Kansas snares 3 conference titles, men in first after day 1 of Big 12 Indoor Championship
LUBBOCK, Texas – Kansas track & field won three Big 12 Conference titles on the first day of the 2019 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championship in Lubbock, Texas. Redshirt sophomore Gleb Dudarev won his second weight throw crown, senior Sharon Lokedi took home her third indoor 5,000-meter title and the KU men’s distance medley relay team ran arguably the most exciting race of the day to conclude Friday’s action with a gold medal.
The two wins for the Kansas men helped catapult the Jayhawks into first place after the first day of action, totaling 41 points. The KU women sit in fourth place with 26.5 points, behind Kansas State (46), Texas Tech (36.5) and Texas (34).
DUDAREV TAKES BACK CONFERENCE CROWN
After redshirting the 2018 indoor season, Dudarev came back to Big 12 indoor action looking to return to the top spot on the podium. A foul on his first attempt didn’t faze the 2017 conference weight throw champion, and he settled in with his best throw of the day on his second attempt, hitting 23.29 meters (76-5 ft.), which proved to be the No. 3 mark in KU track history.
Dudarev fouled on his third attempt as well, but landed the No. 4 and No. 6 marks in program history on his last two throws, hitting marks of 23.20 meters (76-1.5 ft.) and 23.16 meters (76-0 ft.).
Coming into the meet with two-straight indoor 5,000-meter conference titles, Lokedi had competitors gunning to knock her off her throne, but the Eldoret, Kenya native ran away with her third indoor title in the event with a time of 16:11.50. The next-fastest finisher, Oklahoma’s Haley Herberg, came in exactly 11 seconds behind Lokedi.
Lokedi will try to defend her 3,000-meter conference title on Saturday, running at 4:50 p.m. CST.
HOPPEL, HODGSON POWER DMR TO TITLE
The men’s distance medley relay team of Ethan Donley, Cody Johnson, Bryce Hoppel and Dylan Hodgson came out on top after 4,000 meters of intense racing to win gold and give the Kansas men 10 points in the team scoring. Ethan Donley got things started with the 1,200-meter leg, passing the baton to Cody Johnson after splitting 3:05.04. Taking the stick in third place, Johnson kept the Jayhawks in it, splitting 47.39 in the 400.
When Johnson handed off to Hoppel, the Jayhawks remained in third, but the 800-meter leg moved the squad up to first. Running a 1:48.34 in the 800, Hoppel passed the baton to Hodgson, who earlier in the day qualified for the mile final. Running the 1,600-meter leg, Hodgson held off an Iowa State team that was nipping at his heals, clocking the fastest split of the field at 4:17.02 and hitting the finish line with a combined time of 9:57.78 to edge the Cyclones’ Festus Lagat for the win.
STANLEY SAID IT
Quotes from Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine
On the day’s results and what it means for Saturday…
“We’re blessed and really excited for the three events that won today. We have people in a lot of events and if we take care of business it will be even more exciting.”
On Gleb Dudarev’s return to the top of the conference weight throw…
“Gleb picked up where he left off before. His is a great competitor.”
On Sharon Lokedi’s third title in the 5,000…
“Sharon continues to be in a class of her own both personally and athletically. She has always given us her all. She is a true team leader and I’m not sure that she can ever be replaced.”
On the men’s DMR title…
“The men’s DMR was totally unexpected. I’m really excited for each one of them.”
- Freshman Xavier Wolf qualified for the 600-yard final, finishing sixth overall with a time of 1:10.94.
- Jack Young earned the final qualifying spot for the 1,000-meter run, hitting the finish line at 2:28.19.
- Hodgson clocked in at 4:09.89 in the one-mile run to finish third overall and earn a spot in Saturday’s final.
- Freshman Cordell Tinch recorded a PR of 7.92 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles prelims to move on to the final. The time made Tinch the No. 6 performer in KU history.
- Tinch also earned two points in the long jump with a seventh-place finish (7.34m/24-1 ft.).
- The Jayhawks picked up 17 points in the men’s pole vault, with Hussain Al Hizam placing second, Zach Bradford taking fourth and Kyle Rogers placing fifth.
- Sophomore George Evans earned two points in the weight throw with a seventh-place finish, hitting a mark of 17.55 meters (57-7 ft.).
- Jedah Caldwell earned a spot in the 200-meter dash final, winning her heat and finishing fourth overall in the prelims with a time of 23.55 seconds.
- Honour Finley posted the top time in the women’s 400-meter dash prelim, clocking in at 53.46 seconds.
- Nicole Montgomery moved on to the final in the 600-yard run with a time of 1:21.18, finishing fifth in the prelims.
- Marleena Eubanks clocked the fastest 800-meter run time in the preliminary round to move on to Saturday’s final. She hit the finish line in 2:08.53.
- Freshman Ally Ryan became the No. 10 performer in KU women’s history in the 1,000-meter run, clocking in with a time of 2:51.14 to qualify for the final on Saturday.
- McKenzie Wilks placed eighth in the women’s mile prelims to make it into the final, clocking in with a time of 4:57.55.
- Riley Cooney, Anna Siemens, Courtney Griffiths and Catherine Liggett placed fourth in the women’s distance medley relay to earn five points for the Jayhawk women.
- Andrea Willis and Alexis Romero earned points for the Jayhawks in the women’s pole vault. Willis placed third with a clearance of 4.23 meters (13-10.5 ft.) to earn six points and Romero tied for fourth with a clearance of 4.13 meters (13-6.5 ft.) for 3.5 points.
- Freshman Cameryn Thomas PR’ed in all five events of the pentathlon to earn 3,627 points and a seventh-place finish, contributing to the women’s point total with two of her own.
The Jayhawks will conclude the indoor conference action on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. with the women’s shot put, women’s triple jump and men’s triple jump. All of the action from Texas Tech’s Sports Performance Center will be aired on FloTrack via FloTrack.org.
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