Jayhawks Head to Manhattan for Big 12 Tune-Up


LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams will journey to the Little Apple this weekend as they take part in the Ward Haylett Invitational in Manhattan, Kansas. The one-day meet, which is slated to begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, will be the Jayhawks’ last chance to prepare for the Big 12 Championship meet next week. Nearly 50 Crimson & Blue-clad athletes are scheduled to compete at the R.V. Christian Track Complex in hopes of upping their status prior to the start of the postseason meets later this month.
As of this week, 15 members of the KU men’s team hold marks that rank in the top-48 of the NCAA’s West Region, which would earn them opportunities to continue their journeys to the national meet by way of the NCAA West Preliminary, May 26-28. Many of athletes in action this week are on the outside of the all-important top-48, and will try to earn marks that can add their names to the qualifying list.
Freshman Ivan Henry and sophomore Tre Daniels are two vying for spots at the West Preliminary in two weeks. Both managed to post 400-meter personal-best efforts at the Jayhawks’ home meets over the last two weekends but will be looking to shave more time off their marks if they want to extend their seasons. Both are entered in the event Saturday, scheduled for 2 p.m.
Kansas has a vast number of pole vaulters that are all well primed for solid month of May. Junior Nick Meyer is coming off back-to-back victories at the Kansas Relays and the Rock Chalk Classic in his two most recent outings. Senior Greg Lupton, junior Jake Albright and freshman Hussain Al Hizam join Meyer also finding themselves sitting inside the top-15 of the West Region. They, along with junior Nick Maestretti and freshman Paulo Benavides, will begin their day Saturday at approximately 12 p.m.
Other KU men hoping for a solid final tune-up before the Big 12 meet next week include junior Nicolai Ceban in the discus (1 p.m.), junior Daniel Koech, sophomore Matt Anyiwo and freshman Bryce Richards in the 800 meters (2:45 p.m.) and senior Jaime Wilson in the 200 meters (3:15 p.m.).
For the Kansas women, 11 Jayhawks boast marks that would earn them trips to the West Prelim in three weeks with several more close to claiming qualifying marks.
On the track, seniors Rhavean Anderson and Jasmine Edwards are hoping to make a strong impression on the KU coaches with impressive outings in the 800 meters. Both are peaking at the right time of the year, as both have notched season-bests in the event over the last two weeks. The Jayhawk duo will toe the start line for half-mile race at 2:35 p.m.
Elsewhere on the track, junior Tianna Valentine is on the outside looking in of the top-48 cutline in the 100 meters, with her time of 11.70 that sits 66th in the West. She’ll try to shave a few hundredths off that time at 2:20 p.m.
Other KU women to watch Saturday are seniors Dasha Tsema and Daina Levy in the discus (1 p.m.), sophomore Laura Taylor in the pole vault (10 a.m.) and freshman LaTyria Jefferson the high jump (10 a.m.).
Kansas will head to Fort Worth, Texas for the Big 12 Outdoor Championships, set to be held May 13-15. The women’s hammer throw will kick off the event 9 a.m., on Thursday, May 13 inside the Lowden Track Complex and will conclude with the 4×400-meter relays at 8:45 p.m., on Sunday, May 15. For updates and results throughout the weekend, log on to KUAthletics.com and follow the meet live via Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack.
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