|NCAA Outdoor Championships
Notes Meet Notes
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The top-25 ranked Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams will be traveling to Eugene, Oregon this week for the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Jayhawks will have a total of 17 entries in action at this week’s meet, which will compete against the nation’s best at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, June 7-10.
- This weekend, the Jayhawks will travel to Oregon’s Hayward Field, a venue Kansas will be competing in for the eighth-straight year and is slated to host each of the next four NCAA Outdoor Championship meets.
- This week, the Kansas men checked in at No. 6 in the latest NCAA rankings. That marks the highest the Jayhawks have been ranked in the program’s history dating back to 2008 when the current ranking format began.
- The Jayhawk men will look to claim their 21st top-10 team finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and their first since 2010. A top-five finish would be the program’s 12th and its first since 1975. Kansas won three team titles: in 1959, 1960 and 1970.
- A top-eight finish by senior Mitch Cooper or junior Nicolai Ceban in the discus this week would mark the fourth time in eight years a KU male has garnered First Team All-America honors in the event.
- A victory for Cooper or Ceban in the discus would mark the third NCAA title won by a Jayhawk in the discus. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Al Oerter claimed back-to-back NCAA titles in the event in 1957 and 1958.
- Freshman Gleb Dudarev enters the week as the NCAA’s top-seeded hammer thrower. A victory in the event would make him just the sixth freshman over the last 40 years to win a national championship in the event and the first freshman in program history to claim an NCAA title in any event.
- Kansas will feature a 4×400-meter relay team at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on either or both the men’s and women’s sides for the sixth time in the last seven years.
- Senior Sydney Conley enters the week as the top seed in the long jump. A top-eight finish would mark the third time in her career to claim First Team All-America status in the outdoor event and would make her just the fifth Kansas female to achieve that feat in a single event.
- Junior Sharon Lokedi ran to a sixth-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Championships a year ago. A top-eight finish in the event at this week’s meet would make her the 15th Kansas female to claim First Team All-America status multiple times in a single event.
- Now in his 16th year as Kansas’ head coach, Stanley Redwine, is seeing an average of nearly 10 athletes per season earn First Team All-America distinctions.
KU MEN AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Not many collegiate programs have seen more success at the national championships than Kansas has over its 116 years in existence. The Jayhawk men have captured three NCAA Outdoor titles (1959, 1960 and 1970) and have finished in the top 10 in the team standings on 18 occasions, including a seventh-place finish in 2010.
Kansas men have walked away with individual NCAA outdoor titles 36 times with the most recent being Michael Stigler’s 2015 400-meter hurdle title. A total of 154 outdoor All-Americans have donned the Crimson and Blue, with 33 of those coming under head coach Stanley Redwine.
KU WOMEN AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Kansas is just four years removed from its 2013 NCAA Championship, which was the first in the women’s program’s history and added to a successful track record at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the KU women. The program has tallied eight top-25 finishes at the national meet in its 40-year history, including four in the last nine years.
The KU women have seen 59 of its athletes achieve All-America status at the NCAA meet, including 32 first-team AAs in the last five seasons. Former multi-event specialist Lindsay Vollmer was the first KU female to claim an individual national title, winning the heptathlon championship in 2013. The Jayhawks have had several close to individual outdoor titles, boasting six who have notched runner-up finishes in their respective events at the National Championships.
WELCOME BACK TO HAYWARD FIELD
Eugene, Oregon may be nearly 2,000 miles from Lawrence but the members of KU’s track & field team are very familiar with historic Hayward Field. A Kansas contingent has made the trip to Oregon for at least one meet each of the last eight years. Over the last seven years the venue, known by many as “Track Town USA”, has played host to five NCAA Championship meets, an NCAA West Preliminary meet and two U.S. Olympic Trials.
Hayward Field is slated to host each of the next four NCAA Outdoor Championships. Track Town USA was also recently selected to host the 2021 IAAF World Championships and is scheduled to begin a large renovation project this summer that will expand its seating to 30,000 as well as add a host of new amenities by the summer of 2018.
REDWINE, KOKHANOVSKY EARN REGIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS
Kansas track & field head coach Stanley Redwine, along with assistant coach Andy Kokhanovsky, took home Midwest Regional awards for the outdoor track season it was announced Sunday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Redwine was named the region’s men’s head coach of the year, while Kokhanovsky claimed the Midwest’s men’s assistant coach of the year award.
Redwine, now in his 17th year at the helm of the Jayhawks, saw his men’s squad claim the runner-up finish at the Big 12 Championship for the second-straight season, scoring a program record 143 points. His team boasts nine entries into Eugene, six of which rank among the top-10 in their respective events. In addition, he personally mentored senior Strymar Livingston to conference title in the 800 meters as well as a bid to the NCAA semifinals. The regional award is the fourth for Redwine and the second this year after he also took home the Midwest’s Men’s Head Coach of the Year award for the indoor season.
Kokhanovsky, now in his 12th season as the throws coach for the Jayhawks, saw his throwers score 47 points at the Big 12 Championships, including league titles by freshman and NCAA-leader Gleb Dudarev in the hammer throw and Mitch Cooper in the discus, who set a league meet record. He also mentored junior Nicolai Ceban to NCAA qualification in both the shot put and discus. The Jayhawks have four throws entries into the national finals this week in Oregon.
LOKEDI NAMED BIG 12 OUTDOOR PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Kansas junior Sharon Lokedi was named the Big 12 Outstanding Female Performer of the Year it was announced by the league office on May 18. The honor marked the first yearly conference award of Lokedi and the third Outstanding Performer honor claimed by a Jayhawk after Paris Daniels garnered the award in 2013 and Candace Mason did so in 1998.
At the Big 12 Championship, Lokedi ran to victory in both the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters, making her just the seventh female in the league’s history to win both events at a single meet. Lokedi was her team’s high-point scorer, recording 20 of the Jayhawks’ 84 points. The 20-point effort marked the third-most ever posted by a Jayhawk female at a Big 12 meet.
During the outdoor season, Lokedi posted times in both the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters that ranked her among the top-35 in the NCAA in both events. At the Cardinal Classic on April 21, she broke the Kansas 5,000-meter record in a time of 16:00.60, marking the third school record she has claimed in her three-year Jayhawk career. Lokedi opened her year with a 33:37.01 clocking in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational, the third-fastest 10K in school history and the No. 14 time in the NCAA DI ranks this year.
KANSAS MEN RANKED AT NO. 6 HEADING INTO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Both of Kansas track & field’s men’s and women’s teams will find themselves ranked among the nation’s top-25 entering next week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships after the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its pre-championship computer rankings Tuesday. The Jayhawk men continued their rise on the national list, jumping four spots to No. 6, the highest standing in program history, while the Kansas women entered the top-25 for the first time this season, checking in at No. 22.
Last week, the Kansas men’s squad saw nine entries advance out of the West Preliminary to compete at the NCAA Outdoor meet in Eugene, Oregon June 7-10. Six of those entries are ranked among the top-10 in their respective events, which includes freshman Gleb Dudarev who still holds the nation’s best mark in the hammer throw. The Jayhawks also feature senior Mitch Cooper, the NCAA’s No. 2-ranked discus thrower, senior Jake Albright and sophomore Hussain Al Hizam, both of whom sit at fourth on the NCAA DI pole vault chart, and junior Nicolai Ceban, whose personal-record toss of 20.24 meters (66-5) in Austin last week has him at No. 5 among DI shot putters heading to Eugene.
The KU women were listed among the top-25 teams for the first time this year after moving up 10 spots to No. 22. The Jayhawks will see eight entries at the national championships next week, including senior Sydney Conley, who is the NCAA’s second-ranked long jumper.
AL HIZAM CLAIMS GOLD AT ISLAMIC SOLIDARITY GAMES
Less than a week after claiming a gold medal at the Big 12 Outdoor Championship, Kansas sophomore pole vaulter Hussain Al Hizam snared another gold, this time halfway around the world at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games Saturday inside Baku Olympic Stadium.
Al Hizam, who currently is ranked fifth among NCAA collegians this year, took advantage of the Jayhawks’ weekend off to travel and compete for his native Saudi Arabia at the fourth installment of the Islamic Solidarity Games, which brings together 6,000 athletes from 56 countries that are members of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation for 10 days of multi-sport competition.
In the pole vault Saturday, Al Hizam quickly vaulted his name to the top of the six-person field, with first-attempt clearances on each of his first three heights. He then needed only five vaults to clear the next three bars, which included a second attempt clearance on what the height that no other athlete could match at 5.35 meters (17-6½). With the gold already in tow, Al Hizam’s day was not finishes as he notched one more clearance, a height of 5.55 meters (18-2½). That vault was just two inches shy of his personal and Saudi Arabian record vault posted earlier this year at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona.
KU LEADS BIG 12 WITH 44 ACADEMIC HONOREES
For the second-straight year, the Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams boasted the most academic honorees in the conference as a total of 44 Kansas student-athletes were named to the 2017 Academic All-Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Teams, the league office announced Tuesday. Both men’s and women’s teams led their respective genders, with the KU women boasting a team-record 26 first and second team selections, and the men adding 18 honorees.
Twenty-three Jayhawk women were placed on the first team, led by juniors Hannah Dimmick and Laura Taylor as well as sophomore Emily Downey, who were three of 18 women to claim spots on the league’s academic list with a perfect 4.0 GPA, Dimmick doing so for the third-straight year. On the men’s side, 13 KU student-athletes earned a spot on the first team, which included sophomore Hussain Al Hizam, who achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA en route to his first Academic All-Big 12 selection.
CONLEY COLLECTS SEASON’S FINAL BIG 12 ATHLETE OF THE WEEK AWARD
A league-leading long jump mark last weekend helped senior Sydney Conley collect the Big 12 Track & Field Athlete of the Week award it was announced by the conference Wednesday. The honor was the second of Conley’s career and the first by a Jayhawk female this season.
Conley turned in a pair of career-best performances which led to two victories Saturday at the Ward Haylett Invitational in Manhattan, Kansas. On her sixth and final trip down the runway in the long jump, Conley soared to a mark of 6.62 meters (21-8¾) to not only secure the win, but also insert her name at No. 5 on the most recent NCAA DI long jump rankings and to first in the Big 12.
She returned to the track just an hour later and snared her second gold medal of the day. The senior sprinted across the finish line in 11.49 to win the 100 meters, the fastest non-wind-aided time of her KU career and the seventh-fastest in the Big 12 this season.
KANSAS TO HOST NCAA TRACK, CROSS COUNTRY REGIONALS IN 2020
The University of Kansas’ state-of-the-art track facility at Rock Chalk Park has once again picked up a major event as it will play host to the 2020 NCAA West Preliminary meet the NCAA announced Tuesday. Kansas is also slated to host the 2020 NCAA Cross Country Midwest Regional, which is to be held at the Jayhawks’ Rim Rock Farm Course.
Rock Chalk Park, which opened in April of 2014, will see Kansas host its second West Preliminary May 28-30, 2020. The regional meet is the considered the first round of the NCAA Championships and is one of two preliminary meets that will be held two weeks prior to the National Championships. The West Region includes every DI track & field program west of the Mississippi River and has produced 13 of the last 16 men’s and women’s national team champions.
At the West Preliminary, the top-48 athletes in each event compete in a bracket-style qualifying format and look to advance through each round. The top-24 athletes in each event and the top-16 relay teams advance to the National Championship meet, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon, in 2020.
Later that year, Kansas will also host its second NCAA Midwest Cross Country Regional at its 42-year-home, Rim Rock Farm. The meet, which is scheduled to be held on Nov. 13, 2020, will feature 30 men’s and women’s cross country teams from across the Midwest vying for spots at the NCAA Championships. The top-two finishing teams, as well as two top individual finishers, will qualify for the national meet to be hosted in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Rim Rock Farm hosted the Midwest Regional in 2015, the NCAA DI and DII Championships in 1998 as well as the Big 12 Championships in 2004 and 2014.
This year’s Kansas track & field roster includes several athletes who come from some impressive track & field family backgrounds:
- Senior long jump specialist Sydney Conley is the daughter of Mike Conley, who won a gold medal in the triple jump at the 1992 Olympics while also breaking the world record in the event. Conley still holds the indoor American record in the triple jump (58-3¾). Sydney Conley is also the niece of KU track & field head coach Stanley Redwine.
- Sophomore pole vaulter Paulo Benavides’ father, Paul, held the Mexican national pole vault record for 12 years.
- Senior pole vaulter Nick Maestretti’s father, Lane, was two-time competitor in the decathlon at the Olympic Trials and at one time held the American record in the decathlon pole vault.
- Junior Dorie Dalzell is the daughter of Greg Dalzell, who ran track at KU from 1981-86 and was a member of the Big Eight championship team. Dalzell’s grandfather, Art, also ran track and cross country at KU in 1953 where he was a member of the national championship cross country team.
- Freshman Denzel Harper’s father, Derek, was a member of the Michigan track team and still holds the school’s indoor long jump record at 7.89 meters (25-10¾).
- Freshman Ethan Donley’s mother, Julie, competed in the 800 meters at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Head coach Stanley Redwine has taken Kansas track & field to a level it hasn’t seen in quite some time during his first 16 years at the helm. Over Redwine’s tenure, he has seen 117 indoor and outdoor Big 12 Champions, 156 First Team All-Americans and 15 NCAA Champions come through his program at KU.
Redwine’s teams have also collected a combined seven top-10 NCAA team finishes, including coaching the 2013 women’s team to the program’s first National Championship at the NCAA outdoor meet.
KANSAS TO HOST 2017 JUNIOR OLYMPICS
Rock Chalk Park, the home of Kansas track & field, will play host to the 2017 USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships later this summer. The meet, which will be held in Lawrence July 23-30, 2017, will welcome the nation’s top athletes between the ages 7-18.
USA Track & Field youth chairs selected Lawrence over Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 5, 2015 at their convention in Houston. The bid for the event was made in conjunction with eXplore Lawrence, the city’s tourism bureau. Kansas athletics director Sheahon Zenger, associate athletic director Doug Banks and head coach Stanley Redwine made a special trip to Houston to assist in the presentation made by Bob Sanner of eXplore Lawrence. Rock Chalk Park opened in the spring of 2014 and has played host to the Kansas Relays three times, one of the largest and longest-running high school and collegiate meets in the Midwest, and is set to be the site of Big 12 Outdoor Championship in May of 2017. The Junior Olympics will be the first USATF event held at Jayhawks’ three-year-old facility.
With the NCAA season complete several Jayhawks will turn their attention national and Championship meets for their various countries being held throughout the months of June and July. The U.S. Senior and Junior Championships are set to be held in Sacramento, California, June 22-25. Keep track of all the KU performances as the Jayhawks go up against their nation’s best by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on Twitter at @KUTrack.
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