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Jayhawks Prepare To Host Kansas Relays

Posted: 1:22 PM Apr 17, 2013
Reporter: KU Sports Information (Posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)

Jayhawks Ready to Host 86th Running of Kansas Relays

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams return to host one of the most historic meets in U.S., the Kansas Relays. The 86th installment of the meet will begin on Wednesday, April 17 and continue through Saturday, April 20. Some of the nation’s top high school and collegiate athletes, as well as a collection of some of the top professional athletes in the world, will be in action inside Memorial Stadium. The meet will also feature the No.-1 ranked Kansas women, which boasts two NCAA leaders.



@KU_Track QUICK HITS

· This weekend, KU will see nearly 90 of its athletes compete inside its home facility for the 86th edition of the Kansas Relay. The Jayhawks feature over 40 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 women find themselves ranked No. 1 by the USTFCCCA for the fourth-straight week, the longest the program has ever sat in the nation’s top spot.

· Memorial Stadium has played host to all 86 installments of the Kansas Relays and holds one of the last 440-yard tracks in the U.S. today.

· Three KU women’s long jumpers each find themselves among the top-10 in the nation this year. Francine Simpson is second in the NCAA, Sydney Conley sits fourth and Andrea Geubelle has the ninth-best mark in 2013.

· Senior Natalia Bartnovskaya broke KU’s outdoor pole vault record two weeks ago at the Sun Angel Classic. Her mark of 4.41 meters (14’5.5”) was just two inches from making her one of the top-10 vaulters in NCAA history.

· The men’s 4x400-meter relay team of Kyle Clemons, Michael Stigler, Mike Hester and Kenneth McCuin combined for a 3:05.95 race in a win at the Sun Angel Classic, the fifth-fastest in school history.

· The No. 1-ranked KU women have nine athletes and a relay sitting in the NCAA’s top-10 after the first three weekends of action, including Andrea Guebelle who currently holds the nation’s top triple jump mark.

· Sophomore Lindsay Vollmer’s most recent heptathlon performance was the second-best in Kansas history. She amassed a personal-best 5,478 points to finish second at the Texas Relays. Her mark is also No. 4 in the NCAA this year.

· KU’s All-American women’s 4x400-meter relay team moved to near the top of the national list after clocking with a winning time of 3:32.26 at the Sun Angel Classic. Last season, Denesha Morris, Paris Daniels, Taylor Washington and Diamond Dixon posted the best NCAA-qualifying time, running 3:28.10 en route to the Big 12 title in the event.



LAST TIME OUT

Senior Paris Daniels ran to the fourth-fastest 200-meter time in the world this year as the Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams took part in the John McDonnell Invitational Saturday in Fayetteville. The No. 1-ranked women finished third in the scored meet while the Jayhawk men claimed a fifth-place team finish. Daniels won her first outing in the 200 meters this season when she crossed the finish in a wind-aided time of 22.76 to take the title by nearly half a season.



KU’s top performance in the field came in the long jump from Sydney Conley. Conley soared to a distance of 6.35 meters (20’10”). The wind-legal mark earned Conley her second victory of the outdoor season.



On the men’s side, sophomore Michael Stigler again turned in two great performances, competing in both the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles. In the 110-meter hurdles Stigler ran to season-best time of 14.16 and a fourth-place finish. In the 400-meter hurdles he crossed the finish in 50.26. Stigler now holds the second- and third- fastest 400-meter hurdle times in the NCAA this season.



@KU_TRACK ATHLETE TO WATCH

Kyle Clemons // SR // Sprints // 5-11 // Rowlett, Texas

Clemons will be seeing his final competitive action inside Memorial Stadium this weekend. The senior is scheduled to run his first 400-meter race Saturday in the Invitational race that features a pair of Olympians and a U.S. Champion. After qualifying for the Olympic Trials in 2012, he will look to begin his run to another USA Championships in Memorial. Last week, Clemons turned in the fastest 200-meter race of his career. Look for a similar result in the 400 meters this week.



STILL NO. 1

After being named the NCAA’s No. 1 team in the preseason rankings, the Kansas women’s track & field team has validated its position after being named to the top spot by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) the first three weeks of the regular season. The team has now been No. 1 on the last four lists released, marking the longest stay atop the NCAA rankings in program history.



The ranking also marks the 18th-consecutive top-25 list in which the women’s team has been slotted in the top-five of the NCAA, which includes both indoor and outdoor seasons. KU’s streak is the longest active in the nation.



LEAGUE LEADERS

Three weeks in to the 2013 outdoor season, the Kansas women have already displayed their superiority by way of the Big 12 rankings. The team, which claimed the program’s first conference title at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in February, has 12 Jayhawks boasting marks ranking in the top-three of the league’s yearly performance list. That list also includes seven KU women who lead the conference in their respective events.



Kansas will look to win its first outdoor conference championship at the Big 12 meet to be held in Waco, Texas, May 3-5. Last season the women’s team finished as the runner-up to Texas by just 9.5 points.



The Jayhawk men also have several team members who have climbed their way near the top of the early-season conference standings. Sophomore Michael Stigler has posted the conference’s fastest 400-meter hurdle time at 50.00. In addition to Stigler, three other KU men and a relay team currently hold marks that rank second in the Big 12.



OLYMPIANS AGAIN FLOCKING TO MEMORIAL

Memorial Stadium will again welcome some of the top track & field athletes in the world as a host of professionals are set to compete on Jim Hershberger Track. A total of 21 Olympic medalists will be in action this weekend in Lawrence, six of which have won at least one gold medal. The KU Relays will also welcome several of America’s best as 17 U.S. Champions are scheduled to compete.



Two American record-holders will be in action: Jenn Suhr, the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault and Trell Kimmons, who was a member of the record-breaking 4x100-meter relay team at the 2012 Olympics.



STADIUM RECORD HOLDERS RETURN

Four athletes will return to Memorial Stadium this week with fond memories, each of whom are current Memorial Stadium record holders. All four records were broken last year, two of which were by Jayhawks.



Kansas senior Alena Krechyk smashed her own facility record in the hammer throw at the Relays last year with a mark of 216’8”. The KU women’s 4x400-meter relay team also toppled a stadium mark last year when Denesha Morris, Shayla Wilson, Paris Daniels and Diamond Dixon passed the baton around in 3:31.07.



Two Olympians, DeeDee Trotter and Bershawn “Batman” Jackson will be back last year after etching their names into the Stadium record-books last year. Trotter won the Invitational 400 meters with a time of 50.94. Jackson managed to take down his own facility record a year ago en route to claiming his seventh Relays 400-meter hurdles title. Jackson finished in an incredible 48.20.



HORIZONTAL JUMP HIGH JINKS

The KU women’s horizontal jumpers have proven they are one of the deepest event groups in the country this year. Seniors Francine Simpson and Andrea Geubelle and freshman Sydney Conley have each posted marks in the long jump that rank in the top-10 of the NCAA this year. Simpson’s 21’8.75” mark ranks second, Conley’s 20’10” leap is fourth and Geubelle turned in a jump of 20’8.5” that ranks ninth. Geubelle also holds the nation’s top mark in the triple jump.



Only one other school, Texas A&M (in the 100 meters), has three athletes among the NCAA’s top-10 of an event.



OUTDOOR RECORD HOLDERS

Nine school records are currently held by active Jayhawks, each of which have been broken within the last 12 months. The women’s squad saw seven of its records broken a year ago, while the men’s team had a 30-year-old record broken in 2012. Below is a list of KU’s current school record holders:



SCHOOL RECORDS

Athlete
Event
Mark
Meet

Diamond Dixon
400 Meters
50.88
U.S. Olympic Trials

Michael Stigler
400m Hurdles
49.45
Big 12 Championships

Daniels, Simpson,
Morris, Dixon
4x100m Relay
43.73
Big 12 Championships

Morris, Daniels,
Washington, Dixon
4x400m Relay
3:28.10
Big 12 Championships

Natalia Bartnovskaya
Pole Vault
4.41m (14-5.5 ft.)
Sun Angel Classic

Andrea Geubelle
Triple Jump
13.84m (45-5 ft.)
NCAA Championships

Jessica Maroszek
Discus
56.73m (186-1 ft.)
Wis. Throws Pentathlon

Alena Krechyk
Hammer Throw
69.02m (226-5 ft.)
Big 12 Championships

Heather Bergmann
Javelin
52.65m (172-8 ft.)
Ark. Spring Invitational






HOME TOWN HEROES

A host of Jayhawks will compete in front of family and friends this week as KU’s Kansas natives will be in action in Lawrence. The Jayhawks’ current roster boasts 46 athletes who call Kansas home, eight of which newcomers, who will compete in the KU singlet inside Memorial Stadium for the first time.



Four Jayhawks who hail from the Lawrence area will be in action this weekend: Austin Hoag, Kyra Kilwein, Rachael Schaffer and Logan Sloan.



PRELIM PREDICTIONS

Even with six weeks still to go before the NCAA preliminary meets begin, it’s never too early to see how the qualifying picture is beginning to come together. If the season were to end today, the women would see 17 of its athletes and two relays travel to Austin for the West Region Preliminary meet. A year ago, the team, which went on to notch a fourth-place team finish at the NCAA Championships, saw 16 women earn spots at the prelim meet.



On the men’s side, 13 Jayhawks and a relay hold marks that would earn them a spot to Austin if the season ended today.



GEUBELLE GOING FOR GOLD

Senior Andrea Geubelle is making sure her career in Lawrence ends on a high note. The University Place, Wash., product has collected a litany of accolades during the indoor and outdoor seasons that have her among top-collegiate athletes this year. Here are some of her accomplishments thus far:



· One of 10 athletes listed on April’s ‘The Bowerman’ Watch List.

· Currently holds NCAA’s top outdoor triple jump mark, 13.76m (41’1.75”).

· USTFCCCA National Field Athlete of the Year.

· First female since 2003 to win both indoor long jump and triple jump NCAA titles.

· Winning NCAA triple jump mark (46’6”) was second-best indoor mark ever by an American.

· National Indoor Champion in both long jump and triple jump.

· Jayhawks’ top scorer (18 pts.) at the Big 12 Indoor Championships with her victory in the triple jump and runner-up finish in the long jump.

· Has won 14 of the last 16 triple jump competitions versus collegians, including all four this season.

· Moved into top-10 of NCAA all-time triple jump list after breaking her own school record with a leap of 13.91 meters (45’7.75”).

· Broke long jump school record in her win at the Armory Collegiate Invitational with her nation-leading leap of 6.69 meters (21’11.5”).

· Broke Anschutz facility record in the long jump with mark of 6.25 meters (20’6.25”).

· Named the National Female Athlete of the Week by the USTFCCCA Feb. 4.



AN INDOOR CAMPAIGN TO REMEMBER

The women’s team’s 2013 indoor season was the best in program history. The team was ranked in the top-five of the NCAA rankings for the entire season and moved to No. 1 for the first time since the current rankings system began in 2008. The team went on to claim its first-ever conference title in late February behind a program best six individual Big 12 champions.



The team saw a program-best 11 student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships and went on to earn its second-consecutive runner-up team finish. Three national titles were won by Jayhawks with Andrea Geubelle winning both the long and triple jumps and Natalia Bartnovskaya claiming the pole vault championships. In all, eight First Team All-America honors were earned by Jayhawks, also a program best.



UP NEXT

With the majority of the team taking the weekend off to prepare for the upcoming Big 12 Championships, the Jayhawk throwers will journey to San Diego, Calif., to compete at the Triton Invitational on April 27. For updates and a complete recap on KU’s performances log on to KUAthletics.com and follow on twitter at @KU_Track.





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