Relay records fall at Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A new Kansas quartet entered the school record book, while another rewrote its own KU record as the Jayhawk track & field teams competed Saturday at the Alex Wilson Invitational inside the Loftus Sports Center. The Jayhawk women’s distance medley relay posted a new program best and was later joined by the men’s 4×400-meter relay team, which broke the school record for the second time in three weeks.
PERFORMANCES OF THE DAY
In a meet that routinely produces the nation’s fastest distance medley times every season, the Kansas team took advantage by, not only rewriting the school record in the event, but also putting itself in prime position to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships less than three weeks away.
The squad, comprised of sophomores Riley Cooney and Nicole Montgomery as well as seniors Whitney Adams and Hannah Richardson, completed the 4,000-meter race more than six seconds faster than any other Kansas DMR team before it. Cooney got her team off to a strong start with a stellar 1,200-meter leg, finishing her four laps in 3:26.5 before handing off to Montgomery for her quarter-mile leg. The Colorado Springs, product clipped off a 52.1-second 400-meter sprint to keep her team well on record pace as her team began the final two legs.
Nicole Montgomery, Riley Cooney, Whitney Adams and Hannah RichardsonAdams then took over the baton for the 800-meter leg. The school’s record holder in the outdoor 800 meters, Adams posted a 2:06.8 half-mile, nearly a second faster than her season’s best in the event. Richardson was next on the anchor leg which consisted of 1,600 meters to close out the race. The senior came up with a sensational run to close KU’s record race on a high note. She finished her mile in 4:36.4, a time that would have been a school record had it been in the open event.
Richardson brought the baton across the finish line with the clock reading 11:01.85, good enough for a sixth-place finish in a race that featured six of the eight fastest DMR times this season. The Jayhawks’ time broke the old school record, previously set at 11:07.96 by the KU team at the 2010 Alex Wilson Invitational. It also moved Kansas to No. 8 on the most recent NCAA distance medley rankings for 2017, putting KU in a solid position to qualify for the national championship meet. Since the current qualifying procedure began in 2013, every team to post a season’s-best time of 11:05 or better has gone on to qualify for the NCAA indoor meet.
Later in the day, it was the Kansas men’s turn to make headlines. The 4×400-meter relay squad of Ivan Henry, Tre Daniels, Jaron Hartley and Strymar Livingston entered the day on a tear, posting two of the three fastest 4×400-meter times in school history over the last two weekends, which included a school-record run at the Husker Invitational on Feb. 4. The foursome took that tear to another gear Saturday, smashing their own record by more than two seconds and posting one of the fastest times in the nation this year.
After a hotly contested race, the Jayhawks passed the baton around in 3:05.57, coming in as the runner-up to the squad out of Alabama, which posted the NCAA’s third-fastest time on 2017. The KU team shaved more than two seconds off their previous record mark and moved up to No. 7 on the latest NCAA DI chart. Like the women’s DMR team, the men’s time makes them nearly a lock to qualify for the national championships as every 4×400-meter relay team to break 3:06 in the event over the last five seasons has earned a spot in the NCAA meet.
STANLEY SAID IT
“In the distance medley, the purpose of the first three legs is to get the team in a good position heading into the last leg, and I thought our first three runners did a great job of doing that. The fourth leg is what makes the difference in that race though and Hannah (Richardson) was great. She closed strong and rounded out a great performance by the team.”
– Head coach Stanley Redwine on the women’s distance medley relay performance.
“Everyone ran a total team race. Each individual did well on their legs and really competed well. From Ivan (first leg) to Strymar (anchor leg), everyone ran a great race.”
– Redwine on the men’s 4×400-meter relay
“It all comes down to what happens on that day. I think the coaches have done a good job of getting the athletes in shape and prepared. Now it’s all about going out there and competing and executing. If we do those two things, we’ll hopefully have a successful meet.”
- Redwine on how his teams sit heading into the Big 12 indoor meet next weekend.
The Jayhawks will head back to Ames, Iowa for the Big 12 Indoor Championship to be held in the Lied Recreation Center for the fifth-straight season. The league meet is scheduled to kick off Friday, February 24 and conclude Saturday, February 25. Get live updates and results from the Jayhawks’ performances by following on Twitter and Instagram @KUTrack.
Men’s 4×400-Meter Relay
2. Henry, Daniels, Hartley, Livingston – 3:05.57 (School Record)
Women’s 4×400-meter relay
1. Newell, Kuykendoll, Montgomery, Adams – 3:36.13 (Season Best)
Women’s Distance Medley relay
6. R. Cooney, N. Montgomery, W. Adams, H. Richardson – 11:01.85 (School Record)
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