Kansas earns 6 NCAA Championships bids on day 1 of West Prelim
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Kansas track & field earned six bids to the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 6-9, on Thursday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California, including two entries from junior LaTyria Jefferson.
Jefferson, a native of DeSoto, Texas, earned her first bid for the NCAA Championships in the high jump, posting a top-12 finish by clearing 1.80 meters (5-10.75 ft.) to earn her second-straight trip to Eugene. She also posted a top-12 finish in the women’s long jump to earn a spot at the national championships, finishing with a wind-aided mark of 6.08 meters (19-11.5 ft.). Her mark proved to be the ninth-best of the NCAA West Prelim.
Sophomore Gleb Dudarev was the first Jayhawk to punch his ticket to Eugene, finishing at the top of the list in the men’s hammer throw. Dudarev finished the day with a best mark of 73.09 meters (239-9 ft.), but even his first mark of 70.77 meters (232-2 ft.), which was the worst of his three attempts on the day, would have put him as the top finisher in the event. Dudarev’s next-closest competitor was Cristian Ravar Ladislau of Arkansas State, who posted a best throw of 68.80 meters (225-9 ft.).
A pair of Jayhawks earned trips to Eugene in the men’s pole vault, with junior and 2018 NCAA Indoor National Champion Hussain Al Hizam and senior Nick Meyer finishing in the top-12 in Sacramento. Al Hizam needed to clear just his first height of 5.25 meters (17-2.75 ft.) to book his trip to Eugene for the second-straight year, while Meyer is headed back for his first trip to the NCAA Championships since 2015, also clearing 5.25 meters.
Senior Sharon Lokedi capped the night with a fourth-place finish in the women’s 10,000-meter run, earning her third-straight trip to the NCAA Championships in the event. The Eldoret, Kenya native clocked in at 32:21.55, just 36-hundredths of a second off her school record time set earlier this season.
Two Jayhawks earned spots in the next round of their respective events on Thursday, with junior Caraline Slattery earning a qualifying time in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking in at 58.72 seconds, and sophomore Bryce Hoppel getting an auto-qualifier in the 800-meter run by winning his heat with a time of 1:49.97.
The quarterfinals for the men’s 800-meter run is slated for 6:30 p.m. PDT (8:30 p.m. CDT) and the women’s 400-meter hurdles are scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PDT (9:15 p.m. CDT).
Kansas will have athletes in action beginning at noon PDT (2 p.m. CDT) on Friday, with George Evans, Nicolai Ceban and Brandon Lombardino competing in the men’s discus.
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