Three Jayhawks, three KU relays advance on final day of West Prelims

RESULTS: Overall  (PDF) | Kansas

NCAA Championship Central

AUSTIN, Texas – The Kansas track & field teams finished with a flurry as the Jayhawks punched six more tickets to the National Championship meet on the third and final day of the NCAA West Preliminary inside Mike A. Myers Stadium. The KU men and women ended the three-day meet having amassed a total of 17 entries (nine men, eight women) into the NCAA Outdoor Championships to be hosted in Eugene, Oregon in two weeks.
“I’m very thankful we had the weekend that we did. We’re excited our athletes competed as well as they did. Everyone just came out and competed their best. Even those who didn’t advance, many still managed to record personal bests. They competed their guts out this week and it was fun to watch.”
          – Head coach Stanley Redwine on his teams’ performances this week.
“It was fun to see all three of our relays advance, but it was also great to see to discus throwers and Barden (Adams) in the triple jump get through. Today was a great day. I think the people who started us off on the first day, Gleb (Dudarev) having an awesome hammer throw and Shaylyn (Stallbaumer) doing will in the javelin, really set the right tone for the meet and got us off to a great start.”
          – Redwine on the Jayhawks’ strong start and strong finish to the meet.
“We just need to go into that meet with the attitude that we need to get something done and make sure we compete to the best of our ability. If we can do that I think we can look forward to the teams doing well at NCAAs”
          – Redwine on how his teams stand heading into the national championships.
Kansas saw two of its discus specialists book their trips to the NCAA Championships behind impressive outings Saturday afternoon on the Mike A. Myers Stadium infield. Mitch Cooper, who came into the event as the region’s top discus thrower posted the competition’s third-best best mark. The senior never strayed outside the top-five of the overall standings, but jumped to third on the leaderboard on his second attempt when he hurled the disc 58.94 meters (193-4).
The mark pushed Cooper through to the NCAA discus final for the third-straight season.
Junior Nicolai Ceban saw himself advance to Eugene in his second event of the weekend after he joined his senior teammate in earning his third-straight bid to the NCAA Championships in the discus. The Moldova native unleashed a toss of 55.70 meters (182-9) on his second trip into the ring. That throw gave Ceban a 10th-place finish and an automatic spot in the discus final in two weeks.
Cooper and Ceban will hit the throws cage at Hayward Field to compete for a national championship on Friday, June 9 in the event slated to begin at 7:05 p.m. (CT).
For the first time in 19 years, the Kansas men will see a Jayhawk compete for a national triple jump title after junior Barden Adams booked his ticket to the NCAA meet in the event. After a first-attempt foul, the West Orange, New Jersey native posted a mark of 16.38 meters (53-9) on his second trip down the runway to insert his name at third on the leaderboard. He would only drop one spot over the final round of jumps to end the day in fourth place and claim his first-career spot in the NCAA outdoor triple jump field.
 Barden AdamsAdams’ performance ended a 19-year drought for the Kansas men in the NCAA triple jump, with Lester Smith being the last Jayhawk to see action in the triple jump at the NCAA meet in 1998. He will look to become the seventh KU male to earn All-America honors in the event when he hits the runway in Eugene on Friday, June 9 at 7:40 p.m. (CT)
The Kansas women’s 4×100-meter relay team turned in one of the fastest times in program history to advance to the national semifinals in Oregon. The foursome of Tianna Valentine, Sydney Conley, Jedah Caldwell and Nicole Montgomery passed the baton around with three near-perfect handoffs and posted a time of 44.50 to take third in their quarterfinal heat. The performance, which improved on the squad’s season-best by .2 seconds, was the ninth-fastest of the 24 teams in the competition and earned the squad a spot inside the all-important top-12 that advanced to the NCAA Championships.
The Jayhawks’ time was also the seventh-fastest in the program’s history and the best by a KU 4×100-relay since 2013. The Kansas quartet will compete in the event semifinals on Thursday, June 8 at 6:32 p.m. (CT).
It was a fitting way to end the event as Kansas saw both its men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay teams advance through to the NCAA meet. The Jayhawk women’s team of Mariah Kuykendoll, Whitney Adams, Adriana Newell and Nicole Montgomery came from behind over the final two legs to nab the third automatic qualifying spot in its quarterfinal heat. The quartet completed its mile in 3:35.59 to claim the 10th bid out of the West Region. It marked the first time a KU women’s 4×400-meter relay advanced out of the preliminary meet since 2013.
The NCAA women’s 4×400-meter semifinals are set for Thursday, June 8 at 9:48 p.m. (CT).
The men’s team followed the women’s lead by snaring a bid of its own minutes later. The quartet of Ivan Henry, Jaron Hartley, Strymar Livingston and Tre Daniels found itself in an early deficit, sitting sixth following the first two legs. But a stellar leg from Livingston, who clocked in with a 45.33 split, helped the Jayhawks pull into third as he handed off to the anchor, Daniels. From there the junior managed to hold on to keep Jayhawks alive for a bid to nationals. Daniels crossed the finish with the clock reading 3:05.74, a season-best for the KU squad and the 10th-fastest time to advance to Eugene.
The Jayhawk men will look to improve upon their 17th-place finish in the NCAA semifinals a year ago when they take the Hayward Field track on Wednesday, June 7 at 9:48 p.m. (CT).
Kansas will send a total of 13 athletes and three relay teams to compete at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships to be held June 7-10 in Eugene, Oregon at Hayward Field. The No. 10-ranked Kansas men will see the following compete for national titles: Barden Adams (triple jump), Hussain Al Hizam (pole vault), Jake Albright (pole vault), Nicolai Ceban (shot put and discus), Mitch Cooper (discus), Gleb Dudarev (hammer throw), Strymar Livingston (800 meters) and the 4×400-meter relay team.

The Jayhawk women’s contingent will feature Whitney Adams (800 meters), Sydney Conley (long jump), LaTyria Jefferson (high jump), Sharon Lokedi (10,000 meters), Shaylyn Stallbaumer (Javelin), Laura Taylor (pole vault) and the both the women’s 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relays. Follow throughout the week as the Jayhawks go head-to-head with the NCAA’s best by logging on to and following on Twitter and Instagram at @KUTrack. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.