Stigler’s Quarter Mile Highlights Jayhawks’ First Day in Lincoln

Husker Invitational
Bob Devaney Center // Lincoln, Neb.

Redshirt freshman Rachel Simon raced to a second-place finish in the 5,000 meters Friday night at the Husker Invitational.
Husker Invitational
Day 1 Results
Kansas Results

LINCOLN, Neb. – Senior Michael Stigler turned in a career-best and became one of Kansas’ fastest all-time indoor quarter-milers on day one of the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational Friday. The three-time defending Big 12 400-meter hurdle champion clocked in at 47.43 to finish fourth in the event that featured five times that rank among the top-50 in the nation.
Seeing action in his first 400 meters of the season, Stigler headed up a solid evening for the Jayhawk men in the heats of the quarter-mile race. Four of the five KU runners entered in the event posted career-bests, including Stigler who shaved off .2 seconds off his previous best to win his heat with ease. The Canyon, Texas native finished his two laps in 47.43, a time that was only topped by three runners in the final heat, each of whom posted times that rank inside the nation’s top-35.
Stigler’s clocking made him the eighth-fastest Jayhawk all-time in the indoor 400 meters and the third-fastest Jayhawk in the last 18 years. His performance was also the fourth-best posted by a Big 12 athlete in 2015.
Kenneth McCuin wasn’t far behind his fellow senior in the event, finishing eighth with a career-best 47.86. Freshman Tre Daniels also turned heads with his sub-49 second performance, finishing 15th in 48.77.
In her first-career 5,000-meter race redshirt freshman Rachel Simon looked like a seasoned veteran as she claimed a runner-up finish in the event. The Barrington, Illinois native shared the lead for the majority of the 3.1-mile race with Oklahoma Baptist’s Hannah Fields, the two-time NAIA champion. Fields pulled away with 400 meters to go but Simon stayed close and assured herself no worse than second-place with a strong closing kick of her own. She crossed the finish line in 17:39.26 to post the third-fastest time in the Big 12 this season. Teammate Julia Dury posted 18:09.71 and took 13th in the event.
Junior All-American Sydney Conley found herself among a competitive field Friday night in the long jump. The event featured seven athletes ranked inside the top-100 of the 2015 collegiate rankings. Conley saved her best jump for last, soaring to a mark of 6.01 meters (19’8¾”) on her sixth and final trip down the runway. The mark moved her up to fifth on the leaderboard, where she would stay for the remainder of the competition. The jump was her second-farthest of the season and made her one of just three Big 12 long jumpers to surpass the six-meter mark two or more times already this year.
Two Jayhawks were close but unable to advance in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles. For the women, freshman Daria Cook posted a personal-best 8.63 but was .05 seconds shy of earning a spot in Saturday’s final, placing ninth overall. Stigler was also hundredths shy of a spot in finals of the men’s 60-meter hurdles, running through the finish in 8.06 to finish 10th in the preliminary heats.
The Jayhawks will return to the Bob Devaney Sports Center Saturday to compete on the final day of the Husker Invitational. Action will begin at 12 p.m. with the women’s shot put and the men’s triple jump and conclude at 4:37 p.m., with the men’s 4×400-meter relay. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.