Jayhawks finish strong at Tyson Invite, ISU Classic

RESULTS: Tyson Inv | ISU Classic

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Victories from the Jayhawk men’s 4×400-meter relay and junior shot putter Nicolai Ceban set the tone for an impressive Saturday for the Kansas track & field teams at the Tyson Invitational and the ISU Classic in Ames, Iowa. KU athletes ended the meets with 10 top-three finishes and a handful of marks that put them near the top of the conference standings with the Big 12 Championship meet just two weeks away.
For the second-straight week, the Jayhawk men’s 4×400-meter relay turned in one of the best times in school history on its way to an event victory Saturday inside the Lied Recreation Center in Ames. Just seven days removed from breaking the school record at the Husker Invitational, the team of Ivan Henry, Tre Daniels, Jaron Hartley and Strymar Livingston came together for another stellar clocking that earned them hardware at meet’s end.
The race came down to the Jayhawks and the team from Illinois, but it was the anchor, Livingston, who managed to hold off a late charge from the Illinis to secure the KU victory. He broke the tape in 3:08.18 and out-leaned Illinois by .45 seconds.
 Strymar LivingstonThough Kansas’ winning time was just shy of its school record mark from the week earlier, the foursome’s performance still sits as the third-fastest on the program’s all-time 4×400-meter list. The Jayhawks currently find themselves fifth on the Big 12’s yearly list.
* Nicolai Ceban successfully defended his Tyson Invitational shot put title with his season winning effort in as many outings this season. The junior out of Moldova saved his best for last when he unwound for a throw that measured 19.18 meters (62-11¼) on his last attempt of the day. The heave earned him the win by nearly four feet over the nearest competitor. With only two competitions under his belt in 2017, Ceban is the owner of the eight best throws by a Big 12 thrower this season.
* Strymar Livingston added another time to the school’s all-time top-10 800-meter chart with another strong outing in the event at the ISU Classic. Running in a field that would rival some NCAA Championship competitions, the senior finished his half mile in 1:49.12, the second-fastest time of his KU career. The performance also sits fourth on KU’s all-time 800-meter list, a top-10 that now features four of Livingston’s times.
* Junior Barden Adams added another career-best outing as he went up against elite competition in the invitational section of the men’s triple jump at the Tyson Invitational. On his sixth and final sprint down the runway, Adams hopped, skipped and jumped to a mark of 16.01 meters (52-6½), a mark that surpassed his previous best by half of an inch. The mark earned Adams a sixth-place finish in the event and moved him to 10th on the latest NCAA triple jump chart. His jump also ranks as the eighth-longest in the program’s history.
* The women’s 4×400-meter relay squad closed out the Tyson Invitational on a strong note for the Jayhawks after they slid up the national rankings with their best clocking of 2017. The squad of Adriana Newell, Mariah Kuykendoll, Nicole Montgomery and Whitney Adams shaved almost two seconds off their previous season-best posted a week ago, passing the baton around in 3:36.61 which was good enough for seventh place. The quartet’s time marked the ninth fastest in program history and the fastest by a Kansas 4×400-meter relay since 2013.
* Jedah Caldwell took down her own week-old freshman record en route to a sixth-place finish in the Olympic Development section of the 200 meters on the oval inside the Tyson Track Center. The first-year Jayhawk finished her lap in 23.62 which shaved .07 seconds off her previous personal best. Her time moved her to fourth on the school’s all-time indoor 200-meter list and has her ranked third in the latest Big 12 performance list.
* Before their legs in the 4×400-meter relay in Ames, junior Tre Daniels and sophomore Ivan Henry both tallied indoor personal bests in the open 400 meters. Daniels finished his quarter-mile in 47.34, with Henry not far behind in 47.39. The times earned the Jayhawks fifth and sixth-place finishes, respectively, and has them among the top-10 of the conference rankings.
* Junior Ezekiel Welch tallied his second triple jump win of the year with a victorious outing in the event in Ames. Welch finished atop the podium by way of his second-attempt mark of 15.14 meters (49-8¼), his best indoor triple jump as a Jayhawk.
* Hannah Dimmick dipped below the 2:10-mark in the indoor 800 meters for the first time in her KU career, posting a time of 2:09.97 and a 21stplace finish in the event at the ISU Classic. Her time, which has only been topped by six other Jayhawk females in KU’s history, has Dimmick in the top-15 of the latest Big 12 rankings.
* Sophomore Alexis Romero turned in a career outing in the collegiate section of the women’s pole vault to start the day in Fayetteville. Romero needed all three of her attempts but managed to slide over the bar that measured 4.15 meters (13-7¼) on her third trip down the runway. The career-best vault went on to earn her a fifth-place finish in the event and moved her into the top-20 of the latest NCAA rankings. Romero also moved into a tie with fellow Jayhawk Laura Taylor for fifth on Kansas’ all-time indoor pole vault chart.
* A pair of underclassmen posted noteworthy marks in the mile at the ISU Classic. Freshman Ethan Donley and sophomore Bryce Richards each tallied top-15 finishes in the field that included some of the top mile runners in the nation. Donley went under the 4:10-mark for the first time in his young KU career, clocking in at 4:09.48, good enough for 11th. Richards wasn’t far behind after he crossed the finish in 4:10.34 and finished 13th overall. Both times have Donley and Richards among the top-10 of the most recent Big 12 mile ranks.
Kansas will get one final tune-up before the Big 12 Indoor Championship when select Jayhawks will head to South Bend, Indiana for the Alex Wilson Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 18. Action from the Loftus Sports Center will kick off at 10 a.m. (CT) with the 60-meter hurdles and will conclude at 2:55 p.m. (CT) with the 4×400-meter relay. Get live updates and results from the Jayhawks’ performances by following on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack.
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