Kansas Women Open at No. 10 in National Rankings

USTFCCCA Track & Field Rankings
USTFCCCA Preseason Rankings
No. School Conf. Final ’13
1. Texas Big 12 18
2. Texas A&M SEC 12
3. Florida SEC 13
4. Oregon Pac 12 1
5. Georgia SEC 10
6. Kentucky SEC 20
7. Arkansas SEC 4
8. LSU SEC 3
9. Stanford Pac 12
10. Kansas Big 12 2
11. South Carolina SEC 31
12. Providence Big East
13. Michigan Big Ten 15
14. Dartmouth Ivy 11
15. Mississippi St. SEC 20
16. Kent State Ohio Valley 25
17. Purdue Big Ten
18. Georgetown Big East 35
19. Florida State ACC 15
20. Washington Pac 12
21. Maryland ACC
22. Villanova Big East 25
23. Arizona State Pac 12 7
24. Harvard Ivy 40
25. Akron Ohio Valley

NEW ORLEANS – With the return of three NCAA champions as well as a four All-Americans from a year ago, the University of Kansas women’s track & field team earned a spot on the annual U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason indoor national rankings list. The Jayhawks found themselves slotted at No. 10 in the nation entering the 2014 campaign, marking the second-consecutive season the team has begun the year ranked inside the top-10.
Kansas has had recent success when it comes to the USTFCCCA computer rankings. Since the middle of the 2012 season to the end of last year, the KU women found themselves ranked in the top-five of the national rankings for 23-consecutive weeks. Counting this week’s ranking, the KU women have seen themselves inside the top-10 of the indoor or outdoor NCAA ranks in 32 of the last 33 weeks.
Kansas returns just over 50 percent of its scorers from last year’s NCAA Championship team. Headlining the 2014 squad are the defending NCAA heptathlon national champion Lindsay Vollmer, NCAA indoor pole vault champion Natalia Bartnovkskya, as well as 2012 400-meter national champion, Diamond Dixon.
Vollmer, a junior, swept the pentathlon and heptathlon events at last year’s Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Championships before becoming the first Kansas female to claim an individual outdoor title with her school-record setting performance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene. The Hamilton, Mo., native has already garnered attention early in the 2014 campaign after tallying personal bests in the 60-meter hurdles and the high jump last weekend at the Bill Easton Classic in Lawrence.
Bartnovskaya had a breakout year in her first season for the Jayhawks in 2013 after transferring from Vincennes University (Ind.). The senior broke the school’s indoor and outdoor pole vault records on numerous occasions throughout the year, with her top indoor mark coming en route to a NCAA title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
Dixon is the three-time defending Big 12 outdoor 400-meter champion and has garnered an unprecedented 12 First Team All-America distinctions in her first three seasons at Kansas. As a sophomore, the Houston native won the NCAA indoor 400-meters before going on to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team later in 2012. In London she helped the 4×400-meter relay team to a gold medal, becoming the first KU female to do so.
Other returning All-Americans primed to make an impact this season are senior thrower Jessica Maroszek, sophomore sprinter and long jumper Sydney Conley, sophomore thrower Anastasiya Muchkayev and sophomore sprinter Tianna Valentine.
The Jayhawks will journey north this week to visit former conference foe Nebraska at the Holiday Inn Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. The meet is to be held Jan. 17-18 inside the Bob Devaney Sports Center with the events set to begin on Friday at 4 p.m., and conclude Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
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