Throwers Highlight Friday at Jayhawk Classic

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Strong season-opening outings from a pair of Kansas throwers highlighted a successful day for the KU track & field squads Friday at the Jayhawk Classic inside Anschutz Pavilion. Freshman Gleb Dudarev and junior Nicolai Ceban each posted marks that moved them into the top-five of the NCAA standings and were joined by 11 Jayhawk men and women to claim individual victories in the final home meet of the indoor season.
Dudarev jumped onto the collegiate scene with a bang Friday afternoon, posting a collection of the school’s best weight throw marks in nearly a decade. A native of Belarus, Dudarev was competing in his first meet as a Jayhawk and immediately inserted his name on both the school’s all-time and 2017 NCAA lists.
On his very first trip into the throws ring, Dudarev posted one of the top marks in program history, heaving the 35-pound implement to a distance of 22.97 meters (75-4). That throw would immediately move his name to No. 2 among the Jayhawks’ all-time weight throwers, behind only two-time NCAA Champion Egor Agafonov.
Dudarev posted four more throws over 74 feet, but was unable to improve on his first attempt, that is until the final round. On his last journey into the cage, Dudarev unwound for a toss of 23.00 meters (75-5½), a mark that topped the rest of the collegiate field by nearly 18 feet.
His final throw was the third-farthest in program history and moved Dudarev to second on the latest NCAA weight throw rankings. After just one meet, he is the owner of four of the nine best weight throw marks in school history.
“We did a really good job today. I thought everyone competed well. It was really good to see our two throwers do what they did. When this is your first meet and you throw the No. 2 mark in the nation, that’s pretty good. Both Gleb (Dudarev) and Nicolai (Ceban) were our performers of the meet but we had a lot of good performances today.”

  • Head coach Stanley Redwine on the Jayhawks’ performance Friday


Junior Nicolai Ceban* Junior Nicolai Ceban began his third season in Lawrence on a high note, posting a personal best and victorious throw to move him up the national leaderboard. Ceban got the ball out to a mark of 19.85 meters (65-1½) on his second attempt of the day. That toss gave him the event victory by nearly nine feet over the rest of the field. After just one outing, Ceban now sits at No. 2 on the 2017 NCAA shot put chart. The performance also moved him to No. 5 on the Jayhawks’ all-time indoor shot put list.
* Laura Taylor was the last woman standing in the pole vault. The junior cleared each of the first four heights on her first attempt, including the bar at 4.03 meters (13-2½), a feat no other competitor was able to match.
* For the fifth-straight meet this season, a Kansas men’s pole vaulter finished on the top step of the podium as Paulo Benavides claimed the win Friday night. The sophomore out of El Paso, Texas only needed one clearance for the win, vaulting over the bar at 5.23 meters (17-1¾).
* It was a winning day for the Jayhawks in the triple jump pits. Sophomore Deanna Dougherty picked up her second victory of the 2017 indoor campaign, posting a mark of 11.90 meters (39-0½) on her fourth trip down the runway. Ezekiel Welch followed up his female counterpart with a win of his own. The junior hopped, skipped and jumped to a mark of 15.08 meters (49-5¾). That leap was a personal best for Welch, who now sits fifth among Big 12 triple jumpers this season.
* Senior Tianna Valentine turned in a season-best outing en route to a victory in the 60 meters. Valentine was the top qualifier out of the event prelims earlier in the day by way of her time of 7.54. In the final, Valentine broke the tape in 7.46 to finish atop the podium. The outing was her fastest of the season and seventh among Big 12 sprinters in 2017.
* Sophomore Nicole Montgomery posted a personal record and earned her first win of the season in the 200 meters. The Colorado Springs product completed her one lap around Bill Easton track in 24.70, to shave .08 seconds off her previous best and top the runner-up by .19 seconds.
* Freshman Denzel Harper picked up the first victory of his collegiate career in leaping to a win in the long jump. Harper posted a first-attempt mark of 7.09 meters (23-3¼), his best jump of the season, en route to the victory.
The Jayhawks will hit the road for Lincoln, Nebraska to take part in the 42nd Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, Feb. 3-4. Two full days from the Bob Devaney Sports Center will begin at 11:30 a.m., Friday with the events of the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon. Events will run both days and conclude Saturday with the 4×400-meter relays at 4:56 p.m. Get live updates and results of the Jayhawks’ performances by 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.