the women’s discus at 10 a.m. (PST). Also competing Saturday will be Darryl Trotter (men’s triple jump), Brian Bishop (men’s discus), Mason Finley (men’s discus), Cori Christensen (women’s 1,500 meters), Donny Wasinger (men’s 1,500 meters) and both the men’s and women’s 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay teams.
May 27, 2011
NCAA Championships – West Prelims
400 Meters (Quarterfinals)
7. Diamond Dixon, 53.10 (Advances to Semifinals)
21. Kendra Bradley, 56.30
3,000m Steeplechase (Quarterfinals)
6. Rebeka Stowe, 10:07.20 (Advances to Semifinals)
Triple Jump (Quarterfinals)
7. Andrea Geubelle, 12.88m (42-03.25 ft.) (Advances to Semifinals)
Pole Vault (Quarterfinals)
25. Jaci Perryman, 3.85m (12-07.50 ft.)
t-26. Julia Cummings, 3.85m (12-07.50 ft.)
t-28. Demi Payne, 3.85m (12-07.50 ft.)
400 Meters (Quarterfinals)
10. Kyle Clemons, 46.34 (Advances to Semifinals)
High Jump (Quarterfinals)
Nick Canton, NH
Hammer Throw (Quarterfinals)
26. Scott Penny, 58.43m (191-08 ft.)