|Rock Chalk Classic
||April 28, 2017
||Rock Chalk Park
TICKETS | SCHEDULE | NOTES
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Kansas men’s and women’s track & field squads are set to return to Lawrence this weekend when they play host to the third annual Rock Chalk Classic on Friday, April 28. KU will welcome in Missouri State, Oral Roberts and UMKC. Nearly 90 Jayhawks are slated to compete in the final meet before hosting the Big 12 Championship in two weeks.
- This weekend, KU will see nearly 90 of its athletes compete inside its home facility at the third annual Rock Chalk Classic. The Jayhawks feature 42 student-athletes who hail from the state of Kansas and four Lawrence natives who will be in action in front of family and friends this weekend.
- The Kansas men find themselves ranked 11th in the latest national standings, which marks the highest the program his climbed in the top-25 since the current format began in 2008.
- After their first three weeks of the outdoor season, 11 Jayhawks find themselves ranked among the top-25 of the NCAA rankings in their respective events.
- If the season were to end today, 23 Jayhawks (15 men, eight women) and two relay teams would qualify to the NCAA West Preliminary meet by way of their top-48 ranking in the Region. The West Preliminary will be hosted in Austin, Texas, May 25-27.
- Freshman Gleb Dudarev enters the meet as the nation’s No. 1-ranked hammer thrower. In his first collegiate outing in the event three weeks ago, he posted the top-five throws in school history, including a school record toss of 72.69 meters (238-6 ft.).
- KU features a pair of vaulters that find themselves ranked inside the top-five of the NCAA vault ranks. Hussain Al Hizam and Jake Albright cleared career-best bars of 5.60 meters (18-4½) in successive weekends to start the outdoor campaign. Only five other Jayhawk vaulters in program history have posted better outdoor marks.
- For the second-straight year, senior Mitch Cooper shined in the discus, defending his Kansas Relays crown with one of the top throws in school history. He posted a winning toss of 61.77 meters (202-8 ft.), the No. 3 mark in the NCAA DI ranks this year and the third-farthest throw in school history.
- Junior Laura Taylor moved her name up the all-time KU women’s pole vault list with a win in the event Saturday. Taylor cleared a personal-best bar of 4.22 meters (13-10) to outduel teammate Alexis Romero. The performance moved Taylor to fourth on Kansas’ all-time pole vault list and to No. 16 on the latest NCAA rankings.
- Freshman Quentin Dancer became the first male in 27 years to snare victories in both the 100 meter and 200 meter races at the KU Relays. Dancer out-leaned the competition with times of 10.47 and 21.39, respectively, and added more points to the KU cause running a leg for the Jayhawks’ runner-up 4×100-meter relay. His 19.75 points were a team high.
Livingston set for another quick half-mile
Strymar Livingston is slated to compete in his third 800-meter race of the outdoor season this weekend. The senior has posted a sub-1:49 minute clocking in his outdoor opener at the Texas Relays. Despite the impressive run, Livingston is still up against an incredibly deep collegiate 800-meter field that has already seen 26 athletes break the 1:48 minute mark this year. If Livingston wants to run the half-mile at the NCAA Championships in June, a quick 800-meter clocking may need to come this weekend as busy Big 12 Championship and NCAA Preliminary weekends await him. The men’s 800 meters is set for 6:45 p.m.
Dudarev looking for third hammer throw win of 2017
Freshman Gleb Dudarev has already proven himself among the top hammer throwers in the nation this season, still holding the farthest mark in the collegiate ranks this year and two wins in his first two outings of his collegiate career. Dudarev will try to keep his undefeated season going Friday, but will have to go up against a strong field of throwers from Missouri State, Oral Roberts and UMKC. The men’s hammer throw is scheduled to get underway at approximately 5:20 p.m.
Can Cooper take down his own school record?
Senior Mitch Cooper will enter the throws ring at Rock Chalk Park Friday a week removed from coming within two feet from taking down his own Kansas record in the discus at the Kansas Relays. Cooper is again set to throw the discus Friday and will try to add another one of his performances to the best in program history. The senior currently sits as the third-ranked thrower in the NCAA, but has his eyes set on hitting the World Championship qualifying mark at 65.00 meters (213-3). The men’s discus will kick off the day at 2 p.m.
Taylor Gunning for 14-foot milestone
Junior Laura Taylor saw a career outing in her pole vault victory last week at the Kansas Relays. She cleared a career-best 4.22 meters (13-10), moving to No. 4 on KU’s all-time list and 15th on the yearly NCAA list. The next milestone in Taylor’s cross-hairs is becoming the fourth Jayhawk to surpass the 14-foot plateau. She’ll try to post a personal-record vault for the third-straight competition when she hits the runway at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Lokedi back at Rock Chalk Park for first time in 2017
Jayhawk All-American Sharon Lokedi will see her first action on the Rock Chalk Park oval in 2017 when he runs in the 1,500 meters. Last week, Lokedi took down the school record in the 5,000 meters at the Cardinal Classic in Stanford, California. The 1,500 meters is the final distance event the Eldoret, Kenya product has yet to post one of the school’s 10-fastest times. Look for that to change after her run on Friday in the race set to go off at 5:45 p.m.
The Kansas Track & Field teams will take a week off before returning to Rock Chalk Park for the 2017 Big 12 Outdoor Championships May 12-14. The Jayhawks will host their first Big 12 meet in the league’s history and their first conference championship since it hosted the Big 8 outdoor meet in 1994. Keep track of all the Jayhawk performances by logging on to KUAthletics.com for complete updates and results and follow through Twitter at @KUTrack.
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