Jayhawks Strong Across the Board at Battle on the Bayou

Battle on the Bayou
Bernie Moore Stadium // Baton Rouge, La.

Sophomore Anastasiya Muchkayev won the discus with a mark of 49.96 meters (163’11”).
Complete Results (PDF)
Kansas Results
Live Results

Women’s Standings
1. LSU 180 pts.
2. Kansas 133 pts.
3. Ohio State 109.5 pts.
4. UCLA 98 pts.
3. Mississippi State 42.5 pts.

Men’s Standings
1. LSU 166 pts.
2. Ohio State 106 pts.
3. Kansas 104 pts.
4. UCLA 95 pts.
3. Mississippi State 74 pts.

BATON ROUGE, La. – Three event victories and a host of highly-ranked performances highlighted a solid outing for the University of Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams at the Battle on the Bayou Saturday afternoon. Fifteen Jayhawks and three relay teams posted marks that moved them within the top-25 of the NCAA West Regional rankings at the five-team meet held inside Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
The Kansas women ended the day with a second-place finish in the scored meet after amassing 133 points. The Jayhawk men took third with 104 points, however the team was just two points behind second-place Ohio State.
One of the more impressive outings of the day came in the meet’s final event when the KU men held off a strong charge by LSU to claim the win in the 4×400-meter relay. The Jayhawk foursome of Michael Stigler, DeMario Johnson, Kenneth McCuin and Jaime Wilson led the race from start to finish, even opening up a lead to as much as 20 meters midway through the competition. The sophomore, Wilson, was forced to contend with a late push from the LSU anchor over the final 100 meters, but held on for the victory after he brought the baton home in 3:09.46. The quartet’s time was a season-best and the seventh-fastest by a team in the West Region the year.
The Jayhawk women also turned in a solid relay time, however it was in the shorter 4×100-meter race. The team of Tianna Valentine, Sydney Conley, Zainab Sanni and Diamond Dixon got the baton around in near flawless fashion to finish in 44.67 and place third. The squad’s time was the sixth-fastest in school history and is 13th in the 2014 West Regional standings.
Rhavean King added another chapter to her already solid sophomore campaign after she picked up a victory in the 800 meters. The Memphis, Tenn., product cut a full six seconds off her previous outdoor career best to earn the win in a time of 2:08.82. The finish marked the fastest 800 meters by a Jayhawk female in over a decade and made King the No. 4 performer in school history. She now sits 18th in the national rankings and 11th in the West Region after her career race.
The meet kicked off Saturday morning with several of the throwing events. Sophomore Anastasiya Muchkayev turned in a standout performance in the discus as she picked up her first victory of the year. Three of Muchkayev’s throws soared passed 158 feet with her top mark coming on her fourth attempt, a toss of 49.96 meters (163’11”). The winning mark topped the rest of the field by over 15 feet and elevated the Be’er Sheva, Israel native to 25th in the NCAA West Regional standings. The win also marked her second in the discus as a Jayhawk.
The women’s hammer throw also saw a strong Jayhawk outing as Daina Levy notched one of the top throws in the collegiate ranks this year. A second-team All-American in the event last year, Levy reached a mark of 62.78 meters (206’0″) on her fourth throw of the day to put her name back among the NCAA’s top-ranked hammer throwers. The sophomore’s toss is No. 5 in the West Region and eighth in the NCAA in 2014. Levy, who is originally from Mississaugu, Ontario, Canada, is also now the second-ranked Canadian in the event this year.
A pair of vertical jumpers posted new career bests Saturday. Junior Austin Hoag tallied a top high jump clearance of 2.08 meters (6’9¾”) on his second attempt to earn himself a third-place finish in the event. Later in the day freshman Nick Meyer posted a top pole vault mark of 5.28 meters (17’3¾”), also en route to a third-place finish. Meyer has now cleared 17-feet or better in six of his last seven outings dating back to the start of the indoor season.
Sophomore Hannah Richardson backed up a personal-best performance in the 1,500 meters a week ago at the Texas Relays with another career best in the 3,000 meters Saturday. Richardson completed the 1.8-mile race in 9:51.40, good enough to earn her the runner-up finish in the event.
Other notable individual performances came from Stigler, who took third in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.11, a time that was just .01 seconds off of his personal best. After helping the 4×100-meter relay team to a season-best, Sanni (11.66) and Conley (11.73) clocked in with career bests in the 100 meters to finish fourth and seventh, respectively. Freshman Cooper Mitchell also made an impact in his first collegiate discus outing after he hit a personal-best mark of 53.53 meters (175’6″) to move him inside the top-50 of the national standings.
Next weekend the Jayhawks will journey to Arizona to compete in a pair of meets in Tempe, Ariz. Kansas will open the weekend on Friday, April 11 when they take part in the Mesa Classic before competing in the Sun Angel Classic on Saturday, April 12. Log on to KUAthletics.com for complete recaps following each day’s events and follow on twitter and Instagram throughout the weekend at @KUTrack.
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