Kansas freshmen shine on Day 4 of the 92nd Kansas Relays
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas track & field freshmen made their mark on day four of the 92nd Kansas Relays presented by RCB Bank, setting four personal-bests and breaking one long-standing KU school record to earn three of the Jayhawks’ six victories on the final day of the Relays at Rock Chalk Park.
Freshman Zach Bradford’s winning clearance of 5.77 meters (18-11 ft.) broke a 36-year KU school record in the pole vault, earning him Male Performer of the Meet honors. Bradford is the second-straight Jayhawk to earn the award after junior Gleb Dudarev took home the honors last year.
The mark, which is also a Rock Chalk Park facility record and the best at the Kansas Relays since 1987, is the No. 2 mark in the NCAA and the No. 4 mark in the world this season. On his way to breaking the school record, Bradford also cleared the No. 3 (5.71m/18-8.75 ft.) and No. 6 (5.65m/1818-6.5 ft.) heights in Kansas school history.
Joining Bradford’s success was fellow freshman Cordell Tinch, who notched personal-best marks in all three of his events and earning wins in two of the three. Tinch’s winning, wind-aided time of 13.71 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles mark is the Green Bay, Wisconsin native’s first sub-14 second time in the event. He also earned a victory in the high jump with a new best mark of 2.11 meters (6-11 ft.) and posted a fifth-place finish in the long jump with a PR of 7.54 meters (24-9 ft.).
Junior Bryce Hoppel extended his individual-race winning streak to 12 with wins in both the 1,500-meter run (3:48.36) and the 800-meter run (1:49.10). The last time Hoppel didn’t win an individual race was at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Also adding to KU’s gold medal count on day four was senior Nicole Montgomery, who won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:10.39.
In addition to KU’s six victories on the final day of the Kansas Relays, the Jayhawks added six second-place finishes and four third-place finishes.
Head Coach Stanley Redwin
On the 92nd Kansas Relays:
“I think it is really awesome, all of the volunteers and officials that come here and help. Some of them use their vacation time from work to come here and help, and that is just really important to put on a meet of this magnitude. I am really excited that they continue to come out and support KU track & field. (Meet director) Milan (Donley) has done an awesome job once again and we all had a great time. I hope all of the athletes and fans enjoyed the weekend out here.”
On freshman Zach Bradford’s record-setting performance:
“He is just an awesome athlete, and one thing that great athletes do is they find a way to compete. Here at home, to do it front of the home crowd is just amazing. I think Coach Hays has done a phenomenal job with him and all of our athletes. The exciting part is that he didn’t think he would break the school record this year, but he did it, so now we get to see where he goes from here.”
On junior Bryce Hoppel’s performance:
“Bryce (Hoppel) continues to be amazing. Two events that he just dominated, then he came back and ran an awesome leg in the 4×4, so it is just a fun thing to watch when you have an athlete competing at that level.”
- Sophomore Catherine Liggett was KU’s top performer in the women’s 1,500-meter run, finishing with a time of 4:30.72 to place second as the top collegiate finisher behind Kansas track & field alum Sharon Lokedi.
- The top collegiate finisher in the discus was Kansas sophomore Alexandra Emilianov with a throw of 56.21 meters (184-5 ft.) to place second overall.
- Redshirt sophomore Mariah Kuykendoll and senior Marleena Eubanks went two and three in the 400-meter dash, respectively. Kuykendoll finished second with a time of 54.43 seconds and Eubanks clocked in with a new personal-best of 54.64 seconds.
- Senior Courtney Griffiths earned the silver medal in the 800-meter run, hitting the line at 2:13.74.
- In the 400-meter hurdles, Kansas had the third-place finishers in both the men’s and women’s races. Senior Caraline Slattery clocked in at 1:01.39 in the women’s race and junior Cody Johnson’s time of 52.00 seconds was the third-best time on the men’s side.
- Junior Jedah Caldwell’s personal-best time of 23.32 seconds earned her the bronze in the 200-meter dash.
- Both the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relays posted narrow second-place finishes. The men clocked in at 3:10.58 and the women finished in 3:39.59.
The Jayhawks travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the National Relay Championships from April 26-27 at John McDonnell Field.