Combined Events Kick Off 89th Kansas Relays Presented by Subway
LAWRENCE, Kan.. – The 89th running of the Kansas Relays presented by Subway officially began Wednesday with the first day’s events of the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon competitions inside Rock Chalk Park. Cale Wagner, competing unattached, earned the overnight lead in the decathlon after posting a score of 3,795 points following the first five events, while Texas Tech’s Kaylee Hinton is the leader in the heptathlon with her total of 3,193 points.
To begin the day, Wagner, who is a freshman at Nebraska but currently redshirting, kicked his competition off on a high note by posting the fastest 100-meter dash time of the entire field. Wagner crossed the finish line in 11.00 and collected 861 points to start the day. Cornhusker teammate Guy Fenske,the 2014 Kansas Relays decathlon champion, was close behind, taking second overall in 11.00 for 8.58 points.
The men then moved onto the long jump runway where Wagner again excelled, jumping 6.94 meters (22’9¼”) on his second attempt, which ended up being the longest of the group. Fenske again claimed second following his jump of 6.68 meters (21’11”). After the first two events, Wagner held the lead in the competition with 1,660 points, but was followed closely by Fenske who was only 63 points back.
Fenske closed the gap on his freshman teammate with the winning throw in the shot put, where he posted a mark of 13.09 meters (42’11½”) on his third and final throw. The performance helped Fenske overtake Wagner for the overall lead, sitting 11 points ahead with his score of 2,270 points after three events.
Fenske’s lead was short lived, however, after Wagner turned in a top leap of 1.92 meters (6’3½”) in the high jump to add 731 points to his total and retake the lead with his 2,990 points. Texas Tech junior Michael Samuels had the highest clearance of the day, a jump of 2.04 meters (6’8¼”).
The day concluded with the 400-meter dash where Wagner grabbed his third first-place finish of the day, clocking in at a time of 50.21.
After five events, Wagner finds himself just 46 points ahead of Fenske with a total of 3,795 points. The defending Kansas Relays decathlon champion, Colorado State’s Josh Cogdill, is currently in fourth with 3,573 points. The athletes will return to action tomorrow, Thursday, April 21, at 9 a.m., with the start of the 110-meter hurdles.
The women’s heptathlon was the second event kicked off at the 2016 Kansas Relays. The 100-meter hurdles began the morning with Hinton giving fans an early preview of her impressive skill set. The TTU freshman crossed the finish in 14.26 to win the event and garner her first 942 points of the day.
The second event of the day was the high jump where another Red Raider excelled in Texas Tech senior Natalie Thompson. Thompson was the last woman standing after she posted a clearance of 1.76 meters (5’9¼”), good for 928 points and the overall lead after the first two events of the day. Hinton claimed second in the high jump with a leap of 1.67 meters (5’5¾”), but found herself six points back of her elder teammate.
Next up was the shot put where Emporia State’s Monica Howard finished first with a throw of 11.22 meters (36’9¾”). Thompson held onto her overall lead by way of her 10.49 meter (34’5″) toss and third-place finish.
In the final event of the day, the 200 meters, Hinton flew past the competition, posting a stellar time of 25.06 to beat the rest of the field by nearly half a second. The performance moved the freshman back into the lead to end day one after amassing 3,193 points. Hinton’s overnight lead is anything but safe Thursday as Thompson sits just 28 points behind with her 3,165 points.
Heptathlon action will continue from Rock Chalk Park Thursday morning at 9 a.m., as the women will compete in three more events beginning with the long jump.
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