👟 Bradford, Emilianov Win Titles on Final Day of the Big 12 Championship
LUBBOCK, Texas – Kansas track and field closed out the final day of the Big 12 Outdoor Championship in a hot and sunny Lubbock, Texas on Sunday, which was highlighted by a pair of individual Big 12 titles.
Kansas’ Alexandra Emilianov (women’s discus) and Zach Bradford (men’s pole vault) were crowned Big 12 Champion in their respective events on Sunday, marking Emilianov’s third-career Big 12 discus title and Bradford’s second-consecutive pole vault title.
The Kansas men finished fifth overall as a team by scoring 74 points, Kansas’ best finish since placing fifth at the 2019 Big 12 Outdoor Championship. The Kansas women placed 7th with 53 points, while the Texas men (161 pts.) and women (172.5 pts.) swept the team titles.
Kansas’ afternoon began in the women’s discus, where Emilianov led throughout a majority of the competition. On her fifth throw, Emilianov launched a throw of 60.48m (198-5 ft.), which would win her the event and be the second-farthest throw in school history, behind only her own school record of 64.40m (211-3 ft.).
With her title, Emilianov has now won the Big 12 discus title three times (2018, 2019, 2022), becoming just the second individual in Big 12 Conference history to win three titles in the women’s discus throw.
In the men’s pole vault competition, the Jayhawks combined for 27 points, including the Big 12 Champion in Bradford. With the bar at 5.41m (17-9 ft.), it was only Jayhawks remaining in Bradford, freshman Clayton Simms and senior Kyle Rogers. Both Bradford and Simms cleared on their first attempts to advance to 5.51m (18-1 ft.). Bradford would clear the height and win his second-straight Big 12 outdoor title, while Simms placed second (5.41m (17-9 ft.)) and Rogers placed third (5.31m (17-5 ft.)).
Junior Rylee Anderson placed as the runner-up in the women’s high jump with a jump of 1.83m (6-0 ft.). Anderson was edged by Texas Tech’s Sidney Sapp, who had a career day by clearing a personal best 1.89m (6-2.25 ft.).
Due to high temperatures in the evening, the men’s and women’s 5,000 meters were moved to the early morning on Sunday, where sophomore Lona Latema ran a personal best and sixth-best performance in school history of 16:39.99, placing third. In the men’s race, sophomore Chandler Gibbens raced into eighth place behind a strong finish in 14:24.49.
In the men’s discus, junior Patrick Larrison had himself another strong performance by throwing a personal best 55.36m (181-7 ft.) to place third in the event.
Senior Honour Finley ran to a third-place finish and third-fastest time in school history in the women’s 800 meters, crossing the finish line in 2:05.05.
The Jayhawks will next compete at the NCAA West Preliminary in Fayetteville, Arkansas from May 26-29. The top-48 individuals in each event, 24 relays, from both the east and west regions qualify for their respective preliminary round. Athletes with the top 12 times/marks and the best 12 relay teams at both the East and West Preliminary Rounds sites will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon on June 8-12.