RCW: Faces in the Crowd 4.24
Each week in Rock Chalk Weekly, the top Kansas Jayhawk performances are recognized as Faces in the Crowd. Get to know last week’s stars, including information on their latest accomplishments and a link to their full bio.
Junior | Eldoret, Kenya
During her time at Kansas, junior Sharon Lokedi has become synonymous with winning distance races. That reputation didn’t change this past weekend at the 2018 Big 12 Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship. Lokedi not only walked away with one title, but two. Friday night, entering the race as the favorite, Lokedi ran away with the 5,000-meter title with a time of 16:26.57, which was 16 seconds faster than the second-place runner. On Saturday, Lokedi completed the double by winning the women’s 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:19.97, 12 seconds faster than her teammate and second-place finisher Courtney Coppinger.
Senior | Tualatin, Oregon
Senior Laura Taylor ended KU’s drought for gold in the women’s pole vault at the Big 12 Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship. Entering the event as the top-seeded vaulter, Taylor did not disappoint and cleared 4.34 meters (14-2.75 ft.) to take the crown. The Tualatin, Oregon native became the first Kansas female to win the indoor pole vault title since Kate Sultanova won back-to-back gold in 2007 and 2008. Taylor ranks as the No. 7 performer in the NCAA this season and looks to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships March 9-10.
HUSSAIN AL HIZAM
Junior | Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Seeing a Jayhawk on top of the podium in the men’s pole vault at the Big 12 Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship is nothing new. Junior Hussain Al Hizam became the second-straight vaulter from KU to hold the top spot and the fourth in the last six years. The 2017 Big 12 Conference outdoor pole vault champion made it two-straight league crowns when Al Hizam cleared the bar at 5.49 meters (18-0 ft.). Although not his season best, the Jubail, Saudi Arabia product ranks No. 7 in the NCAA this season and should qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in two weeks.
Senior | Raleigh, N.C.
It isn’t official, but senior guard Devonte’ Graham had the kind of week you would expect from a Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. Graham inserted himself to the top of the conversation after averaging 24.5 points and shooting a combined 18-for-35 (.514) from the floor in Kansas’ wins over Oklahoma (Feb. 19), 104-74, and at Texas Tech (Feb. 24), 74-72. The victory over the Red Raiders ensured the Jayhawks a share of their historic 14th-straight regular-season league championship. Graham was also 9-of-18 (.500) from three and added a combined eight rebounds, 11 assists and two steals.