Jayhawks sending strong contingent to NCAA Indoor Championships
|NCAA Indoor Championships|
|College Station, Texas|
|Gilliam Indoor Stadium|
|Texas A&M University|
|Live Stream (ESPN3)|
|Men’s Start Lists|
|Women’s Start Lists|
|Friday, March 9|
|5:30 p.m.||Men’s Pole Vault|
|7:15 p.m.||Men’s 800 Meters (Prelims)|
|7:20 p.m.||Men’s Shot Put|
|8:25 p.m.||Women’s 5,000 Meters|
|9 p.m.||Women’s DMR|
|Saturday, March 10|
|4 p.m.||Women’s Pole Vault|
|5 p.m.||Men’s Triple Jump|
|5:30 p.m.||Men’s 800 Meters|
|6:25 p.m.||Women’s 3,000 Meters|
|6:40 p.m.||Men’s 4×400 Relay|
|6:55 p.m.||Women’s 4×400 Relay|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams will be represented in a total of 10 events at the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in College Station, Texas, March 9-10.
Live results from the national championship meet will be available through NCAA.com and a live stream of the event will be broadcast on ESPN3 via WatchESPN.com. A re-air of the championships will be available on Sunday, March 11, at 6 p.m. CST on ESPN2.
LAST YEAR AT THE NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
At the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships, the Kansas men’s team finished 27th overall while the women’s team finished 52nd.
The Kansas men saw six individual performers qualify for last year’s championships, as well as the men’s 4×400-meter relay team.
The Kansas women qualified the distance medley relay team as well as long jumper Sydney Conley.
Barden Adams was Kansas’ highest finisher on either team at last year’s championships, finishing fifth in the triple jump. The women’s distance medley relay team picked up First Team All-America honors with a seventh-place finish.
Joining Adams and the women’s DMR as First Team All-Americans were Nicolai Ceban (shot put) and Gleb Dudarev (weight throw).
KANSAS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
The Kansas men own three indoor team titles (1966, 1969, 1970) and boast 20 indoor national champions, the most recent being Egor Agafonov who won back-to-back indoor shot put titles in 2007 and 2008.
The Kansas women have yet to win an indoor team title, but have finished as the runner-up twice (2012, 2013) and have posted one third place finish (1979).
In the 2012 runner-up finish, the Kansas women saw two national champions in Diamond Dixon (400m) and Andrea Geubelle (triple jump). Geubelle went on to win the triple jump title again in 2013, as well as the long jump crown, and Natalia Bartnovskaya joined her with a championship in the pole vault. The three titles in 2013 were the last for KU women at the indoor championships.
KANSAS WOMEN NO. 24 IN PRE-CHAMPIONSHIP POLL
The Kansas women’s track & field team is ranked No. 24 in the pre-championship U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll, released by the organization on Sunday, March 4.
The No. 24 ranking for the Jayhawk women is one spot lower than last week’s position, with this week’s poll reflecting the entries in the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The Kansas men ranked No. 30 in the most recent USTFCCCA poll and will be represented in five events at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station.
HUSSAIN AL HIZAM – POLE VAULT
Junior Hussain Al Hizam is making his first appearance at the NCAA Indoor Championships and just his second appearance at an NCAA championship event, after finishing third at the 2017 Outdoor Championships in the pole vault.
Al Hizam enters this weekend’s meet as the No. 7-seeded competitor in the event, having cleared an indoor personal record of 5.53 meters (18-1.75 ft.) at the Tyson Invitational (Feb 9-10).
The Jubail, Saudi Arabia product will look to continue a long line of success for Kansas men’s vaulters at the indoor national meet and will try to win the second indoor national title in the event for the Kansas men and earn the 23rd First Team All-America honor.
Last year at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the Jayhawks were represented well in the men’s vault, with three athletes qualifying. Jake Albright, Nick Maestretti and Paulo Benavides finished 11th, 14th and 15th, respectively, to each earn Second Team All-America honors.
BRYCE HOPPEL – 800 METERS
Sophomore Bryce Hoppel will be competing at his first NCAA Indoor Championship, running in the 800 meters. Hoppel will run at 7:15 p.m. CST on March 9 in the preliminary round. If he qualifies for the final, he will run again on March 10 at 5:30 p.m.
The Kansas men have never had an indoor national champion in the 800 meters and have earned just two All-America honors in the 800 meters and 880 yards.
Kansas legend Jim Ryun earned All-America status in the 880-yard run in 1967 and Jeremy Mims, the Kansas indoor record holder in the 800 meters, finished seventh in the race at the 2005 national championships to earn First Team All-America honors.
NICOLAI CEBAN – SHOT PUT
Senior Nicolai Ceban qualified for his third-straight NCAA Indoor Championships in the shot put and hopes to turn in his best national finish in the final indoor meet of his Kansas career. Ceban finished seventh to earn First Team All-America honors last season and turned in a Second Team All-America performance with a 15th-place finish in 2016.
Ceban is the 16th-seeded thrower in the event but has only thrown in three meets this season. He recorded his season-best mark at the Big 12 Championships with a second-place throw of 19.30 meters (63-4 ft.).
The Jayhawk men’s program has three indoor national titles in the shot put, all won by Karl Salb (1969, 1970, 1971), and 14 First Team All-America honors.
SHARON LOKEDI – 3,000 AND 5,000 METERS
After utilizing her redshirt year during the 2017 indoor season, junior Sharon Lokedi didn’t miss a beat, qualifying in two individual events and as a member of the women’s distance medley relay team for the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Lokedi will compete in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs at the national meet and will look to earn her second and third All-America honors, after earning a First Team All-America nod in 2016 by finishing sixth in the 5,000 meters. Lokedi’s All-America honor is the only one in either event in the history of the Kansas women’s program.
The Eldoret, Kenya native is coming off Big 12 titles in both events and has broken the school record in each this season. Her 5,000-meter school record came in her first race of the season at the Boston University Season Opener (Dec. 2). Lokedi clocked a time of 15:39.05 to break her own school record in the event. She later went on to break the 3,000-meter record at the Iowa State Classic (Feb. 9-10), shaving 17 seconds off the previous record with a time of 8:59.69.
Lokedi is seeded No. 6 in the 5,000 meters and No. 7 in the 3,000 at the national championship meet.
WOMEN’S DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY
The Kansas women’s distance medley relay team of Courtney Coppinger, Nicole Montgomery, Hannah Dimmick and Sharon Lokedi qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships as the No. 9-seeded team by breaking the Kansas women’s indoor record in the event at the Alex Wilson Invitational (Feb. 17). The quartet finished in 11:01.19 to break the one-year-old school record.
Three Kansas women’s distance medley relay teams have earned First Team All-America honors previously. The first came in 1996 when Kerri Woolheater, Latanya Holloway, Kristi Kloster and Melissa Swartz finished seventh at the national meet. The highest finish for the Kansas women’s DMR came in 2010, with Rebeka Stowe, Taylor Washington, Cori Christensen and Lauren Bonds finishing sixth. Last year’s DMR team of Whitney Adams, Riley Cooney, Montgomery and Hannah Richardson that held the school record prior to this year’s team, finished seventh at the 2017 Indoor Championships.
LAURA TAYLOR – POLE VAULT
Laura Taylor is chasing the third NCAA Indoor Championship and the ninth First Team All-America honor in the women’s pole vault in Kansas history. Amy Linnen (2005) and Natalia Bartnovskaya (2013) are the only Kansas women to win the title previously.
Taylor enters the meet as the No. 7-seeded competitor in the event and is the only Kansas women’s field athlete to qualify for the national meet. The Tualatin, Oregon native qualified for the championships with a season-best and personal record mark of 4.38 meters (14-4.5 ft.) at the Rod McCravy Memorial (Feb. 3), which made her the No. 2 performer in Kansas women’s indoor history.
BARDEN ADAMS – TRIPLE JUMP
Senior Barden Adams returns to the NCAA Indoor Championships after last season’s fifth place finish in the triple jump. Adams hopes to earn his second First Team Indoor All-America honor and the sixth in Kansas men’s history in the event.
Ranked as the No. 15 athlete in the event, Adams will look to upset the field and win just the second men’s indoor triple jump title in Kansas history, the first coming in 1980 by Sanya Owolabi.
MEN’S 4×400-METER RELAY
Three-fourths of last year’s Second Team All-America Kansas men’s 4×400-meter relay team is back at the NCAA Championships in search of a First Team All-America bid. Tre Daniels, Jaron Hartley and Ivan Henry teamed up with Strymar Livingston last season for an 11th place finish at the indoor nationals and are joined by Isaiah Cole this year on the hunt for more. This year’s squad qualified for nationals with a time of 3:06.76.
WOMEN’S 4×400-METER RELAY
This season marks the first time since 2013 that the Kansas women’s 4×400-meter relay team qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships. The 4×400 team of Honour Finley, Mariah Kuykendoll, Megan Linder and Nicole Montgomery hope to pick up a First Team All-America nod like the 2013 team did by finishing eighth.
This year’s team qualified for the national meet with a time of 3:33.53 at the Alex Wilson Invitational (Feb. 17).
WOMEN’S DMR BREAKS SCHOOL RECORD
For the second time in as many years, the Kansas women’s distance medley relay school record time was broken at the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Indiana. The 2018 DMR squad of Courtney Coppinger, Nicole Montgomery, Hannah Dimmick and Sharon Lokedi clocked a time of 11:01.19 to edge the record set in 2017 by Montgomery, Riley Cooney, Whitney Adams and Hannah Richardson by .66 seconds.
LIVING LEGEND SHARON LOKEDI
Kansas junior Sharon Lokedi has had an illustrious career that includes numerous awards and records, and things haven’t changed in her third indoor season. Lokedi has broken two individual school records this year and been a part of a school record-breaking relay team.
Lokedi utilized her redshirt year last indoor season but showed no signs of rust in her first indoor meet back, breaking her own school record in the 5,000-meter run at the Boston University Season Opener. Her record time of 15:39.05 ranked No. 4 in the NCAA at the time and currently stands as the sixth-fastest time this season.
On top of her record 5,000-meter run, Lokedi broke the school record in the 3,000 meters at the Iowa State Classic, shaving 17 seconds off the previous record by finishing the race in 8:59.69, which currently ranks No. 8 in the NCAA.
To polish off her record-breaking year, Lokedi helped the DMR team clock a 11:01.19 at the Alex Wilson Invitational to break a one-year old school record and record the fifth-fastest time in the NCAA.
At the Big 12 Indoor Championship, Lokedi posted conference titles in both the 5,000 and 3,000 meters, her second and third league indoor crowns in her career.
SEVEN EVENTS, SEVEN VICTORIES
Kansas sophomore Bryce Hoppel has competed in seven individual events this indoor season and has yet to be defeated. Hoppel opened his season at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular with wins in the 800 meters and mile run, before repeating the accomplishment a week later at the Mark Colligan Memorial in the same events.
Hoppel also posted a win in the 800 meters at the Rod McCravy Memorial, and most recently the Midland, Texas product won the 800 meters at the Iowa State Classic, where he clocked the second-fastest time in Kansas men’s indoor history in the event at 1:47.09.
Most recently, Hoppel won the men’s 800-meter title at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, running away from the field and winning by over a second, clocking in at 1:47.20, the third-fastest time recorded in Kansas men’s indoor history.
The Jayhawks will start the 2018 outdoor season on March 24 at the Arkansas Spring Invitational, hosted by the University of Arkansas on March 24. Action is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.