Stigler’s Title Highlights Final Day at Big 12 Outdoor Championships

Big 12 Outdoor Championships
Cyclone Sports Complex // Ames, Iowa

Senior Josh Munsch ran to fourth-place finishes in both the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters Sunday in Ames.
Day 3 Coverage
Final Results
Kansas Results
Meet Central

AMES, Iowa – Not even 30-mile per hour wind gusts could keep senior Michael Stigler from racing into the history books as he claimed his fourth-consecutive conference 400-meter hurdle title on a blustery Sunday at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. In addition to Stigler, the Kansas men and women turned in several standout performances in the meet’s final day to give each squad top-five finishes in the team standings. The Jayhawk women notched their fourth-straight top-four finish with the help of their 101 points, while the KU men were fifth for the second time in three years after amassing 85.25 points.
“I thought we had a really solid team effort from both the men and women this weekend,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “Michael Stigler and Sydney Conley performed like true champions and we had a lot of young athletes that competed well. We were a few points from where we thought we should be but I was proud of the way our people performed.”
Stigler’s performance was no doubt the highlight of the day for the Jayhawk men, who tallied seven individual top-five finishes during the course of their final afternoon in Ames. After posting the fastest qualifying time in the preliminary heat Saturday, Stigler was well within striking distance of a fourth Big 12 title in the 400-meter hurdles. At the gun, the senior got out to a blazing start, making up the stagger before the field hit the second hurdle. He extended his lead through a powerful wind on the second curve and headed into the straightaway leading the field by nearly 10 meters. Stigler sprinted down the home straightaway and through the finish in 49.67 to win the event by more than more than two seconds faster than the next finisher.
Stigler’s win marked just the fourth time in Big 12 Outdoor Championship history an athlete has been victorious in a single event in four-consecutive years. The Canyon, Texas native joined Missouri’s Derrick Peterson (800m – 1997-2000), Baylor’s Darrold Williamson (400m – 2002-05) and Texas Tech’s Jonathan Johnson (800m – 2002-05) to earn a Big 12 outdoor four-peat. It was also the first time in program history a Kansas male has won four-straight individual conference championships.
Josh Munsch was also impressive in his final Big 12 Championship outing. The senior started the day with a fourth-place finish in the 1,500 meters. The race was a slow but tactical one as no runner wanted to head the pack with the strong winds swirling around the track. The competitors stepped on the gas in the final 400 meters with Munsch sticking close behind. Through he was unable to keep up with the leaders, he used his closing kick to run through the finish in 4:07.61, good enough for the fourth spot.
Three hours later, Munsch returned to the track for the 5,000 meters in hopes of turning in his second scoring performance of the afternoon. It appeared as though a top-eight finish may have been in doubt after the senior was running outside the top-10 runners through the majority of the race. In the final 500 meters however, Munsch again kicked it into high gear as he jumped six spots in the final quarter-mile to steal a fourth-place finish. His time of 14:35.27 was less than second behind the third-place finisher.
Junior Hannah Richardson also enjoyed a successful outing in finals of the 1,500 meters. The Glendale, Missouri product never fell further back than fourth place as she battled the swirling winds at the Cyclone Sports Complex. Richardson moved into third with 600 meters to go and never looked back. She sprinted down the homestretch and secured a third-place finish in 4:29.34. Her performance marked the second time in three years a Jayhawk finished among the top-three in the always-competitive Big 12 1,500 meters.
For the second straight-year the Jayhawk women gained valuable points in the sprints. Junior Sydney Conley and sophomore Zainab Sanni finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 100-meter dash. Sanni returned later in the day and posted another top-eight finish in the 200 meters. She completed her half lap in 23.63, good enough for seventh place.
To start the day, the KU women got big point-production from the high jump and discus throw. In the high jump, senior Colleen O’Brien managed to clear a top bar of 1.81 meters (5’11¼”), which was good enough for a fifth-place finish. Sophomore Grace Pickell added a career-best clearance after she topped the bar at 1.76 meters (5’9¼”). The jumped earned Pickell a sixth-place finish and, along with O’Brien’s six points, added an additional 2.5 points to the team total.
In the throws ring, Daina Levy had another impressive outing just 48 hours removed from her runner-up finish in the hammer throw. The junior unwound for a toss of 50.96 meters (167’2″) on her third attempt of the day, which elevated her to third-place, where she spent the rest of the competition. Levy was joined by fellow junior Dasha Tsema in the discus’ top eight. Tsema posted a best mark of 49.07 meters (161’0″) to finish seventh overall.
Elsewhere in the field a pair of Jayhawk freshmen earned valuable team points to help their team secure its fifth-place finish. Ezekial Welch and Barden Adams each enjoyed career performances in the triple jump. Welch tallied a top jump of 14.97 meters (49’1½”) to finish fifth, while Adams was not far behind in sixth with his mark of 14.90 meters (48’10¾”).
The 4×400-meter relays closed out the day’s events. The Jayhawk women’s squad of Sanni, Rhavean King, Whitney Adams and Adrianna Newell turned in a season-best time of 3:41.16 to finish fourth overall and earn their team its final five points of the meet.
The men’s mile relay squad of Tre Daniels, Kenneth McCuin, Jaime Wilson and Stigler also notched a fourth-place finish after the Jayhawks passed the baton around in 3:10.05.
The Kansas men and women will now look toward the preliminary rounds of the NCAA Championships. The West Region Preliminary meet will be held in Austin, Texas May 28-30 inside Mike A. Myers Stadium and will provide KU athletes with opportunities to advance to the NCAA National Championship meet two weeks later. The Jayhawks will wait to see which competitors will journey to Austin when the qualifier lists are released Monday, May 18. Log on to for complete coverage of the Jayhawks’ journey through the rounds of the NCAA Championships and follow on Twitter, Instagram and Vine at @KUTrack. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.