KU Track to Kick Off Season with Bob Timmons Challenge
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas track & field teams will kick off the 2015-16 indoor season by hosting the Bob Timmons Challenge at Anschutz Pavilion on Friday, Dec 4. The meet marks the seventh-straight season the Jayhawks will begin their season at the home meet. The first field events are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., with running events to kick off at 3 p.m. Admission is free to the public.
SETTING THE STAGE
Thirty-two male and 33 female student-athletes are scheduled to compete for the Jayhawks this weekend, while they look for a great beginning at the start a highly-anticipated season.
Other teams expected to compete are Oral Roberts, UMKC, Missouri State, Benedictine, Cloud County CC, Emporia State and St. Mary (Kan.).
The Bob Timmons Challenge will begin at 1 p.m., with the men’s weight throw, while the women’s 3,000 meters will kick off events on the track at 3 p.m. Log on to KUAthletics.com and click on the Bob Timmons Challenge Meet Central page for complete coverage of the day’s events.
HEADLINERS IN ACTION FRIDAY
Some notable Jayhawks scheduled to lace up the spikes this weekend are seniors Casey Bowen on the men’s side and senior Sydney Conley and junior Zainab Sanni for the women.
Bowen is the Big 12’s reigning indoor pole vault champion and a First Team All-American in the event after a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships last March. He will kick off his first pole vault competition of the new season following the women’s event at approximately 5 p.m.
Conley is coming off another stellar season that saw her twice earn First Team All-America honors in the long jump as well as her first Big 12 title in the event in May. She will take to the runway in her signature event at approximately 6 p.m. The Fayetteville, Arkansas native has a sprint event also on tap as she will hit the starting blocks for the 60-meter dash at 3:54 p.m.
Sanni established herself as one of the top sprinters in the Big 12 last year after all-conference outings in the 100 meters and 200 meters and a march to All-America Honorable Mention honors in the 200 meters. Her Friday will begin with the 60 meters at 3:54 p.m., and she will close out the meet as a part of the women’s 4×400-meter relay squad at 6:49 p.m.
Fans will also notice a myriad of fresh faces competing in the Crimson and Blue Friday. Fourty newcomers are expected to suit up for the Jayhawks in 2015-16, many of whom have already seen huge successes on the track and in the field. Of the 22 KU freshmen that are expected to compete on the Anschutz track for the first time Friday, eight athletes won a combined 13 high school state championships in their prep careers.
Among the top incoming freshmen who will be in action this week will be El Paso, Texas native Paulo Benavides, who last spring broke the national high school record in the pole vault with his clearance of 5.46 meters (17’11”). He will kick off his collegiate career in the men’s pole vault to begin at approximately 5 p.m. High jumper Joel Long also has the KU coaches excited after a standout career at Topeka High School. Long is the defending 6A state champion in the event. His day in the high jump pit will begin at 4:30 p.m.
Joining Benavides and Long as other top newcomers to compete Friday are Morgan Griffiths , who is the Missouri’s Class 4 reigning pole vault champion; Morgan Lober out of Baldwin City, Kansas, who won back-to-back Kansas 4A state titles in the 400 meters and Monument, Colorado product Nicole Montgomery, who claimed three-straight consecutive state championships in the 400 as well as three additional state titles in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Those three will join a stellar freshman class that will look to start their collegiate careers off on the right foot on Friday.
SUCCESS AT THE BOB TIMMONS
In its six years as KU track & field’s season-opening meet, the Bob Timmons Challenge has proven to be one of the more successful meets in terms of individual victories. Since 2009, Jayhawks have won a combined 65 individual competitions at the Bob Timmons Challenge, including 16 at the meet a year ago. KU’s Sydney Conley was the highlight in the season-opener last year, winning the 60 meters and the long jump in grand fashion and running to a third-place finish in the 200 meters as well.
The Jayhawks will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, when they host the Bill Easton Classic in Anschutz Pavilion. KU will then be back in Lawrence on Jan. 15 for the Kansas State-Kansas-Wichita State Triangular.
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