Kansas women skyrocket 20 spots to No. 23 in latest USTFCCCA poll
NEW ORLEANS – Jumping 20 spots in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association weekly poll, the Kansas women climbed into the top-25 for the first time this season, going from No. 43 in the week three poll to No. 23 this week.
The Jayhawks’ jump was primarily cause by junior Sharon Lokedi’s school record and meet record performance in the 3,000-meter run on Friday at the Iowa State Classic at the Lied Recreation Center in Ames, Iowa. Lokedi posted the No. 8 performance in the NCAA this season in the event, clocking in with a time of 8:59.69. The time broke the previous Kansas record, held by Lokedi’s former teammate Hannah Richardson, by 17 seconds.
Lokedi also ranks No. 5 in the NCAA this season in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:39.05 at the Boston University Season Opener on December 2, which was also a school record-run for the Eldoret, Kenya native.
The Kansas women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Megan Linder, Mariah Kuykendoll, Honour Finley and Nicole Montgomery also helped the jump in the polls by posting the No. 7 time in KU women’s indoor history at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas on February 10. The quartet clocked in at 3:35.07, which currently ranks No. 18 in the NCAA this season.
Other Jayhawks ranking in the top-25 of their respective events this season include pole vaulters Laura Taylor and Andrea Willis. The pair ranks No. 7 and 18, respectively, each posting career-best marks at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Kentucky on February 3.
The Kansas men dropped out of the top-25 for the first time this season, falling to No. 27 in the week four poll. Sophomore Bryce Hoppel is currently the highest-ranked Kansas male in the NCAA this season with the second-fastest 800-meter time of 1:47.09, which was clocked at the ISU Classic last weekend. The run moved Hoppel into the No. 2 spot in Kansas men’s indoor history in the event, passing Kansas legend Jim Ryun.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay team of Ivan Henry, Jaron Hartley, Isaiah Cole and Tre Daniels currently rank No. 24 in the NCAA, senior Barden Adams ranks 12th in the triple jump, senior Nicolai Ceban ranks 22nd in the shot put, and Hussain Al Hizam and Nick Meyer rank No. 6 and 16, respectively, in the pole vault.
The Kansas men and women have one more weekend of tune-up action, splitting between the Arkansas Qualifier on February 16 and the Alex Wilson Invitational on February 17, before traveling to Ames, Iowa for the Big 12 Championship meet, February 23-24.
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