KU Track and Field Connections Doing Well In Sacramento

July 14, 2004

Sacramento, Calif. – Several track and field athletes with KU ties have competed and will continue to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials through Sunday, July 18.

The meet started with seven-time All-American Pat Manson in the pole vault jumping for the Indiana Invaders. Manson, who currently holds the indoor pole vault record at KU, no-heighted Friday at the opening height of 5.40 meters (17 feet, 8.5 inches) to end his hopes of making his first Olympic team.

On Saturday, KU school record holder and 2003 Big 12 runner-up, Abby Emsick competed in the qualifying rounds of the discus. Emsick placed 11th in her flight and 22nd overall in the event with a throw of 168 feet, 2 inches. She will be returning next season after redshirting the outdoor season this year.

To begin the new week of competition, former standout distance runner Mark Menefee managed to make it through the prelims of the 5000 meters with a time of 13:47.02, placing seventh in his heat and 14th overall. On Friday, July 16, at 8:55 p.m. Menefee and 15 other athletes will be challenging for spots on the Olympic team in the finals.

After a two-day hiatus in competition, former Jayhawks Charlie Gruber and Lester Smith will make their run at the team in the 1500 meters and triple jump, respectively. Gruber will run in the first of three heats on Thursday in the quarterfinal round of competition. The top six in each heat and the next six fastest times will send 24 athletes to the semifinal round to be run the following day at 7:40 p.m. Finals will be run on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Smith, a 1998 All-American and competing unattached, will be the 10th jumper in the first of two flights in the qualifying round of the triple jump. The finals will consist of 12 jumpers and will take place on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Also competing unattached, current KU throws coach Doug Reynolds will strive for his first Olympic berth in the qualifying round of the discus throw on Friday with the final round taking place on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Reynolds placed third at the 2003 U.S. Outdoor Championships in the event.

Rounding out the week is Leo Bookman, multiple All-American, three-time NCAA champion and school record holder. Bookman will compete in the qualifying round of the 200 meters on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and must make it through two rounds on Saturday (quarterfinals and semifinals) to make it to the finals on Sunday at 5:38 p.m.

For a complete schedule and results visit the USA Track and Field website at www.usatf.com.