Jayhawks head to Tempe for Sun Angel Classic
|Sun Angel Classic|
|Sun Angel Stadium|
|Arizona State University|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following a weekend that saw two school records fall in split squad action, the Kansas track & field teams are headed to Tempe, Arizona for the Sun Angel Classic, April 6-7. The meet will take place at Sun Angel Stadium on the Arizona State University campus, with action beginning at 2 p.m. CDT on Friday, and Noon CDT on Saturday.
After utilizing his redshirt season for the 2018 indoor campaign, sophomore Gleb Dudarev will make his first appearance in a Jayhawk uniform since earning a third-place finish and First Team All-America nod in the hammer throw at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships last season.
As a freshman, Dudarev was one of the Jayhawks’ top performers, recording the 10 farthest marks ever achieved by a Kansas athlete in the hammer throw, including the school record mark of 74.20 meters (243-5 ft.) that won him the Big 12 title.
Dudarev’s school record throw is 3.19 meters (10-6 ft.) farther than the next-best performer in Kanas history, Egor Agafonov, who held the school record prior to Dudarev with a mark of 71.01 meters (232-11 ft.).
JEFFERSON DOUBLES UP
Junior LaTyria Jefferson will be competing in two events this weekend, the long jump and high jump, for the first time this outdoor season.
Jefferson opened her season by competing in the long jump at the Arkansas Spring Invitational where she became the No. 9 performer in KU history with a mark of 6.23 meters (20-5.25 ft.), which currently ranks her No. 4 in the West Region and No. 7 in the NCAA.
The DeSoto, Texas native posted a clearance of 1.78 meters (5-10 ft.) in the high jump last weekend at the Texas Relays, which is also a top-10 mark in the West Region at No. 6 and places her No. 12 in the NCAA.
ADAMS OPENS IN TRIPLE JUMP
Senior Barden Adams will make his 2018 outdoor debut in his signature event, the triple jump, at the Sun Angel Classic.
Currently the No. 4 performer in Kansas history, Adams hopes to climb his way up the charts on his quest to return to the NCAA Championships and earn First Team All-America honors for the second-straight year.
Adams will be competing in the triple jump for the first time since finishing eighth at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships, where he hit an indoor personal-best mark of 16.19 meters (53-1.5 ft.) to become the No. 2 indoor performer in KU history.
The West Orange, New Jersey product’s current outdoor PR sits at 16.29 meters (53-5.5 ft.), but he hopes to join the 54-plus foot club, which only one other Jayhawk has been able to do – school record holder Sanya Owolabi, who hit 16.96 meters (55-7.75 ft.) in 1982.
TAYLOR IN SEARCH OF SCHOOL RECORD
Senior Laura Taylor nearly tied the school record in the women’s pole vault at the Texas Relays last weekend, coming up just shy on an attempt at 4.45 meters (14-7.25 ft.), after posting an outdoor PR at 4.35 meters (14-3.25 ft.).
The Tualatin, Oregon product is hoping to hit that mark this weekend when she competes in the premiere section of the women’s vault in Tempe. Taylor currently sits in third in the West Region, and fifth in the NCAA.
AL HIZAM LOOKING FOR TOP SPOT IN THE WEST
Kansas junior and 2018 NCAA indoor national champion Hussain Al Hizam is currently No. 2 in the West Region in the men’s pole vault after tying an outdoor PR in the event at the Texas Relays last weekend. Al Hizam cleared 5.60 meters (18-4.5 ft.) in the men’s university elite section in Austin and will look to better that mark with the warm weather in Tempe.
Al Hizam is currently tied for sixth in the KU record books, but after breaking the indoor school record on his way to the national championship, the Jubail, Saudi Arabia product is hoping to own that title in outdoor as well.
CALDWELL HOPING TO CLIMB UP RECORD BOOKS
Sophomore Jedah Caldwell will be competing in the premiere section of the women’s 200-meter dash this weekend and will be looking to improve on her time that currently places her 32nd in the West Region. Caldwell became the No. 8 performer in the event at the season-opening Arkansas Spring Invitational by clocking in at 23.77 seconds and hopes the forecasted warm weather in Tempe will give her a chance for an even better finish.
CEBAN SLATED FOR SEASON DEBUT
Senior Nicolai Ceban is slated to make his 2018 outdoor debut at this weekend, entered in both the shot put and the discus. Ceban is coming off a Second Team All-America performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he finished 10th in the shot put.
Ceban is currently the No. 4 performer in Kansas history in the shot put with a mark of 20.24m (66-5 ft.) and No. 6 in the discus with a career-best mark of 60.01m (196-10 ft.).
LAST TIME OUT
The Jayhawks saw two school records fall last weekend during split squad action. Senior Sharon Lokedi broke her own school record in the 10,000-meter run at the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, California, clocking in at 32:21.19 – 25 seconds faster than her previous record – to finish fifth overall in a highly-competitive field and notch the No. 3 time in the NCAA this season. Lokedi’s time should easily hold up to qualify her for the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, California, May 24-26, as the top-48 athletes in each event from the region qualify for the meet.
The women’s sprint medley relay team also reeled in a school record, clocking a time of 3:51.17 at the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, edging out the previous record set in 2014 of 3:51.51. Sophomore Jedah Caldwell got the KU women out to a solid lead in the opening 200-meter leg, before senior Zainab Sanni extended the advantage in her 200-meter run. Junior Nicole Montgomery ran the 400-meter leg of the relay where she further extended the lead, so much that junior Marleena Eubanks was never challenged in her 800-meter final leg.
Kansas track & field will have a weekend off before hosting the 91st Kansas Relays Presented by RCB Bank. The historic KU Relays will take place at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas, April 18-21, and will be streamed online via FloTrack.com. Tickets are on sale at KUTickets.com.
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