RCW: Inside Track and Field 3.18

Get a quick look inside your favorite Kansas Jayhawk programs each week with Rock Chalk Weekly’s Inside Sports pages. Notable statistics, quick hits and the top social media posts get every Jayhawk fan up-to-speed and ready for another week of thrilling competition.
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The Kansas track & field teams currently boast 17 athletes who find their names among the top-25 in the latest NCAA rankings of their respective events. Four Jayhawk relay squads also sit inside the top-25, including the men’s distance medley relay team, which posted the NCAA’s fastest DMR time of the season last Friday at the Bill Easton Classic. 


Jayhawk Classic (Jan. 26-27)

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  • The Kansas track & field teams combined for 15 event victories, including eight of 19 events on the women’s side, as the Jayhawks kicked off 2017 at the Bill Easton Classic on January 6.
  • Kansas pole vaulters Nick Maestretti, Nick Meyer and Paulo Benavides all moved to the top of the NCAA vault chart as they posted the top-three collegiate finishes in the event. The KU trio topped the bar set at 5.34 meters (17-6¼), with Maestretti taking the crown after posting fewer misses at the lower bars. The three Jayhawks’ performances have them tied for No. 1 in the latest national pole vault rankings.
  • Junior Barden Adams soared to a mark of 7.20 meters (23-7½) to earn his second-career long jump victory. The career-best jump was also just five inches short of inserting Adams’ name into the top-10 of KU’s all-time indoor long jump list.
  • Just minutes removed from his long jump win, Adams collected his second gold of the day with a win in the triple jump. He posted a winning mark of 15.60 meters (51-2¼) to better his previous personal record by almost a foot. His performance was also the best by a Jayhawk triple jumper since 2010. The mark moved Adams to No. 5 in the early season NCAA triple jump ranks and first among Big 12 triple jumpers.
  • The distance medley relay squad secured the final win of the day for the Jayhawk men with Marcus Quere, Markeen Caine, Ethan Donley and Michael Melgares capturing the trophy. The Jayhawk quartet posted a time of 10:16.23, a mark that has the Jayhawks atop the most recent national chart.
  • For the second-straight outing to start her Jayhawk career, freshman Andrea Willis was the top collegiate finisher in the women’s pole vault. Willis cleared the bar on all three of her trips down the runway, including her highest vault at 3.88 meters (12-8¾). She had thee solid tries at a new season-best bar of 4.03m (13-2½) but couldn’t get over. However, she still managed to earn the top position on the podium.
  • Senior Tianna Valentine was the first finisher in both 60-meter dash races she competed in Friday. The St. Louis product started her day by posting the fastest qualifying time in the event prelims, clocking in at 7.52. Two hours later she returned to the blocks and was able to sprint to a winning finish in 7.48, outpacing Barton County’s Sabrina Mason by .15 seconds.
  • In his first open 400-meter race of the season, junior Jaron Hartley turned in an impressive time as he collected his first-career individual victory in the event. Hartley completed his two laps around Bill Easton Track in 49.52, making him the only competitor in the 29-man field to break the 50-second barrier.
  • A KU freshman managed to hold off two of her senior teammates en route to a win in the 200 meters. Jedah Caldwell posted a winning time of 24.75 and out-leaned senior teammates Tianna Valentine, who finished second in 24.98, and Adriana Newell, who came in third with an indoor personal-best time of 25.15.
  • The Jayhawks will hit the road for the first time this season when they journey to Wichita, Kansas to take part in an intrastate battle against Kansas State and Wichita State in the triangular meet on Thursday, January 12. Follow both the men’s and women’s teams as they try to take down their in-state rivals by following on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack.

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