Jayhawk Insider: What to watch for this indoor season

With the start of the 2018-19 Kansas track & field campaign right around the corner, here are some things to watch for this indoor season.

Jayhawks host three meets to open the season
Kansas will open the indoor season with three home meets. The Jayhawks will host the Bob Timmons Challenge on Nov. 30, the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular on Jan. 18 and the Jayhawk Classic, Jan. 25-26. 

Al Hizam looks to defend his crowns
Coming off a 2018 indoor track & field season that saw Hussain Al Hizam win a Big 12 title and NCAA Championship in the pole vault, the senior will look to defend his titles in 2019. Not only did he win both the Big 12 and NCAA Championships, but the Jubail, Saudi Arabia native broke the Saudi Arabian national record, Texas A&M’s Gilliam Indoor Stadium facility record and the KU indoor school record with this NCAA Championships clearance of 5.70 meters (18-8.25 ft.). 

Lokedi chases NCAA title in final season
Winning the 2018 10,000-meter NCAA Championship, senior Sharon Lokedi will look to claim another NCAA title in her final season of eligibility this indoor campaign. The 2018 conference winner of the 3,000 and 5,000-meter indoor crowns, Lokedi has racked up three indoor First Team All-America honors (2016 – 5,000-meter run; 2018 – 5,000-meter run, 3,000-meter run) in her career, but has yet to be able to notch a national title. 

Redwine’s recruiting class one of the tops in the nation
Nineteenth-year head coach Stanley Redwine’s 2018 men’s recruiting class was ranked the No. 3 class in the nation according to Track & Field News. The class includes pole vaulter Zach Bradford, who earned a silver medal for the USA at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships, Treyvon Ferguson, the No. 3 high school triple jumper in the nation and thrower Patrick Larrison, who was one of the top discus throwers in high school last year. 

Willis on the hunt for Big 12 title
With a sophomore season that included a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Indoor Championship in the pole vault, a second-place finish at the conference outdoor meet and a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships where she earned All-America honorable mention, Andrea Willis is primed for a break-out year. She currently ranks sixth on the KU indoor charts with a personal-best of 4.23m (13-10-5 ft.), but expects to see that height move up as the season progresses. 

Hoppel tries to defend 800 crown
Junior Bryce Hoppel finished the 2018 indoor season as the Big 12 Champion in the 800 meters and earned First Team All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships with an eighth-place finish. As the No. 2 performer in school history in the event, the Midland, Texas native will try for his second-straight Big 12 crown and hopes to move into the top spot in the KU annals. 

Emilianov looks for school record in shot put
Already the outdoor school record holder in the shot put and discus, Alexandra Emilianov will look to capture the indoor school record in the shot put in her sophomore season. As a freshman, Emilianov finished fourth at the Big 12 Championships in the event, before going on to an extremely successful outdoor campaign where she won the Big 12 title in the discus before earning Second Team All-America honors in the event and going on to win the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships

Dudarev looks to capture second Big 12 weight throw title
After utilizing his redshirt season for the 2018 indoor campaign, Gleb Dudarev will return to indoor action where he hopes to reclaim his crown in the weight throw at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. As a freshman in 2017, Dudarev won the Big 12 weight throw with a mark of 22.02 meters (72-3 ft.) and finished sixth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He currently ranks No. 2 on the KU all-time charts in the event with a PR of 23.44 meters (76-11 ft.). 





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