Tinch named Big 12 Men’s Outstanding Freshman of the Year

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field rookie Cordell Tinch was named the 2019 Big 12 Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Outstanding Freshman of the Year, voted on by the conference coaches and announced by the league office on Thursday. Tinch is the fourth Kansas men’s athlete to win the award and the first since Michael Stigler in 2012.

Tinch wins the award after an impressive showing at the Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Norman, Oklahoma, May 10-12. The Green Bay, Wisconsin native scored in three different events, including winning the conference title in the 110-meter hurdles, to total 18 points to earn the Co-Men’s High Point Performer of the Meet award. Along with winning gold in the 110 hurdles in which he recorded the No. 4 all-time performance by a Jayhawk in the event at 13.72 seconds, Tinch finished third in the high jump and seventh in the long jump at the Big 12 Championship.

"I thought Cordell had an amazing meet (at the Big 12 Championship)," head coach Stanley Redwine said. "He is an amazing competitor and the coaches are doing a great job of helping him prepare for where he needs to be for that competition. I am extremely excited for what the future holds for him. Good athletes can always do other things (other than their primary event), but he sets himself apart because he is really good at everything that he does. Our dilemma is trying to decide which events to put him in to where he can be the most successful."

The freshman qualified for the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round in three events, making him the first Jayhawk to do so since Diamond Dixon competed in three events at the prelims in 2013.

“You have to take things one meet at a time,” Redwine said. “The goal for the next meet is for him to be in the top-12, that way he can advance to the NCAA Championships in Austin. He is an awesome competitor, so we are really hopeful that that will happen.”

Tinch’s Big 12 Championship-winning time of 13.72 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles ranks him No. 7 in the West region and 20th in the NCAA, while his season-best high jump clearance of 2.11 meters (6-11 ft.) ranks him 27th in the West. He also ranks No. 33 in the long jump with his mark of 7.54 meters (24-9 ft.) at the Big 12 Championship.

Along with his Big 12 title, Tinch won the 110-meter hurdles and the high jump at the Kansas Relays this outdoor season. During his indoor campaign, Tinch placed fifth in the 60-meter hurdles, third in the high jump and seventh in the long jump at the Big 12 Indoor Championships and won the long jump at the Arkansas Qualifier.

The list of past Jayhawks to win Big 12 Outstanding Freshman of the Year include Stigler, who would later go on to win a national championship in the 400-meter hurdles in 2015, Mason Finley (2010), who was an Olympian in 2016 and a bronze medalist at the 2017 World Championships in the discus, and Jordan Scott (2007), who was the 2010 NCAA Indoor national champion in the pole vault.

KU women to win the award include Dixon (2011), Kate Sultanova (2005) and Brooklyn Hann (2002).

The official entries list for the West Preliminary Round were released earlier on Thursday, with Kansas picking up a total of 24 entries. Kansas will send 12 men’s entries and 12 women’s entries to the West Prelims at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California, May 23-25.