RCW: From the office of ... Candace Dunback
The Kansas Relays brings together track & field athletes from high schools all over the Sunflower State and colleges all over the country each spring. The event, which will celebrate 90 years this April, is the setting for countless stories. For Senior Director of K Club and Traditions, Candace Dunback, the Relays and Kansas track & field both hold a special place in her heart.
Dunback ran track for Kansas in the late 1990s. Her main events were the pole vault and heptathlon. She was named All-America five times between 1997 and 1999 and won five Big 12 titles, four of which came in 1998 alone, indoor and outdoor pole vault, pentathlon and heptathlon. She won pole vaulting again in 1999 at the Big 12 outdoor championships. Dunback’s name is still in the Kansas record books, with her marks for pentathlon and heptathlon, 4,053 and 5,674, respectively, still sitting at second in program history.
Her office holds memorabilia from different track events and a cutout of a Jayhawk with a baton, all relating to something so big in her life. In her career, she works with Kansas Athletics alumni through the K Club as well as mentoring freshman track athletes. Dunback met her husband, Chris, who also competed in track & field as a Jayhawk. One of her favorite things in her office combines some of the most important things in her life, a customized hurdle topper. It is engraved with her name and Chris’ name along with the years they competed at Kansas.
“This was made for me by D.W. Acker, who’s on staff here. He used to do all of the Kansas Relays posters and he used to have a shop under Memorial Stadium. When track was at Memorial Stadium practicing, he would always come out and sometimes he would lift weights with us under the stadium. So I’ve had a long working relationship with D.W., and he knows how much the Kansas Relays mean to me and my husband. He had this made for my husband actually, as a stocking stuffer.”
Dunback loves volunteering each year at the Relays and giving back to a program that has given her so many opportunities. This year the event will be held April 19-22 at Rock Chalk Park. For more information on the 90th Kansas Relays visit KansasRelays.com.