Eventful Saturday closes out 92nd Kansas Relays presented by RCB Bank
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A pair of meet records, a high-flying pole vault competition and some of the nation’s top marks of the year sent the 92nd Kansas Relays out with a bang as the meet came to a close Saturday inside Rock Chalk Park. Just over 5,000 fans filled the stadium on a picture-perfect day and witnessed some of the best performances in the country in 2019 at both the high school and collegiate levels.
Following the day’s events, meet officials selected Kansas freshman Zach Bradford as the Most Outstanding Male Performer after his KU school record in pole vault. The Jayhawk’s winning vault was the best at the Kansas Relays since 1987 and ranks as the fourth-best in the world this year. Superior High School’s Kalynn Meyer was dubbed the meet’s Most Outstanding Female Performer after her victory in the girls’ discus, an event in which she broke the meet record and posted the top throw in the U.S. this year.
In the first KU Relays of his collegiate career, Bradford made it a memorable one by tallying, not only the best pole vault mark ever by a Jayhawk, but the best performance at the KU Relays in 32 years. The Kansas freshman needed only two tries to get over 5.77 meters (18-11 ft.) to claim the win. The leap, which was the highest at the KU Relays since Joe Dial cleared 19-4.75 ft. in 1987, and it also moved Bradford up to No. 4 on this year’s world pole vault lists.
Earlier in the day, Meyer notched a memorable outing of her own to claim the KU Relays girls’ discus title and move her name to the top of the U.S. high school rankings. The junior hit a mark of 53.09 meters (174-2 ft.) on her sixth and final throw of the day to surpass the previous meet record by over three feet.
On the track, one of the meet’s longest-standing records was edited in one of the first races of the day, as the Ames boys’ Sprint Medley relay squad raced to the win. The Little Cyclones passed the baton around in 3:30.42 to top the 54-year-old meet record of 3:30.60 set by Wichita North in 1965.
The Jayhawks’ Bryce Hoppel was the day’s only multiple individual event winner. The KU junior collected the gold in the 1,500 meters (3:48.36) as well as the 800 meters (1:49.10).
Other notable performances on Saturday came from former Kansas track & field stars, Sydney Conley (100 meters), Andrea Geubelle (long jump), Kyle Clemons (400 meters) and Sharon Lokedi (1,500 meters), each of whom claimed event titles on the day.
With the 92nd Kansas Relays now in the books, it’s time to start looking to the 93rd year of the historic meet, as the 2020 Kansas Relays are set for April 15-18, 2020.