87th Kansas Relays Set for April 16-19 at Rock Chalk Park

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The 2014 Kansas Relays is set to take place Wednesday-Saturday, April 16-19, at the newly-constructed Rock Chalk Park. The 87th installment of the meet will again be expected to draw strong representation from across the Midwest among the high school and collegiate ranks. This year’s KU Relays will feature competitors from more than 300 high school teams and 250 colleges and universities, totaling more than 4,000 entries from 22 states. 

The Relays will get underway at 10 a.m., Wednesday with the beginning of the two-day decathlon and heptathlon events. After the conclusion of the combined events Thursday, action on the track will be highlighted by the distance carnival during the night session. Events will include the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, and the steeplechase events for the college divisions.

Friday will mark the beginning of the high school competitions and will continue with the college events as preliminary track events will take place throughout the day, beginning with the high school 4×100-meter relay semifinals at 9 a.m.
The Friday afternoon session will also showcase collegiate events for both men and women across the field disciplines, including pole vault, high jump, triple jump and discus. That Friday night will also see the fourth annual downtown Olympic shot put event. The event, hosted by the Lawrence Sports Commission, is expected to bring in several of the world’s top shot putters for the marquee event in one of the most unique settings for track and field, downtown Lawrence. The shot put will begin at 6 p.m., and is again scheduled to be held on the 100 East block of Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire Streets.   

Saturday will kick off at 8 a.m., with the high school sprint medley relays and will see a total of seven high school field events taking place throughout Rock Chalk Park beginning at 9 a.m. Finals for the high school events will be held all morning with the 4×400-meter relays taking center stage at 12:24 p.m., to close out the high school portion of the day.
After an opening ceremony that will honor Kansas’ 2013 NCAA Champion women’s team, the collegiate events will begin at 1:30 p.m., with the always-exciting finals of the 4×100-meter relays.  The action-packed afternoon is expected showcase several of the NCAA’s top athletes including numerous Jayhawks from last season’s national championship squad, including All-Americans Diamond Dixon (400 meters) and Jessica Maroszek (discus). Fans will be able to take part in the Family Fun Zone from 12-3 p.m., Saturday. Several Kansas Track & Field greats will be introduced throughout the afternoon session including Billy Mills, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his gold medal 10,000 meter run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Kansas Relays Headquarters
Up-to-date information, including links to tickets, schedules and history, as well as qualifiers, heat sheets and results, will be found by clicking here.
A complete list of entries to the Kansas Relays will be posted on Sunday, April 13. For specifics on the declaration process, go to the Entry Information page.
Rock Chalk Park
The University of Kansas will host its first event at the newly-constructed Rock Chalk Park track facility near the corner of W 6th Street and George Williams Way in West Lawrence. The state-of-the-art track & field facility has 6,100 permanent seats, and the ability to bring in 4,000 temporary seats. In addition, there is approximately 90,000 square feet of locker rooms, offices, official rooms, training room and athletic training facilities located under the East stands.
Participants at this year’s KU Relays will also be running on the nation’s newest IAAF Class I certified track surface. Rock Chalk Park was recently given Class I status after passing an arduous inspection process that makes it one of only five such tracks on American soil. Rock Chalk Park is a nine-lane 400-meter track with a seven-foot jogging lane on the outside of the track. The facility also sports a 436 foot (133m) six-lane warm-up straightaway located west of the track, which can also be used to run the 100m and the 110m hurdles. 

Kansas Relays tickets may be purchased in advance by clicking here or by calling the KU Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-34-HAWKS. They can also be obtained at the Rock Chalk Park Box office during the event. Entrance to the Kansas Relays is free on Wednesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 17 with $10 general admission tickets available for Friday and Saturday.  Youth and senior tickets will be sold for $5 on Friday and Saturday. KU students will be admitted for free with valid student ID.

Television Coverage
For the first time, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will produce coverage of the Saturday afternoon collegiate event which can be seen on the Jayhawk Sports Network and ESPN3. The broadcast will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday April, 19 and conclude at 3:30 p.m. The play-by-play analyst is slated to be Chris Ronan who will be joined by color analyst Ann Gaffigan, an All-American and Big 12 Champion in the Steeplechase for Nebraska. Click here for information on Time Warner Cable Sports Network.

The 2014 Kansas Relays is in need of volunteers. Anyone interested in helping with this year’s event should contact Debbie Luman (dluman@ku.edu or 785-864-3486) in the KU track & field office. No prior experience is necessary.

Social Media
Follow the 2014 Kansas Relays on twitter: @KU_Relays or #KURelays14
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