Lokedi, Al Hizam claim gold to cap final day of Big 12 Championship
WACO, Texas – Kansas senior Sharon Lokedi earned her second gold medal of the weekend by winning the 5,000-meter run on Sunday evening and junior Hussain Al Hizam claimed his second-straight Big 12 Outdoor title in the pole vault to highlight the final day of the 2018 Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Waco, Texas. The gold medals from Lokedi and Al Hizam on the final day helped both teams finish in a tie for third in the team standings, with the women’s team finishing with 109 points alongside Baylor and the men posting 101 points to tie in-state rival Kansas State.
If Lokedi’s name wasn’t already solidified in the Big 12 history books, her win in the 5,000 certainly did the trick. With the win, Lokedi became just the second athlete in the history of the conference to double in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in back-to-back years. Her time of 16:15.12 was also the fourth-fastest ran in Kansas history.
Al Hizam’s gold medal gave him outdoor conference titles in back-to-back years and gave him the sweep of the conference pole vault crown after winning the Big 12 indoor gold in the event earlier this year. The Jubail, Saudi Arabia product cleared an outdoor personal-best of 5.63 meters (18-5.5 ft.) to break his own Big 12 Conference record set last year. The clearance also moved Al Hizam into sixth on the KU all-time performers list.
For the Kansas women, sophomore Jedah Caldwell picked up for medals on the final day, finishing sixth in the 400-meter dash, fifth in the 200 meters, fourth as a member of the 4×100-meter relay and sixth as a member of the 4×400 squad.
The women’s 800 meters was a successful event for the Jayhawks as junior Marleena Eubanks finished second with a time of 2:04.44 – just one-hundredth of a second off the school record set by Whitney Adams in 2016. Junior Nicole Montgomery also place eighth and became the No. 4 performer in school history with a time of 2:06.18.
Women’s shot put throwers Alexandra Emilianov and Lea Riedel placed fifth and eighth, respectively, with Riedel becoming the No. 7 performer in school history with a personal-best throw of 15.24 meters (50-0 ft.).
Other notable performers for the Jayhawk women were junior LaTyria Jefferson, who finished second in the high jump with a personal-best clearance of 1.83 meters (6-0 ft.) to move into a tie for No. 3 on the KU all-time charts, junior Caraline Slattery, who posted a PR time of 58.14 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles to become the No. 2 performer in school history in the event, senior Hannah Dimmick, who placed fourth in the 1,5000 final to earn five points, and senior Courtney Coppinger, who joined Lokedi on the podium for the 5,000 after placing seventh with a personal-best time of 16:58.76.
Junior Ivan Henry had a successful day on the track for the Jayhawk men, helping the 4×100 relay team to a seventh-place finish and the 4×400 relay to fourth, while also finishing fourth in the 400-meter dash with a PR time of 46.15 seconds to become the No. 7 performer in school history in the event and placing seventh in the 200 with a time of 21.05 seconds.
The Kansas men’s discus throwers tallied a total of 16 points, led by freshman George Evans with eight and a second-place finish. Evans threw a PR mark of 58.67 meters (192-6 ft.) to become the No. 8 performer in school history, while Nicolai Ceban finished third and Brandon Lombardino placed seventh.
Sophomore Cody Johnson earned two trips to the podium on Sunday, placing seventh in the 110-meter hurdles and fifth in the 400 hurdles with a personal-best time of 51.85 seconds. Freshman Darius Releford also earned a podium spot in the 400 hurdles with a PR of 52.53 seconds to place seventh.
Bryce Hoppel placed fourth in the 800 meters, Dylan Hodgson took seventh in the 5,000 after placing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Saturday night, and Paulo Benavides and Kyle Rogers joined Al Hizam on the podium in the pole vault with fifth and eighth place finishes, respectively.
With the conclusion of the conference meet, the Jayhawks turn their focus to the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, California, May 24-26. Any Kansas athletes that finished with a mark inside the top-48 of their respective events in the West region will qualify for the meet. The official entries list is scheduled to be released on Thursday, May 17 at approximately noon CDT.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.