Kansas Displays Depth in Strong Showing at Jayhawk Classic

Jayhawk Classic
Anschutz Pavilion // Lawrence, Kan.

Junior Daina Levy claimed the weight throw title Friday morning with her mark of 18.34m (60’2″).
Jayhawk Classic
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas track & field teams were victorious in 14 events at KU’s final home meet of the indoor campaign, the Jayhawk Classic, Friday inside Anschutz Pavilion. Senior James Wilson turned in a NCAA top-20 performance in the 3,000 meters while junior Sydney Conley claimed her third-straight 60-meter dash victory inside KU’s home facility.
“I was really pleased with how a lot of our athletes performed today,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “Whenever you bring in good competition that really helps push our athletes and I think that was the case today. We had a ton or personal bests today and I think that’s a great sign as we move forward.”
It was another banner day for the KU men’s distance squad, namely in the 3,000 meters. Four Jayhawks were through the finish before another school’s runner could cross. The Kansas contingent was led by Wilson, who took over the lead shortly after the gun and never relinquished it. The Abilene, Kansas native soared through the finish with a final time of 8:11.53, less than half a second off of his career best. Wilson’s clocking moved the senior inside the top-20 of the latest NCAA rankings and to No. 1 on the Big 12’s 2015 performance list.
Wilson was followed by junior Jacob Morgan, who was competing for the Jayhawks for the first time since wrapping up a breakout cross country campaign which saw him earn All-Big 12 and All-Region accolades. Morgan finished in a career-best 8:19.47, and managed to outkick senior Josh Munsch, who took third in 8:20.57. Senior Evan Landes completed the KU sweep with his fourth-place finish in 8:34.58.
Kansas saw another successful day in the women’s sprints as Conley continued her 60-meter dash unbeaten streak inside the Anschutz Pavilion. The junior out of Fayetteville, Arkansas started in the morning, posting the fastest time in the preliminary heats at 7.50. She returned in the final and again proved her supremacy over the field. Conley shaved .04 seconds off her qualifying time from earlier in the day and tallied a new personal best as she leaned across the finish in 7.46. Conley’s time, which helped her to her third-straight 60-meter dash win inside Anschutz Pavilion, was fast enough to outpace teammate Zainab Sanni, who took the runner-up finish in 7.51.
Sanni didn’t go home empty handed however, as she turned in another career-best in the 200 meters. The sophomore made the loop around Bill Easton Track in 24.46, knocking .06 seconds off her previous career-best and earning the win by a wide margin of .7 seconds. Sanni’s time made her the school’s No. 9 all-time performer in the event and moved her into the top-40 of this season’s NCAA rankings.
The Jayhawks were dominant in the 1,000-meter races on both the men’s and women’s sides. The KU women were led by sophomore Lydia Saggau, who pulled away from the pack with 200 meters to go. Saggau crossed the finish in 2:53.17 to pick up her second event win of the season. Saggau was followed by three fellow Jayhawks, each of whom broke the three-minute barrier; junior Hannah Richardson (2:54.66), junior Kelli McKenna (2:58.75) and sophomore Nashia Baker (2:59.19).
The Jayhawk men followed the women’s lead by also nabbing the first four spots in the event. Redshirt freshman Adel Yoonis sprinted down the final 50 meters to synch up his victory. Yoonis clocked in at 2:29.32, which outpaced sophomore Daniel Koech by less than a second. Koech took the runner-up finish in 2:30.07 and was followed by third-place finisher Brandon Bernal (2:32.36) and Ben Brownlee (2:34.39) in fourth.
Junior Daina Levy continued her solid start to the 2015 campaign by picking up her second win of the year in the weight throw. The Mississauga, Ontario native found herself in a duel with Kansas alumna Jessica Maroszek as each traded the event lead on two separate occasions. Levy jumped to the top of the leaderboard when it mattered most though, unwinding for a toss of 18.34 meters (60’2″) on her last attempt of the day. Her mark surpassed the former All-American’s best toss by eight inches and earned Levy her third win as a Jayhawk.
Grace Pickell also tallied her second victory of 2015, helped out by a best clearance in the high jump. The sophomore got over three heights without recording a miss to start the competition before needing two leaps to up her new career high to 1.76 meters (5’9¼”). No other competitor could match Pickell, handing the Prairie Village, Kansas native her second collegiate high jump win and up her standing in the Big 12 to sixth this year.
Senior Jaimie House rounded out the KU women’s sweep in the vertical jumps. House needed to vault over only two heights to pick up the win in the pole vault. Her clearance at 3.80 meters (12’5½”) secured her the victory and nearly topped the bar at 3.95 meters (12’11½”), however her pole tapped the bar just enough as she slid over to force a foul on her third and final attempt of the day. House’s vault defended her title from last year’s Jayhawk Classic and highlighted the event where KU vaulters claimed each of the top three finishes.
After a strong first day in his first-career heptathlon, senior Austin Hoag put together three solid events to close out the competition on Friday. The Lawrence, Kansas native finished among the top eight in each of the final three events; the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters. He finished the afternoon with a total score of 4,481 points, good enough for third overall. Freshman Arnold Dinh was the next KU finisher, earning a seventh-place finish with 4,129 points. Despite not posting a score in the high jump, freshman Lucas Shaw claimed 11th with 3,182 points.
Other notable Jayhawks to claim victories Friday were junior Casey Bowen with his clearance of 5.22 meters (17’1½”) in the pole vault, sophomore Whitney Adams with her time of 1:23.63 in the 600 yards, sophomore Adriana Newell with her time of 56.86 in the 400 meters and freshman Daria Cook, who picked up her first collegiate win after turning in a time of 8.68 in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles.
The Jayhawks will now journey to Lincoln, Nebraska to take part in the 40th Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, Feb. 6-7. Two full days from the Bob Devaney Sports Center will begin at noon Friday with the events of the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon. Events will span both days and conclude Saturday with the 4×400-meter relays at 4:45 p.m. Get live updates and results from the Jayhawks’ performances by following on Twitter, Instagram and Vine at @KUTrack.
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