Jayhawks close Sun Angel Classic on high note
TEMPE, Ariz. – Kansas track & field closed the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona on Saturday with an array of impressive performances, including a women’s 4×400-meter relay time that ranks in the NCAA’s top-10, wins in the men’s long jump and triple jump by Barden Adams, a first and third-place finish in the shot put and discus from senior Nicolai Ceban and a No. 2 mark in program history from freshman Alexandra Emilianov in the discus.
WOMEN’S 4×400 RELAY POSTS NO. 7 TIME IN NCAA
The KU women’s 4×400-meter relay team capped the Sun Angel Classic with a win by posting a time of 3:33.83 – a mark that currently ranks No. 7 in the NCAA should easily hold up to qualify for the West Preliminary in Sacramento, California, May 24-26.
Senior Megan Linder led off the relay with a strong opening leg before giving way to sophomore Jedah Caldwell, who was able to put the Jayhawks out to a lead. Junior Nicole Montgomery held the lead before giving up the baton to freshman Honour Finley, who finished the race with a strong anchor leg.
ADAMS DOUBLES UP
Senior Barden Adams came away with two event victories, winning both the long jump and triple jump. Adams first recorded a victory in the long jump by leaping out to his best mark of the event in his first attempt. The West Orange, New Jersey native hit 7.46 meters (24-5.75 ft.) and that was all he would need for the victory.
Adams picked up the win in his signature event, the triple jump, by recording a mark of 16.26 meters (53-4.25 ft.) on his fourth attempt of the day. His winning mark ranks No. 2 in the NCAA this season and No. 1 in the West Region.
CEBAN FINDS HIS GROOVE IN OUTDOOR DEBUT
Senior Nicolai Ceban started his weekend and senior outdoor campaign strong with a third-place finish in the premiere section of the men’s discus. Ceban recorded the No. 12 mark in the NCAA on his way to third, posting a throw of 57.63 meters (189-1 ft.), before winning the premiere shot put later in the evening with a toss of 18.62 meters (61-1.25 ft.). The Camenca, Moldova product’s winning shot put mark ranks No. 20 in the NCAA this season and No. 9 in the West Region.
EMILIANOV POSTS STRONG DEBUT
In her first outdoor appearance in a Kansas uniform, freshman Alexandra Emilianov shot up the KU all-time performers list in the discus. Emilianov opened her day with a throw of 51.09 meters (167-7 ft.) in the premiere section of the event, which put her as the No. 8 performer in KU history.
Just as quickly as the Chisinau, Moldova product moved into the No. 8 spot, Emilianov was no longer there as her second throw of 52.70 meters (172-10 ft.) moved her to No. 7. A foul on her third attempt kept her seventh, but her next attempt was her best of the day at 55.58 meters (182-4 ft.) to move her all the way to No. 2 and give her a second-place finish in the event.
Emilianov’s mark ranks No. 9 in the West Region and should hold up to qualify her for the West Preliminary Round.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
• Prior to her impressive leg in the 4×400-meter relay, Jedah Caldwell improved her standing as the No. 8 performer in KU track history in the 200 meters by posting a career-best time of 23.51 seconds in the premiere section of the event. Caldwell’s time gave her a fourth-place finish and currently ranks No. 31 in the West Region.
• Another member of the women’s 4×400 relay also posted an impressive solo performance prior to contributing to the winning time in the 4×400. Megan Linder became the No. 5 performer in KU history in the 400-meter dash by finishing first in the open section with a time of 53.67 seconds.
• Senior Courtney Coppinger moved into No. 7 on the Kansas all-time performers list in the 1,500-meter run by posting a fourth-place time in the premiere section at 4:22.89.
• Freshman Lea Riedel moved from No. 8 into a tie for No. 7 on the KU all-time list by taking fifth in the open section of the women’s shot put. Riedel posted a throw of 14.60 meters (47-10.75 ft.) to improve her personal best by four centimeters (1.5 inches). Her mark ties Jennifer Foster’s throw set at the Kansas Relays in 2001.
The Jayhawks will enjoy a weekend off from competition and will use the time to gear up for the 91st Kansas Relays presented by RCB Bank at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas, April 18-21. Tickets for the Kansas Relays are available online at KUTickets.com.
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