Jayhawk track adds seven in early signing period
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field head coach Stanley Redwine and his staff announced the addition of seven new members to the Jayhawks’ 2016-17 signing class. KU’s latest recruiting class features several high school standouts who boast a long list of achievements at the state and national levels.
Alexys Barton // Distance // Liberal, Missouri
Alexys Barton, a versatile distance specialist out of Missouri, will call Lawrence home. She was the Missouri Class 1 & 2 State runner-up in the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters as a junior last spring. Her 1,600-meter personal best of 5:08.74 posted last spring ranked her among the top-20 in the state in 2016. On the cross country trails, Barton posted a fifth-place finish at the state race last month, after claiming fourth at the same meet as a sophomore in 2015.
Khristen Bryant // Pole Vault // Columbia, Missouri
The Jayhawks were able to hook one of the top pole vaulters out of Missouri with the signing of Khristen Bryant. The Columbia native is the two-time defending Class 1 & 2 state champion in the event. She’ll look forward to vaulting at KU’s home facility of Rock Chalk Park, where she turned in a personal-best vault of 3.81 meters (12-6 ft.) en route to a victory at the 2016 Kansas Relays. That mark ranked her second in the state in 2016 and inside the top-75 in the U.S. Bryant’s talents don’t solely lend themselves to the pole vault, as she also has tallied state titles in the 100 meters and the 100-meter hurdles as well as a section championship in the 300-meter hurdles.
Honour Finley // Sprints // Bloomington, Minnesota
The Jayhawks bring in one of the Midwest’s top quarter-milers in Honour Finley. The Bloomington, Minnesota product broke the Minnesota state record in the 400 meters by way of her personal-best clocking of 53.96 at the USATF Junior Championships in June and has logged five other sub-55 second quarter-miles during her first three years at Bloomington High School. Finley is the two-time defending state champion in the 400 meters and has also claimed back-to-back state junior Olympic titles. She also has a lengthy list of accolades in the 200 meters. She’s turned in the runner-up finishes in the event at each of the last two Minnesota state meets, which included a personal-best time of 24.23 last June, a mark that ranked second in the state behind only current KU track freshman, Jedah Caldwell.
Lea Riedel // Combined Events // Esslingen, Germany
The KU women’s squad will see another multi-talented combined event specialist join the squad next season. German heptathlete Lea Riedel committed to Kansas following two strong years in several disciplines. At the U18 German Championships in August of 2015, Riedel posted a score of 5,163 in the heptathlon. Riedel has proven herself to be strong in the throwing events, tallying a personal best mark of over 13 meters in the shot put, and over 36 meters in the javelin. Riedel has also shown to be an impressive hurdler, posting a personal-record time of 14.60 in the 100-meter hurdles earlier this year.
Anna Siemens // Sprints // Rogers, Arkansas
The Jayhawks bring in an accomplished sprinter in Anna Siemens. The Rogers, Arkansas product has claimed a pair of USATF Regional championships in the 400 meters. Her personal best in the event, a time of 56.52 in 2015, ranked her second in the state that year and first among the class of 2017. As a junior last spring, Siemens posted an eighth-place finish in the 400 meters at the USATF Junior Championships, clocking in at 57.33.
Javan Reece // Hurdles // Denton, Texas
The Jayhawks bring in another top hurdler in Javan Reece. The Denton, Texas native was the bronze medalist in the 110-meter hurdles at the Texas District 5-6 meet last April. That was the site of his personal best in the event of 14.11, which Reece finished 21st in the state this year. He also produced top-five finishes at the Junior Olympic Regional and National Championships in the event earlier this year, as well as a sixth-place finish at the Great Southwest Classic, one of the national high school meets of the summer. Reece has also racked up wins in the 300-meter hurdles. He claimed the district title in the event in both his junior and freshman years and boasts a personal best in the event of 38.93.
Kyle Rogers // Pole Vault // Liberty, Missouri
Tom Hays adds another high school standout to his pole vault crew in Kyle Rogers. The Liberty, Missouri native has vaulted to runner-up finishes at each of the last two Missouri state meets. He already has one 16-foot clearance under his belt, which came at the district championships in May. That vault ranked him third in the state in 2016 and put him among the top-50 vaulters in the U.S.
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