Jayhawks See Four Qualify for NCAA Indoor Championships
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas track & field team will have four entries for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships to be contested March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M., it was announced Tuesday night by the NCAA. The Kansas women have tallied runner-up finishes in each of the last two NCAA Indoor meets and will see a pair of former national champions, seniors Diamond Dixon and Natalia Bartnovskaya, in action to try and reclaim their NCAA titles next week. Senior Alex Bishop is the lone qualifier on the men’s side after earning a trip in the pole vault.
Bartnovskaya will have the opportunity to defend her NCAA indoor pole vault crown as she earned a spot as the No. 9 seed in this year’s event. The senior owns seven of the top-10 vaults in school history including the school record of 4.45 meters (14’7¼”), which she posted during last year’s championship run. This season she has cleared a top bar of 4.32 meters (14’2″). The meet will mark the final outing as a Jayhawk for the two-time All-American since she has no more eligibility for the outdoor season. Bartnovskaya will take to the pole vault pit on Friday, March 14 at 7 p.m. (CT).
Dixon will enter next weekend as the seventh-overall seed in the 400 meters. The Houston native won the event as a sophomore in 2012 in a school-record time of 51.78. Last week at the Big 12 Championships, Dixon posted her fastest quarter mile since her KU record mark two seasons ago, clocking in at 52.20 in a third-place finish. The NCAA’s 400-meter field is slated to be one of the most competitive in the meet’s history, with the top eight entrants having already met or topped the 52.50 mark. Dixon will begin her campaign for her second national title in the event semifinals set for March 14 at 8:10 p.m. (CT).
Sophomore Sydney Conley will be making her first trip to the NCAA indoor meet after earning the qualification in the long jump. Conley’s top mark this year, a leap of 6.25 meters (20’6¼”) at the Jayhawk Classic on Jan. 24, earned her a trip to the meet as the No. 15 seed. A second team All-American in the outdoor event a year ago, Conley will look to make it three-straight years a Jayhawk has garnered All-American honors in the indoor long jump. She will hit the runway for the event scheduled to begin at March 14 at 7 p.m. (CT).
The men’s lone entry is Bishop who earned a spot by way of his personal-best performance at the Armory Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 8. The senior’s top mark of 5.45 meters (17’10½”) has him as the 10 seed as he enters his first indoor championship meet. The Phoenix, Ariz., product will kick off his event on March 15 at 6:30 p.m. (CT).
The meet will kick off at 11 a.m. (CT) Friday, March 14 and will conclude at 9:20 p.m. Saturday, March 15. Stay updated on each of the Jayhawks’ performances by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack.
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