KU Track & Field Back in Lawrence for Jayhawk Classic Friday
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas track & field teams will host their final indoor meet of the season when they welcome over 30 teams and nearly 1,000 athletes for the Jayhawk Classic on Friday, Jan. 24. The first field events are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., inside Anschutz Pavilion. Two sessions of track events will be featured, with the first beginning at 10 a.m., and the second at 5 p.m. Admission is free to the public.
- The Jayhawks will host their third and final indoor home meet of the 2013-14 campaign. The Jayhawk Classic is in its fifth year with KU athletes claiming 52 event victories in the meet’s history, including 15 a year ago.
- Kansas is expected to see 91 of its 102 athletes from the men’s and women’s teams in action donning the Crimson and Blue Friday.
- Combined-event specialist Lindsay Vollmer is slated to compete in her first pentathlon of the season Friday. Vollmer is the reigning Big 12 champion and school record-holder in the event.
- The KU men’s pole vaulters currently see three Jayhawks ranked among the top-25 in the nation after senior Alex Bishop, sophomore Jake Albright and freshman Nick Meyer all cleared 5.21 meters (17’1″) at the Bill Easton Classic two weeks ago. Kansas has the most vaulters of any school in the nation currently ranked inside the top-30 (4).
- Diamond Dixon is scheduled to run her first open 400 meters of her senior season. Dixon has never lost a 400-meter race to a collegian inside Anschutz Pavilion and has been victorious in seven of her last eight individual races on her home track.
- Three Kansas women and a relay currently sit among the top-five of the NCAA rankings in their respective events. Junior Lindsay Vollmer has the No. 5 high jump mark in the nation of 1.81 meters (5’11¼”), sophomore Sydney Conley‘s 6.18m (20’3½”) long jump is also fifth in the nation and the Jayhawk distance medley relay team holds the fifth-fastest time at 11:42.06.
- The KU men and women’s teams have a combined 21 athletes currently ranked among the top-10 in the Big 12 in 17 events as well as both men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relays and distance medley relays.
- Now in his 14th year as Kansas’ head coach, Stanley Redwine is seeing an average of just over 10 athletes per season earn First Team All-America distinctions.
- The Kansas men return over 80 percent of the points from a year ago that helped lead the squad to sixth- and fifth-place performances at the indoor and outdoor Big 12 Championships, respectively. The outdoor finish was the best result by a KU men’s team since 2005.
Last Time Out
Two more victories from senior Diamond Dixon and a pair of career bests from junior Lindsay Vollmer led the way for the Kansas women as the Jayhawk track & field teams competed at the Holiday Inn Invitational. In all, the Jayhawks were victorious in six events at the meet held inside the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Vollmer began her day by hitting a mark of 12.19 meters (40’0″) on her third attempt in the shot put. The throw bested her previous indoor best by nearly four inches and ended up earning her a 17th-place finish. Just 10 minutes later she headed to the starting blocks for the final of the 60-meter hurdles. Vollmer used the final 20 meters to pull away from the field and cross the finish in 8.45, which shaved .02 seconds off her previous best. The time earned the junior an easy victory and puts her at No. 25 in the national standings. Vollmer then joined forces with Nashia Baker, Lydia Saggau and Natalie Becker in the distance medley relay. The quartet passed the baton around in 11:42.06, giving the Jayhawks the victory by nearly 12 seconds and the No. 5 time in the nation.
After tallying the top qualifying spot in the 60-meter prelims with a personal best time of 7.48, Dixon leaned through the finish in the final in nearly identical fashion, winning the race in 7.49. Dixon led a strong group of KU runners in the event as the Jayhawks swept the top-four finishes.
Sydney Conley leaped to a mark of 6.18 meters (20’3½”) in the long jump to take the event title. The indoor career-best mark has the sophomore at No. 5 in the most recent national long jump standings. Becker also turned in a career performance as she ran away from the field with her career-best of 9:40.86 in the 3,000 meters.
Jayhawks Flying to the Top of the NCAA
Kansas has seen several of its athletes put up some of the top marks in the nation in the first team meets of the season. Three Jayhawks and two relays find themselves ranked in the NCAA top-10 in five events including Lindsay Vollmer (high jump), Sydney Conley (long jump), Natalia Bartnovskaya (pole vault), and the distance medley relay team on the women’s side as well 4×400-meter relay team for the men. An additional eight Jayhawks hold marks that sit in the top-25 of the national rankings.
KU Women Slotted at No. 10 in Preseason Rankings
With the return of three NCAA champions as well as four All-Americans from a year ago, the 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.
Jayhawks See Three on Early Watch for ‘The Bowerman’
Kansas track & field’s national champion heptathlete, Lindsay Vollmer, is one of 10 athletes named to the preseason Bowerman Watch List as was released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) last week. Pole vaulter Natalia Bartnovskaya and hurdler Michael Stigler also find their names on the prestigious list, as they were placed on the “Also Receiving Votes List.” The Bowerman Award, considered the ‘Heisman of Track & Field,’ is given to the nation’s top male and female track & field athletes and will be awarded later this year.
The junior, Vollmer, sees her name on the Watch List for the first time in her career and is the second Jayhawk in as many years to claim a spot on the preseason list after Diamond Dixon earned the honor last January. Vollmer became the first female in Kansas track & field history to win an individual outdoor national championship after she claimed the NCAA heptathlon title last June in Eugene, Ore.
Moving Up the Charts
The season’s first three meets have seen several Jayhawks move up the school’s all-time performance charts. Lindsay Vollmer has done so in two events, tallying the No. 3 high jump clearance in Kansas history (1.81m) as well as the No. 3 60-meter hurdle performance after clocking in at 8.45. Diamond Dixon moved up to No. 3 on an all-time event chart when she posted a time of 1:21.15 in the 600 yards. Sophomore Sydney Conley‘s 6.18 meter (20’3¼”) leap at the Holiday Inn Invitational made her the No. 5 performer on school’s long jump list.
DeMario Johnson saw his name move up a list not many KU men have been able to crack over the past five seasons when he sprinted to a personal-best time of 6.79 in the 60 meters, notching the No. 3 performance in the KU record books.
In the Jayhawks’ first meet of 2013-14, the Bob Timmons Challenge, senior Jessica Maroszek notched a personal best of 16.98m (55’8½”) in the weight throw. The mark moved her up to No. 3 on her event’s all-time performance list.
KU Women Add Two at Semester
The KU women saw two additions to the squad over the winter break as the team added sophomore transfers Daina Levy and Mercedes Smith to the 2014 roster. Levy, who hails from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, spent the 2013 season at Auburn and was named to the All-America Second Team in the hammer throw after tallying a 14th-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She also claimed hammer throw bronze at the SEC Championships earlier in the year. Smith joins the Jayhawks after opening her collegiate career at Washington State a year ago. The Country Club Hills, Ill., product will join coach Elisha Brewer’s sprints squad after running to seven top-three finishes in the 200 and 400 meters. Both athletes are expected to be in action Friday at the Jayhawk Classic.
National Championship Leftovers
In June, the Kansas women made history when they brought home the program’s first national title at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Buoyed by Andrea Geubelle’s runner-up finish in the long jump and triple jump as well as Lindsay Vollmer‘s national championship in the heptathlon, the Jayhawks amassed 60 points and topped the rest of the field by 16 points. KU athletes also brought home 17 First Team All-America honors, a program high.
Vollmer’s national title came by way of personal bests in six of the seven heptathlon events which saw her post school-record score of 6,068 points.
With his first national championship trophy in tow, Stanley Redwine was named the Women’s Head Coach of the Year and joined assistant Wayne Pate, who was named Women’s Assistant of the Year, after his athletes accounted for 26 of the team’s 60 points at the NCAA Championships.
Head coach Stanley Redwine has taken Kansas track & field to a level it hasn’t seen in quite some time during his 13 years at the helm. Over Redwine’s tenure, he has seen 92 indoor and outdoor Big 12 Champions, 145 First Team All-Americans and 14 NCAA Champions come through his program at KU.
Redwine’s teams have also collected a combined seven top-10 NCAA team finishes, including coaching last year’s women’s team to the program’s first National Championship at the NCAA outdoor meet in June.
After a week off, Kansas will trek to New York City to take part in the Armory Collegiate Invitational Feb. 7-8. The meet, held inside the historic Armory, will once again feature many of the top-ranked teams and athletes in the nation. Action from the Big Apple is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. (CT) Feb. 7 and conclude at 4:40 p.m. (CT) Feb. 8. For updates and results throughout the Jayhawks’ trip to New York, follow on Twitter at @KUTrack.