Kansas set to face elite competition at Rod McCravy Memorial
|Rod McCravy Memorial|
|Friday, February 3|
|Nutter Field House|
|University of Kentucky|
|Live Stream (SEC+)|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas track & field is set to face some of the nation’s best when the Jayhawks travel to Lexington, Kentucky to compete in the Rod McCravy Memorial on Saturday, February 3. The meet, held at Nutter Field House on the University of Kentucky campus, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. CST and will be streamed live on the SEC Network+ via WatchESPN.com.
The Rod McCravy Memorial will be the most competitive meet thus far in the indoor season for the Jayhawks, going up against schools from the ACC, Big Ten and SEC. Kansas will square off against the likes of Clemson, Illinois, Purdue, Virginia Tech and the host, Kentucky, in the elite hexagonal scored meet. On the men’s side, Kentucky is ranked No. 12 and Virginia Tech is No. 16, while the Jayhawks rank No. 23 in the latest rankings. On the women’s side, Kentucky is ranked No. 9.
HOW TO SCORE IT
The meet will be scored through six places on a 10-8-6-4-2-1 basis with 10 points awarded to event winners, and one point going to sixth place. No restrictions will be placed on the number of scores from a team.
HEADLINERS IN ACTION
Kansas will have 11 All-America honorees (five men, six women) competing at the Rod McCravy Memorial.
Two-time All-American Barden Adams will be competing in the triple jump, as well as outdoor pole vault First Team All-American Hussain Al Hizam, and Second Team All-Americans Tre Daniels, Jaron Hartley and Ivan Henry.
For the Kansas women, All-America honorees Riley Cooney, LaTyria Jefferson, Sharon Lokedi, Nicole Montgomery, Laura Taylor and Zainab Sanni will be lacing up the spikes in Lexington.
JAYHAWK MEN RANK NO. 23 IN WEEK TWO POLL
With the release of the week two USTFCCCA poll, the Kansas men’s team found itself ranked No. 23, down three spots from its week one No. 20 ranking.
The Jayhawk men reached as high as No. 6 in last year’s indoor rankings, but did not see their names in the top-25 until the week two poll was released.
TAYLOR NAMED BIG 12 ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Senior pole vaulter Laura Taylor was named the Big 12 Track & Field Women’s Athlete of the Week on January 31 for her performance at the Jayhawk Classic on January 26. Taylor broke the Anschutz Pavilion facility record in the women’s vault on her way to a personal-best mark and win in the event. The Tualatin, Oregon native cleared 4.34 meters (14-2.75 ft.) to etch her name in the Anschutz record book.
PERFORMING ON THE TRACK AND IN THE CLASSROOM
Kansas Athletics released departmental and program GPAs from the Fall 2017 semester on Tuesday, January 23, where the women’s track & field team was one of nine programs that earned a 3.0 GPA or higher on the semester at 3.37.
FACILITY RECORDS FALL AT JAYHAWK CLASSIC
Two Anschutz Pavilion Facility records were set by Kansas athletes at the Jayhawk Classic. Senior Laura Taylor set the facility record in the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 4.34 meters (14-2.75 ft.) and the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Jedah Caldwell, Mariah Kuykendoll, Nicole Montgomery and Honour Finley broke the Anschutz record with a time of 3:41.75. Another facility record was broken at the Jayhawk Classic, as Jamaican Olympian Dominique Blake ran unattached and won the women’s 400-meter dash with a time of 53.73 seconds, breaking the record set in 2012 by former Kansas runner Diamond Dixon (53.75).
Once again, the Kansas track & field team boasts one of the most talented and deepest pole vault crews in the entire country. The Tom Hays-coached group currently has four athletes (two men, two women) ranked in the top-25 in the nation in the event. Hussain Al Hizam is the eighth-ranked men’s pole vaulter in the nation while Nick Meyer sits in 13th. For the women, Laura Taylor sits at fifth in the nation and Andrea Willis ranks 16th.
Al Hizam is tied for the No. 6 spot on the Kansas men’s indoor all-time performers list with his winning mark of 5.48 meters (17-11.75 ft.) at the Jayhawk Classic. Taylor ranks No. 2 on the Kansas women’s indoor performers list and holds the fifth-best clearance in KU women’s indoor history with her facility record jump of 4.34 meters (14-2.75 ft.).
ADAMS SHOWING HIS BOUNCE
Kansas senior Barden Adams has been in mid-season form all year and has won the last four events he has competed in. Adams won the long jump and triple jump at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular, hitting an indoor-best-tying mark of 16.01 meters (52-6.5 ft.) in the triple jump, which ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time. The West Orange, New Jersey product won the triple jump again at the Mark Colligan Memorial a week later, notching a mark of 15.91 meters (52-2.5 ft.), and continued his winning streak with a victory in the long jump at the Jayhawk Classic with a mark of 7.32 meters (24-0.25 ft.). Currently, Adams is the No. 7 performer in NCAA Division I this season, with his triple jump leaps ranking 25th and 34th, respectively, in the nation.
FOUR EVENTS, FOUR VICTORIES
Kansas sophomore Bryce Hoppel has competed in four individual events this indoor season and has yet to be defeated. Hoppel opened his season at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular with wins in the 800 meters and mile run, before repeating the accomplishment a week later at the Mark Colligan Memorial in the same events.
Hoppel’s mile time of 4:09.95 at the Mark Colligan Memorial proved to be a career-best time in the event.
MULTIPLE JAYHAWKS RANK IN NATION’S TOP-25
Kansas currently has 10 athletes that rank in the nation’s top-25 in their respective events. Of those 10 top-25 marks, seven rank in the top-16. Any athletes or relay teams that rank in the top-16 following February 25, 2018 will automatically qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships that take place March 9-10 in College Station, Texas.
Junior Sharon Lokedi is the highest-ranked Kansas women’s athlete in NCAA championships event, ranking No. 4 in the 5,000-meter run. For the Jayhawk men, senior Barden Adams ranks No. 7 in the NCAA in the triple jump, making him the highest-ranked male athlete for KU.
In non-NCAA Championship events, junior Nicole Montgomery holds the fastest women’s time in the nation in the 600-yard run, clocking a time of 1:20.62 at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular on January 13.
MONTGOMERY NAMED BIG 12 TRACK & FIELD WOMEN’S WEEK ONE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Junior Nicole Montgomery was named Big 12 Women’s Track & Field Athlete of the Week on Wednesday, January 17 for her performance at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular in Manhattan, Kansas on January 13.
Montgomery recorded a personal best time in the 600-yard run on her way to a meet record and her third win in as many years in the event at the Sunflower Triangular.
Her time of 1:20.62 marked the fastest in the NCAA this season, and ranks as the fifth-fastest time in Kansas women’s history, while moving her No. 4 on the KU women’s all-time top performers list.
Montgomery was also a member of the mixed 4×400-meter relay team that won the event by a wide margin. The Kansas team finished in 3:27.42, with the next-closest team, Kansas State, finishing in 3:31.44.
KANSAS NOTCHES THREE MEET RECORDS, 14 VICTORIES AT SUNFLOWER TRIANGULAR
The Jayhawks set three meet records on their way to 14 victories and a second-place finish at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular on January 13. Freshman Honour Finley clocked a meet record-tying time of 55.49 in the 400-meter dash, while junior Nicole Montgomery broke her own meet record from 2016 in the 600-yard run with a time of 1:20.62. Senior Barden Adams tied his indoor career best in the triple jump with a mark of 16.01 meters (52-6.25 ft.) to also break a meet record.
Adams also won the men’s long jump, and was joined by Bryce Hoppel as the only Jayhawks that were able to earn two individual victories, as Hoppel won the mile and the 800-meter run. His 800-meter time currently ranks first in the Big 12 and 15th in the nation.
GIUSTI LOOKS TO MOVE UP KU IN RECORD BOOK
Senior Nick Giusti recorded a career-best performance in the 60-meter hurdles at the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular (Jan. 13), clocking in at 8.16 seconds and trimming two-hundredths of a second off his time. Already Kansas’ No. 8 performer in the event, Giusti didn’t move up the charts, but set the tone for the remainder of his final season. To become the No. 7 performer all-time at Kansas, Giusti will have to run faster than Keyen Porter’s time of 8.06 in 2009.
LOKEDI CRUSHES HER OWN SCHOOL RECORD
Junior Sharon Lokedi utilized her redshirt season during the 2017 indoor campaign, but the Eldoret, Kenya native didn’t miss a beat in her first race of the 2017-18 indoor season. Lokedi traveled to Boston, Massachusetts for the Boston University Season Opener on December 2, where she toed the line against some of the nation’s best in the 5,000-meter run. Lokedi scorched her way to a time of 15:39.05 in the event, demolishing her previous school record of 15:57.95 set at the Iowa State Classic in 2016.
Kansas track & field will split up for the next weekend of competition. The Jayhawks will compete at both the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa and the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Both meets will take place February 9-10.
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