Kansas Track & Field Holds Bright Future
July 1, 2009
After losing six All-American athletes from the 2008 season, it was no secret that 2009 Kansas track & field team would be youth-driven squad. With the help of old reliables Nickesha Anderson, Jordan Scott and Zlata Tarasova along with the emergence of junior Lauren Bonds and true freshman Keith Hayes, the Jayhawks made sure that their presence would be felt at the NCAA Championships once again.
2009 Indoor Review
When discussing the prospects of an upcoming season, Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine is never one to use inexperience as an excuse to not perform. The ninth-year head coach of the Jayhawks expects the younger athletes to step up when it is their time to be leaders. The 2009 indoor season not only saw veterans Scott, Bonds, Tarasova, Stephanie Horton and Colby Wissel step into a leadership role, but also brought hopes of a bright future with true freshmen Hayes, Corey Fuller, Jamaica Collins and Nick Canton along with newcomers Brian Bishop and Reggie Carter all leading the Jayhawks in several events.
Scott, a junior in 2009, continued to establish himself as one of the greatest pole vaulters Kansas has ever seen. An All-American during the 2008 indoor season, Scott repeated that feat in 2009 with a third place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. The Watkinsville, Ga., native also three-peated as Big 12 Indoor Champion in the pole vault, joining Egor Agafonov (2006-2008, weight throw) as the only two Jayhawks to pull off the Big 12 Championship three-peat. Scott was also named Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Male Athlete of the Week for competitions from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 after his then-national-leading pole vault of 5.50 meters (18-00.50 ft.) at the adidas Classic in Lincoln, Neb.
Bonds set indoor school records in both the mile (4:43.74) and 1,000 meters (2:46.60). The junior from Hutchinson, Kan., recorded a provisional qualifying time in the mile at the ISU Classic and placed second in the 1,000 meters at the Big 12 Championships, both in school-record times.
Tarasova, the school record holder in the weight throw, was six-for-six earning top-six finishes in the event, including two victories and a runner-up. The senior from Togliatti, Russia, led all KU hammer throwers with a mark of 18.01 meters (59-01.25 feet), posted at the KU vs. MU Dual. Tarasova won the hammer throw titles at the adidas Classic and the Arkansas Invitational.
Horton, a two-time All-American in the shot put, led the Jayhawks in the event with a throw of 14.91 meters (48-11.00 feet), which was recorded at the ISU NCAA Qualifier. The senior from Tigard, Ore., had four top-five showings in the shot put, highlighted by winning the event at the Arkansas Invitational and placing second at both the adidas Classic and KU vs. MU Dual.
Wissel, a three-time All-American between track and cross country, entered 2009 with one final indoor season of eligibility. The Elm Creek, Neb., product made the most of it, posting provisional qualifying times in the mile (4:01.92), 3,000 meters (7:58.08) and 5,000 meters (13:54.95). Wissel placed fifth in the 5,000 meters and third in the 3,000 meters at the Big 12 Championships.
Hayes came to Kansas as a highly touted recruit out of Wichita, Kan., and the true freshman to not disappoint as he began to make his mark during the indoor season. Hayes led all Jayhawks in the 60-meter hurdles, recording a provisional-qualifying time of 7.86 at the ISU NCAA Qualifier. He earned two victories in the event, at the KU vs. MU Dual and at the Arkansas Invitational, and placed fifth at the Big 12 Championships as a freshman. Hayes also finished second at the Holiday Preview and third at the ISU Qualifier.
Fuller was also an impact freshman for the Jayhawks, leading all Jayhawk triple jumpers with a mark of 15.21 meters (49-11.00 feet), posted at the ISU NCAA Qualifier. The Baltimore, Md., product won the event at the KU vs. MU Dual, and had three runner-up finishes, at the ISU NCAA Qualifier, the Tyson Invitational and at the Holiday Preview.
Collins led the KU women in both the triple jump and long jump. The freshman from Fort Worth, Texas, posted both of her best marks at the ISU NCAA Qualifier, 5.62 meters (18-05.25 feet) in the long jump and 11.00 meters (36-01.25 feet) in the triple jump. Collins won the long jump at the Holiday Preview, placed third in the triple jump at the KU vs. MU Dual and finished fourth in the long jump at the same meet.
Canton held the KU men’s best high jump, a mark of 2.09 meters (6-10.25 feet) set at the ISU NCAA Qualifier. The freshman from Fowler, Kan., finished in second place in the high jump at the Holiday Preview and took third in the event at the KU vs. MU Dual.
Bishop, a transfer from Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, immediately became the leader for the KU men in the weight throw (12.33 meters [40-05.50 feet]) and the shot put (14.95 meters [49-00.75 feet]). The junior from Cantrall, Ill., placed fifth in both events at the KU vs. MU Dual and took eighth in the shot put at the adidas Classic.
Carter, who transferred from Morgan State University, led the KU men in the 60 meters with a time of 6.99, recorded at the Arkansas Invitational.
The indoor season was just the beginning for the Kansas track & field team, as many of the Jayhawks’ indoor stars carried that momentum over into the outdoor season.
2009 Outdoor Review
The 2009 outdoor season featured many of the same stars for Kansas that stood out in the indoor season, but there were some noticeable differences. Scott, the three-time defending Big 12 indoor champion in the pole vault and two-time All-American, utilized his redshirt season and did not compete outdoors. Anderson did not have any more indoor eligibility, but she did have one more outdoor season left and quickly refreshed the memories of anyone who may have forgotten what she was capable of on the track.
Anderson, a four-time All-American in 2008, regionally qualified with victories in the 100 meters and 200 meters, helped the 4×100-meter relay take home the title, and led the 4×400-meter relay to a second-place finish at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz., her first event back on the track. The senior from Hanover, Jamaica, led the KU women in the 100 meters (11.50), 200 meters (22.95) and 400 meters (54.36). Anderson finished fourth in the 100 meters and fifth in the 200 meters at the Big 12 Championships. At the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, she was battling a leg injury and did not qualify for the finals in either event. However, Anderson earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships in the 200 meters because of her previous performances.
Hayes, who began to show his promise during the indoor season, really let everyone know who the future of Kansas hurdles is with his outdoor performances. The freshman led the Jayhawks with a time of 13.73 in the 100-meter hurdles (set in the prelims at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships), the second-best time in school history. Hayes also led Kansas in the 400-meter hurdles, a time of 54.55 recorded at the Kansas Relays. He placed second in the 110-meter hurdles at both the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships (13.79) and the Kansas Relays (14.05). Hayes earned a trip to the NCAA Championships as a freshman, where he advanced out of the prelims and into the semifinals with a time of 14.08. In the semifinals, Hayes ran a time of 14.01 to fall just short of a berth in the finals.
Bonds duplicated her indoor success during the outdoor season as well. The junior led the Kansas women in both the 800 meters (2:11.47) and 1,500 meters (4:20.95). Bonds ran 4:20.95 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., the third-fastest time in KU history in the 1,500 meters. She finished first in both the 800 meters (2:11.67) and 1,500 meters (4:27.36) at the Kansas Relays, and took second in both events at the John Jacobs Invitational. Bonds placed third in the 1,500 meters at the Big 12 Championships with a time of 4:27.92. She qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in the 1,500 meters, where she placed fifth with a time of 4:26.04 to advance to her first-ever NCAA Championships. At the NCAA Championships, despite running a preliminary time of 4:26.73 (her third-fastest time of the season), Bonds did not qualify for the event finals.
Tarasova was the fourth member of the KU squad to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The school record holder in the hammer throw led the Jayhawks in the event with a season-best mark of 57.59 (188-11 feet) that earned her a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. Tarasova had four other top-five finishes, including second at both the Kansas Relays and Jim Click Shootout. Three of her four-best throws of the season came at her last two meets. Tarasova posted a mark of 55.87 meters (183-04 feet) at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships to take fifth place and punch her ticket to the NCAA Championships. In the prelims at the NCAA Championships, she recorded a throw of 57.34 meters to earn a spot in the finals. In the finals, Tarasova threw the hammer 56.44 meters to finish in 11th place.
Seven other Jayhawks qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships along with Anderson, Bonds, Hayes and Tarasova.
Bishop, another star of the indoor season, finished in third place in the men’s discus at the Big 12 Championships with a career-best throw of 57.17 meters (187-06 feet) to qualify for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. The junior just missed out on an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. Bishop placed second in the discus at the Jim Click Shootout and Arkansas Twilight, and took seventh at the Midwest Regional.
Kirk Cooper led all Kansas men’s pole vaulters with a mark of 5.06 meters (16-07.25 feet). The junior from Centennial, Colo., reached a regional-qualifying mark of 5.05 meters (16-06.75 feet) three times before raising the bar at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. Cooper won the pole vault at the John Jacobs Invitational, placed second at the Kansas Relays and finished third at the Arkansas Twilight.
Fuller was the leader for the KU men in the triple jump, posting a season-best mark at the Jim Click Shootout (15.34 meters [50-04 feet]) to win the event and qualify for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. The freshman finished second at the Kansas Relays, Drake Relays and John Jacobs Invitational.
Horton concluded her All-American career by leading the Jayhawks in both the shot put and discus during her final outdoor season. The senior posted a season-best shot put of 15.47 meters (50-09.25 feet) to win at the Kansas Relays, and recorded a season-best discus throw of 46.98 meters (154-01.00 feet) to finish 10th at the Big 12 Championships. She met the regional qualifying mark all four times she threw the shot put prior to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, and went on to finish in 11th place at regionals.
Victoria Howard also wrapped up a solid career by regionally qualifying in the women’s 200 meters. The senior from Overland Park, Kan., posted a regional-qualifying time of 23.76 at the John Jacobs Invitational to finish fifth in the event. Howard had a season-best third-place finish at the Jim Click Shootout.
Keyen Porter had a successful freshman season, and is another KU hurdler to watch for in the future. The Blue Springs, Mo., native kicked off the outdoor season with a bang in winning the 110-meter hurdles at the Missouri Relays, finishing with a regional-qualifying time of 14.29. Porter went on to better that time at the John Jacobs Invitational (14.21) en route to a third-place finish. He also placed third in the 110-meter hurdles at the Kansas Relays.
Emily Reimer saved her best season for her last one, holding the second-best KU women’s shot put mark and qualifying for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. The senior from Wichita, Kan., recorded a season-best shot put of 15.23 meters (49-11.75 feet) to qualify for regionals and take third place at the Jim Click Shootout. Reimer posted two other throws that met the regional mark, 15.14 meters (49-08.25 feet) at the Kansas Relays to place second and 14.87 meters (48-09.50 feet) to finish 10th at the Big 12 Championships. She went on to finish in 16th place at the Midwest Regional.
Scott, Hayes, Bonds, Fuller, Bishop, Carter, Cooper, Porter, Canton and Collins, 10 athletes who made their marks in 2009, are just some of names that you will see in the headlines for the Jayhawks again in 2010, and some of them into 2011 and 2012. With a young nucleus of budding stars, the sky seems to be the limit for the future of Kansas track & field.
2009 Track & Field Banquet Awards
Emily Reimer — 3.97
Jareb Stallbaumer — 4.0
1000 Meters (Indoor) – 2:46.60 (2/28/2009)
Mile (Indoor) — 4:43.74 (2/14/2009)
Newcomer/Freshmen of the Year
Kara Windisch – Cross Country
Shayla Wilson – Track
Mackenzie Wills – Field
Donny Wasinger – Cross Country
Keith Hayes – Track
Brian Bishop – Field
Jayhawk of the Year
Lauren Bonds – Cross Country
Nickesha Anderson -Track & Field
Bret Imgrund – Cross Country
Jordan Scott – Track & Field