Jayhawks split for Ames, Fayetteville this weekend

Date February 10-11
Time Fri. – 1 p.m. | Sat. – 11:30 a.m..
Location Fayetteville, Ark.
Stadium Tyson Track Complex
TV SEC Network+
Video ESPN3: Friday | Saturday
Stats FlashResults.com
Notes Schedule
Notes Meet Notes
Date February 10-11
Time Fri. – 11 a.m. | Sat. – 12 p.m.
Location Ames, Iowa
Stadium Lied Recreation Center
Video FloTrack
Stats PTTiming.com
Notes Schedule
Notes Meet Notes
Twitter @KUTrack | #kutrack
Instagram @KUTrack | #kutrack
Facebook /KUTrackandField | #kutack

Notes Meet Notes

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas track & field teams will separate for two different meets this weekend as the squads begin preparation for the Big 12 Champion in two weeks. Athletes will compete at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and at the ISU Classic in Ames, Iowa. Both will be two-day meets for KU, each taking place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11.

  • The Jayhawks will be competing in some familiar venues this weekend when they travel to Fayetteville or Ames for their respective meets. KU has competed at least once inside the Tyson Center, the Lied Center, or both, in each season dating back to 1997.
  • If the indoor season were to end today, eight Jayhawks would qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships set for March 10-11 in College Station, Texas. Kansas has seen at least one athlete earn All-America honors at the indoor meet for 20-consecutive seasons.
  • The Kansas 4×400-meter team, comprised of sophomore Ivan Henry, junior Tre Daniels, senior Strymar Livingston and junior Jaron Hartley is scheduled to be back on the track in Ames just one week removed from rewriting the school record books with their winning time of 3:07.82 last week at the Husker Invitational. The quartet’s performance topped the nearly four-year-old program record set by the Jayhawk team from the 2013 Big 12 Indoor Championship. It also has Kansas up near the top of the national rankings, with the team now sitting 13th on the latest NCAA 4×400-meter chart.
  • Freshman Gleb Dudarev is slated to make his second appearance as a Jayhawk this weekend at the Tyson Invitational. In his first outing, the Belarus native posted a weight throw mark of 23.00 meters (75-5½), a throw that ranks third in the school’s all-time record book and third on the NCAA yearly chart.
  • Junior Nicolai Ceban will also hit the throws ring in Fayetteville this weekend, two weeks removed from a career-outing in the shot put at the Jayhawk Classic. Ceban ranks third on the national shot put chart with his toss of 19.85 meters (65-1½). He will also return to the venue where he posted his season-best throw a year ago when he enters the Tyson Track Complex this weekend.
  • The Kansas pole vault crew currently features four Jayhawks who are within qualifying range of the NCAA Indoor Championships. Senior Jake Albright, junior Nick Meyer and sophomore Paulo Benavides on the men’s side as well as junior Laura Taylor on the women’s side all find their names among the top-16 in the national rankings. All are scheduled to be in action this weekend at the Tyson Invitational.
  • Senior Strymar Livingston will compete in 800 meters for the second time this season when he hits the start line at the ISU Classic. Livingston is one of 11 runners at the DI level to break 1:48 in the event already this year.

Kansas men’s track & field squad held its ground in the latest top-25 rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Monday, with the Jayhawks checking in at No. 16. The ranking marks the third-straight week the Jayhawks find themselves inside the top-25, the program’s longest such streak since the current ranking system began in 2008.
The Jayhawk men’s team currently features eight athletes and a relay squad that rank inside the NCAA’s top-25 in their respective events. The number includes three Jayhawks who have marks that put them inside the top-five in their events, all done with performances over the last three weekends.
Kansas is the highest ranked of the four Big 12 teams that found themselves among this week’s top-25. The Jayhawks were joined by Texas Tech at No. 12, Texas at No. 15 and Oklahoma State at No. 20.
Kansas freshman thrower Gleb Dudarev was named the Big 12’s male athlete of the week after his conference-leading performance in the weight throw at the Jayhawk Classic on Jan. 27. It was the second-straight Big 12 weekly honor earned by a Kansas male and the first for Dudarev in his young KU career.
Dudarev, who hails from Vitebsk, Belarus, jumped onto the collegiate scene with a bang Friday at the Jayhawk Classic, posting one of the nation’s top weight throw marks of 2017. On his final trip into the ring, Dudarev flung the 35-pound implement to a distance of 23.00 meters (75-5½), a mark that topped the rest of the collegiate field by nearly 18 feet. The throw was the third-farthest in program history and moved Dudarev to second on the latest NCAA weight throw rankings. His toss also marked the best weight throw by a Big 12 thrower since 2014.
This year’s Kansas track & field roster includes several athletes who come from some impressive track & field family backgrounds:

  • Senior long jump specialist Sydney Conley is the daughter of Mike Conley, who won a gold medal in the triple jump at the 1992 Olympics while also breaking the world record in the event. Conley still holds the indoor American record in the triple jump (58-3¾). Sydney Conley is also the niece of KU track & field head coach Stanley Redwine.
  • Sophomore pole vaulter Paulo Benavides’ father, Paul, held the Mexican national pole vault record for 12 years.
  • Senior pole vaulter Nick Maestretti’s father, Lane, was two-time competitor in the decathlon at the Olympic Trials and at one time held the American record in the decathlon pole vault.
  • Junior Dorie Dalzell is the daughter of Greg Dalzell, who ran track at KU from 1981-86 and was a member of the Big Eight championship team. Dalzell’s grandfather, Art, also ran track and cross country at KU in 1953 where he was a member of the national championship cross country team.
  • Freshman Denzel Harper’s father, Derek, was a member of the Michigan track team and still holds the school’s indoor long jump record at 7.89 meters (25-10¾).
  • Freshman Ethan Donley’s mother, Julie, competed in the 800 meters at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Within its 2017 men’s and women’s rosters, Kansas returns four All-Americans, including senior long jumper Sydney Conley, who has garnered First Team All-America honors three times. Junior Sharon Lokedi is also back for the women after a breakthrough season in 2016, one which saw her claim Big 12 titles in the indoor 5,000 meters and outdoor 10,000 meters as well as First Team All-America status in both events. The KU duo is included on a women’s team that returns over 80 percent of the scorers who led the squad to fifth and fourth-place finishes at last year’s Big 12 indoor and outdoor meets.
On the men’s side, pole vaulter Jake Albright returns for his final year in the Crimson and Blue looking for his second conference championship in the event and leads perhaps the deepest pole vault group in the nation. Senior Mitch Cooper and junior Nicolai Ceban head up an impressive throws group primed for success in 2017. Cooper is the Big 12’s reigning discus champion and a two-time Second Team All-American, while Ceban will look to improve upon his 15th-place finish in the shot put at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships.
Both the KU men’s and women’s rosters are full of new faces as nearly a third of the teams are made up of newcomers.
The 2017 edition of Kansas track & field once again boasts one of the most talented and deepest pole vault crews in the entire country. Tom Hays’ men’s and women’s crews are comprised of both seasoned veterans and promising underclassmen who are already making national waves early in the 2017 season.
On the men’s side, KU features four vaulters who sit inside the NCAA’s top-25, including seniors Jake Albright, Nick Maestretti, Nick Meyer and sophomore Paulo Benavides, who moved toward the top of the national chart after stellar outings over the last month. Albright finds himself at No. 2 in the nation following his 18-foot clearance in Lexington on Jan. 21. This is a good sign for the men’s vault group that has dominated on the conference and national level over the past decade. Kansas’ male vaulters have claimed first or second team All-America status eight times and have won 11 Big 12 titles since 2007.
This season also looks promising for the Jayhawks’ female vaulters. Junior Laura Taylor and redshirt sophomore Alexis Romero have already worked their way into the top-10 of Kansas’ all-time vault list during their first two years in Lawrence. They are joined by freshman Andrea Willis, who has stormed onto the collegiate scene, already with a pair of event victories and the nation’s No. 24-ranked mark of the 2017 season.
A host of Jayhawks entered the 2017 calendar year in good position to continue to move up Kansas’ all-time indoor record books. Thirty-two Jayhawks (12 men, 20 women) on this year’s roster currently find themselves among the top-10 performers on the school’s all-time charts. Senior Strymar Livingston, senior Hannah Richardson, junior Sharon Lokedi and, most recently, the men’s 4×400-meter relay team are the team’s four active school-record holders as Livingston is KU’s fastest in the 600 yards, Richardson the 3,000-meter record, while Lokedi boasts the school’s top 5,000-meter mark. The Eldoret, Kenya product also finds herself among the top-five in the 3,000 meters, while Livingston ranks third on the school’s 800-meter list.
Senior Jake Albright moved to No. 4 on KU’s indoor pole vault chart after his 5.54 meter (18-2) clearance last week at the McCravy Memorial. Sophomore Paulo Benavides joined his teammate in becoming one of the Jayhawks’ top-10 vaulters indoors with his mark of 5.45 meters (17-10½), sitting him ninth in program history.
Senior Whitney Adams finds herself in the top-six in three different indoor events, which includes the No. 3 times in both the 600 yards and 800 meters. Senior sprinter Zainab Sanni has worked her way into KU’s all-time top-five in both the 60 meters and the 200 meters and is joined by Sydney Conley, who ranks sixth on the 60-meter list as well as fourth on the long jump chart.
The Kansas track & field program will see a major youth resurgence this year, especially on the women’s side. Both teams feature a combined 33 athletes who will don the KU singlet for the first time, which includes nearly a third (16 of the 54) of the athletes currently listed on the women’s team roster. Sixteen newcomers also comprise the 60-person men’s roster.
Several of those newcomers are expected to be in action for Kansas this weekend. For the men Isaiah Cole, Quentin Dancer, Gleb Dudarev, Chris Gleghorn, Denzel Harper, Bryce Hoppel, Cody Johnson and Chase Pennewell are scheduled to suit up in the Crimson and Blue. The women’s team will see Chloe Akin-Otiko, Jedah Caldwell, Rachel Clowers, Callie Hicks and Andrea Willis are all competing for the Jayhawks this weekend.
Head coach Stanley Redwine has taken Kansas track & field to a level it hasn’t seen in quite some time during his first 16 years at the helm. Over Redwine’s tenure, he has seen 110 indoor and outdoor Big 12 Champions, 156 First Team All-Americans and 15 NCAA Champions come through his program at KU.
Redwine’s teams have also collected a combined seven top-10 NCAA team finishes, including coaching the 2013 women’s team to the program’s first National Championship at the NCAA outdoor meet.
The 31-year indoor home facility for the Kansas track & field team, Anschutz Pavilion, has hosted dozens of collegiate and high school meets since 1984. In August of 2011, the facility got a major facelift when a new six-lane track (eight lanes on the sprint straightaway) was installed, which replaced the original track installed in 1984.
Both the men’s and women’s teams in 2017 will feature a large batch of home-grown talent as the majority of the athletes on each roster hail from the Sunflower State. Twenty-six KU men and 23 Jayhawk women call Kansas home, with the next-most prolific state, Texas, boasting a combined 13 natives.
Kansas also has a handful of international athletes. On the men’s side, senior thrower Mitch Cooper hails from Queensland, Australia, senior Daniel Koech (Kenya), junior Nicolai Ceban (Moldova), sophomore Hussain Al Hizam (Saudi Arabia) and Ivan Henry (Jamaica) welcome in international freshman Gleb Dudarev (Belarus). For the women, Sharon Lokedi has continued the KU tradition of bringing in some of the top international talent in the NCAA. The junior distance specialist Sharon Lokedi calls Eldoret, Kenya home.
Rock Chalk Park, the home of Kansas track & field, will play host to the 2017 USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships later this summer. The meet, which will be held in Lawrence July 23-30, 2017, will welcome the nation’s top athletes between the ages 7-18.
USA Track & Field youth chairs selected Lawrence over Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 5, 2015 at their convention in Houston. The bid for the event was made in conjunction with eXplore Lawrence, the city’s tourism bureau. Kansas athletics director Sheahon Zenger, associate athletic director Doug Banks and head coach Stanley Redwine made a special trip to Houston to assist in the presentation made by Sanner of eXplore Lawrence. Rock Chalk Park opened in the spring of 2014 and has played host to the Kansas Relays three times, one of the largest and longest-running high school and collegiate meets in the Midwest, and is set to be the site of Big 12 Outdoor Championship in May of 2017. The Junior Olympics will be the first USATF event held at Jayhawks’ three-year-old facility.
Kansas will get one final tune-up before the Big 12 Indoor Championship when select Jayhawks will head to South Bend, Indiana for the Alex Wilson Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 18. Action from the Loftus Sports Center will kick off at 10 a.m. (CT) with the 60-meter hurdles and will conclude at 2:55 p.m. (CT) with the 4×400-meter relay. Get live updates and results from the Jayhawks’ performances by following on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack.
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