Kansas men rank No. 11 in NCAA in USTFCCCA preseason poll
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field national preseason rankings on Wednesday, where the Kansas men’s team found itself ranked No. 11 going into the first weekend of action in 2018.
The Jayhawk men did not make last year’s indoor preseason top-25, but climbed into 20th by the second week of the 2017 indoor season and reached as high as No. 6 in the USTFCCCA rankings before finishing second at the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championship and tied for 27th at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Kansas returns a very successful team from last season, including multiple Big 12 Champions and All-Americans. Senior thrower Nicolai Ceban, the No. 5 performer in KU history in the shot put, will look to repeat as the Big 12 indoor champion this season and improve on his seventh-place finish that earned him First Team All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Fellow thrower, sophomore Gleb Dudarev, who also earned a Big 12 title and First Team All-America honors in the weight throw last indoor season, will also be a big name to watch for, after he recorded the second-best throw in Kansas history in the event as a freshman.
Senior Barden Adams also returns after he took home First Team All-America honors in both the indoor and outdoor seasons last year in the triple jump, and junior pole vaulters Paulo Benavides (2017 Big 12 Indoor Champion) and Hussain Al Hizam (2017 Big 12 Outdoor Champion and First Team All-American) are expected to be major contributors to the Jayhawks’ season.
Kansas opens the new year this weekend, with a group of pole vaulters traveling to Fayetteville, Arkansas to compete in the Arkansas Invitational on January 12, and the rest of the team competing in the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular in Manhattan, Kansas on January 13.