Four Jayhawks Qualify for Finals on First Day of NCAA Championships

June 7, 2006


The University of Kansas men’s and women’s track and field teams were at Sacramento State’s A.G. Spanos Sports Complex on Wednesday at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. Seven Jayhawks were in action on the first day of competition that consisted of qualifying rounds and preliminary heats.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Senior Charisse Bacchus had her best performance of the season in the preliminaries of the long jump. Her leap of 21-6 1/4 was good for second overall and qualified her for the finals on Thursday. The jump also strengthened her hold on second place on Kansas’ all-time performance list.

Competing in the hammer at his first NCAA Outdoor Championships, sophomore Egor Agafonov qualified for Friday’s finals in the competition. The Togliatti, Russia, native, who currently sits at third on the national performance list, qualified with a heave of 219-3. His mark was the fourth best of the preliminary round.

Running in the last event of the day, sophomore Paul Hefferon notched an exciting 16th-place result in the men’s 5,000-meter run. The native of Overland Park, Kan., kicked hard down the stretch to turn in a time of 14:05.97 and qualify for the finals on Friday.

Also qualifying for Friday’s finals was senior Denita Young. Her toss of 157-0 in the javelin put her in 11th and was good for the qualification. Young was a 2001 All-American in the event while at the University of Tennessee.

“I thought we had a really good day today,” Head Coach Stanley Redwine commented. “I’m excited about how everyone performed, especially Egor and Charisse. The people going tomorrow – they know what to do. They’ll need to step up and take care of business.”

After the first day of the decathlon, junior Josh Kirk sits in 19th place through the first five events. His point total of 3,494 was highlighted by a time of 49.84 in the 400-meter dash, good for seventh overall in the event. Kirk, who finished fifth in the decathlon at the Big 12 Championships, will wrap up the competition on Thursday starting with the 110-meter hurdles and finishing with the 1,500-meter run.

Abby Emsick, KU’s record holder in the discus, missed qualifying for the finals by finishing 16th in the prelims of the event with a toss of 159-8. She wrapped up a very successful season that saw her finish fifth at the Big 12 Championships and seventh at the Midwest Regional Championships.

Also competing in the discus was junior Cody Roberts. Participating in his first NCAA Championships, the Bloomington, Ill., native finished 20th overall with a throw of 173-7.

Action from the 2006 NCAA Championships continues on Thursday from the Sacramento State campus. Day two of the competition for the Jayhawks gets under way early with the conclusion of the men’s decathlon (Kirk) and continues with the finals of the women’s long jump (Bacchus) as well as qualifying rounds for the men’s shot put (Sheldon Battle), women’s hammer (Zlata Tarasova) and men’s 1,500-meter run (Cameron Schwehr).