Conley Leaps to Seventh in the Long Jump at Nationals

NCAA Outdoor Championships
Hayward Field // Eugene, Ore.

Junior Michael Stigler posted the fastest semifinal time in the 400-meter hurdles en route to qualifying for the event final.
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EUGENE, Ore. – Sophomore Sydney Conley collected First Team All-America honors for the second time in her career after she placed seventh in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships Wednesday evening inside Hayward Field. Conley’s finish marked the fifth time in the last seven years Kansas has seen a female earn first team All-America status in the outdoor long jump.
“It feels good because being an All-American means you’re one of the top jumpers in the country,” said Conley. “Today wasn’t the best I wanted to do. The game plan was to try and come out and get top-three so I wanted to do better of course. But being a first team All-American twice now gives me great confidence going into my junior year. Now I’m at a point that I know now what I need to do get a win out here.”
Conley, who hails from Fayetteville, Arkansas, got her day started strong w/ a leap that immediately got her among the top-eight in the standings after she hit a mark of 6.25 meters (20’6¼”). She upped her standing two attempts later, soaring to a mark of 6.30 meters (20’8″). Her third jump was good enough to earn her three more attempts as she stood in sixth-place heading into the final.
Conley was unable to improve upon her third-attempt mark in the finals, which eventually dropped her to seventh in the standings. Her top mark was only an inch short of earning her a fifth-place finish. Her finish earned the KU women their first two points of the meet and has her team in a tie for 16th after the first day’s events.
Michael Stigler‘s march to a national title in the 400-meter hurdles was extended after the junior posted the top time in the event semifinals. Stigler, who has now tallied five of the top-nine times in NCAA Division I this year, ran a nearly flawless race, only clipping the final two hurdles en route to an easy victory in his heat. The Canyon, Texas native crossed the finish in a season-best 49.34 which was the fastest of the eight men who qualified for the final.
Stigler’s mark was also the second fastest, both of his career and in school history, and is the eighth-fastest by an American this year. He will look to become the first Jayhawk to win an NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles when he takes the blocks for the event final on Friday, June 13 at 6:33 p.m. (CT).
The Kansas women’s 4×100-meter relay team wasn’t as fortunate in the semifinals of their event. The foursome of Alisha Keys, Diamond Dixon, Tianna Valentine and Conley entered the meet after clocking in as the meet’s 19th qualifier with their time of 44.75 at the West Regional meet two weeks ago. In the semifinal, the Jayhawks were out to a solid start in the second of three heats, however a troublesome third exchange forced Valentine and Conley outside the exchange zone. Kansas was then unable to finish the race.
KU will continue action from Hayward Field on Thursday, June 12 with a host of Jayhawks set to compete. Junior Lindsay Vollmer will begin defense of her 2013 NCAA heptathlon title with the first four events of the competition Thursday, beginning with the 100-meter hurdles at 3 p.m. (CT). Senior Jessica Maroszek will look to end her collegiate carrier with a bang as she is slated to take part in the discus at 4 p.m., and the men’s 4×400-meter relay will attempt to advance to the event final as the group runs in the semifinal at 8:20 p.m. (CT). Follow all the Kansas performances by logging on to and following on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.