Jayhawks Open 2015-16 with 19 Victories at Bob Timmons Challenge

Bob Timmons Challenge
Anschutz Pavilion // Lawrence, Kan.

Senior Dasha Tsema kicked off her season with a win in the weight throw.
Bob Timmons Challenge
Overall Results
Kansas Results


LAWRENCE, Kan. – Jayhawks claimed victories in 19 events as the Kansas track & field teams enjoyed a successful season-opening meet at the Bob Timmons Challenge Friday inside Anschutz Pavilion. Junior Zainab Sanni ran to the 60-meter and 200-meter titles, while both the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter and distance medley relays were won by the Jayhawks.
“We were really impressed with many of the performances today,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “To have so many career-bests in the first meet of the season is really exciting. There are still some improvements to be made but it was a great way to start the season today.”
Sanni turned some heads en route to a win in the 60 meters. The junior out-leaned her senior teammate, Sydney Conley, to claim her first-career victory in the event. Sanni sprinted through the finish in 7.41, just .05 seconds ahead of Conley. The mark shaved .07 seconds off her previous personal best, and made her the fourth-fastest KU female in the history of the event. The time also, for the moment, put Sanni atop the national rankings after the first week of the indoor season.
Sanni returned to the track two hours later and again ran her way to the top of the podium. This time she was running in the lane next to former KU teammate and 13-time All-American Diamond Dixon, but showed no signs of intimidation. Sanni accelerated down the final straight-away crossed the finish in 24.18 to pick up her second trophy of the day.
The Jayhawks 4×400-meter relay squads closed out the day on a fitting note with wins on both the men’s and women’s sides. The women’s team comprised of Sanni, Whitney Adams, Nicole Montgomery and Adrianna Newell led from start to finish, passing the baton around in 3:44.69 to win the event by over five seconds. The time was the fastest by the women’s 4×400-meter squad in the seven years of the season opening meet.
The men were next and posted an impressive time of their own. Drew Matthews, Alex Wilson, Strymar Livingston and Jaime Wilson completed their eight laps in 3:15.70 to claim victory.
Sophomore Brandon Lombardino started off his season on the right foot with a win in the men’s weight throw. The sophomore surpassed the 16-meter mark on his final two throws, with the fifth attempt measuring out to 16.42 meters (53’10½”). The toss marked the best throw by a Jayhawk since 2012 and earned Lombardino the victory by over four feet. Senior Phil Stand picked up the runner-up finish in his first outing in the Crimson & Blue, hitting a mark of 15.04 meters (49’4¼”) and was followed by teammate, senior Paul Golen, who took third place with his throw of 14.25 meters (46’9″).   
Dasha Tsema followed up on Lombardino’s weight throw win by picking up one of her own. On her third trip into the ring, she uncorked a toss of 16.66 meters (54’8″). The attempt bettered her previous personal best by nearly three feet and went on to earn her the overall victory by more than two feet.
Continuing his tradition of Bob Timmons Challenge dominance in the pole vault was senior Casey Bowen. The Gardner, Kansas product needed just two clearances to pick up his third-straight victory at the December meet. Bowen got over 5.21 meters (17’1″) on his second attempt but could go no higher.
Sophomore Ben Burchstead was the highlight from the Jayhawks distance events, claiming his first career win in the 3,000 meters. For the majority of the 1.8-mile race, freshman Bryce Richards led the pack, but once the lead group headed into the bell lap, Burchstead turned it into another gear. He moved from third to first over the final 200 meters and crossed the finish more nearly two seconds ahead of the field. Burchstead posted a time of 8:46.18 for the victory and was followed by three  
Junior Grace Pickell successfully defended her Bob Timmons Challenge high jump title after outdueling freshman teammate Caraline Slattery. Pickell needing only three jumps to clear her first three heights of the day, while Slattery got over her first two bars without a miss. After both Jayhawks got over 1.65 meters (5’5″), Pickell was the only one of the two who managed a clearance at the next bar, 1.70 meters (5’7″) after she managed to get over the bar on her third and final try. The win was Pickell’s second-straight in the Bob Timmons high jump and marked the third time in four years a KU female has won the event.
Other Jayhawk men to go home with hardware from the Bob Timmons were sophomore Tre Daniels (200m, 22.36), sophomore Matt Anyiwo (600 yards, 1:13.58), sophomore Jaron Hartley (400m, 49.40), sophomore Barden Adams (triple jump, 14.71m/48’3¼”) and senior Paul Golen (shot put, 15.81m/51’10 ½”).
Other KU women to claim victories Friday were senior Anastasiya Muchkayev (shot put, 14.90m/48’10¾”) and junior Whitney Adams (400 meters, 56.78).
The Jayhawks will now have a month off to prepare for their next meet, the Bill Easton Classic, which will again take place inside the friendly confines of Anschutz Pavilion. Kansas will play host set for, Friday, Jan. 8 to start at 1 p.m.
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