Kansas prepped for Big 12 Outdoor Championship
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field is set for the 2019 Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championship, May 10-12, at John Jacobs Track & Field Complex in Norman, Oklahoma. The meet will have a live stream through FloTrack.org and live results will be available through DeltaTiming.com.
Kansas has four freshmen that are currently within the West Prelim’s top-48 in a total of six different events. Cordell Tinch leads the group of newcomers with qualifying marks and times in three events. Tinch ranks 14th in the 110-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 13.89 seconds at the National Relay Championships, while also ranking 22nd in the high jump at 2.11 meters (6-11 ft.) and 33rd in the long jump at 7.51 meters (24-7.75 ft.), both set at the Kansas Relays. Joining Tinch on the men’s side are KU pole vault school record holder Zach Bradford, who is second in the West at his record-breaking mark of 5.77 meters (18-11 ft.) set at the Kansas Relays and Patrick Larrison who is 30th in the discus with a best-mark of 55.41 meters (181-9 ft.) at the Kansas Relays. Rylee Anderson is the lone freshman on the Kansas women’s squad that has a mark currently in qualifying position for the West Prelims, owning the sixth-best clearance in the high jump. Anderson’s best jump came at the National Relay Championships at 1.82 meters (5-11.5 ft.).
13 AND COUNTING FOR HOPPEL
Junior Bryce Hoppel, the 2019 NCAA indoor 800-meter national champion, improved his individual-race win streak to 13 at the National Relay Championships, claiming the 800-meter title with a time of 1:45.87. The time, which was the No. 4 performance in KU history, ranks No. 2 in the NCAA and No. 15 in the world this year. Hoppel was named NCAA Midwest Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and has won every individual race he has competed in since finishing fourth in the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships 800-meter final (June 8), earning First Team All-America honors. With 13-straight individual victories to date, 10 of those have come in his main event, the 800-meter run. Hoppel’s efforts at the National Relay Championships earned him his first-career Big 12 Men’s Track & Field Athlete of the Week award, announced May 1.
Three Kansas women’s track & field athletes rank among the best in the West Prelim. Marleena Eubanks (800-meter run), Caraline Slattery (400-meter hurdles) and Alexis Romero (pole vault) each rank among the top-48 qualifiers for the West. Eubanks’ time of 2:05.12 from the National Relay Championships is the 12th best in the West. Romero set her season-best at the Kansas Relays and is seeded 18th with a clearance of 4.23 meters (13-10.5 ft.). Slattery rounds out the trio of qualifying seniors heading into the Big 12 Championships with a best time of 59.83 seconds at the Battle on the Bayou.
36-YEAR SCHOOL RECORD FALLS
Although Kansas is known as being a school that is highly successful in pole vault year-in and year-out, the KU men’s outdoor school record in the event stood unchanged for 36 years, until the 2019 Kansas Relays. At 5.76 meters (18-10.75 ft.), Jeff Buckingham’s school record was an American Record in 1983, but freshman Zach Bradford was able to take it down on his way to a KU Relays title this season. Bradford cleared 5.77 meters (18-11 ft.) to claim the school record, go above and beyond the 2019 IAAF World Championships qualifying standard (5.71m) and record the No. 2 mark in the NCAA and No. 4 mark in the world at the time. The mark currently is No. 3 in the NCAA and No. 6 in the world.
TINCH AMONG BEST IN THE WEST (X3)
Freshman Cordell Tinch has catapulted into the NCAA West Preliminary top-35 in three different events throughout this outdoor season. Tinch is ranked 14th in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.89 seconds set at National Relay Championships, 22nd in the high jump in the West region with his clearance of 2.11 meters (6-11 ft.) at the Kansas Relays and 33rd in the long jump with a wind-aided mark of 7.51 meters (24-7.75 ft.) at the KU Relays. Should Tinch advance to the NCAA West Preliminary Round in all three events, he would be the first Jayhawk to make the trip to the preliminary round in three events since Diamond Dixon in 2013.
Junior Gleb Dudarev’s 74.39-meter (244-1 ft.) hammer throw mark at the Florida Relays ranks No. 4 in the NCAA and No. 22 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. Though Dudarev’s season-best is a world top-25, the junior still has yet to hit his stride this outdoor season, having launched the hammer 78.04 meters (256-1 ft.) last season at the Kansas Relays, which ranks the Vitebsk, Belarus native as the No. 6 performer all-time in NCAA history.
EMILIANOV LOOKS TO REPEAT AS BIG 12 CHAMP, ON PACE FOR TRIP TO SACRAMENTO IN TWO EVENTS
Sophomore thrower Alexandra Emilianov will look to repeat as the Big 12 Champion in the women’s discus after winning the 2018 title with a school record performance of 60.24 meters (197-8 ft.). The sophomore is on pace to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, California, May 23-25, in two events for the second-straight season. The Chisinau, Moldova product is currently ranked No. 5 in the West Region and No. 8 in the NCAA in the discus and also ranks No. 16 in the West and No. 34 in the NCAA in the shot put. Last season, Emilianov also qualified for the NCAA West Prelims in both events, ultimately earning a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the discus, where she earned Second Team All-America honors by finishing 12th.
The Kansas pole vaulters have a history of great success under associate head coach Tom Hays. Hays currently has four vaulters in qualifying position for the NCAA West Preliminary Round. Zach Bradford’s school-record breaking clearance ranks him No. 2 in the West and No. 3 in the NCAA, while sophomore Kyle Rogers ranks No. 11 in the West and No. 16 in the NCAA. For the KU women, senior Alexis Romero ranks No. 18 in the West and No. 27 in the NCAA and sophomore Khristen Bryant ranks No. 29 in the West. Junior Callie Hicks sits just outside of the qualifying top-48 with the 51st-best mark in the West Prelims at 3.95 meters (12-11.5 ft.), set at the Kansas Relays.
EVANS EYES RETURN TO NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sophomore George Evans currently sits at No. 11 in the NCAA for the men’s discus. The Inverness, Scotland native has participated in four 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 Kansas Relays, throwing 16.45 meters (53-11.75 ft.).
ANDERSON BECOMES NO. 5 PERFORMER IN KU HISTORY
Rylee Anderson posted a personal-best clearance of 1.82 meters (5-11.5 ft.) in the high jump at the National Relay Championships to become the No. 5 performer in KU history. She currently ranks No. 6 in the West region and No. 10 in the NCAA this season. Anderson needs just one centimeter (one-half inch) more on her personal-best to tie Ann O’Connor for the Kansas women’s freshman record at 1.83 meters (6-0 ft.).
EUBANKS BUILDS OFF OF 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, senior Marleena Eubanks is primed for another competitive performance in the 800 at both Big 12s and NCAAs. Eubanks is currently ranked No. 12 in the West region and No. 26 in the NCAA with a time of 2:05.12 at the National Relay Championships. The time was the No. 3 performance in KU history, while Eubanks holds the No. 2 time in program history as well at 2:04.44, just one-hundredth of a second off Whitney Adams’ school record of 2:04.43.
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 athletes that are among the top-48 in the West region at the end of the weekend will qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round, May 23-25, at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California.