Student-Athletes Enjoy Welcome Back Picnic

Aug. 21, 2006

LAWRENCE, Kan. –

The <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>University of Kansas athletics department hosted a back-to-school picnic for its student-athletes to kick off the 2006-2007 academic year. Athletics Director Lew Perkins, Provost Richard Lariviere and Chancellor Robert Hemenway addressed approximately 500 KU student-athletes at Hoglund Ballpark.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

“We welcome this opportunity to celebrate last year’s accomplishments, including four Big 12 Championships, and look forward to continuing that success this year,” Perkins said.

The fall season brings ample opportunities to build upon the accomplishments achieved last year. Volleyball, fresh off its third-straight NCAA appearance, opens the season Friday at the Crimson Tide Invitational in Tuscaloosa, Ala., when they take on Alabama A&M. The team returns for its home opener on Aug. 29, when they take on UMKC.

The KU women’s soccer team, under the guidance of Head Coach Mark Francis, brings an experience-laden squad to the 2006 season, with aspirations of returning to the NCAA tournament. Leading the charge for the Jayhawks is preseason All-Big 12 selection, senior Holly Gault, and a pair of goaltenders, sophomore Julie Hanley and junior Colleen Quinn, who shore up its defense.

The Kansas cross country teams are gearing up to host the Big 12 Cross Country Championships on Oct. 27, at Rim Rock Farm. With a victory on his home course, senior Benson Chesang, the defending back-to-back Big 12 Champion, could become the first Jayhawk in KU history to win three consecutive league crowns.

KU football launches its campaign towards another postseason appearance on Sept. 2, when they host NorthwesternState at Memorial Stadium. Redshirt-freshman Kerry Meier and senior running back Jon Cornish lead the offense while redshirt-sophomore Mike Rivera and preseason All-Big 12 cornerback sophomore Aqib Talib anchor the defense for the Jayhawks.

Stay tuned to kuathletics.com for all the latest Jayhawk news and results.