Kansas set to open outdoor season at Arkansas Spring Invite
|Arkansas Spring Invitational|
|Saturday, March 24|
|John McDonnell Field|
|University of Arkansas|
|Live Stream (SEC+)|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams are set to open the 2018 outdoor campaign at the Arkansas Spring Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 24. The Jayhawks are scheduled to begin competition at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at the University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field. The meet will be streamed live on the SEC Network+ via WatchESPN.com.
ARKANSAS SPRING INVITE COMPETITION
The Jayhawks will see a number of teams competing at the Arkansas Spring Invitational, including eight other NCAA Division I schools.
Along with host Arkansas, Tulsa, SMU, Missouri, Wichita State, Drake, Oklahoma State and Saint Louis are entered in this weekend’s meet.
KANSAS MEN RANKED NO. 10 IN PRESEASON POLL
The Kansas men enter the 2018 outdoor season ranked No. 10 in the USTFCCCA preseason poll, released Tuesday, March 20.
The Jayhawks women ranked No. 40 in the preseason poll.
JAYHAWKS TAKE THREE BIG 12 POSTSEASON AWARDS
Kansas came away with three of the six Big 12 Indoor postseason awards after both teams finished tied for 17th at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, March 9-10.
Hussain Al Hizam was named the Big 12 Indoor Men’s Performer of the Year after winning the Big 12 title and national championship in the pole vault. Along with the two crowns, Al Hizam broke the KU school record at the NCAA Championships while also tying the Gilliam Indoor Stadium facility record and breaking his own Saudi Arabian national record.
Sharon Lokedi earned the Big 12 Indoor Women’s Performer of the Year honor after winning two Big 12 titles and earning two First Team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships. Lokedi won the conference crown in both the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs and picked up All-America nods in the same events. Along with her conference titles and All-America honors, Lokedi broke three school records during the indoor season. She started the year by breaking her own school record in the 5,000 meters and later broke the program record in the 3,000, and was also a member of the distance medley relay team that broke the school record.
Stanley Redwine was named Big 12 Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year after guiding the women’s squad to a second-place finish at the conference championship with its second-highest point total at the Big 12 conference meet. The Kansas women entered the indoor season ranked No. 55 in the USTFCCCA preseason poll but climbed the charts to 13 before finishing the season tied for 17th at the NCAA Championships.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS SEASON
• Barden Adams will look to climb up the KU charts in the triple jump. He Is currently the No. 4 performer in program history with a mark of 16.29 meters (53-5.5 ft.) set last season at the Big 12 Championship.
• Hussain Al Hizam will look to double-up and sweep the Big 12 and NCAA Outdoor titles as he did during the indoor season. Al Hizam is currently the No. 6 performer in the pole vault in KU men’s outdoor history but hopes to climb into the No. 1 spot like he did during the indoor season.
• Nicolai Ceban ranks No. 4 in the shot put and No. 6 in the discus in the Kansas men’s record books and hopes to climb up the list in both categories.
• The men’s 4×400 relay team will look to replicate its successful indoor season where the team recorded the second-fastest time in KU indoor history.
• Sophomore Gleb Dudarev already owns the 10 best marks in school history in the hammer throw but will look to improve on those marks and earn another First Team All-America bid after redshirting during the 2018 indoor season.
• Bryce Hoppel’s stellar indoor campaign has brought attention to his upcoming outdoor season. The sophomore clocked the second-fastest indoor 800 time in school history this season and hopes to climb into the top-10 on the KU outdoor list.
• The women’s 4×400-meter relay team saw a successful indoor season in which they won the Big 12 championship and earned Second Team All-America honors, and hope to at least match their efforts in the upcoming outdoor campaign.
• LaTyria Jefferson earned Honorable Mention All-America status last outdoor season by finishing 18th at the NCAA Championships in the high jump and will look to improve on her No. 5 standing on the KU women’s outdoor all-time performers list.
• Sharon Lokedi already owns the school record in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters and will look to make a trip back to the NCAA Championships where she finished third in the 10K to earn First Team All-America honors. Lokedi won the Big 12 title in both the 5K and 10K events and is the favorite to win both again this season.
• Shaylyn Stallbaumer is the No. 4 performer in KU school history in the javelin with a mark of 51.02 meters (167-5 ft.) set in 2016. The junior will look to PR this season and climb her way up the all-time performers list.
• Laura Taylor grabbed the Big 12 title and First Team All-America honors in the pole vault this indoor season and was a Second Team All-American in the 2017 outdoor season. In her final season in the Crimson and Blue, the senior will look to win an outdoor conference title and First Team All-America honors while she also tries to become the school record holder, as she currently sits at No. 2 on the all-time list.
INDOOR SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
• The Kansas men’s and women’s teams each finished tied for 17th at the NCAA Indoor Championships, marking the first time in program history both teams finished inside the top-20 in the same season.
• Hussain Al Hizam won the first men’s indoor national title for Kansas since 2008, and the first in the pole vault since 1973. Al Hizam cleared 5.70 meters (18-8.25 ft.) to break the KU school record, tie the Gilliam Indoor Stadium facility record and break his own Saudi Arabian national record.
• Sharon Lokedi earned two First Team All-America nods, finishing third in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Championships and sixth in the 3,000 meters.
• Laura Taylor earned a First Team All-America bid with a sixth-place finish in the women’s pole vault, clearing 4.36 meters (14-3.5 ft.).
• Bryce Hoppel finished eighth in the 800 meters at the NCAA Championships to earn First Team All-America honors.
• Barden Adams earned the third First Team All-America honor of his career in the triple jump, finishing eighth at the NCAA Championships and climbed into the No. 2 spot on the KU men’s indoor all-time performers list.
• Nicolai Ceban, the men’s 4×400-meter relay team, the women’s distance medley relay squad and the women’s 4×400-meter relay quartet all earned Second Team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships.
• The Kansas women recorded the second-highest point total at the Big 12 Indoor Championship in program history, finishing second with 112 points. Laura Taylor won the pole vault, Sharon Lokedi won both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters, and the 4×400-meter relay team earned the conference crown.
• The Kansas men finished fifth at the Big 12 meet, with Bryce Hoppel winning the 800 meters and Hussain Al Hizam winning the pole vault.
• The women’s distance medley relay set the school record at the Alex Wilson Invitational with a time of 11:01.19 and the men’s 4×400-meter relay team recorded the second-fastest time in school history at the meet, finishing in 3:06.76.
• Sharon Lokedi broke the school record in the 3,000 meters at the Iowa State Classic, clocking in at 8:59.69, 17 seconds faster than the previous record held by Hannah Richardson. Bryce Hoppel ran the second-fastest 800 meters in KU indoor history at the ISU Classic, finishing in 1:47.09.
• Laura Taylor improved her standing as the No. 2 performer in KU women’s indoor history in the pole vault at the Rod McCravy Memorial by finishing second at the meet with a clearance of 4.38 meters (14-4.5 ft.).
• Laura Taylor broke the Anschutz Sports Pavilion facility record in the women’s vault, clearing 4.34 meters (14-2.75 ft.) at the Jayhawk Classic. The clearance was a PR at the time and moved her to No. 2 on the KU women’s all-time performers list.
• Nicole Montgomery broke the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular meet record in the 600-yard run, clocking in at 1:20.62, which was the fifth-fastest time in KU women’s history in the event. Honour Finley tied the meet record in the 400 meters with a 55.49 clocking.
• Sharon Lokedi broke her own school record in the 5,000 meters in her first indoor appearance in over a year. After redshirting the 2017 indoor season, Lokedi opened the 2018 campaign at the Boston University Season Opener where she recorded a program-best time of 15:39.05.
The Jayhawks will split up for one of the biggest weekends of the season. Parts of the Kansas squad will travel to Austin, Texas for the 91st Texas Relays, March 28-31 and the distance crew will head west to the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, California, March 30-31. The remainder of the Jayhawk squad will compete at the Oral Roberts Invitational in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 31.
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