Three Jayhawks headed to World Outdoor Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa – Kansas track & field was well represented at the 2019 Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, July 25-28. A total of seven Jayhawks (two current, five former) competed at Drake Stadium, and were highlighted by Bryce Hoppel, Zach Bradford and Mason Finley. Courtney (Coppinger) Barnes, Kyle Clemons, Sydney Conley and Michael Stigler made up the remaining Kansas contingent in the field.

Hosted by Drake University, Drake Stadium was the site for this year’s championships which featured the best athletes in the country competing to qualify for Team USATF at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, September 28 – October 6. In all, three Jayhawks excelled in their events over the course of the four-day meet and will represent Team USA in Qatar later this year.

Zach Bradford will represent the USA for the second time in his young track career after securing a spot in the IAAF World Championship with his fourth-place men’s pole vault finish in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday. His 5.71 meters (18-8.75 ft.) was the second best of any collegiate athlete in the field and placed him behind only Baylor’s KC Lightfoot. In 2018, the Bloomington, Illinois product competed at the World Junior Championships, where he earned a silver medal with his top bar clearance of 5.55 meters (18-2.5 ft.).

Bryce Hoppel continued his unbeaten streak in the 800 meters when he won Heat 4 of the men’s 800-meter run quarterfinal at the Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships Thursday night in 1:47.65, which automatically qualified him for the semifinal the following day. In Friday night’s semifinals, the Midland, Texas, native’s unprecedented win streak came to an end when Donavan Brazier (Nike Oregon Project), outpaced Hoppel 1:47.27 to 1:47.84. However, a ticket to the World Championships was still on the line, as his second-place finish in their heat advanced him through to Sunday’s final. Hoppel was the first collegiate finisher in the 800-Meter final, and finished only behind Brazier and fellow Nike Oregon Project runner Clayton Murphy. His third-place time in the final of 1:46.31 secured a spot for Hoppel to represent the USA in Doha.

Mason Finley (NIKE) finished seventh Thursday at the USATF Outdoor Championships in the men’s discus, but his 67.13 meters (220-3 ft.) mark at the Kansas Relays in April achieved the A Qualifying Standard, which made him the third Jayhawk to join Team USA at the IAAF World Championships.

Courtney (Coppinger) Barnes was one of 15 women to advance to the 3000-meter steeplechase final at the USATF Outdoor Championships. She entered Sunday’s final with the ninth-best time in the field at 10:05.02. (Coppinger) Barnes improved her time two days later, running a 10:01.17 to finish eighth.

Kyle Clemons (adidas) competed in the men’s 400-meter dash first round Thursday night, placing seventh in the second of four heats with a time of 46.27, which was not fast enough to advance to the next round.

Sydney Conley finished 12th in the women’s long jump field of 17 vying for spots to represent their home country on the World Championships team. Conley’s best mark of the event came on her first attempt of the day, when she jumped 6.48 meters (21-3.25 ft./wind 3.5).

Michael Stigler (adidas) ran in the first round of the men’s 400-meter hurdles Thursday evening at Drake Stadium, where he finished third in heat 2-of-4 in a time of 50.20 to qualify for the semifinal round the following evening. Stigler ran a 53.45 quarter-mile lap over the hurdles to finish 16th and did not advance to the event final.

2019 Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships Results:

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