Jayhawks fly high on day three of Texas Relays

Bryce Hoppel, Tre Daniels and the KU sprint medley relay team finished 6th in 3:22.28.

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AUSTIN, Texas – Career-bests from a pair of Jayhawk vertical jumpers and some strong relay performances marked another impressive day for the Kansas track & field teams Friday at the 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays presented by Spectrum. Sophomore LaTyria Jefferson took home hardware with a victory in the high jump, while junior Laura Taylor moved up the school’s all-time chart in the pole vault en route to a top-five finish.
The Kansas vertical jumpers were flying high inside Mike A. Myers Stadium Friday as a pair of Jayhawks tallied marks that resulted in edits on the school’s all-time lists. Jefferson returned to her home state of Texas and gave her hometown fans reason to cheer by claiming a victory in the B-Section high jump. Jefferson was perfect through the first three heights of the day before leaping over a new career-best bar of 1.78 meters (5-10). No other competitor could get match Jefferson at that height, giving her the event crown in her first meet of the 2017 outdoor season.
Jefferson’s personal-best outing ranks her sixth on the Jayhawks’ all-time high jump list and is the top mark by a Big 12 high jumper thus far in the outdoor season.
Taylor also notched a new personal record, surpassing her previous best by a centimeter in the pole vault en route to a fourth-place finish in the B-Section of the event. Taylor needed only one attempt to soar over 4.16 meters (13-7¾) and secure the top-five finish in her outdoor opener. The clearance, which moved the Tualatin, Oregon product up among the top-20 of the most recent NCAA pole vault rankings, has only been topped by seven other Jayhawks in school history.
Later in the day, the Kansas men’s sprint medley relay squad clocked a time not seen recently by a Jayhawk SMR squad. The quartet of Jaron Hartley, Ivan Henry, Tre Daniels and Bryce Hoppel completed the race, which consists of two 200-meter legs, a 400-meter leg and an 800-meter leg, in 3:22.60, good enough for a sixth-place finish. The group’s time was the fastest by a KU team in the last 10 years and was just seven seconds shy of the school record in the event, which has stood since 1967.
The KU women also saw a strong outing in the sprint medley. The foursome of Jedah Caldwell, Tianna Valentine, Nicole Montgomery and Whitney Adams managed a fourth-place finish. The Jayhawks got the baton around in 3:56.40, a time that ranks the Jayhawks among the top-10 of the latest collegiate ranks.
The distance medley relays closed out the night for the Kansas squads. The women’s team of Hannah Dimmick, Megan Linder, Dorie Dalzell and Malika Baker tacked on a fourth-place finish by way of their time of 11:36.07.
On the men’s side, the distance medley crew of Daniel Koech, Matt Anyiwo, Bryce Richards and Ethan Donley crossed the finish line in 10:18.03, earning the team an 11th-place finish.
Jayhawks will be busy once again Saturday as they will be in action at the Texas Relays as well as the Emporia State Relays. KU is slated to compete in both the men’s and women’s 4×800-meter relays in Austin, set to start at 10:40 a.m. Action from Emporia is set to begin at 11 a.m. Follow all the Kansas performances throughout Saturday by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack.
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