KU Track Ready for Nation’s Best at NCAA Championships
MEET NOTES | SCHEDULE
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams will be traveling to Eugene, Oregon this week for the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Jayhawks will have a total of five athletes and a relay team in action at this week’s meet, who will compete against the nation’s best at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, June 8-11.
- This week, the Jayhawks will travel to Oregon’s Hayward Field, a venue Kansas will be competing in for the seventh-straight year and is slated to host each of the next five NCAA Outdoor Championship meets.
- A top-eight finish by junior Mitch Cooper or sophomore Nicolai Ceban in the discus this week would mark the fourth time in seven years a KU male has garnered First Team All-America honors in the event.
- A victory for Cooper or Ceban in the discus would mark the third NCAA title won by a Jayhawk in the discus. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Al Oerter claimed back-to-back NCAA titles in the event in 1957 and 1958.
- Seniors Dasha Tsema and Daina Levy will both try to claim first team All-America status in the discus for the first time in their careers. The Kansas women have seen four Jayhawks attain All-America status in the discus, most recently Jessica Maroszek via her sixth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA meet.
- Kansas is the only school with multiple entries in both the men’s and women’s discus competitions.
- Sophomore Sharon Lokedi will look to become the first Jayhawk in the women’s program history to attain All-America status in the 10,000 meters. A victory would make her the second KU female to win an NCAA title at the outdoor championships.
- The Kansas men’s 4×400-meter relay team is coming off a season-best time of 3:05.11, the school’s fastest time in the event since 2012. Jayhawk men’s 4×400-meter relays have attained first team All-America status four times but not since 1980.
- Kansas has now sent a 4×400-meter relay team to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on either or both the men’s and women’s sides in five of the last six years.
- Now in his 15th year as Kansas’ head coach, Stanley Redwine is seeing an average of nearly 10 athletes per season earn First Team All-America distinctions.
KU WOMEN AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Kansas is just three years removed from its 2013 NCAA Championship, which was the first in the women’s program’s history and added to a successful track record at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the KU women. The program has tallied eight top-25 finishes at the national meet in its 40-year history, including four in the last eight years.
The KU women have seen 59 of its athletes achieve All-America status at the NCAA meet, including 31 first-team AAs in the last four seasons. Former multi-event specialist Lindsay Vollmer was the first KU female to claim an individual national title, winning the heptathlon championship in 2013. The Jayhawks have had several close to individual outdoor titles, boasting six who have notched runner-up finishes in their respective events at the National Championships.
KU MEN AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Not many collegiate programs have seen more success at the national championships than Kansas has over its 115 years in existence. The Jayhawk men have captured three NCAA Outdoor titles (1959, 1960 and 1970) and have finished in the top 10 in the team standings on 18 occasions, including a seventh-place finish in 2010.
Kansas men have walked away with individual NCAA outdoor titles 36 times with the most recent being Michael Stigler’s 2015 400-meter hurdle title. A total of 152 outdoor All-Americans have donned the Crimson and Blue, with 31 of those coming under head coach Stanley Redwine.
WELCOME BACK TO HAYWARD FIELD
Eugene, Oregon may be nearly 2,000 miles from Lawrence but the members of KU’s track & field team are very familiar with historic Hayward Field. A Kansas contingent has made the trip to Oregon for at least one meet each of the last seven years. The venue, known by many as “Track Town USA”, has played host to four NCAA Championship meets, an NCAA West Preliminary meet and the U.S. Olympic Trials, all within the last six years.
Hayward Field will once again host the Olympic Trials later this summer and is slated to host each of the next five NCAA Outdoor Championships. Track Town USA was also recently selected to host the 2021 IAAF World Championships and is scheduled to begin a large renovation project this fall that will expand its seating to 30,000 as well as add a host of new amenities by the summer of 2018.
ADAMS BREAKS 800-METER RECORD
Junior Whitney Adams snapped the school’s 22-year-old 800-meter record at the Festival of Miles inside Saint Louis University High School Track Stadium June 2. Adams clocked in with a personal-best time of 2:04.43 to top Kristi Kloster’s former KU record by nearly a second.
Adams was the only collegiate entered in the race that featured a collection of some the top professional 800-meter specialists in North America. She managed to come through the finish in a new career best and school-record time of 2:04.43, good for a sixth-place finish.
The performance topped Kristi Kloster’s previous school record of 2:05.42, which she posted at the 1994 Big Eight Championships in Lawrence. Adams now owns five of the 10 fastest 800-meter times in program history, which includes her previous personal best of 2:05.43, recorded earlier this year at the Sun Angel Classic in April.
While Adams’ 2016 collegiate season came to an end at the NCAA West Preliminary last weekend in Lawrence, KU school record book procedures still allow for marks achieved at events outside the collegiate season, as long as the athlete is still on the Kansas track & field roster.
REDWINE NAMED BIG 12 COACH OF THE YEAR
Kansas track & field head coach Stanley Redwine was selected as the 2016 Men’s Big 12 Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches on May 19. The honor marked the fourth Big 12 Coach of the Year honor for Redwine.
The Kansas men’s squad has turned in a stellar season so far in 2016. The team is ranked among the top-25 in the NCAA, checking in this week at 25th. The team features five athletes and a relay team that rank inside the nation’s top-25 in their respective events. Last weekend at the Big 12 Championships, the men’s squad tallied three individual league titles as well as six top-three finishes en route to a second-place team finish. The performance was the team’s highest finish at a conference meet in 33 years. On Thursday, Kansas saw 16 individuals as well as its 4×400-meter relay accepted to the NCAA West Preliminary, which will be hosted at Rock Chalk Park May 26-28.
KU LEADS BIG 12 WITH 30 ACADEMIC HONOREES
A total of 30 Kansas student-athletes were named to the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Teams, the league office announced Tuesday. The Jayhawks and Texas Longhorns led the league with 30 honorees apiece, with the KU men’s and women’s teams each seeing 15 student-athletes honored. Eighty-nine members made up the Big 12 men’s academic team (66 first team and 23 second team), while 133 comprised the women’s squad (117 first team and 16 second team).
Twelve Jayhawk women were placed on the first team, led by sophomore Hannah Dimmick, who was one of 12 women to claim spots on the league’s academic list with a perfect 4.0 GPA, doing so for the second-straight year. On the men’s side, 10 KU student-athletes earned a spot on the first team. Seniors Ben Brownlee and Evan Landes secured first-team Academic All-Big 12 spots for the third time.
With the NCAA season complete several Jayhawks will turn their attention Olympic qualifying via Championship meets for their various countries being held throughout the months of June and July. The U.S. Olympic Team Trails are set to be held in Eugene, Oregon, July 1-10 at Hayward Field. Keep track of all the KU performances as the Jayhawks go up against their nation’s best by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on Twitter at @KUTrack.
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