Jayhawks See Successful Day on the Track in Fayetteville and Ames

Tyson Invitational/ISU Classic
Fayetteville, Ark. // Ames, Iowa.

Sophomore Rhavean King’s 2:10.85 in the 800 meters was shaved nearly two seconds off her previous personal best.
Tyson Invite (Day 1)  |  ISU Classic (Day 1)
Kansas Results (.pdf)
Meet Central

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams saw prosperous opening days at meets in Fayetteville, Ark. and Ames, Iowa Friday. Sophomore Rhavean King posted one of the best all-time performances by a Jayhawk in the 800 meters and was joined by several Jayhawks on both teams 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.
King turned in the fastest 800-meter race of her Jayhawk career as she competed in the championship division of the event Friday evening in Arkansas. King was up against a host of runners who will vie for spots at the NCAA Championships later this year and hung at the front of the pack for the majority of the race. The Memphis, Tenn., product sat in third with 200 meters to go but slipped a few positions as she rounded the final curve. She then made up some time down the final 50 meters to clock in with a time of 2:10.85, the fastest of her career.
King’s 800-meter performance, which earned her a 14th-place finish in the event, made her the No. 7 performer in school history and was just .22 seconds from notching one of the 10-fastest times in KU history. King’s time was nearly two seconds faster than her previous best and now sits her at ninth on this season’s Big 12 charts.
In her second 400-meter race of the season, Diamond Dixon managed to shave some time off her season best as she began her weekend on Friday morning. The senior immediately left her competition in the dust as she opened up a 10 meter lead over the course of her two-lap race. Dixon crossed the finish in 53.25 to win her heat and eventually take ninth out of the 76 total competitors.
Dixon’s time has her among the top-15 in the nation and is the fifth-fastest in the Big 12 this year as the conference meet looms just two weeks away.
The Jayhawk men saw a pair of personal records in their heats of the 400 meters. Juniors Kenneth McCuin and Michael Stigler, like Dixon, were also taking part in their second quarter-mile race of the season. McCuin was up first, running in the 10th of 16 heats, where he turned in a career-best 47.88 to take the win in his heat and place 15th out of 57 runners. Stigler was not far behind his teammate after he posted a time of 48.05, which was good enough to place him first in his heat and 18th overall.
Freshman Caleb Cowling took advantage of the fast Tyson Center long jump runways by leaping to the farthest mark of his young KU career. After two fouls on his first two attempts the Lincoln, Neb., soared to a mark of 7.39 meters (24’3″). He again surpassed the 24-foot mark on his final attempt, but was unable to outdo his third-attempt mark. Cowling’s leap, which is the fifth-best in the Big 12 so far this season, went on to earn him a third-place finish.
The women’s long jumpers also notched some successful outings Friday night in the championship division of their event. Sophomore Sydney Conley jumped passed the six-meter mark for the fourth time this year on her third trip into the sand. The Fayetteville native’s leap measured out to 6.08 meters (19’11½”) which moved her into second for a short time. Conley was unable to improve upon that mark on her last three jumps, but still managed to earn a fifth-place finish.
Combined event specialist Lindsay Vollmer had a productive night in the long jump as well after she took down another one of her personal bests. The 2013 NCAA heptathlon champion hit a distance of 5.94 meters (19’6″) on her fifth attempt of the night, which surpassed her previous indoor best by nearly three inches. The mark earned the junior a ninth-place finish in a field filled with some of the nation’s top long jumpers.  
The Jayhawks will return to the Randal Tyson track Saturday for day two of the Tyson Invitational. Action will begin at noon with the college division women’s high jump and conclude at 5:30 p.m. with the running of the men’s 4×400-meter relay.
AMES, Iowa – A small Kansas contingent was also in action Friday at the ISU Classic in Ames, Iowa. Junior Alisha Keys had a solid outing as she made her mark in the sprints. Keys began the day by tallying the second-fastest qualifying mark in the 60-meter dash after posting time of 7.62. The time earned Keys a spot in the final which will run at 1:20 p.m., Saturday.
Keys then returned to the track a short time later for the 200 meters. Keys rounded the track in a season-best 24.19 to claim the event victory by .2 seconds over Georgetown’s Amanda Kimbers. The time is the tenth-fastest in the Big 12 this year and the second-fastest by a Jayhawk in 2014.
Other notable performances out of Ames Friday came from senior Alex Hermes and sophomore Drew Matthews, who each tallied personal bests in the 200 meters by clocking in at 22.38 and 22.68, respectively. Senior Teddy Oteba also earned himself a career best as he took 12th in the 600 yards with his time of 1:13.16.
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