Kansas women take quadrangular title at 91st Kansas Relays presented by RCB Bank
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sealed with a win in the 4×400-meter relay, the Kansas women’s track & field squad posted nine event victories and a total of 209 points in the quadrangular competition of the 91st Kansas Relays presented by RCB Bank, besting Big Ten foe Nebraska (181 pts.), in-state rival Kansas State (164 pts.) and Ivy League competitor Harvard (104 pts.).
Freshman Honour Finley, juniors Marleena Eubanks and Nicole Montgomery, and senior Megan Linder raced away with the win in the 4×400, closing the weekend’s competition with a time of 3:38.56 – eight seconds faster than second-place Harvard.
Sophomore Jedah Caldwell played a major role in Jayhawks’ victory as the women’s quadrangular top individual scorer. The Chanhassen, Minnesota product earned nine points with a win in the 200-meter dash, running a wind-aided 24.05 seconds and six points in the 100-meter dash with a third-place finish and time of 11.86 seconds. Caldwell also joined forces with freshman Morganne Mukes, senior Zainab Sanni and freshman Chloe Akin-Otiko in the 4×100-meter relay to win the event with a combined time of 45.61 seconds.
Running in her first-career 800-meter race, Montgomery notched a win in the event to become the No. 8 performer in KU history. The Colorado Springs, Colorado native clocked in at 2:09.11, beating teammate and second-place finisher Eubanks by four seconds.
Prior to anchoring the 4×400-meter team to victory, Linder won the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.51 seconds, coming in ahead of her teammate Finley, who took second with a time of 55.22 seconds.
Courtney Coppinger continued her impressive senior campaign with a win in the 1,500-meter run. The Mission Hills, Kansas product entered the weekend as the No. 8 performer in NCAA Division I in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, as well as ranking No. 25 in the West Region with a time of 4:22.89 in the 1,500 meters. Although Coppinger didn’t post a new season best in the event, her nine points earned in the race was huge for the Jayhawk women.
Coupled with the success on the track, the Kansas women’s throwers enjoyed a productive day in the field despite less than ideal weather conditions. Junior Shaylyn Stallbaumer won the women’s javelin with a throw of 44.51 meters (146-0 ft.) and freshman Alexandra Emilianov won the discus with a toss of 55.42 meters (181-0 ft.).
Senior Laura Taylor also earned a win at the Relays, clearing 4.01 meters (13-1.75 ft.) in the women’s pole vault competition that was moved indoors to Anschutz Pavilion due to the weather. The Kansas women cleaned up in the event, taking six of the top-seven spots.
Even though she wasn’t able to claim an individual victory, Sanni earned 12 points to go along with her 4×1 team’s win to earn the second-most points for the KU women and tie for fifth-overall in the women’s quadrangular competition. The Aurora, Colorado product finished second in the 100-meter dash (11.77) to earn seven points and fourth in the 200 meters (24.66) to earn five.
The Kansas men, who finished second in the quadrangular standings to Nebraska, were led by senior Barden Adams in individual points. The West Orange, New Jersey native scored 18 on his own, winning both the long jump (7.49m/24-7 ft.) and triple jump (16.08m/52-9.25 ft.).
Along with Adams’ two victories, the Kansas men won four other events, including three on Saturday.
Sophomore Bryce Hoppel won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:49.82, and junior Dylan Hodgson took home the 5,000-meter run title with a personal-best time of 14:17.32.
Junior Hussain Al Hizam won the men’s pole vault, which like the women’s competition, was contested inside Anschutz Pavilion. The 2018 NCAA Indoor national champion cleared 5.55 meters (18-2.5 ft.) for the win.
Prior to the final day of the relays, sophomore Gleb Dudarev won the men’s quadrangular hammer throw with a school, meet and facility record-breaking performance of 78.04 meters (256-0 ft.).
Throwers Brandon Lombardino and George Evans contributed heavily to the Kansas men’s 201-point effort, with Lombardino scoring 15 points between the hammer throw, discus and shot put, and Evans earning a total of 14 points as the top collegiate finisher in the discus behind former Kansas standout Mason Finley and taking fourth in the shot put.
Junior Jaron Hartley also added 14 individual points to the Kansas men’s efforts, finishing second in the 100 and 200 meters, as well as helping the men’s 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay teams to second-place finishes.
The Jayhawk squads will continue the outdoor season next weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the inaugural National Relay Championships meet hosted by the University of Arkansas. The meet is scheduled for April 27-28 and will feature a two-hour all-batons portion to close out the meet on Saturday.
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