Kansas enjoys successful Friday in Fayetteville, Ames
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –Another seismic wave inducing weight throw from freshman Gleb Dudarev and a strong 3K run from senior Hannah Richardson were the highlights from Kansas track & field’s first days competing at the Tyson Invitational and ISU Classic Friday. Dudarev claimed his second victory in as many collegiate outings at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, while Richardson tallied one of the fastest 3,000-meter clockings in program history against the stacked field collected at the ISU Classic in Ames, Iowa.
PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY
Dudarev continued the impressive start to his collegiate career by pulling in another victory in the weight throw with another big mark. The freshman, who entered the day with the NCAA’s No. 3 mark of 2017, appeared as though he wouldn’t be able to surpass that season-opening throw that moved him up the collegiate ranks. Entering his sixth and final throw of the day, Dudarev sat atop the leaderboard, but with a mark of 22.36 meters (73-4½), two feet behind his season-best. That would change after his final trip into the throws ring.
Dudarev flung the 35-pound implement to a mark of 23.44 meters (76-11) on his last attempt, securing his victory and moving his name up on both the NCAA and all-time Kansas charts. The throw was the second-farthest in the program’s history and put the Belarus native in second on the collegiate lists for 2017. He will enter the Big 12 Championship meet in two weeks as the league’s top-ranked weight thrower, with the No. 2 thrower’s season-best more than seven feet behind that of the Jayhawk’s.
Senior Hannah RichardsonJust two competitions into his Kansas career, Dudarev is now the owner of five of the 10 best weight throw marks in school history.
* On Iowa State’s 300-meter track inside the Lied Recreation Center, Richardson enjoyed another impressive outing in the 3,000 meters as she posted one of the fastest times in the history of the KU women’s program. In the national championship-caliber field amassed in Ames, Richardson ran to a 16th-place finish in the invitational section of the event, finishing her 1.8-mile race in 9:29.65. The time was nine seconds shy of surpassing her school-record and season-best mark posted earlier this year, but still put her name among KU’s all-time top-10 3K times for the second time in a month. Her mark ranks as the fifth-fastest ever posted by a Jayhawk.
* Hussain Al Hizam made headlines in his native Saudi Arabia with a career outing in the early section of the men’s pole vault. The sophomore notched three clearances in the competition, including his final bar, a height of 5.30 meters (17-4½). That clearance was not only an indoor PR for Al Hizam, but also broke his own indoor national record for Saudi Arabia. The performance moved him into the top-25 of the latest NCAA rankings and makes him the fifth Kansas vaulter to get over 5.30 meters or higher in 2017.
* Whitney Adams saw one of the best indoor 800-meter performances of her career when she notched a season-best in the event Friday. Competing in the invitational section, Adams completed her half mile in 2:07.01 and finished third against the stellar field assembled. Her clocking was only .7 seconds shy of her indoor career best and ranks as the fourth-fastest in program history. Adams now sits third on the conference’s yearly 800-meter list and into the top-30 of the NCAA chart.
* Sophomore Nicole Montgomery has proven she is a fan of the oval inside the Randal Tyson Track Center. For the second-straight year, she posted a new career best in the 400 meters. Montgomery charged through her two laps in 54.14, shaving nearly .3 seconds off her previous indoor best en route to a fifth-place finish. She now sits fifth among the Big 12 400-meter runners with the conference meet just two weeks away.
* Dylan Hodgson and Michael Melgares followed Richardson’s lead with some impressive outings in the 3,000 meters at the ISU Classic. Hodgson ran to a 25th-place finish in a field that rivaled that of an NCAA Championship meet. The sophomore clocked in with a time of 8:12.52, a time that ranks Hodgson seventh in the latest Big 12 3K rankings. Melgares was not far behind after he crossed the finish in 8:14.57, a career-best for the redshirt freshman and the No. 9 time among Big 12 runners in 2017.
* The Kansas men’s pole vaulters enjoyed another successful day as the Jayhawks saw four compete in the invitational section of the event Friday evening. Nick Meyer was the highest KU finisher after posted a season-best clearance with a vault of 5.45 meters (17-10½). That vault earned him a runner-up finish in the event and moved him into the top-10 of the latest NCAA rankings. Meyer was followed by senior Jake Albright, who claimed third after also getting over 5.45 meters. Senior Nick Maestretti and sophomore Paulo Benavides took fifth and sixth, respectively, both with vaults of 5.40 meters (17-8½).
The Jayhawks will be back in action Saturday at both the Tyson Invitational and ISU Classic. Events from Fayetteville will kick off at 11 a.m., with the women’s pole vault, while action from Ames gets underway at noon with the prelims of the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Get live updates and results from both locations by following Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack and logging on to KUAthletics.com.
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