Stigler Defends Hurdle Title on Day Three of Texas Relays

Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays
Mike A. Myers Stadium // Austin, Texas

Sophomore Dasha Tsema hit a new career best in the discus with a mark of 53.25m (174’8″) to take the runner-up finish.
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AUSTIN, Texas – Kansas junior Michael Stigler claimed his second-straight Texas Relays 400-meter hurdle title Friday night inside Mike A. Myers Stadium. Stigler’s winning time marked the fastest in the NCAA this season and the sixth-fastest in the world in 2014.
Stigler, who entered the event after running to the top qualifying time in Thursday’s semifinal, was never challenged in the final. The Canyon, Texas native rounded the track and got over the 10 hurdles in 50.08 to beat the rest of the field by .28 seconds. The two-time defending Big 12 champion repeated as the Texas Relays champion and improved upon his nation-leading time in the process.
Colleen O’Brien was another Jayhawk to enter the winner’s circle Friday as she was able to pick up the victory in the B-Section high jump. The Louisburg, Kan., native kicked off her outdoor season on a hot streak after she tallied three-consecutive clearances on her first three bars of the day, the only competitor to do so. O’Brien then only needed four attempts to get over the next two heights, the latter a new personal best mark of 1.81 meters (5’11¼”). The junior’s jump, which earned O’Brien the first outdoor win of her Jayhawk career, marked the highest outdoor clearance by a KU female since 1992. The leap also shot O’Brien up the national charts to No. 3 in the latest national rankings.
Sophomore Dasha Tsema also began her outdoor season on a high note by way of a career best in the A-Section discus. Tsema only managed to tally one fair throw out of her six attempts but made that one throw count. She hurled the discus to a mark of 52.25 meters (174’8″) on her second trip into the throws ring, a toss that eventually earned her a runner-up finish in the event. In only one outdoor meet as a Jayhawk, Tsema already ranks as the No. 4 performer in school history and currently sits eighth in this year’s NCAA standings.
Jessica Maroszek closed out the night for the Jayhawks by turning in a personal best in the shot put. A two-time first team All-American in the discus, Maroszek proved her mettle in going up against some of the nation’s top collegiate shot putters. On her second throw of the day the senior heaved the implement to a mark of 16.23 meters (53’3″) to better her previous career best by over a foot. Maroszek’s throw made her the No. 3 performer in school history and eventually earned her a fifth-place finish. She now sits among the top-15 in the NCAA in 2014.
Less than 24 hours after the women’s 4×800-meter relay team took down the school record in the event, the women’s distance medley squad took to the track in hopes of doing the same. While they were unable to rewrite the school record the Jayhawks were able to post one of the fastest outdoor times in KU history. Sophomores Hannah Richardson and Mercedes Smith, freshman Lydia Saggau and senior Natalie Becker combined to turn in a time of 11:27.99, good enough to earn the group the second-place finish. The finish also marked the No. 3 outdoor distance medley ever run by a Jayhawk team and the fastest in 20 years.
Only a handful of Jayhawks are slated to be in action on the fourth and final day of the Texas Relays. Sophomore Daina Levy will get the day started Saturday in Austin as she takes part in the B-Section discus to begin at 10 a.m. Later in the day Becker and Richardson will hit the track for the final of the 1,500 meters, scheduled to begin at 3:50 p.m. Follow the Jayhawks’ performances by logging on to for a complete recap and by following on Twitter at @KUTrack. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.