Jayhawks off to fast start at Texas Relays

Hussain Al Hizam claimed the win Thursday in the B-Section of the men’s pole vault.

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AUSTIN, Texas – A victory from sophomore pole vaulter Hussain Al Hizam and a pair of impressive 800-meter outings from seniors Strymar Livingston and Whitney Adams highlighted the Jayhawks’ Thursday at the 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays presented by Spectrum.
Livingston began his final outdoor season with a bang as he went up against some of the top half-milers in the nation in the invitational section of the 800 meters Thursday evening inside Mike A. Myers Stadium. The Brooklyn, New York native finished his two laps in 1:48.68, good enough for a fifth-place finish. The time moved Livingston already up among the top-15 in the early-season national rankings and is less than a second shy from his personal best in the event.
His time also makes him a near lock to qualify for NCAA post-season competition as every runner who has run faster than 1:49 in the event has never failed to earn a spot in the NCAA West Preliminary meet.
Minutes later, Adams followed her male counterpart’s lead with a stellar showing of her own in the women’s invitational 800 meters. Less than three weeks removed from claiming First Team All-America status as a member of the Jayhawks’ distance medley relay squad, the senior showed little signs of fatigue as she posted one of the school’s fastest 800 meter times. Adams crossed the finish line in 2:06.90 to earn a fifth-place finish and the fastest by a collegiate competitor. The time was just over two seconds slower than Adams’ own school record but ranks her among the top-10 of the latest NCAA yearly rankings.
Her run ranked as the fifth fastest ever posted by a Jayhawk and makes her the owner of five of the nine best outdoor 800-meter times in Kansas history.
Al Hizam also kicked off his outdoor campaign on a high note with a victory and the best outdoor clearance of his young KU career. The sophomore, competing in the B-Section of the event, was one of only two men left standing with the bar moving up to 5.41 meters (17-9). It took him all three attempts but Al Hizam slid over the bar on his third attempt to claim the win, his first as a Jayhawk. The victory marked the second-straight year a Jayhawk has won the B-Section pole vault in Austin after Nick Meyer took home the event crown last season.
The performance also saw him break his own Saudi Arabian national record in the outdoor pole vault. Al Hizam now holds the Saudi national records for both the indoor and outdoor vaults, both of which were broken this year.
The Texas Relays will switch into full gear Friday with a full day of track & field action on tap. The Jayhawks’ day will kick off with preliminary heats of the 100-meter hurdles at 10:15 a.m., and will conclude with the distance medley relays at 7:15 p.m. Longhorn Network will cover the day’s action live beginning at 10:30 a.m.
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