Jayhawks set for pre-conference tune-ups
|Feb. 15, 2019|
|Randal Tyson Track Center|
|SEC Network+ (5:30 p.m.)|
|ALEX WILSON INVITATIONAL|
|Feb. 16, 2019|
|South Bend, Ind.|
|Loftus Sports Center|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field will send a select group of student-athletes to one of two pre-conference tune-up meets this weekend in hopes of posting qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in March.
A small group of 24 athletes will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Arkansas Qualifier on Friday, February 15 at the Randal Tyson Track Center, and an even smaller group of relay teams and 800 runners will compete at the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday, February 16.
FOLLOWING THE ARKANSAS QUALIFIER
Kansas has athletes entered in 15 different events at the Arkansas Qualifier and the Jayhawk action is scheduled to get started at 2:15 p.m. and wrap up by 7:15 p.m.
A live broadcast of the meet will be available on the SEC Network+ via WatchESPN.com starting at 5:30 p.m. CST. Access to the live stream is available to fans with a qualifying cable plan or with a subscription to ESPN+.
Live results of the Arkansas Qualifier will be available at FlashResults.com.
FOLLOWING THE ALEX WILSON INVITATIONAL
The Jayhawks are sending two relay teams and two 800-meter runners to the Alex Wilson Invitational at Loftus Sports Center on Saturday. In the last two years, the Kansas women’s distance medley relay team has broken the school record at the same meet, and will hope to do so again this weekend. Kansas also has the women’s 4×400-meter relay team entered in the meet in hopes of posting a qualifying time for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
No live stream of the meet is available, but fans can follow the action through live results at EnduranceRaceTiming.com. The women’s DMR is set for 10:40 a.m. CST, the two women’s 800-meter runner will compete at 12:50 p.m. CST and the women’s 4×400 relay is slated to begin at 2:20 p.m. CST.
KANSAS MEN NO. 19, JAYHAWK WOMEN NO. 28
The Kansas men remained in the top-25 of the USTFCCCA in the week four rankings, coming in at No. 19. The Jayhawk women fell out of the top-25 to No. 28. The Kansas men have been in the top-25 all season, while the KU women broke the top-25 for the first time in the week three ratings. In the preseason rankings, the Jayhawk men came in at No. 9, but fell to No. 11 in the week one ratings. The No. 19 ranking is the lowest the Kansas men have been ranked this season, also ranking 19 in week two.
LOKEDI’S WILD FRIDAY
Sharon Lokedi was scheduled to run at the 2019 Millrose Games on Saturday, February 9, but after running a five-mile base run Friday morning, she found out her flight to New York was canceled. After some time debating, the Kansas coaches decided to forego her trip to New York, not wanting to risk her not getting to race at all with flights being canceled due to weather. With the decision, Lokedi was driven 3.5 hours to Ames, Iowa that night to compete in the 3,000 meters at the ISU Classic. Despite having run five miles that morning and riding in a car for so long, Lokedi was still able to record the No. 3 time in program history in the event that night.
HOPPEL OFF TO FAMILIAR START
In 2018, Bryce Hoppel kicked off his indoor season with wins in both the one-mile run and the 800-meter run at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular, and went on to win five of the first six individual races he competed in. The only race he didn’t win in that six-race stretch was the prelims of the 800-meter run at the Big 12 Indoor Championship – which he then went on to win the conference title in the event. This season, Hoppel also started the season with wins in the 800 meters and mile at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular and went on to win the 800 at the Texas Tech Open. He kept the streak alive with a win in the in 800 at the ISU Classic, and will try to defend his indoor conference title at the Big 12 Championship, February 22-23 in Lubbock, Texas.
MEN’S VAULTERS CHASING HISTORY
Associate head coach Tom Hays has high expectations for his group of men’s pole vaulters this season. Hays thinks his squad has potential to make history and be the first team to have four vaulters clear 5.60 meters (18-4.5 ft.). So far this season two of vaulters have reached that mark. Hussain Al Hizam cleared 5.61 meters (18-4.75 ft.) at the Texas Tech Open for his season best and freshman Zach Bradford cleared 5.36 meters (18-5.5 ft.) at the Tyson Invitational. Kyle Rogers has jumped 5.50 meters (18-0.5 ft.) this year and Paulo Benavides holds an indoor best of 5.47 meters (17-11.25 ft.).
At the ISU Classic, senior Marleena Eubanks recorded the third-fastest time in KU women’s history in the 800 meters, clocking in at 2:06.01, making her the No. 2 performer in program annals.
FRESHMAN GOT UPS
Freshman Rylee Anderson is quickly moving up the Kansas women’s high jump charts. Anderson was undefeated through her first four collegiate meets, but suffered her first defeat at the Tyson Invitational. The “loss” was anything but a loss for the rookie, though, as she recorded the same mark as the winner, which happened to be a personal-best on her way to a second-place finish in the invitational section of the event. Anderson cleared 1.80 meters (5-10.75 ft.) to become the No. 4 performer in KU women’s history and the height is No. 9 on the all-time performers list at Kansas. The Longmont, Colorado native is inching closer to the KU women’s freshman record, set by Ann O’Connor in 1985, of 1.82 meters (5-11.5 ft.) at the NCAA Championships.
DUDAREV NAMED BIG 12 CO-MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Kansas redshirt sophomore Gleb Dudarev was named Big 12 Co-Men’s Athlete of the Week on February 6. The weekly honor marks the fifth of Dudarev’s career and comes after his season debut at the Texas Tech Open in which he won the weight throw with a mark of 23.08 meters (75-8.75 ft.). The throw is currently the No. 4 mark in the NCAA this season and No. 4 on the KU all-time performance list.
WILLIS CLIMBING VAULT CHARTS
Junior Andrea Willis continues to climb the Kansas all-time charts in the women’s pole vault. The Colorado Springs, Colorado product moved up to No. 3 on the KU all-time performers list and notched the fifth-best mark in program history with a clearance of 4.37 meters (14-4 ft.) in a win at the Texas Tech Open. Willis needs to add just 3.25 inches to her vault to move into a tie with Kansas alum Natalia Bartnovskaya for the school record of 4.45 meters (14-7.25 ft.).
JAYHAWKS IN NATION’S TOP-25
Nine Jayhawks currently rank in the nation’s top-25 of their respective events. For the Kansas men, Zach Bradford and Hussain Al Hizam rank No. 6 and 8, respectively in the pole vault, Bryce Hoppel holds the No. 11 time in the 800 meters and Gleb Dudrev has the No. 4 mark in the weight throw.
Five Kansas women hold top-25 marks, with Sharon Lokedi having top-15 times in both the 5,000 meters (No. 3) and the 3,000 meters (No. 15). Honour Finley ranks No. 21 in the 400 meters, Marleena Eubanks is No. 15 in the 800 meters, Rylee Anderson is No. 12 in the high jump and Andrea Willis is No. 9 in the pole vault.
PAIR OF VAULTERS BREAK ANSCHUTZ PAVILION RECORD
Senior Hussain Al Hizam and freshman Zach Bradford broke the Anschutz Sports Pavilion facility record in the men’s pole vault at the Jayhawk Classic on January 26. Al Hizam and Bradford cleared 5.58 meters (18-3.75 ft.), bettering the previous record of 5.57 meters (18-3.25 ft.) set by Jake Albright in December of 2017.
KANSAS WOMEN POST RECORD-SETTING SEMESTER IN THE CLASSROOM
The Kansas women’s track & field team were one of four KU teams to record a team-best semester in the classroom, leading to a department-record 3.11 all-sports combined GPA in the Fall 2018 semester. The KU women’s track & field team recorded a program-best 4.42 GPA for the Fall semester. The Kansas men’s team was able to notch a 2.91 GPA.
LOKEDI SHATTERS SCHOOL RECORD, RECORDS NO. 6 MARK IN NCAA HISTORY
Kansas senior Sharon Lokedi got off to a hot start in her final season competing for the Jayhawks. In her first and only 5,000-meter race so far this indoor season, Lokedi shattered her own school record in the 5,000-meter run at the Boston University/Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener in Boston, Massachusetts on December 1. The Eldoret, Kenya native was the third-place finisher in the race, but clocked in at 15:15.47, which proved to be the No. 6 all-time mark in NCAA history. Her time proved to be nearly 25 seconds faster than her previous school record of 15:39.05, set last indoor season at the same meet. The raced boasted four of the top-seven all-time marks in NCAA history, with New Mexico’s Ednah Kurgat recording the No. 3 all-time mark of 15:14.78, UNM’s Weini Kelati posting the No. 5 time (15:15.24) and Boise State’s Allie Ostrander notching the No. 7 mark in NCAA history (15:16.38).
A total of 31 new student-athletes are currently on the Kansas track & field rosters, including 20 new faces on the men’s team and 11 on the women’s squad.
REDWINE SIGNS NO. 3 MEN’S CLASS
According to Track & Field News, 19th-year head coach Stanley Redwine’s 2018 KU men’s recruiting class is the No. 3 signing class is the nation. Coming in behind Georgia and Texas A&M, the Jayhawks made the top-5 for the first time ever.
Highlighting the recruiting class is Zach Bradford, a pole vaulter out of Bloomington, Illinois, who represented the USA at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, where he earned a silver medal. Bradford posted the No. 8 all-time high school pole vault mark, clearing 18-2.5 ft. his senior season.
Also highlighting the signing class are Treyvon Ferguson, a triple jumper hailing from Hershey, Pennsylvania and Patrick Larrison, a thrower from Moore, Oklahoma.
The Jayhawks will travel back to Lubbock, Texas for the 2019 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championship, February 22-23 at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.