Dixon, Stigler Claim Titles on Final Day of Big 12 Indoor Championships

Big 12 Indoor Championships
Ames, Iowa.

Junior Michael Stigler outpaced teammate Kenneth McCuin to win the 600 yards in a school and meet record of 1:08.39.
Meet Coverage
Photo Gallery
Final Results (PDF)
Live Results
Kansas Results
Meet Central

AMES, Iowa – Senior Diamond Dixon and junior Michael Stigler turned in gold medal-winning performances in their respective events Saturday as the Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams closed out the 2014 Big 12 Indoor Championships inside the Lied Recreation Center. The KU women ended the two-day meet with a third-place finish after amassing 99 points. The Jayhawk men collected 52.5 points which was good enough to earn the squad an eighth-place finish.
“We had a lot of great performances and strong efforts from most of our athletes this weekend,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “On the women’s side, to be third was good but we were aiming for a higher finish. For the men, as a team we just had a few people come up short of where we needed them to finish and that really added up in the point totals. Overall though we saw some really positive things out of the athletes this weekend and that should give us some momentum moving forward.”
Diamond Dixon came into the day hoping to earn her third-consecutive indoor 400-meter conference title, but it was in the 200 meters where she turned in a gold-medal outing. After racing to the second-fastest qualifying time in the prelims a day earlier, Dixon entered the final primed for one of the best performances of her already illustrious KU career. With a field that was made up of six Texas Longhorns, the Houston native ran away from each of them right from the start. Dixon stormed down the final 30 meters to outlean the UT’s Morolake Akinosun by .11 seconds to seal her first-career conference title in the event. Dixon’s time of 23.43 was a career-best and marked the 10th-fastest indoor 200 meters ever run by a KU female. Her time also moves her into qualifying position for the NCAA Indoor Championships to take place in less than two weeks.
Earlier in the day the 12-time All-American hit the starting blocks for the 400 meters, an event in which she had dominated at the conference level over the last three seasons, as she had combined to win five-straight indoor and outdoor league titles in the event. Dixon wasn’t quite as fortunate this go-around despite running what would have been a meet record had it not been for Texas’ Ashley Spencer and Courtney Okolo. The senior finished her quarter mile in 52.20 to take third overall, a time which was the second-fastest of her career and elevated her to No. 4 in this season’s national rankings.
Stigler put up the best 600-yard performance in the Big 12 meet’s history. He was joined by teammate Kenneth McCuin in the event final after the two clocked in with the top two qualifying times in the semifinals Friday. From the gun Stigler was never challenged in the event, racing out to a lead of nearly two strides down the homestretch and winning his first indoor conference title with relative ease over McCuin, who collected the runner-up finish.
Stigler came across the finish and the time read 1:08.59, signaling the fastest 600-yards in the Big 12’s 18-year history. The junior’s winning time also rewrote the 34-year-old school record previously set by Mike Ricks at the 1980 Big Eight Championships. The 600-yard win was the first ever by a Jayhawk at the Big 12 Championships and is the fastest run by a collegian in over two years.
McCuin also tallied a lifetime best in his second-place finish, crossing the finish in 1:09.31, which makes him the No. 4 performer all-time at KU.

Senior Natalie Becker took down a school record of her own as she ran to a sixth-place finish in the 3,000 meters. In one of the fastest 3K races in Big 12 history, the St. Louis native posted a time that would have won nine of the 18 Big 12 Championship races. She crossed the finish in 9:20.84, which smashed Rebeka Stowe’s previous school record by nearly 10 seconds.
Lindsay Vollmer‘s versatility was again on hand as she put up points in both the 60-meter hurdles and the high jump. The junior began her day with a fourth-place finish in the hurdles after she leaned across the finish in 8.46, just .01 seconds off her personal best.
Vollmer then headed to the high jump pit where she cleared a top bar of 1.75 meters (5’8¾”). The clearance was good enough to earn the All-American a third-place finish in the event and an additional six points toward the team scoring.
Freshman Whitney Adams turned in an impressive performance in her first Big 12 meet final after she ran to a runner-up finish in the 600 yards. Adams moved up the school’s all-time charts with her time of 1:20.72, the third-fastest ever by a Jayhawk. Her finish gave her team eight points and made her the highest scoring freshman for the KU women.
Senior Jessica Maroszek closed out an impressive weekend with a lifetime best and a career-high finish in the shot put. On Friday, Maroszek turned in a scoring performance with an eighth-place finish and a personal best in the weight throw. She outdid herself in the shot put Saturday, hitting a new career best on three of her six trips into the ring. On her final attempt, Maroszek launched the implement to a mark of 15.95 meters (52’4″) to move herself up to third-place, where she would eventually finish. Her top improved upon her previous best by nearly a foot and is the ninth best throw in school history. Sophomore Anastasiya Muchkayev also took a top-eight finish with her toss of 15.75 meters (51’8¼”), good enough to give her fifth-overall.
For the second-straight day, sophomore Rhavean King moved up the school’s all-time performance list with a lifetime best in the 800 meters. King posted a half-mile time of 2:08.35 to take fifth in the event. With the time, King is now the No. 2 performer in school history and now holds the fourth fastest time in school history. The mark was also the fastest by a Jayhawk since 1996 and helped the Memphis native add four points to the KU total.
In her final indoor Big 12 event, senior Amanda Caines turned in the best performance of her career. The Evanston, Ill., product leaped to a lifetime best mark of 11.98 meters (39’3¾”) on her final trip down the runway. The mark moved her to sixth-place and got the KU women started off with three points to start the afternoon.
Other notable performances for the KU men came from senior Brendan Soucie with his 5th-place finish in the 800 meters (1:51.88), junior Reid Buchanan also with a 5th-place finish which came in the mile (4:18.57) and senior DeMario Johnson, who posted a 400-meter time of 47.84 to take sixth in the 400-meter final.
The Jayhawks will find out Monday which athletes qualify for 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships set to take place March 14-15.  The meet will be held inside the Albuquerque convention center in Albuquerque, N.M. The Kansas women have earned team runner-up finishes and claimed a total of five individual national championships at the last two indoor national meets.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.