Jayhawk Track to Split for Pair of Meets this Weekend
| Sophomore Nicolai Ceban
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the first time this indoor season, the Kansas Jayhawk track & field teams will separate for two different meets in their final tune-up before the Big 12 Championships in two weeks. Athletes will compete at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and at the ISU Classic in Ames, Iowa. Both will be two-day meets for KU, each taking place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12-13.
- The Jayhawks will be competing in some familiar venues this weekend when they travel to Fayetteville or Ames for their respective meets. KU has competed at least once inside the Tyson Center, the Lied Center, or both, in each season dating back to 1997.
- Senior Casey Bowen defended his Husker Invitational pole vault title last weekend. Bowen cleared a season-best height of 5.43 meters (17’9¾”) for his third event title of the season. Bowen’s performance moved his name to No. 6 on the NCAA pole vault rankings and to first in the Big 12.
- In her first 800-meter race of the season, junior Whitney Adams produced one of the fastest times in the history of the KU women’s program. She was the fastest collegiate finisher after she completed her four laps in 2:07.71. Adams’ half-mile clocking was the fourth-fastest ever recorded by a Jayhawk on an indoor track and made her the second-fastest Jayhawk on the school’s all-time list.
- After her 800-meter outing last week, Adams became the first KU female to rank among the top-10 runners on the school’s all-time lists for the 400 meters, 600 yards and 800 meters.
- Junior Strymar Livingston turned in the fastest half-mile time by a Jayhawk in nearly nine years when he finished in 1:50.59. Livingston’s clocking was just .4 seconds slower than his career best. Livingston now ranks as the seventh-fastest Jayhawk ever in the event and puts him at fifth on the latest Big 12 800-meter list.
- Junior Zainab Sanni finished third in the 200 meters with a new personal-best time of 23.68, bettering her previous personal record by over .3 seconds. Sanni’s performance Saturday night has only been topped by three other Jayhawks in the women’s program’s history and sits the Aurora, Colorado product at 22nd in the national standings.
- Sophomore Anthonio Humphrey Jr. picked up his fifth individual victory of the season in the early section of the 800 meters. Humphrey outpaced the rest of the field by .75 seconds and posted a new indoor career best with his half-mile time of 1:51.01. The time not only moved him to No. 8 among Big 12 800 runners this season, but also made him the ninth-fastest Jayhawk all-time in the indoor event.
- The KU men’s 4×400-meter relay team comprised of freshman Ivan Henry, senior Drew Matthews, sophomore Jaron Hartley and Livingston turned in the team’s fastest 4×400-meter clocking of the season after the quartet passed the baton around in 3:12.10, good for a third-place finish.
The Jayhawks will be competing in venues where they hold fond memories. The Lied Recreation Center (Ames, Iowa) was the site of the Kansas women’s first conference title when they claimed the Big 12 indoor title in 2013. The Tyson Invitational will be held inside the Randal Tyson Center (Fayetteville, Ark.) where the women finished as the national runner-up at the NCAA Championships in March 2013. The track in Fayetteville has seen enormous Jayhawk success since it was built in 2000. KU has seen numerous school records fall on the track that is considered one of the fastest in the world.
In 2014 in Ames, Michael Stigler broke the school’s 600-yard record as he snared the indoor conference title in the event with a winning time of 1:08.39. Three seasons ago, two KU records fell at the NCAA Championships in Arkansas. Natalia Bartnovskaya rewrote the KU pole vault books en route to her national title after she cleared 4.45 meters (14’7¼”). Andrea Geubelle smashed her own school record in the triple jump, also on the way to her national championship. She hit a mark of 14.18 meters (46’6¼”), which was just over two inches from the American record.
ACTIVE JAYHAWKS TAKING OVER THE TOP-10
Over the last four seasons, KU athletes have made their presence felt on the school’s all-time top-10 performer chart, many of which are still active this season. The Jayhawks have at least one current athlete on both the men’s and women’s sides who has become one of the school’s top-10 all-time performers in 21 events.
Last week junior Strymar Livingston and Anthonio Humphrey became the No. 7 and No. 9 all-time performers in the 800 meters after posting a season-best times at the Husker Invitational. Livingston and Humphrey have been joined by junior Dylan Poirier (5th, heptathlon), sophomore Nicolai Ceban (6th, shot put), sophomore Brandon Lombardino (8th, weight throw) and junior Mitch Cooper (9th, weight throw) as Jayhawks to move onto the KU men’s all-time top-10 charts.
On the women’s side, Whitney Adams moved to No. 2 on the 800 meter list with her personal best at the Husker Invitational. Zainab Sanni’s career-best 23.68 in Lincoln has slid her up to the fourth-fastest KU female in the indoor 200 meters. Two weeks ago at the Husker Jayhawk Classic, sophomore Zainab Sanni got her name up to No. 2 on the school’s 3,000-meter list.
The Jayhawks will have a week off before they head back to Ames, Iowa for the Big 12 Indoor Championships to be held in the Lied Recreation Center for the third-straight season. The league meet is scheduled to kick off Friday, February 26 and conclude Saturday, February 27. Get live updates and results from the Jayhawks’ performances by following on Twitter, Instagram and Vine at @KUTrack.
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