Tyson Invitational/ISU Classic
Fayetteville, Ark. // Ames, Iowa.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams saw prosperous opening days at meets in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Ames, Iowa Friday. Junior Daina Levy posted one of the best weight throw marks in the KU history, while junior Jacob Morgan did the same in the 5,000 meters. Both were joined by several Jayhawks to move up the national and conference charts as they competed in two of the most competitive meets of the regular season, the Tyson Invitational and the ISU Classic.
For the third time in her four outings this season, Daina Levy hit a new career-best mark in the weight throw. The junior out of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada hurdled out just two fair attempts on the day, however both were the best two throws of her collegiate career. On her third trip into the ring, Levy launched the 20-pound implement 20.13 meters (66’0½”) to top her previous career-best by nearly four feet. The mark is the eighth-best in school history and elevated Levy to No. 23 in the nation and No. 1 in the Big 12 this season.
Levy was unable to tally a fair throw over the final three rounds, but still managed to earn a ninth-place finish in a field that featured nine of the top-25 throwers in the nation.
What has become a common trend for the Fayetteville native, junior Sydney Conley tallied one of the better indoor performances of her career in front of her hometown fans. The All-American was competing in a stacked field of some of the top-ranked long jumpers in the nation and quickly proved she belonged. Four of Conley’s six attempts resulted in jumps of 20 feet or better with her final leap, a mark of 6.26 meters (20’6½”), sitting as her farthest of the afternoon. The season-best mark earned her a third-place finish in the event and elevated her to No. 11 in the yearly-NCAA rankings as well as third in the Big 12.
Conley returned to the track later in the day to take part in the preliminary heats of the 60 meters. She collected her second new personal best of the day when she leaned through the finish in 7.45, finishing second in her heat and 15th overall to earn a spot in the semifinal.
In the semifinal, Conley was unable to advance after finishing fifth in her heat and 20th overall with a time of 7.52.
For the second time in as many weeks, senior Michael Stigler turned in a career-best time in the 400 meters. A week removed from entering the school’s all-time top-10 performer list at the Husker Invitational, Stigler managed to better that time by .02 seconds Friday afternoon on the Randal Tyson oval. The All-American clocked in at 47.41 to win his heat and take ninth overall in the event. The time moved Stigler up among the top-50 of the latest NCAA rankings in the event.
Junior Nick Maestretti ended the day strong for the Jayhawks with a personal best and runner-up finish in the pole vault. The Minden, Nevada product needed five attempts to clear his first three bars, which included a new career-high clearance of 5.25 meters (17’2¾”). Maestretti was unable to go any higher but collected a 2nd-place finish on the shoulders of his mark that ranks him sixth in the Big 12. The Kansas men now feature three vaulters ranked among the six in the conference.
The Jayhawks will return to the Randal Tyson track Saturday for day two of the Tyson Invitational. Action will begin at noon with the men’s and women’s triple jump, men’s and women’s high jump, men’s and women’s shot put, women’s invitational pole vault and the women’s 3,000 meters. The running of the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relays will close out the event at 4:45 p.m.
AMES, Iowa – A Kansas contingent was also in action Friday at the ISU Classic in Ames, Iowa. Junior Jacob Morgan turned in one of the fastest 5,000-meter times in school history as he competed against an NCAA Championship-caliber field inside the Lied Recreation Center Friday. The junior out of Topeka, Kansas completed the 3.1-mile race in 13:57.08 to finish 13th overall and claim the ninth-fastest time by a collegian.
Morgan’s performance made him the third-fastest Jayhawk ever in the indoor 5,000 meters. The clocking was also No. 4 on Kansas’ all-time top-10 chart. Morgan now sits among the top-25 in the nation and moved him to second in the Big 12 ranks this year.
Redshirt freshman Jennifer Angles also saw a strong outing in the women’s edition of the 5,000 meters. Angles finished her first 5K race in 17:25.75 to finish 43rd overall. The time made her the No. 10 performer in the event in KU history.
The women’s distance medley relay team also added a notable performance in Ames. The group of Hannah Richardson, Dorie Dalzell, Lydia Saggau and Nashia Baker passed the baton around in 11:50.10, the fastest time by a Jayhawk DMR squad this season. The quartet finished third overall and sits fifth in the Big 12 with the conference meet looming in two weeks.
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