Jayhawks Head to Lincoln for Husker Invitational
Junior Zainab Sanni
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas track and field teams will look to continue their strong start to the 2016 campaign when the Jayhawks travel north to the home of former Big 12 Conference foe Nebraska this weekend for the 41st Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska. The meet, scheduled for Feb. 5-6, will see over 600 athletes from 27 collegiate teams compete inside the Bob Devaney Sports Complex.
- The Jayhawks will travel to compete in Lincoln for the third time since Nebraska hosted its final Big 12 Indoor Championships in February of 2011.
- This weekend’s meet will reunite former Big 12 Conference foes Kansas and Nebraska. The two schools competed against one another for over 100 years as members of the Missouri Valley, Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 Conferences before the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten in 2011.
- Junior Sharon Lokedi ran to a victory in the 3,000 meters with a career-best time of 9:29.24 at the Jayhawk Classic last week. The performance is the 18th-fastest in the NCAA this season and broke the six-year-old facility record, previously held by KU’s Lauren Bonds. Lokedi’s time was also the second-fastest 3,000 meters in KU history and the fastest ever run by a sophomore.
- Junior Strymar Livingston’s career best of 1:09.56 in the 600 yards is best in the collegiate ranks this season and made Livingston the ninth-fastest Jayhawk to run the 600 yards.
- Senior Daina Levy picked up her second weight throw victory in as many outings at the Jayhawk Classic. Her winning toss of 21.00 meters (68’10¾”) was the second-farthest throw of her career and just over a foot shy of her career best. Levy is the owner of three of the top-eight weight throw marks in school history.
- Junior Whitney Adams’ season-best time of 1:22.00 ranks only behind freshman teammate Nicole Montgomery, who leads all collegians with her 600-yard mark of 1:20.86 achieved at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular two weeks ago. The Kansas women now feature three runners who rank among the top-four collegians on this season’s 600-yard chart.
- In his first heptathlon in nearly two years, junior Dylan Poirier finished second overall with a personal-best score of 5,162 points at the Jayhawk Classic. Poirier’s score was the seventh-highest ever by a KU male and ranks fourth among Big 12 heptathletes this season.
- Junior Zainab Sanni has won all but one of the eight 60 meter and 200 meters races in which she has competed in this season, three of which came at the Jayhawk Classic last week. She sprinted to a win in the 60-meter dash by way of a new personal-record clocking of 7.40. The time moved Sanni into the top-30 of the national charts and gave her the third 60-meter win of her indoor season.
- Kansas saw victories in 16 events at the Jayhawk Classic. The Jayhawks have now seen a total of 96 event victories over the seven-year history of the meet for an average of almost 14 per year.
BACK TO THE DEVANEY CENTER
The Kansas track & field teams had become quite familiar with Nebraska’s home indoor track, The Devaney Center, when the Huskers were members of the Big Eight and Big 12 Conferences. The facility hosted the final Big Eight Indoor Championships in 1996 and the first-ever Big 12 meet in 1997. Nebraska played host to the Big 12 Indoor Championships nine times in 15 years, including six-straight championships from 2001 to 2006 and in 2011.
One of four hydraulic-banked tracks in the nation and one of eight in the world, NU’s 200-meter track has the largest radius (67 feet) of any indoor-banked track in the world. The Jayhawks competed at dozens of meets in the famed facility over the years and will compete there for the third-straight season after the Jayhawks ended a three-year drought when they visited Lincoln for the Holiday Inn Invitational in 2014.
LOKEDI NAMED BIG 12 ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
For the second time in three weeks a Kansas track & field female has been selected as the Big 12 Athlete of the Week after sophomore Sharon Lokedi earned the honor Feb. 3. The announcement marked the first weekly honor of Lokedi’s career and the second by a KU female this season.
In just her second outing of the indoor season, Lokedi made history by posting the fastest 3,000-meter time in the 30-year history of Anschutz Pavilion Friday night at the Jayhawk Classic in Lawrence. The sophomore was never challenged throughout the 1.8-mile race, building a lead of more than 30 seconds by the midway point. The Eldoret, Kenya native lapped the rest of the field before she sprinted down the homestretch and through the finish to post a career-best clocking of 9:29.24. The mark, which ranks as the second-fastest ever posted by a Jayhawk, topped the facility record set by KU’s Lauren Bonds at the same meet six years prior.
Lokedi’s performance also moved her into the top-20 of the latest NCAA 3,000-meter rankings, as the 18th-fastest time among the NCAA DI standings and the fastest achieved by a Big 12 runner this season.
Next weekend the Jayhawks will split for a pair of meets Feb. 12-13. One Kansas contingent will journey to Fayetteville, Arkansas to compete in the Tyson Invitational, while the other Jayhawk squad will travel north to Ames, Iowa where it will take part in the ISU Classic. Get live updates and results from the Jayhawks’ performances by following on Twitter, Instagram and Vine at @KUTrack.