Jayhawks Return Home to Host Rock Chalk Classic
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas men’s and women’s track & field squads are set to return to Lawrence this weekend when they play host to the second annual Rock Chalk Classic on Saturday, April 30. The Jayhawks will welcome in Sunflower State rivals Kansas State and Wichita State as well as squads from Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Oral Roberts and UMKC. Nearly 90 Jayhawks are slated to compete in the final meet before the Big 12 Championships in two weeks.
- This weekend, KU will see nearly 90 of its athletes compete inside its home facility at the second annual Rock Chalk Classic. The Jayhawks feature 33 student-athletes who hail from the state of Kansas and four Lawrence natives who will be in action in front of family and friends this weekend.
- The meet in Lawrence Saturday will act as the Jayhawks’ final tune-up before heading to the Big 12 Outdoor Championships to be held May 13-15 in Fort Worth, Texas.
- If the season were to end today, 27 Jayhawks (15 men, 12 women) and two relays would qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary, which will be hosted at Rock Chalk Park, May 26-28.
- Last week, the Jayhawks hosted the 89th running of the Kansas Relays. Kansas athletes notched victories in 22 events (10 men, 12 women) during the four-day event and finished second on the both the men’s and women’s sides in the scored quadrangular.
- Junior Mitch Cooper turned in the performance of the meet at the Kansas Relays last weekend, winning the discus and rewriting the 46-year-old school record in the process. Cooper hit a mark of 62.56 meters (205’3″) on his sixth and final attempt to top Doug Knop’s previous record of 62.12m (203’10”) from the 1970 Drake Relays.
- The Kansas men currently boast five Jayhawk pole vaulters ranked among the top-50 of the latest NCAA rankings, each of whom have cleared 5.20 meters (17’0¾”) or higher this season. KU is the only school with more than four vaulters sitting inside the top-50 of the national standings.
- Last week, junior Strymar Livingston posted one of the fastest 400-meter clockings in school history when he turned in a quarter-mile time of 46.17. Livingston’s career-best time moved him to seventh on KU’s all-time 400-meter list and made him the second-fastest quarter-miler in the Stanley Redwine era (since 2001).
- Junior Zainab Sanni is coming off a successful outing at the KU Relays where she notching individual wins in the 100 meters (11.36) and the 200 meters (23.57) and adding a leg on the winning 4×400-meter relay (3:41.64).
- Freshman Shaylyn Stallbaumer claimed her second victory of the season in the season, claiming the javelin title at the KU Relays Saturday. She hit a personal best mark of 51.02 meters (167’5″) on her final attempt to move into first. The throw made her just the fourth Jayhawks to surpass the 160-foot mark in the event.
Will cooper be able to post another record Toss?
Junior Mitch Cooper will enter the throws ring at Rock Chalk Park Saturday a week removed from his school record outing in the discus at the Kansas Relays. In fact, four of Cooper’s six attempts during the event rank among the top-10 best marks in school history. Cooper is again set to throw the discus Saturday and will try to make the current school record last only seven days after the previous lasted 46 years. The junior currently sits as the second-ranked thrower in the NCAA, but has his eyes set on attempting to hit the all-important Olympic ‘A’ Standard at 65.00 meters (213’3″). Last week, Cooper improved upon his previous personal best by 11 feet. If he can do that again, he will likely punch his ticket to the Olympics later this summer in Rio. The men’s discus will kick off the day at 11 a.m.
Levy Looking for third Hammer win of 2016
Senior Daina Levy has already proven herself among the top hammer throwers in the nation this season, still holding the third-farthest mark in the collegiate ranks this year and two wins in her first two outings of the year. Levy will try to keep her undefeated season going this Saturday, but will have to go up against a strong field of throwers from Kansas State, Minnesota and Oklahoma State. Some of Levy’s top career throws have come against star-studded fields, much like the once she’ll be up against this weekend. The women’s hammer throw is scheduled to get underway at approximately 3 p.m.
Can Kansas Add to its vast list of vaulters inside the NCAA Top-50?
The Kansas men’s pole vaulters have once again shown they are one of the deepest event groups in the nation, boasting five vaulters inside the top-50 of the latest NCAA rankings, more than any other school. The vault crew will again hit the Rock Chalk Park runway in hopes of upping their national standings with less than two weeks until the start of the post-season meets, none more than senior Casey Bowen. The two-time conference champion has yet to post a clearance this season after injury has gotten his final outdoor season to a slow start, but don’t expect that to last long. Bowen has cleared 17 feet or higher in 15 of his last 19 outings dating back to 2014. The Rock Chalk Classic pole vault is set to begin at 11 a.m.
Livingston set for another Quick Half-Mile
Strymar Livingston is slated to compete in his third 800-meter race of the outdoor season this weekend. The junior has posted sub-1:50 minute clockings in the first two outings, two of the faster times by a Jayhawk in over the last decade. Despite the record-setting runs, Livingston is still up against an incredibly deep collegiate 800-meter field that has already seen 29 athletes break the 1:48 minute mark this year. If Livingston wants to run the half-mile at the NCAA Championships in June, a quick 800-meter clocking may need to come this weekend, busy Big 12 Championship and NCAA Preliminary weekends await him. The men’s 800 meters is set for 1:58 p.m. Saturday.
The Kansas Track & Field teams will take a week off before heading to Ames, Iowa for the Big 12 Outdoor Championships May 13-15. The Jayhawk women will look to finish among the conference’s top-four teams for the fifth-straight year, while the KU men will try to improve upon a fifth-place finish in 2015. 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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