KU Track & Field Squads Set for NCAA Outdoor Championships
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams will be traveling to Eugene, Oregon this week for the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Jayhawks will have a total of 11 athletes in action at this week’s meet, who will compete against the nation’s best at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, June 10-13.
- This weekend, the Jayhawks will travel to Oregon’s Hayward Field, a venue Kansas will be competing in for the sixth-straight year and is slated to host each of the next six NCAA Outdoor Championship meets.
- The Kansas women checked in at No. 17 in the latest NCAA rankings released last week. That marks the 50th time in the last 55 rankings, dating back to 2010, that the Kansas women find themselves in the top-25 of the USTFCCCA’s outdoor national rankings.
- A top-eight finish by junior Sydney Conley in the long jump this week would mark the sixth time in eight years a KU female has garnered First Team All-America honors in the event.
- Senior Michael Stigler has posted the three fastest 400-meter hurdle times by a collegian this year, which includes his school record in the event at the Texas Relays on March 27. His time of 48.44 is the fastest time by a collegian in four years.
- Stigler has failed to claim first in only one 400-meter hurdle race this season and has won 20 of 25 400-meter hurdle races dating back to the start of the 2014 outdoor season.
- Junior Lindsay Vollmer enters this year’s NCAA Championship heptathlon two years removed from claiming the national title in the event. A win this week would make her the eighth woman in NCAA history to win multiple heptathlon titles.
- Now in his 15th year as Kansas’ head coach, Stanley Redwine is seeing an average of nearly 10 athletes per season earn First Team All-America distinctions.
KU Women at NCAA Championships
Kansas is just two years removed from its 2013 NCAA Championship, which was the first in the women’s program’s history and added to a successful track record at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the KU women. The program has tallied eight top-25 finishes at the national meet in its 40-year history, including four in the last seven years.
The KU women have seen 57 of its athletes achieve All-America status at the NCAA meet, including 29 first-team AAs in the last three seasons. Senior Lindsay Vollmer was the first to claim an individual national title, winning the heptathlon title in 2013. The Jayhawks have had several close to individual outdoor titles, boasting six who have notched runner-up finishes in their respective events at the National Championships.
KU Men at NCAA Championships
Not many collegiate programs have seen more success at the national championships than Kansas has over its 114 years in existence. The Jayhawk men have captured three NCAA Outdoor titles (1959, 1960 and 1970) and have finished in the top 10 in the team standings on 18 occasions, including a seventh-place finish in 2010.
Kansas men have walked away with individual NCAA outdoor titles 35 times with the most recent being Jordan Scott in the 2010 pole vault. A total of 140 outdoor All-Americans have donned the Crimson and Blue, with 27 of those coming under head coach Stanley Redwine.
Welcome Back to Hayward Field
Eugene, Oregon may be nearly 2,000 miles from Lawrence but the members of KU’s track & field team are very familiar with historic Hayward Field. A Kansas contingent has made the trip to Oregon for at least one meet each of the last six years. The venue, known by many as “Track Town USA”, has played host to three NCAA Championship meets, an NCAA West Preliminary meet and the U.S. Olympic Trials, all within the last five years.
Several current Jayhawks have fond memories of Hayward Field. The 2013 KU women’s squad picked up their historic national championship at the NCAA in 2013. Senior Lindsay Vollmer won an individual title in the heptathlon, also at the national championships in 2013 and senior Michael Stigler ran to a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials following his freshman season and has tallied back-to-back runner-up finishes in the same event at the last two NCAA Championship meets.
Stigler Seeing Nothing But Gold
Senior Michael Stigler has continued to add to his already legendary Kansas resume this season. The Canyon, Texas product has collected a litany of accolades during his final outdoor season that have him among top-collegiate athletes this year. Here are some of his accomplishments thus far:
- Won his fourth-straight Big 12 title in the 400-meter hurdles.
- Named to each of the last four ‘The Bowerman’ Watch Lists.
- Has held NCAA’s No. 1 400-meter hurdle mark (48.44) for 10-straight weeks.
- Is undefeated in seven of his eight 400-meter hurdle races this season.
- Holds two of the 10 fastest 400-meter hurdle times in the world this year.
- Has won 20 of his last 25 400-meter hurdle races versus collegians.
- Currently holds nine of the 10-fastest 400-meter hurdle times in school history.
Last Time Out
The Kansas track & field teams saw a host of standout performances as 11 Jayhawks punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships at the West Preliminary in Austin, Texas two weekends ago. Those 11 Jayhawks will compete in 12 events at the national meet to be held in Eugene, Oregon beginning on June 10.
On the meet’s opening day, Daina Levy smashed her previous personal best in the hammer throw en route to turning in the top qualifying mark in the event. On her second trip into the throws cage, the junior unleashed a toss of 69.01 meters (226’5″) which surpassed her previous career best by nearly 10 feet. None of the other 47 competitors in the event managed to come within six feet of Levy’s career throw, which earned her the top qualifying spot out of the West Region.
Michael Stigler made another statement along the road to his fourth-straight 400-meter hurdle qualification to nationals. The senior once again left the rest of the field in the dust in the quarterfinal heat, rounding the track in another time that is among the fastest in the world this year. Stigler crossed the finish in 48.64, just .2 seconds off his personal best and the third race in which he has gone under 49 seconds this year. His performance was the fastest out of both the west and the east regions and gave Stigler the three-fastest times in the collegiate ranks this year.
Hannah Richardson turned in the gutsiest outing of her collegiate career in the quarterfinals of the 1,500 meters Saturday night. Already ranked among the top-10 in the west region this year, the junior proved her name belonged near the top of those rankings after she turned in one of the fastest races in school history. She clocked in with the fastest 1,500-meter time of her Jayhawk career, crossing the finish in a blistering 4:16.73 to earn the sixth qualifying spot in the 1,500 meters to the NCAA Championships.
Redwine Selected to Team USA Pan Am Coaching Staff
USA Track & Field named Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine to the coaching staff that will lead Team USA at the Pan American Games this summer. Redwine will serve on the men’s team’s staff as the distance coach. The track & field portion of the Pan American Games will take place July 20-26, in Toronto, Canada at CIBC Pan/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University.
Redwine, who is in his 15th season as the head coach of track & field and cross country at Kansas, will see his second stint on Team USA’s coaching staff after he served as the head men’s coach for the American squad at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro. That year the USA men claimed 13 medals, three of which were gold. Redwine was also the head man for the Americans at the NACAC U-23 Championships in 2010. In addition to this year’s Pan Am Games, Redwine has previously been tabbed by USA Track & Field to serve as an assistant on staffs at the 2009 IAAF World Championships and the 2003 Pan Am Games.
The third-largest international multi-sport Games, the 2015 Pan American Games will welcome over 7,000 athletes from across the Americas and the Caribbean. American participants will be chosen from the top finishers at the USATF Outdoor Championships. Team USA earned 10 medals at the 2011 Pan American Games, with eight of the 10 medals coming from the field events.
League-Leading 13 KU men Named to Academic All-Big 12 Lists
A total of 26 Kansas student-athletes were named to the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 Track & Field Teams, the league office announced on May 12. The Jayhawk men led the league with 13 honorees while the Kansas women also added 13 to the Academic All-Big 12 lists and joined 130 female student-athletes, including 109 first-team members and 21 second-team honorees. On the men’s side, 81 earned honors, with 59 first team and 22 second-team selections.
Nine Jayhawk men were placed on the first team, led by senior Josh Munsch, who was named to the first team for the fourth time. On the women’s side, 11 KU student-athletes earned a spot on the first team. Sophomore Hannah Dimmick was one of eight women to claim spots on the Big 12 academic list with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Outdoor Record Book Review
Over the last four seasons, the KU athletes have made their presence felt on the school’s all-time top-10 performances chart, especially on the women’s side, many of which are still active this season. The Jayhawk women have at least one current athlete who has posted one or more top-10 all-time performance in 14 events. Lindsay Vollmer is the only active school-record holder in an individual event as she holds the KU mark in the heptathlon, including six of the nine best scores in school history.
Other current KU women who have tallied top-10 performances include Anastasiya Muchkayev (shot put, discus), Colleen O’Brien (high jump), Sydney Conley (long lump), Hannah Richardson (1,500 meters) and Daina Levy (hammer throw).
On the men’s side, senior Michael Stigler has rewritten the KU record book in the 400-meter hurdles several times during his three-plus seasons in Lawrence. He currently holds nine of the 10 fastest 400-meter hurdle times in school history, including his record time of 48.44, run in his outdoor debut this season at the Texas Relays.
Head coach Stanley Redwine has taken Kansas track & field to a level it hasn’t seen in quite some time during his first 14 years at the helm. Over Redwine’s tenure, he has seen 98 indoor and outdoor Big 12 Champions, 149 First Team All-Americans and 14 NCAA Champions come through his program at KU.
Redwine’s teams have also collected a combined seven top-10 NCAA team finishes, including coaching the 2013 women’s team to the program’s first National Championship at the NCAA outdoor meet.
With the NCAA season complete a few select Jayhawks will turn their attention to the USA Championship meet to be held in in Eugene, Oregon, June 25-28. Several KU track athletes have already achieved the standards needed to compete in both the senior and junior championship events. Keep track of all the KU performances as the Jayhawks go up against the nation’s best at Hayward Field by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on Twitter at @KUTrack.
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