Five Jayhawks to Compete at USA Junior Championships
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Five freshman members of the Kansas track & field teams are set to take part in the USA Junior Championships to be held at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Clovis, California June 24-26. The top-two finishers in each event at the meet this weekend will earn a spot on Team USA’s squad that will compete at the IAAF U20 World Championships to be held in Bydgoszcz, Poland later this summer.
On the men’s side, two Jayhawks are scheduled to compete in California this weekend. Freshman Dylan Hodgson will compete in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase, to be contested Friday at 10:45 p.m. (CT). Hodgson claimed a bronze medal in the event earlier this year at the Big 12 Championships before posting a 22nd-place finish at the NCAA West Preliminary.
Freshman Paulo Benavides will join Hodgson as the El Paso, Texas product will take part in the pole vault. Benavides notched eight top-five finishes during his first indoor and outdoor campaigns as a Jayhawk in 2016, including a fourth-place spot at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in February. Benavides will hit the Memorial Stadium runway at 7:30 p.m. (CT) Friday.
A trio of Jayhawk women will also look to punch their tickets to Poland this weekend. Freshman Shaylyn Stallbaumer will try to carry over the momentum from her stellar debut season at KU when she competes in the javelin on Friday beginning at 7:15 p.m. (CT). Stallbaumer claimed victory in the event at the KU Relays in April and tallied an eighth-place finish at the conference meet. Her season-best toss of 51.02 meters (167’5″) made her the fourth-ranked freshman in the event in 2016.
Kelli McKee and Riley Cooney will round out the KU contingent in action. Cooney will toe the start line for the 3,000-meter Steeplechase at 10:45 p.m. (CT) Saturday, while McKee is set for action in the triple jump at 8:30 p.m. (CT) Sunday evening.
Keep track of all the KU competitors at the USA Junior Championships this weekend by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on Twitter at @KUTrack for updates and results.
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