Vaulters soar on final day of Texas Relays

AUSTIN, Texas – Kansas track & field wrapped up action at the 91st Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Saturday, with senior women’s pole vaulter Laura Taylor clearing a new personal-best mark and barely missing on tying the school record to improve on her No. 2 all-time standing in the KU record books, and junior men’s vaulter Hussain Al Hizam tied a personal record to remain the No. 6 men’s performer in school history.
Taylor, a product of Tualatin, Oregon, improved her personal record by four centimeters (2.75 inches), clearing 4.35 meters (14-3.25 ft.) on her first attempt at the bar. Prior to her PR clearance, Taylor vaulted over 4.05 meters (13-3.5 ft.) and 4.20 meters (13-9.25 ft.) but was unable to match Natalia Bartnovskaya’s 2013 school-record mark of 4.45 meters (14-7.25 ft.) and finished her day tied for eighth in the University Elite section at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Hussain, the 2018 indoor national champion in the men’s pole vault finished tied for fourth in the men’s University Elite competition, tying a personal-best mark of 5.60 meters (18-4.5 ft.). Al Hizam’s best mark currently places him in a tie for sixth on the Kansas all-time performers list with his former teammate Jake Albright.
The women’s 4×800-meter relay team of Dorie Dalzell, Riley Cooney, Hannah Dimmick and Caraline Slattery were the first Jayhawks to compete on Saturday, finishing fifth with a time of 9:02.72.
The men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay teams each competed in the University Invitational section of the event to conclude the Texas Relays, with the women’s team of Mariah Kuykendoll, Megan Linder, Nicole Montgomery and Honour Finley finishing fifth with a time of 3:36.82. The men’s team of Ivan Henry, Jaron Hartley, Isaiah Cole and Tre Daniels clocked in to finish eighth with a time of 3:18.95.
While part of the Jayhawk squad was competing in Austin, a large contingent was in action at the Oral Roberts Invitational in Tulsa, Oklahoma where KU athletes recorded four event victories and nine personal records.
Brandon Lombardino highlighted the KU action in Tulsa with two event victories, winning the shot put and discus. Lombardino threw 16.81 meters in the shot for the win and recorded a mark of 54.52 meters in the discus.
George Letner was the only other Kansas male to finish first, winning the 5,000-meter run with a personal-best time of 15:09.09, and freshman Lea Riedel won the women’s shot put with a mark of 13.82 meters.
Along with Letner’s personal record, Ezekiel Welch hit a PR of 7.00 meters in the long jump, Gabbi Dabney and Teri Huslig finished the 100-meter hurdles in personal-best times, Zantori Dickerson finished fifth in the 400 meters and ninth in the 200, both with a PR times, Courtney Griffiths finished the 800 in second in a personal-best 2:14.82, and Rachel Clowers hit PR marks in both the shot put and discus.
The Jayhawks will trek to Tempe, Arizona to compete in the Sun Angel Classic at Sun Angel Stadium, April 6-7.



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