👟 Bradford Wins Pole Vault Title on Day One of the Big 12 Championship

AMES, Iowa – Kansas junior Zach Bradford won his first career Big 12 indoor title on day one of the Big 12 track & field Championship in Ames, Iowa, as the Jayhawks earned 10 podium appearances on Friday.

Bradford, of Bloomington, Ill., won his first Big 12 indoor title, and second overall, with a clearance of 5.62m (18-5.25 ft.). Bradford becomes the first Jayhawk to win a Big 12 indoor title since Hussain Al-Hizam won the title in 2018.

Bradford’s Big 12 title led the Jayhawks to score 22 points in the men’s pole vault, with Bradford placing first, freshman Clayton Simms placing second with a jump of 5.37m (17-7.25 ft), followed by Jake Freidel in sixth (5.02m (16-5.5 ft.)) and Andrew Saloga in eighth (4.87m (15-11.75 ft.)).

In total, Kansas made 10 trips to the podium on Friday, while six Jayhawks qualified for finals in their respective events.

In the men’s weight throw, freshman Oleg Klykov had a big day by throwing a personal best 19.18m (62-11.25 ft.) on his sixth and final attempt. Klykov’s throw would secure him a fifth-place finish as well as making him the No. 5 performer in KU indoor history.

In the women’s pole vault, Kansas’ Khristen Bryant and Taylor Starkey each cleared 3.92m (12-10.25 ft.), which placed them eighth overall.

The Jayhawks also competed in several event finals on the track, including the women’s 5,000 meters, where sophomore Lona Latema ran to a fifth-place finish with a personal best 16:37.97. Latema’s finish made her the No. 5 all-time performer in the event.

Kansas also secured a pair of podium finishes in the men’s and women’s distance medley relay, with the women’s DMR team of Avryl Johnson, Satanya Wright, Addie Coppinger and Sommer Herner finishing in 11:27.76.

With finals for many events slated for Saturday, the Jayhawks punched their tickets to six events on the track on Friday, including the men’s 60-meter hurdles (Cameron Wilmington), women’s 600-yards (Honour Finley), men’s 400 meters (Michael Joseph), women’s 1,000 meters (Avryl Johnson), men’s 1,000 meters (TJ Robinson) and men’s 800 meters (AJ Green III).

Day two of the Big 12 Championship will begin with the men’s heptathlon at 11 a.m. CT. The Big 12 Championship will stream live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.