| Strymar Livingston anchored both the 4×800-meter and 4×400-meter relays Saturday in Austin.
AUSTIN, Texas – Senior Jake Albright kicked off his final outdoor campaign in style with a career-best in the pole vault as the Kansas track & field teams concluded competition Saturday at the 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays presented by Spectrum. Albright vaulted himself into the top-five of the latest NCAA rankings and was joined by several Jayhawk relay teams that added strong performances in their final day in Austin.
Albright, a native of Bucyrus, Kansas, continued to cement his place in the rich history of Kansas pole vaulters with a stellar outing inside Mike A. Myers Stadium. After clearances of 5.20 meters (17-0¾) and 5.35 meters (17-6½), a miscommunication between KU pole vault coach Tom Hays and Albright resulted in the senior skipping the next bar 5.50 meters (18-0½). That turned out to be a fortuitous error for the Jayhawk, who used the extra recuperation time to go on to post the best vault of his career.
With the bar up to 5.60 meters (18-4½) and on his second trip down the runway, Albright slid over the standard to better his previous outdoor best by four inches. The vault earned him a fifth-place finish in the competition that produced eight of the top-10 marks in NCAA DI this season.
Albright’s performance has him in the three-way tie for No. 3 on the most recent collegiate chart and also has him up to sixth on the Jayhawks’ all-time outdoor pole vault list. His jump marked the best vault by a Jayhawk since 2010, when Jordan Scott cleared 5.71 meters (18-8¾), also at the Texas Relays.
The men’s 4×800-meter squad got the Jayhawks’ day started on a high note with an impressive performance. The quartet of Bryce Richardson, Matt Anyiwo, Bryce Hoppel and Strymar Livingston turned in the best two-mile relay time by a Jayhawk squad in a decade when they got the baton around in 7:29.96. The clocking earned Kansas a third-place finish and has been topped by only seven other Jayhawks relay squads in program history. It was also the first time a KU relay team has gone under 7:30 in the event since 2007.
The 4×400-meter relays closed out the day’s events Saturday afternoon, with both the Kansas men’s and women’s teams competing against the NCAA’s elite in the invitational sections of the event. The women’s squad, comprised of Adriana Newell, Mariah Kuykendoll, Whitney Adams and Nicole Montgomery, posted an eighth-place finish in 3:41.44. Soon after the men’s team also finished eighth in its race. The KU foursome of Ivan Henry, Jaron Hartley, Tre Daniels and Livingston passed the baton around in 3:09.45
Kansas will hit the road once again when the teams journey to Tempe, Arizona for the Sun Angel Classic April 7-8. For updates and results from the weekend in Arizona, log on to KUAthletics.com and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack.
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