Kansas earns 3 event victories on day 1 of National Relay Championships
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Kansas track & field won three events on the first day of the inaugural National Relay Championships held by the University of Arkansas. Sophomore Bryce Hoppel took the victory in the 800-meter run, senior Nicolai Ceban won the men’s discus and freshman Alexandra Emilianov secured the win in the women’s discus at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
A native of Midland, Texas, Hoppel finished first in the 800 with a time of 1:48.64, which was just 11-hundredths of a second off his personal-best time.
Ceban finished the discus off strong, going into his final attempt of the day in second behind teammate George Evans. The Camenca, Moldova product put together a throw of 55.50 meters (182-1 ft.) to just edge out Evans’ 55.41-meter (182-9 ft.) leading mark for the win.
Emilianov, who ranks No. 2 on the KU all-time performers list in her first season in the Crimson and Blue, easily won the women’s discus, beating second-place Zakiya Rashid of Miami by more than four feet. The Chisinau, Moldova native threw for 54.49 meters (178-9 ft.), with Rashid putting together a best mark of 53.18 meters (174-6 ft.).
Along with the three wins on day one, four Jayhawks were able to move up the KU all-time performance lists, including junior Marleena Eubanks, who became the No. 3 performer in KU history in the 800-meter run.
Eubanks finished third in the race with a time of 2:06.05, which also ranks as the sixth-fastest time to ever be ran by a Jayhawk in the event and is currently the No. 13 time in the NCAA West region this season.
Sophomore Jedah Caldwell jumped from outside the top-10 into the No. 4 position in the KU annals in the 400-meter run, clocking in 53.47 seconds to finish seventh overall.
Caraline Slattery improved her personal-best time in the 400-meter hurdles for the third-straight meet. The sophomore from Lakeville, Minnesota finished in 59.26 seconds to move from No. 7 to No. 6 on the KU all-time performers list.
Fellow Jayhawk hurdler Daria Cook moved up to No. 7 on the KU all-time charts with a 15th-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. Cook finished in 13.81 seconds to improve on her previous-best time of 13.89 seconds.
Kansas will conclude the National Relay Championships on Saturday with Jayhawks competing in nine different field events before a two-hour segment of relays-only action. Kansas will have teams entered in the both the men’s and women’s 4×100, 4×800, distance medley and 4×400 relays. The batons-only action is scheduled to being at 7 p.m. and conclude by 9 p.m., and will be aired live on the SEC Network and streamed online via WatchESPN.com.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.