Kansas Adds Four More All-Americans at NCAA Championships.

June 8, 2007


The University of Kansas added four more All-Americans Friday at the NCAA Championships in Sacramento, Calif. Senior Abby Emsick and juniors Egor Agafonov, Kate Sultanova and Julius Jiles all added their names to the illustrious list of Jayhawks to earn the prestigious title, while junior Crystal Manning qualified for the triple jump finals on Saturday. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Egor Agafonov became a four-time All-American, finishing fourth in the men’s hammer throw with a toss of 229-02 (69.85m). The mark came on his sixth and final throw of the competition, when he uncorked the 16-pound implement nearly two meters further than his previous best on the day to score five points for the Jayhawks.

“I am very proud to have finished with another All-American performance,” Agafonov said. “It was a very tough competition with some strong opponents, but I did my best today and I am happy about that. I want to thank Coach Kokhanovsky for keeping me motivated and focused throughout the year.”

With the conclusion of the hammer throw, Agafonov’s highly successful 2007 season comes to an end. He claimed the NCAA Indoor weight throw national championship, won both the Big 12 indoor weigh throw and outdoor hammer throw titles and set a new meet records at the Big 12 Outdoor championships and NCAA Midwest Regionals in the hammer throw.

His coach, Andy Kokhanovsky, was pleased with Agafonov’s development and success throughout the year.

“Egor competed very well and today’s results cap off what has been a very rewarding season,” Kokhanovsky said. “While I wish we had the two opening throws back, he has improved tremendously from last year, a sign of maturity. I am proud of his work both on the field and in the classroom and am already looking forward to next year.”

In the last competition of her college career, Abby Emsick captured her first All-American honor, placing fourth in the women’s discus with a throw of 178-06 (54.41m). A nursing major from <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the school record holder in the event, the finish was a fitting end to a prolific career. Emsick is the first Jayhawk ever to capture the All-American distinction in the discus event in either season.

“My performance today was a very rewarding end to my career at Kansas,” Emsick said. “I came out very relaxed on my first throw, which also happened to be my best of the day. Coach Kokhanovsky worked with me on keeping things simple and consistent and I was able to do that today.”

In addition to the school record in the discus, Emsick leaves Kansas as a three-time member of the Academic All-Big 12 team and received the Robert Frederick Senior-Scholar Athlete of the Year Award this past May. She also ranks in KU’s all-time top-five in two other events: fourth in the indoor shot put (49-03.50) and fourth in the outdoor shot put (49-08.25).

Julius Jiles took eighth in the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to take home his first All-American honor. The Kansas City, Mo., native finished in 13.95 seconds to score one point for the Jayhawks.

“I am overwhelmed by all that I accomplished this weekend,” Jiles said. “After a slow start in the indoor season, all the hard work I put in really paid off in the outdoor season. Coach Brewer and Coach Redwine helped me tremendously with my speed and the technique and that showed today.”

Jiles saved the best for last. At the NCAA Championships, he set a new school record and becoming the first Jayhawk ever to earn All-American honors in the 110-meter hurdles and the first Kansas hurdler to earn the All-American distinction in the high hurdles since George Byers in 1969 (120-yard hurdles).

“I am very proud of Julius’ effort today,” his coach, Elisha Brewer, said. “In the finals, you have to start all over, and although the race was not perfect, Julius can now say that he is an All-American and that is an outstanding accomplishment.”

In the women’s pole vault, junior Kate Sultanova placed fifth, clearing 13-03.50 (4.05m), earning her second All-American award of the year in the process.

After missing the 2006 season, Sultanova returned to the vault with a flurry in 2007. She tied the indoor school record (14-01.25) and finished third at the NCAA Indoor Championships, earning All-American honors in the process.

Junior Crystal Manning qualified for the finals of the women’s triple jump with a leap of 43-02.25 (13.34m). Her mark is tied for the third-best in the preliminary round and with the finals slated for noon CST Saturday.

Junior Ashley Brown’s season came to an end Friday when she missed qualifying for the finals in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. She finished 10th overall in the event in a time of 57.46 seconds.

The 2007 season was quite memorable for Brown, as she set three school records during the indoor and outdoor season: indoor 60-meter hurdles (8.32), outdoor 100-meter hurdles (13.27) and outdoor 400-meter hurdles (57.15). She was the Big 12 champion in the outdoor 100-meter hurdles, finished second in the outdoor 400-meter hurdles and third in the indoor 60-meter hurdles this year.

The 2007 Kansas track and field season concludes Saturday with Manning’s triple jump finals.