|Sun Angel Classic
||Fri. – 2 p.m. | Sat. – 12 p.m. (CT)
||Sun Angel Stadium
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field is set for another busy weekend as the Jayhawks jet to the southwest for the Sun Angel Classic. The Kansas men and women will compete at the always-competitive meet hosted by Arizona State in Tempe, Arizona April 7-8. The Sun Angel Classic will see nearly 1,000 collegiate and post-collegiate competitors in action inside Sun Angel Stadium Friday and Saturday.
- The Jayhawks are slated to have nearly 70 athletes in action in central Arizona this weekend. KU is competing at the Sun Angel Classic for the fourth time in five years.
- After the first weekend of the outdoor season, 11 Jayhawks rank among the top-25 in the latest NCAA rankings, two of whom find themselves in the top-five of their respective events. Sixteen KU tracksters are among the top-five in the Big 12 rankings.
- The Jayhawks’ last journey to the Sun Angel Classic produced 16 personal records, five event victories and a pair of NCAA top-10 performances.
- The KU men find four of their pole vaulters ranked among the top-20 in the nation after some strong outings at the Texas Relays last weekend, each of whom will be in action in Arizona.
- Senior vaulter Jake Albright will return to the runway just a week removed from a career outing at the Texas Relays. In Austin on April 2, Albright cleared a personal-best bar of 5.60 meters (18-4½), moving him to No. 6 on KU’s all-time pole vault chart.
- Senior Mitch Cooper is scheduled to compete in the discus in Tempe and will look to defend his Sun Angel title from a year ago. He will have stiff competition, however with teammate Nicolai Ceban also entered. Last weekend, Ceban posted the nation’s No. 3 ranked discus mark, a career-best throw of 60.01 meters (196-10).
LIVINGSTON READY FOR STRONG 800-METER FIELD
Senior Strymar Livingston is slated to compete in the 800 meters for the second time this season when he toes the start line in the premier event Saturday night. The Brooklyn native kicked off his final outdoor season with a 1:48.68 clocking at the Texas Relays last weekend, a time that ranks him 18th in the NCAA this year. Livingston’s run is sure to be a good one as he is set to go up against a stellar field assembled in Tempe, with seven other runners entered boasting 800-meter personal bests under 1:48. The starting gun for the half-mile race is slated to go off at 9:55 p.m. (CT).
DUDAREV SET FOR FIRST HAMMER THROW THIS WEEKEND
Freshman Gleb Dudarev is scheduled to make his first appearance of the outdoor season this weekend as he is entered in the hammer throw competition in Tempe. Dudarev finished his first indoor season among the top-three of the NCAA DI weight throw ranks and with First Team All-America status in the event. Expect some more big tosses when Dudarev steps into the ring for the competition slated for Friday at 2 p.m. (CT).
JAYHAWK 4X4 RELAY SET FOR ANOTHER STRONG OUTING AT SUN ANGEL
The Kansas men’s mile relay squad is set to return to the Sun Angel Stadium track this weekend in hopes of duplicating its success at the meet a year ago. The Jayhawks claimed the event title at the meet a year ago, winning in 3:08.12. The quartet of Ivan Henry, Jaron Hartley, Tre Daniels and Strymar Livingston ran to Second Team All-America honors during the indoor campaign, posting an indoor school record of 3:05.57. They look to improve on that mark starting this weekend in the premier section of the men’s race, set to go off at 11:14 p.m. (CT) Saturday.
LAST WEEKEND’S HIGHLIGHTS
- The Jayhawks split up to four different meets around the country last weekend in their first round of competitions for the 2017 outdoor season. Kansas had athletes run, jump and throw at the Texas Relays, the Stanford Invitational, the San Francisco Distance Carnival and the Emporia State Relays.
- Senior Jake Albright posted a career best in a fifth-place finish at the Texas Relays Saturday. Albright got over the bar at 5.60 meters (18-4½) to better his previous outdoor best by four inches. The vault has him in a three-way tie for No. 3 on the most recent collegiate chart and also has him up to sixth on the Jayhawks’ all-time outdoor pole vault list.
- Junior Nicolai Ceban collected a victory in the discus by way of a career-best toss at the Emporia State Relays. The second team All-American posted a career best and meet-record throw of 60.01 meters (196-10) to claim the win. The mark, which ranks third in the latest NCAA discus rankings, gave Ceban the win by nearly 12 feet over teammate Mitch Cooper, who claimed the runner-up finish with his toss of 56.42 meters (185-1). Ceban’s mark has only been topped by five other Jayhawks in the program’s history.
- Sharon Lokedi kicked off her outdoor season Friday night at the Stanford Invitational with another impressive time in the 10,000 meters. She completed the 6.2-mile race in a time of 33:37.01 to finish 12th overall and come within 50 seconds of her own school record. Her time was the third-fastest in KU history and moved her to No. 8 on the early season NCAA 10K rankings.
- LaTyria Jefferson claimed victory in the B-Section high jump at the Texas Relays. Jefferson was perfect through the first three heights of the day before leaping over a new career-best bar of 1.78 meters (5-10). Jefferson’s personal-best outing ranks her sixth on the Jayhawks’ all-time high jump list and is the No. 2 mark by a Big 12 high jumper thus far in the outdoor season.
- Senior Whitney Adams added a stellar showing in the women’s invitational 800 meters in Austin. Adams crossed the finish line in 2:06.90 to earn a fifth-place finish and the fastest by a collegiate competitor. The time was just over two seconds slower than Adams’ own school record but ranks her among the top-10 of the latest NCAA yearly rankings. Her run ranked as the fifth fastest ever posted by a Jayhawk and makes her the owner of five of the nine best outdoor 800-meter times in Kansas history.
After a week off the Jayhawks will return to action when they host the 90th Kansas Relays inside Rock Chalk Park April 19-22. Thousands of high school and collegiate athletes are set to compete during the four-day meet, with Saturday’s evening session slated to be televised on Spectrum Sports and ESPN3. Log on to KansasRelays.com for a schedule and additional information on one of the nation’s most historic track meets.
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