RCW: Inside Track & Field 3.25
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Number BY THE NUMBERS
The Kansas men wrapped up an impressive weekend at the Big 12 Indoor Championship in Ames, Iowa last weekend, posting a second-place team finish. It was the program’s highest finish at an indoor league meet in 34 years.
Notes QUICK HITS
- At the Big 12 Indoor Championship, the KU men nabbed a runner-up team finish, ending the two-day meet 13 points behind overall team champion Texas after amassing 110.5 points. The Jayhawk women posted a fifth-place finish after collecting 81 points.
- Senior Strymar Livingston picked up his first-career league title with a win in the 800 meters. Livingston out-leaned Baylor’s Zacharias Curran at the tape with a time of 1:48.40, the second-fastest time of his Kansas career. His win gave Kansas its first 800-meter title in the 21-year history of the Big 12 Indoor Championship and made Livingston the first Jayhawk to win a league title in the event since 1992.
- The Kansas pole vault crew one again put forth a dominant effort that led to Jayhawks occupying the top four steps of the awards stand. Led by a career-best effort from sophomore Paulo Benavides, seniors Nick Maestretti, Jake Albright and Nick Meyer rounded out what eventually turned in to an intra-squad battle for the league title.
- Benavides was the last man standing after he soared over the bar set at 5.47 meters (17-11¼). His victory marked the seventh Big 12 indoor pole vault title won by a Jayhawk since 2007 and highlighted an unprecedented point-scoring effort by the KU vaulters. With Maestretti earning the runner-up finish, Albright taking third and Meyer earning a tie for fourth, Kansas managed to amass 28.5 points in the event.
- Junior Nicolai Ceban secured his first career Big 12 title, winning the shot put. He uncorked a winning throw of 18.97 meters (62-3), a mark that no other competitor could come within three feet of. Ceban was joined on the awards stand by junior Brandon Lombardino and seniors Mitch Cooper and Kenny Boyer, who finished sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. The four Jayhawks’ finishes added 16 points to the team total.
- Gleb Dudarev became the first freshman in the 21-year history of the Big 12 to win the weight throw at the league championship. Despite fouling on each of his first two attempts, the Belarus native unwound for a third-attempt mark of 21.95 meters (72-0¼) which immediately moved him to the top of the leaderboard and extended his competition. Dudarev took advantage of those extra throws as, on his fourth trip into the ring, he got the 35-pound implement out to a distance of 22.02 meters (72-3). That throw would eventually earn him the conference title, the seventh by a KU male since 1999.
- Ceban’s and Dudarev’s wins also marked just the second time a single school has won both the shot put and weight throw at a Big 12 Championship meet. The only other occurrence was in 2006 when Jayhawks’ Sheldon Battle and Egor Agafonov won the league shot put and weight throw titles, respectively.
- For the second time this season, Hannah Richardson made edits to the school record book in the 3,000 meters and came within two seconds from claiming KU’s first Big 12 title in the event. Despite being forced to settle for silver, Richardson crossed the finish line in 9:16.02. It marked the second time this season she has taken down the KU record as she topped her own month-old mark by more than four seconds.
- Senior Sydney Conley came within two inches from putting another conference champion trophy on her mantle as she was forced to settle for a runner-up finish in the long jump. On her first sprint down the runway, she soared to a mark of 6.49 meters (21-3½), a jump that topped her previous indoor best by nearly eight inches. Her performance moved her name into the top-10 of the NCAA’s latest long jump rankings, meaning she will likely qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships to be contested next week.
- Senior Adriana Newell posted the fastest 600 yards in school history in the prelims of the event Friday. Newell clocked in at 1:19.99, shaving more than two seconds off her previous best and .39 seconds of Kim Clark’s previous school record of 1:20.38 which she set at the Big 12 Indoor Championship in 2003. Newell went on to finish fourth in the event final.
- The Jayhawk men and women saw eight athletes and a pair of relay squads qualify for 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships, set to take place March 10-11. The meet will be held inside Gilliam Indoor Track in College Station, Texas. Kansas will then kick off the outdoor campaign at the Emporia State Relays March 18 in Emporia, Kansas.