Kansas Track & Field Completes 2009 Season

June 12, 2009

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On the third day of the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Zlata Tarasova placed 11th in the hammer throw finals and Keith Hayes took 16th overall in the semi-finals of the 110-meter hurdles to wrap up the season for Kansas track & field Friday at John McDonnell Field.

Tarasova, a senior from Togliatti, Russia, finished her decorated KU career with a throw of 56.44 meters (185-02 feet) to earn her 11th-place finish.

Hayes, a freshman from Wichita, Kan., ran a time of 14.01 to place ninth in heat one (16th overall) to fall short of a trip to Saturday’s 110-meter hurdles finals.

“I didn’t get a good start, and then it just kind of went downhill from there,” Hayes explained. “I had a good warm-up and was real confident. I was there mentally, but stuff happened.”

Advancing to the NCAA Championships as a freshman is no small feat, but Hayes is looking to improve during his sophomore campaign in 2009-10.

“It wasn’t exactly up to par to where I wanted my season, indoor and outdoor,” Hayes said. “This year was kind of a building, construction year. Next year, I’m going to focus on polishing what I’ve gained this year. I learned from this year that I need to stop chasing my goals. Not all of them, but just stop fighting it and grinding for it and just let stuff happen. If I execute and I go through what I practice, work hard and go to the meets focused, the times will take care of themselves. Winning meets will take care of itself, winning championships will take care of itself, and everything will just come along with that.

Next up for the Kansas athletes are the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 25-28 in Eugene, Ore.