Track and Field Sets Sights on Qualifying for NCAA Championships This Weekend

May 28, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – More than 20 University of Kansas track and field athletes have earned their way to Lincoln, Neb., this weekend for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships May 30-31. Automatic qualification to the national championships will be awarded to the top five finishers from each regional individual event and the top three finishers from each regional relay event. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The Regionals start Friday at 1 p.m. (CST) with the women’s hammer throw while track events begin at 1:30 p.m. with the prelims of the 400-meter relays. The first day of competition will end with the men’s 5,000-meter run at 7:20 p.m. Saturday begins with the men’s hammer throw at 1 p.m. and the finals of the 400-meter relays at 4 p.m. The 2008 Midwest Regional champions will be declared after the men’s 1,600-meter relay at 7:20 p.m.

Kansas currently has 11 athletes that rank in the top-five of the Midwest Region. Senior Egor Agafonov is ranked No. 1 in the hammer throw. At the Big 12 Championships in Boulder, Colo., May 16-18, Agafonov became the first person in conference history to win three-straight championships in the hammer throw while senior Kate Sultanova won her second career outdoor title in the pole vault. Sultanova is the first two-time outdoor champion in the event in school history and is tied for fourth in the Midwest Region.

Meeting the Jayhawks in Lincoln are nine teams ranked in the women’s USTFCCCA top-25 – the most of any region – as well as seven ranked men’s teams. The Kansas women moved up two spots from last week and are currently ranked No. 19 in the nation.

After the automatic qualifiers have been determined, the rest of the student-athletes will rely on their season-best performances to earn them an at-large berth to the Championships.

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