Street Vault field announced for 91st KU Relays
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the third-straight year, the Kansas Relays will feature one of the more unique track & field events in the United States as Lawrence will be the site of the Street Pole Vault Exhibition it was officially announced Wednesday. The event is set for 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 19 and will be held in the parking lot of the Salty Iguana restaurant near the corner of Sixth and Wakarusa in west Lawrence.
This year’s event will feature seven females, all professionals. The event will have predetermined heights with each athlete earning a dollar amount per clearance. Just like a normal pole vault event, if an athlete fails to clear a bar after three attempts at one height, she will be out of the competition.
The field consists of a collection of some of the top American vaulters, which includes Morgann Leleux-Romero. She was the No. 4 American last year and currently sits at seventh in the world in 2018. During her collegiate career that spanned from 2012-16, Leleux-Romero collected three SEC conference titles at Georgia and a Sun Belt championship at UL-Lafayette in 2016. She also attained First Team All-America status on five separate occasions. She claimed bronze at the USA Outdoor Championships a year ago.
Another one of the top up-and-coming American vaulters will be in Lawrence next week as Annie Rhodes-Johnigan is slated to compete. Rhodes-Johnigan was a five-time First Team All-American with the Baylor Bears and also collected three Big 12 titles during her time in Waco, one of which came at the Big 12 Championship meet in Lawrence last May. Rhodes-Johnigan finished last year as one of the top-50 female vaulters in the world and ranked as the No. 5 American.
Lakan Taylor has also entered her name into the competition. Taylor was a three-time First Team All-American with the Alabama Crimson Tide from 2014-17. In her senior season last year, she claimed the NCAA indoor pole vault title and was eighth at the national outdoor championships.
A pair of former Indiana teammates are also set to hit the runway Thursday. Sidney Clute and Sophie Gutermuth both had strong careers during their time with the Hoosiers. Clute claimed three Big Ten titles and was a First Team All-American on three occasions during her career that spanned from 2013-17.
Kristen Hixson will compete for the second-straight year at the KU Relays and is coming off another stellar season. The Grand Valley State product was a three-time DII champion and claimed ninth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Kortney Ross rounds out the women’s field. She, too, had a star-studded collegiate career, spending time at both San Diego State and Oregon.
In addition to the pole vault, Salty Iguana will offer food and beverages for sale in the parking lot during the event, weather permitting. Appearances by Big Jay and Baby Jay will also be a part of the festivities.
The 91st Kansas Relays will be held at Rock Chalk Park April 18-21. The event will feature thousands of collegiate and high school competitors over the four days of competition and, for the fourth-straight year, include a scored quadrangular competition between Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and Harvard. For additional details as well as ticket information, log on to KansasRelays.com.
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