Kansas ready for Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championship
|Big 12 Outdoor Championship|
|Clyde Hart Stadium|
|FloTrack Live Stream ($)|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field is set for the 2018 Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championship hosted by Baylor University in Waco, Texas. The meet scheduled to run May 11-13, starting at 11 a.m. CDT on Friday with multi-events at Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium.
To follow the action in Waco, there will be a live stream available with a paid subscription through FloTrack at FloTrack.com. Live results will also be available via DeltaTiming.com.
SCOUTING THE BIG 12
The Big 12 is one of the best track & field conferences in the nation and it shows with the level of competition at this year’s Big 12 Championship.
Going into the meet, the Kansas men are ranked No. 17 behind two fellow Big 12 members, No. 2 Texas Tech and No. 15 Texas. TCU is ranked No. 18, and Kansas State comes into the conference meet ranked No. 44.
The No. 30 Jayhawk women are the fifth-highest ranked team in the Big 12, with Texas being the highest at No. 12. No. 16 K-State, No. 19 Texas Tech, No. 28 Oklahoma, No. 34 Baylor, No. 43 Iowa State and No. 47 West Virginia all rank in the top-50 to make this year’s meet an exciting one to watch.
LAST YEAR AT THE BIG 12 OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Last year’s Big 12 Outdoor Championship, hosted by Kansas at Rock Chalk Park, saw the Jayhawks finish second on the men’s side and fifth in the women’s standings.
Current Jayhawks Sharon Lokedi, Gleb Dudarev and Hussain Al Hizam will be defending titles from last year at this weekend’s championships, with Lokedi winning last season’s 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter titles, Dudarev winning the hammer throw crown and Al Hizam taking the top spot in the pole vault.
Kansas alums Sydney Conley (long jump), Strymar Livingston (800m) and Mitch Cooper (discus) also won titles at the 2017 Big 12 Outdoor Championships.
DUDAREV NAMED TO THE BOWERMAN WATCH LIST
Kansas sophomore Gleb Dudarev is following up an impressive rookie campaign with an even more astounding sophomore year. The Vitebsk, Belarus native was one of six athletes named to The Bowerman’s pre-conference championships watch list last week.
Dudarev earned his way on the watch list with a huge weekend at the Kansas Relays. The sophomore broke three records; his own school record, the KU Relays meet record and the Rock Chalk Park facility record, on his way to winning the hammer throw. Dudarev threw for 78.04 meters (256-0 ft.), which currently stands as No. 1 in the NCAA this year, No. 6 in the world in 2018 and made him the No. 5 all-time collegiate performer. The throw was the best by a collegiate athlete in-season since 2002 when Georgia’s Andras Haklits threw for 78.63 meters (257-11 ft.).
Dudarev’s efforts at the Kansas Relays earned him his third-career Big 12 Men’s Track & Field Athlete of the Week honor.
JAYHAWKS LAND 39 ON ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12 TRACK & FIELD TEAM
Kansas had 39 student-athletes earn Academic All-Big 12 Team honors this year, including six which posted perfect 4.0 GPAs. Brandon Lombardino, George Letner, Braden Kleinschmidt, Cameron Gueldner, Laura Taylor and Andrea Willis all posted GPAs of 4.0.
SCHOOL RECORDS FALLING
In just the 2018 outdoor season alone, a Kansas school record has been broken seven different times. Pair that with four times during the indoor season that school records fell and it makes for one extremely successful 2017-18 year.
This outdoor season, senior Sharon Lokedi was first to break a school record by breaking her own mark in the 10,000 meters. The Eldoret, Kenya native ran a 32:21.19 10K at the Stanford Invitational to set the new program-best time. The mark currently ranks her No. 3 in the NCAA this season.
Lokedi also broke the school record in the 5,000 meters this outdoor season at the Kansas Relays, finishing first with a time of 15:42.76. The time ranks her No. 10 in the West Region and No. 14 in the NCAA this year. Her two school records outdoors brings her total to five between both the indoor and outdoor seasons, as she broke the 5,000 and 3,000-meter records indoors and was a member of the distance medley relay team that broke the indoor school record.
Sophomore Gleb Dudarev has competed in two meets this season and broke his own school record in the hammer throw each time. He first broke his school record at the Sun Angel Classic with a throw of 74.35 meters (243-11 ft.) before his huge mark of 78.04 meters (256-0 ft.) at the Kansas Relays.
Freshman Alexandra Emilianov broke the school record in the shot put in her first time competing in the event in the outdoor campaign. Emilianov threw for 16.64 meters (54-7.25 ft.) at the National Relay Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The mark currently ranks her No. 14 in the West region and No. 20 in the NCAA. She also ranks No. 11 in the discus in the West region and No. 18 in the NCAA.
Two lesser-ran relay school records fell this outdoor season as well, with the women’s sprint medley relay school record being broken at the Texas Relays by the quartet of Jedah Caldwell, Zainab Sanni, Nicole Montgomery and Marleena Eubanks with a combined time of 3:51.17. The women’s 4×800 school record was also broken this season at the National Relay Championships by Wumi Omare, Riley Cooney, Courtney Griffiths and Hannah Dimmick with a time of 8:41.64.
Senior Hussain Al Hizam is on the hunt to break the outdoor pole vault school record of 5.76 meters (18-10.75 ft.) set by Jeff Buckingham in 1983. Al Hizam broke the indoor school record on his way to a national championship with a clearance of 5.70 meters (18-8.25 ft.). His current outdoor season and career best is 5.60 meters (18-4.5 ft.), cleared this year at the Texas Relays and last year at the Sun Angel Classic.
This year, like many years in the past, assistant head coach Tom Hays’ pole vaulting groups are among some of the best in the nation. The Kansas men’s pole vaulting squad ranks No. 3 in the NCAA in the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Event Squad rankings and the KU women’s vaulting group ranks No. 4 in the women’s Event Squad rankings.
Currently, the KU men’s vaulters have four athletes in qualifying position for the NCAA West Preliminary, with Hussain Al Hizam ranking No. 2 in the West, Nick Meyer at No. 12, and Paulo Benavides and Kyle Rogers tied for 23rd.
The Jayhawk women have three in qualifying position for the West Prelims, with Laura Taylor at No. 4 in the West, Andrea Willis at No. 8 and Alexis Romero at No. 27.
MULTIPLE JAYHAWKS AMONG NATION’S BEST
Kansas track & field currently has 13 marks that rank in the top-25 of the NCAA this season. The Kansas men have five top-25 marks and the KU women have eight.
Senior Sharon Lokedi and freshman Alexandra Emilianov both hold two top-25 marks this season. Lokedi ranks No. 3 in the 10,000 meters and No. 14 in the 5,000 meters, while Emilianov ranks 18th in the discus and 20th in the shot put.
Sophomore Gleb Dudarev is the top-ranked hammer thrower in the nation and senior Barden Adams is ranked second in the triple jump. Junior Hussain Al Hizam also holds a top-five spot as the fifth-ranked pole vaulter in the country.
Senior Laura Taylor is the No. 9-ranked women’s pole vaulter, junior Dylan Hodgson is 13th in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Andrea Willis is ranked 16th in the women’s vault, the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Megan Linder, Jedah Caldwell, Nicole Montgomery and Honour Finley rank No. 20, senior Nicolai Ceban is No. 21 in the men’s discus and senior Courtney Coppinger ranks 23rd in the women’s steeplechase.
Any athletes who rank in the top-48 of their respective events in the West region following the conclusion of all meets on May 14 will qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, California, May 24-26.
Those athletes that finish in the top-12 of their event at the West Prelims will then qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 6-9.
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