Jayhawks set to host 92nd Kansas Relays presented by RCB Bank
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a week off from competition, the Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams are set to host the 92nd Kansas Relays presented by RCB Bank, April 17-20, at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas. Fans who can’t make it out to Rock Chalk Park can follow the meet with a live stream provided by FloTrack at FloTrack.org or with live results via PTTiming.com.
A LOOK BACK AT THE 91ST KANSAS RELAYS
Both the Kansas men’s and women’s teams saw success at the 2018 Kansas Relays with the women finishing first in the quadrangular and the men finishing second. Sharon Lokedi’s performance in the 5,000-meter run set a meet record, facility record, school record and personal record, with her time of 15:42.76 ranking No. 2 time in the NCAA at the time. Overall, the Kansas women notched 11 first-place finishes at last year’s Relays. On the men’s side, the Jayhawks garnered seven victories in individual events. Gleb Dudarev’s 78.04-meter (256-0 ft.) mark in the hammer throw was the NCAA’s best mark at the time and also set a meet record, facility record, school record and personal record. The mark was No. 5 in the world at the time and still holds to make Dudarev the No. 5 all-time performer in NCAA history.
HOPPEL’S WIN STREAK CONTINUES
2019 NCAA indoor 800-meter national champion Bryce Hoppel improved his individual-race win streak to 10 at the Battle on the Bayou, clocking in at 1:49.69 in the 800 meters and taking the win in his 1,500-meter season debut. Hoppel was named NCAA Midwest Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and has won every individual race he has competed in since the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships 800-meter final (June 8). He currently ranks No. 11 in the West region and No. 23 in the NCAA this season in the 800-meter run with his time of 1:48.94 at the Texas Relays. In addition to competing in the 800-meter run at the Kansas Relays, Hoppel is also entered in the 1,500 meters and as a member of the KU men’s 4×400-meter relay team.
Kansas sits in the top-50 in both the men’s and women’s rankings with the men coming in at No. 26 in week three, while the women are No. 45 in the nation in the latest USTFCCCA ratings.
NCAA LEADER DUDAREV EARNS BIG 12 HONORS
Junior Gleb Dudarev’s 74.39-meter (244-1 ft.) hammer throw at the Florida Relays ranks No. 1 in the NCAA and No. 12 in the world this season, and earned him Big 12 Co-Men’s Athlete of the Week, announced April 3. The weekly honor marks the sixth of Dudarev’s career. Dudarev’s NCAA-leading mark is the No. 5 performance in KU history all-time, and he also recorded the No. 6 and No. 10 marks at the Florida Relays. Following the trip to Gainesville, Dudarev won the hammer throw at the Battle on the Bayou to help lead the Kansas men to a team win. Dudarev is looking for another impressive performance at the Relays this season after a record-setting show at last year’s Kansas Relays.
FRESHMAN TINCH AMONG BEST IN THE WEST IN MULTIPLE EVENTS
Freshman Cordell Tinch has catapulted into the NCAA West Preliminary top-30 in three different events this outdoor season. Tinch is ranked 17th in the long jump with a wind-aided mark of 7.50 meters (24-7.25 ft.), 20th in the 110-meter hurdles with a wind-aided time of 14.04 seconds and 29th in the high jump, clearing a mark of 2.09 meters (6-10.25 ft.). Should Tinch advance to the NCAA West Preliminary Round in all three events, he would be the first Jayhawk to do so since Diamond Dixon in 2013.
The Kansas pole vaulters have a history of great success under associate head coach Tom Hays. With just four meets remaining until the NCAA West Preliminary in Sacramento, KU has four vaulters currently in qualifying position. Sophomore Kyle Rogers (8th) and freshman Zach Bradford (10th) are both ranked in the top-10 for the West Prelim, and are also ranked in the top-15 in the NCAA this season with Rogers ranking 11th and Bradford at 13th. For the KU women, senior Alexis Romero is ranked 16th in the West and 23rd in the NCAA, while sophomore Khristen Bryant is 24th in the West standings. Athletes need to be in the top-48 of their region to qualify for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds.
EMILIANOV AMONG NCAA TOP-25 IN SHOT PUT AND DISCUS
Sophomore Alexandra Emilianov is one of three KU throwers and the only women’s thrower for the Jayhawks to rank in the NCAA top-25 standings. She is also the only Kansas thrower to be ranked in the top-25 in two events (shot put and discus). Emilianov’s discus mark of 57.47 meters (188-6 ft.) at the ESU Spring Invitational earned her second place at the meet, while posting the No. 9 discus mark in KU history. She currently ranks No. 5 in the West region and No. 6 in the NCAA for the discus. Emilianov’s throw of 16.27m (53-4.5 ft.) in the shot put at the Battle on the Bayou is the 12th-best mark in the West region and the 23rd-best mark in the NCAA this season.
EVANS EYES RETURN TO NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sophomore George Evans currently sits at No. 8 in the NCAA for the men’s discus. The Inverness, Scotland native has participated in three meets this outdoor season, and posted his best throw at the Battle on the Bayou with a mark of 59.84 meters (196-4 ft.). Additionally, Evans posted a personal-best mark in the shot put at the Florida Relays, throwing 16.01 meters (52-6.5 ft.).
ANDERSON BECOMES NO. 9 PERFORMER IN KU HISTORY
A seventh-place finish in Section A of the high jump at the Texas Relays made freshman Rylee Anderson the No. 9 performer in KU history in the event, clearing 1.77 meters (5-9.75 ft.) to enter KU’s top-10. Anderson is currently No. 9 in the West region and No. 25 in the NCAA this season.
EUBANKS LOOKS TO BUILD ON INDOOR SUCCESS
After garnering USTFCCCA Midwest Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year honors for breaking the 800-meter school record at the Big 12 Indoor Championship and winning the conference title, Marleena Eubanks looks to continue building off of her indoor success during the remainder of the outdoor season. Eubanks is currently ranked No. 17 in the West region in the 800-meter run, finishing fourth at the Texas Relays with a time of 2:06.79.
LOKEDI NAMED BIG 12 WOMEN’S PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Kansas senior Sharon Lokedi was named the 2019 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Women’s Performer of the Year, which marks the second-consecutive year the Eldoret, Kenya native took home the honor. Lokedi’s win was largely in part to her earning the women’s high point award at the Big 12 Championship and being a part of two school records (5,000m and DMR) during the course of the indoor season. Lokedi followed up her Big 12 Performer of the Year award with a Second Team All-America honor at the NCAA Indoor Championships to conclude her collegiate career. Although she no longer has collegiate eligibility remaining, Lokedi will compete unattached at the Kansas Relays, slated to run in the 1,500-meter run.
KANSAS WOMEN POST RECORD-SETTING SEMESTER IN THE CLASSROOM
The Kansas women’s track & field team were one of four KU teams to record a team-best semester in the classroom, leading to a department-record 3.11 all-sports combined GPA in the Fall 2018 semester. The KU women’s track & field team recorded a program-best 3.42 GPA for the Fall semester. The Kansas men’s team was able to notch a 2.91 GPA.
REDWINE SIGNS NO. 3 MEN’S CLASS
According to Track & Field News, 19th-year head coach Stanley Redwine’s 2018 KU men’s recruiting class is the No. 3 signing class is the nation. Coming in behind Georgia and Texas A&M, the Jayhawks made the top-5 for the first time ever.
Highlighting the recruiting class is Zach Bradford, a pole vaulter out of Bloomington, Illinois, who represented the USA at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, where he earned a silver medal. Bradford posted the No. 8 all-time high school pole vault mark, clearing 18-2.5 ft. his senior season.
Also highlighting the signing class are Treyvon Ferguson, a triple jumper hailing from Hershey, Pennsylvania and Patrick Larrison, a thrower from Moore, Oklahoma.
Kansas is set to compete at the second annual National Relay Championships hosted by the University of Arkansas at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Arkansas on April 26-27.