Kansas Track and Field and Cross Country Honors Athletes

June 18, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas track and field and cross country staff recently honored their athletes at the annual Kansas cross country and track and field awards banquet.

Junior Nickesha Anderson won both the women’s track Newcomer of the Year and Jayhawk of the Year awards after a stellar 2008 season. In her first season at KU, Anderson set four school records and two Anschutz Pavilion records this season, was named the Indoor Midwest Track Athlete of the Year, won the Big 12 Championship in the 60-meter dash and was the first women’s All-American in school history in the 60 meters as well as the first in the indoor and outdoor 200 meters.

Seniors Julius Jiles, Egor Agafonov and Kate Sultanova took the other track and field prizes. Jiles was named the men’s track Jayhawk of the Year. He capped a tremendous career, tying the school record in the 60 meters and breaking his own KU record in the 110-meter hurdles.

As in 2007, Agafonov and Sultanova won the respective field Jayhawk of the Year honors. Agafonov was the national champion in the weight throw for the second straight year and also won his third consecutive Big 12 championship (weight and hammer) and regional championship (hammer) and All-America honor (weight and hammer). Sultanova won the 2008 indoor and outdoor Big 12 pole vault championships and was an indoor All-American in the event. She was a two-time Big 12 Athlete of the Week and shortly after being honored as the Athlete of the Meet at the Husker Invitational, Sultanova won and set the facility record at The Armory at the historic New Balance Collegiate Invitational, one of the most competitive indoor meets in the country each year.

Freshman Keron Toussaint won the men’s track Newcomer of the Year honor after leading all Jayhawks in the indoor and outdoor 400-meter dash in 2008. He was also second to Jiles in the outdoor 200-meter dash and was a member of the 1,600-meter relay team that scored at the Big 12 Championships in Boulder.

As the only two freshmen to qualify for the NCAA Regionals, Iain Trimble (javelin) Julia Cummings (pole vault) were the field Newcomers of the Year. Trimble, despite an injury sidelining him for the rest of the season, still ranked first in the Big 12 and second in the Midwest. He set a meet record in his first collegiate meet at the Missouri Relays and is fourth all-time at KU in the event. Cummings is also fourth on the all-time performance list in her event after finishing in a tie for third with teammate Libby Harmon at the Outdoor Big 12 Championships. She also scored at the indoor conference meet, finishing sixth.

In order to honor her special accomplishments throughout the 2008 season, a new award was instituted for this year to recognize senior Crystal Manning as the track and field Jayhawk of the year. Manning excelled not only in her customary field events – she was the Big 12 Champion in the indoor long jump and triple jump – but also on the track. The three-time 2008 All-American ran as part of the 1,600-meter relay team which set the indoor school record and scored at the indoor and outdoor conference championships while most recently anchoring the Kansas record-holding outdoor 400-meter relay team. The Terrell, Texas, native’s dual success was most evident as she became the first Jayhawk, man or woman, to earn high point honors at the Big 12 Championships. She tied Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego at the indoor meet.

Senior Colby Wissel was rewarded with the men’s cross country Jayhawk of the Year hardware after becoming the first Kansas runner to repeat as an All-American since Billy Mills in 1959. Wissel earned All-America status in 2006 and 2007 after finishing 26th and 39th, respectively at the NCAA Championships. Sophomore Lauren Bonds won the women’s honor as the top runner at every event she competed in for Kansas. She was named all-region by the USTFCCCA.

Freshman Amanda Miller and Nick Caprario captured the cross country Newcomer of the Year awards. Miller and Caprario were the top freshmen on their respective teams with each scoring at every meet in which they competed.

Sophomore Elizabeth Beisner and junior Eric Fattig received the Academic Achievement awards as each earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Fattig recently made the Academic All-Big 12 first team for the second straight year.