RCW: Inside Track & Field 3.30
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.
Number BY THE NUMBERS
After only one weekend of outdoor competition, the men’s and women’s track & field teams feature 11 Jayhawks that find themselves ranked among the top-25 in the NCAA DI rankings. That includes senior Jake Albright who is third in the collegiate pole vault rankings after a career outing at the Texas Relays.
Notes QUICK HITS
- The Jayhawks split up to four different meets around the country last weekend in their first round of competitions for the 2017 outdoor season. Kansas had athletes run, jump and throw at the Texas Relays, the Stanford Invitational, the San Francisco Distance Carnival and the Emporia State Relays.
- Senior Jake Albright posted a career best in a fifth-place finish at the Texas Relays Saturday. Albright got over the bar at 5.60 meters (18-4½) to better his previous outdoor best by four inches. The vault has him in a three-way tie for No. 3 on the most recent collegiate chart and also has him up to sixth on the Jayhawks’ all-time outdoor pole vault list.
- Junior Nicolai Ceban collected a victory in the discus by way of a career-best toss at the Emporia State Relays. The second team All-American posted a career best and meet-record throw of 60.01 meters (196-10) to claim the win. The mark, which ranks third in the latest NCAA discus rankings, gave Ceban the win by nearly 12 feet over teammate Mitch Cooper, who claimed the runner-up finish with his toss of 56.42 meters (185-1). Ceban’s mark has only been topped by five other Jayhawks in the program’s history.
- Sharon Lokedi kicked off her outdoor season Friday night at the Stanford Invitational with another impressive time in the 10,000 meters. She completed the 6.2-mile race in a time of 33:37.01 to finish 12th overall and come within 50 seconds of her own school record. Her time was the third-fastest in KU history and moved her to No. 8 on the early season NCAA 10K rankings.
- LaTyria Jefferson claimed victory in the B-Section high jump at the Texas Relays. Jefferson was perfect through the first three heights of the day before leaping over a new career-best bar of 1.78 meters (5-10). Jefferson’s personal-best outing ranks her sixth on the Jayhawks’ all-time high jump list and is the No. 2 mark by a Big 12 high jumper thus far in the outdoor season.
- The men’s 4×800-meter squad of Bryce Richards, Matt Anyiwo, Bryce Hoppel and Strymar Livingston turned in the best two-mile relay time by a Jayhawk squad in a decade when they got the baton around in 7:29.96. The clocking earned Kansas a third-place finish and has been topped by only seven other Jayhawks relay squads in program history.
- Senior Whitney Adams added a stellar showing in the women’s invitational 800 meters in Austin. Adams crossed the finish line in 2:06.90 to earn a fifth-place finish and the fastest by a collegiate competitor. The time was just over two seconds slower than Adams’ own school record but ranks her among the top-10 of the latest NCAA yearly rankings. Her run ranked as the fifth fastest ever posted by a Jayhawk and makes her the owner of five of the nine best outdoor 800-meter times in Kansas history.
- Hussain Al Hizam also kicked off his outdoor campaign on a high note with a victory and the best outdoor clearance of his young KU career at the Texas Relays. He vaulted over 5.41 meters (17-9) to claim the win, his first as a Jayhawk. The performance saw him break his own Saudi Arabian national record in the outdoor pole vault. Al Hizam now holds the Saudi national records for both the indoor and outdoor vaults, both of which were broken this year.
- Kansas will hit the road once again when the teams journey to Tempe, Arizona for the Sun Angel Classic April 7-8. For updates and results from the weekend in Arizona, log on to KUAthletics.com and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack.