Kansas ready for Big 12 Indoor Championship
|BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP|
|February 22-23, 2019|
|Sports Performance Center|
|Texas Tech University|
|Texas Tech Meet Central|
|Big 12 Meet Central|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams are set for the 2019 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championship in Lubbock, Texas, February 22-23 at Texas Tech’s Sports Performance Center.
FOLLOWING THE MEET
Fans wishing to follow the conference action can watch a live broadcast of the meet on FloTrack via FloTrack.org with plans starting from $11.99/month.
Live results of the meet will be available through Prime Time Timing at PTtiming.com.
LAST YEAR AT THE BIG 12 INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Last year at the Big 12 Indoor Championship, Kansas track & field took home a total six individual titles. The Kansas women came just five points shy of a conference crown, finishing second to Texas, and the KU men placed fifth.
On the men’s side, Bryce Hoppel won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:47.20 and Hussain Al Hizam won the pole vault with a clearance of 5.49 meters (18-0 ft.).
For the women, Sharon Lokedi won titles in both the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs, Laura Taylor won the pole vault with a clearance of 4.34 meters (14-2.75 ft.) and the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Megan Linder, Mariah Kuykendoll, Nicole Montgomery and Honour Finley clocked in at 3:35.89 to win the conference title in the event.
KANSAS WOMEN NO. 22, MEN NO. 24
The Kansas women cracked the top-25 of the national rankings for the second time this season in the USTFCCCA week five poll, coming in at No. 22, matching their highest ranking of the year.
The Kansas men have remained in the top-25 the entire season, coming in at No. 24 on the week five charts.
DMR SCHOOL RECORD FALLS FOR THIRD-STRAIGHT YEAR
Kansas women’s distance medley relay team has made a habit of breaking the school record at the Alex Wilson Invitational. In the past three seasons, the KU women’s DMR school record has been broken at the meet in South Bend, Indiana. This season, freshman Ally Ryan and seniors Nicole Montgomery, Marleena Eubanks and Sharon Lokedi combined for a time of 10:58.31 to etch their names at the top of the Kansas record books in the event.
TINCH PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME
Freshman Cordell Tinch, who transferred to Kansas in January, is starting to hit his groove just at the right time. The Green Bay, Wisconsin native has steadily improved the entire season in both the long jump at the 60-meter hurdles. At the Arkansas Qualifier on February 15, Tinch recorded an 8.06-second 60-meter hurdle time, moving him to No. 7 on the Kansas all-time performers charts. He also posted a personal-best in the long jump with a leap of 7.49 meters (24-7 ft.).
LOKEDI’S WILD FRIDAY
Sharon Lokedi was scheduled to run at the 2019 Millrose Games on Saturday, February 9, but after running a five-mile base run Friday morning, she found out her flight to New York was canceled. After some time debating, the Kansas coaches decided to forego her trip to New York, not wanting to risk her not getting to race at all with flights being canceled due to weather. With the decision, Lokedi was driven 3.5 hours to Ames, Iowa that night to compete in the 3,000 meters at the ISU Classic. Despite having run five miles that morning and riding in a car for so long, Lokedi was still able to record the No. 3 time in program history in the event that night.
HOPPEL OFF TO FAMILIAR START
In 2018, Bryce Hoppel kicked off his indoor season with wins in both the one-mile run and the 800-meter run at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular, and went on to win five of the first six individual races he competed in. The only race he didn’t win in that six-race stretch was the prelims of the 800-meter run at the Big 12 Indoor Championship – which he then went on to win the conference title in the event. This season, Hoppel also started the season with wins in the 800 meters and mile at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular and went on to win the 800 at the Texas Tech Open. He kept the streak alive with a win in the in 800 at the ISU Classic, and will try to defend his indoor conference title at the Big 12 Championship.
MEN’S VAULTERS CHASING HISTORY
Associate head coach Tom Hays has high expectations for his group of men’s pole vaulters this season. Hays thinks his squad has potential to make history and be the first team to have four vaulters clear 5.60 meters (18-4.5 ft.). So far this season two of vaulters have reached that mark. Hussain Al Hizam cleared 5.61 meters (18-4.75 ft.) at the Texas Tech Open for his season best and freshman Zach Bradford cleared 5.63 meters (18-5.5 ft.) at the Tyson Invitational. Kyle Rogers has jumped 5.50 meters (18-0.5 ft.) this year and Paulo Benavides holds an indoor best of 5.47 meters (17-11.25 ft.).
At the ISU Classic, senior Marleena Eubanks recorded the third-fastest time in KU women’s history in the 800 meters, clocking in at 2:06.01, making her the No. 2 performer in program annals.
FRESHMAN GOT UPS
Freshman Rylee Anderson is quickly moving up the Kansas women’s high jump charts. Anderson was undefeated through her first four collegiate meets, but suffered her first defeat at the Tyson Invitational. The “loss” was anything but a loss for the rookie, though, as she recorded the same mark as the winner, which happened to be a personal-best on her way to a second-place finish in the invitational section of the event. Anderson cleared 1.80 meters (5-10.75 ft.) to become the No. 4 performer in KU women’s history and the height is No. 9 on the all-time performers list at Kansas. The Longmont, Colorado native is inching closer to the KU women’s freshman record, set by Ann O’Connor in 1985, of 1.82 meters (5-11.5 ft.) at the NCAA Championships.
DUDAREV NAMED BIG 12 CO-MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Kansas redshirt sophomore Gleb Dudarev was named Big 12 Co-Men’s Athlete of the Week on February 6. The weekly honor marks the fifth of Dudarev’s career and comes after his season debut at the Texas Tech Open in which he won the weight throw with a mark of 23.08 meters (75-8.75 ft.). The throw is currently the No. 4 mark in the NCAA this season and No. 4 on the KU all-time performance list.
WILLIS CLIMBING VAULT CHARTS
Junior Andrea Willis continues to climb the Kansas all-time charts in the women’s pole vault. The Colorado Springs, Colorado product moved up to No. 3 on the KU all-time performers list and notched the fifth-best mark in program history with a clearance of 4.37 meters (14-4 ft.) in a win at the Texas Tech Open. Willis needs to add just 3.25 inches to her vault to move into a tie with Kansas alum Natalia Bartnovskaya for the school record of 4.45 meters (14-7.25 ft.).
JAYHAWKS IN NATION’S TOP-25
The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams currently hold a total of 12 NCAA top-25 marks this season. Any Jayhawks that rank in the top-16 of their respective events (or top-12 for relays) at the end of conference meet action across the nation on Sunday, February 24, will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, March 8-9.
PAIR OF VAULTERS BREAK ANSCHUTZ PAVILION RECORD
Senior Hussain Al Hizam and freshman Zach Bradford broke the Anschutz Sports Pavilion facility record in the men’s pole vault at the Jayhawk Classic on January 26. Al Hizam and Bradford cleared 5.58 meters (18-3.75 ft.), bettering the previous record of 5.57 meters (18-3.25 ft.) set by Jake Albright in December of 2017.
KANSAS WOMEN POST RECORD-SETTING SEMESTER IN THE CLASSROOM
The Kansas women’s track & field team were one of four KU teams to record a team-best semester in the classroom, leading to a department-record 3.11 all-sports combined GPA in the Fall 2018 semester. The KU women’s track & field team recorded a program-best 4.42 GPA for the Fall semester. The Kansas men’s team was able to notch a 2.91 GPA.
LOKEDI SHATTERS SCHOOL RECORD, RECORDS NO. 6 MARK IN NCAA HISTORY
Kansas senior Sharon Lokedi got off to a hot start in her final season competing for the Jayhawks. In her first and only 5,000-meter race so far this indoor season, Lokedi shattered her own school record in the 5,000-meter run at the Boston University/Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener in Boston, Massachusetts on December 1. The Eldoret, Kenya native was the third-place finisher in the race, but clocked in at 15:15.47, which proved to be the No. 6 all-time mark in NCAA history. Her time proved to be nearly 25 seconds faster than her previous school record of 15:39.05, set last indoor season at the same meet. The raced boasted four of the top-seven all-time marks in NCAA history, with New Mexico’s Ednah Kurgat recording the No. 3 all-time mark of 15:14.78, UNM’s Weini Kelati posting the No. 5 time (15:15.24) and Boise State’s Allie Ostrander notching the No. 7 mark in NCAA history (15:16.38).
A total of 31 new student-athletes are currently on the Kansas track & field rosters, including 20 new faces on the men’s team and 11 on the women’s squad.
REDWINE SIGNS NO. 3 MEN’S CLASS
According to Track & Field News, 19th-year head coach Stanley Redwine’s 2018 KU men’s recruiting class is the No. 3 signing class is the nation. Coming in behind Georgia and Texas A&M, the Jayhawks made the top-5 for the first time ever.
Highlighting the recruiting class is Zach Bradford, a pole vaulter out of Bloomington, Illinois, who represented the USA at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, where he earned a silver medal. Bradford posted the No. 8 all-time high school pole vault mark, clearing 18-2.5 ft. his senior season.
Also highlighting the signing class are Treyvon Ferguson, a triple jumper hailing from Hershey, Pennsylvania and Patrick Larrison, a thrower from Moore, Oklahoma.
Any Jayhawks that rank in the top-16 of their respective events (or top-12 for relays) at the end of conference meet action across the nation on Sunday, February 24, will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, March 8-9.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.