Jayhawks journey to Manhattan for Big 12 tune-up

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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 11 a.m., on Saturday, May 6, will be the Jayhawks’ last chance to prepare for the Big 12 Championship meet next week in Lawrence. 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, 18 members of the No. 16-ranked 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.
Kansas has a vast number of pole vaulters that are all well primed for solid month of May. Sophomore Hussain Al Hizam is coming off back-to-back victories at the Kansas Relays and the Rock Chalk Classic in his two most recent outings. Seniors Jake Albright and Nick Maestretti as well as sophomore Paulo Benavides also find themselves sitting inside the top-15 of the West Region. They, along with senior Dylan Poirier and junior Lucas Shaw, will begin their day Saturday at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Other KU men hoping for a solid final tune-up before the Big 12 meet next week include sophomore Joel Long in the high jump (12 p.m.), senior Daniel Koech, junior Matt Anyiwo and sophomore Bryce Richards in the 800 meters (2:45 p.m.), and juniors Tre Daniels and Jaron Hartley and sophomore Ivan Henry in the 200 meters (3:15 p.m.).
For the Kansas women, 10 Jayhawks boast marks that would earn them trips to the West Prelim in three weeks with several more close to claiming qualifying marks.
Coming off a victory in her first long jump outing of the 2017 outdoor campaign last week, Sydney Conley will is slated to return to the runway this weekend. The senior currently sits at No. 8 in the NCAA and is second among Big 12 long jumpers. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 1:15 p.m.
On the track, sophomore Nicole Montgomery and freshman Jedah Caldwell are hoping to make a strong impression on the KU coaches with impressive outings in the 200 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 at around 3:10 p.m.
Other KU women to watch Saturday are junior Laura Taylor and sophomore Alexis Romero in the pole vault (11 a.m.), junior Hannah Dimmick in the 800 meters (2:40 p.m.) and sophomore LaTyria Jefferson in the high jump (12 p.m.).
The Kansas Track & Field teams will return to Rock Chalk Park to host the 2017 Big 12 Outdoor Championships May 12-14. The Jayhawks will host their first Big 12 meet in the league’s history and their first conference championship since it hosted the Big 8 outdoor meet in 1994. Keep track of all the Jayhawk performances by logging on to KUAthletics.com for complete updates and results and follow through Twitter at @KUTrack.
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