Jayhawks Outduel Sunflower State Rivals to Claim Meet Title

KU – KSU – WSU Triangular
Anschutz Pavilion // Lawrence, Kan.

Senior Daina Levy posted a career-best and NCAA-leading mark en route to a win in the weight throw Friday.
KU – KSU – WSU Triangular
Overall Results
Team Scores
Kansas Results

Overall Results  |  Team Scores | Photo Gallery

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Jayhawk victories in twelve events helped propel the Kansas track & field teams to a dominant win at the second annual Sunflower State Triangular held inside Anschutz Pavilion Friday. The men’s and women’s teams combined to score 254 points to finish head of in-state rivals Kansas State (234 points) and Wichita State (203 points). Six Jayhawks and a relay team produced marks that rank among the top-10 in the NCAA this season, including senior Daina Levy, who moved herself to the top of the national ranks in the weight throw.
“It’s great to come away from this meet with the team victory, but I was more pleased to see how well everyone competed today,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “We had people do great in every event area, so it was definitely a total team effort. It’s great to be able to get that trophy on our home track.”
Levy set the tone for what would be impressive day for the Kansas athletes in the field and on the track. The senior thrower topped the 20-meter mark on four of her six attempts, but saved her best for last. On her last trip into the throws ring, already with the event victory in tow, the All-American unleashed a toss of 21.35 meters (70’0½”) to put an exclamation point on her first outing of the season. The throw was not only a personal record for the senior, but shattered the meet record and brought her within 16 inches of Alena Krechyk’s three-year-old school record. The mark was the third-farthest ever achieved by a KU female and now gives Levy three of the 10 best weight throw marks in school history.
Levy’s performance also moved her to the No. 1 spot on the latest NCAA rankings and puts her in prime position to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. A 70-foot throw has qualified its owner for the national meet each year since the current qualifying procedure began.
A thrower on the men’s side also had a career day in his first outing of the season as sophomore Nicolai Ceban kicked off his 2016 campaign with a memorable win in the shot put. All four of Ceban’s fair attempts surpassed the 61-foot mark with his sixth and final throw measuring in at 19.17 meters (62’10¾”). That winning throw bettered the Moldavo native’s previous indoor best by over four feet and gave him the event victory by nearly five feet over the rest of the field.
The throw moved Ceban to No. 6 on KU’s all-time shot put chart and the third Jayhawk in the last 10 years to surpass the 60-foot mark. The sophomore now sits third on this season’s NCAA rankings and first among Big 12 shot putters.
On the track, it was the men’s 4×400-meter relay that put the emphatic final stamp on the Jayhawks’ victory in the team race. The quartet of Drew Matthews, Tre Daniels, Jaron Hartley and Strymar Livingston had the race won by the second handoff, building their lead to nearly four seconds just over midway through the race. The anchor, Livingston, brought the baton across the finish with a final time of 3:14.83, topping runner up Kansas State by nearly five seconds. The time moved the Jayhawk relay team to fifth on the national list and second in the Big 12.

For the KU’s women’s runners it was a freshman that stole the show as Nicole Montgomery ran to an easy win in the 600 yards. The Colorado Springs product looked like a veteran as she completed her 2¾ laps with little resistance from the rest of the field, coming across the finish in a personal best 1:20.86. The time, which no other collegian has come within two seconds of yet this season, was the sixth-fastest time in school history, as well as a meet record and made Montgomery just the fourth KU female to go sub-81 seconds in the event.
Livingston followed Montgomery’s lead, as he hit the blocks for the men’s 600 yards moments later and posted an NCAA-leading mark of his own. The junior transfer used his long stride to build a big lead less than 200 meters into the race, where he went on to take the event title with a blazing mark of 1:10.74. The time is nearly a full second faster than the closest collegian.
A pair of KU junior women also turned in outings that were worth of standing among the collegiate elite. Whitney Adams posted the fastest 400 meter race of her career en route to a victory in the event. The Saint Charles, Missouri native completed her quarter mile in 55.56, which made her the ninth-fastest Jayhawk ever in the event. Adams now ranks among the top-10 in KU history in both the indoor 400 meters and 600 yards, making her just the third KU female to accomplish that feat (Taylor Washington, Diamond Dixon)
Junior Tianna Valentine became the second Jayhawk this season to move inside the nation’s top-10 in the 60-meter dash. Valentine sprinted to a runner-up finish in the event, placing second to KSU’s A’Keyla Mitchell, whose 7.37 ranks third in the NCAA this season. Valentine came across the line only .05 seconds after the Wildcat with her 7.42, the third-best 60-meter clocking of her career and the sixth-fastest among collegians this season.
Six other Jayhawks left Anschutz Pavilion with individual titles under their belts, which included senior Jacob Morgan (3,000 meters, 8:30.36), senior Brandon Bernal (1,000 meters, 2:27.18), junior Nashia Baker (1,000 meters, 2:53.02), sophomore Anthonio Humphrey (800 meters, 1:54.04) and freshman Sharon Lokedi (mile, 4:56.39).
While the final team tallies combined both the men’s and women’s scores, each KU team also amassed the most points among its male and female counterparts in Kansas State and Wichita State. The Jayhawk men combined to score 126 points, 16 ahead of Wichita State, while the Kansas women tallied 128 points, three ahead of Kansas State.
The Jayhawks will return to action for their final home meet of the indoor season when the teams play host at the Jayhawk Classic Thursday-Friday, Jan. 28-29. The event is slated to begin with the first four events of the men’s heptathlon on Jan. 28 at 2 p.m., with the first events on Jan. 29 kicking off with the women’s weight throw at 9 a.m., and concluding at 8:05 p.m., with the men’s 4×400-meter relay. Get live updates and results from the Jayhawks’ performances by following on Twitter, Instagram and Vine at @KUTrack.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.