Jayhawks Close Out West Prelims, Set Stage For NCAA Championships

By: KU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: KU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley

AUSTIN, Texas – Kansas track & field had a strong finish at the 2013 NCAA West Preliminary as a total of four athletes and three relay teams added their names to the list of Jayhawks advancing to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, with two more qualifying for the second time, Saturday inside Mike A. Myers Stadium. In all, KU will see 20 entries (13 women, 7 men) at the National Championships two weeks from now.

“I thought this was a great meet for us,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “We’re always excited about the people who have the chance to move on but also want more for the people that don’t. I’m excited for nationals though. We need to make sure we get rested up after this meet and be ready to go in two weeks.”

After already claiming a spot in the NCAA long jump final earlier this week, senior Andrea Geubelle returned to the Mike A. Myers runway to try and duplicate that feat in the triple jump. The 10-time All-American didn’t waste any time, leaping to a mark of 13.76 meters (45’1.75”) on her first attempt of the day. She was not able to leap any further but the mark was more than enough to qualify her for the national final in Oregon.

Geubelle will look to defend her indoor triple jump crown when she takes to the Hayward Field runway June 7 at 5:25 p.m. (CT).

Another KU senior turned in a qualifying-worth performance as Paris Daniels advanced in the 200 meters. The St. Louis native ran to the second-fastest qualifying time and won her heat in 22.93, the No. 6 wind-legal time in school history. Daniels, who finished eighth in the NCAA in the event last season, will look to again garner First Team All-America honors as she competes in the national semifinal race, to run on June 6 at 6 p.m. (CT).

Heather Bergmann continues to write an impressive final chapter of her Kansas career as she paved the way to her third-consecutive NCAA javelin final. The senior out of Concordia, Kan., posted three throws over 160 feet in the Saturday night prelim, including her top mark which measured to 49.82 meters (163’5”). The heave earned Bergmann the fifth qualifying spot for Eugene and will give her an opportunity to claim First Team All-America status in the event for the third time. The javelin final is slated for June 5 at 7:15 p.m. (CT).

A pair of career bests propelled the Jayhawk duo competing in the men’s pole vault through to the national meet. Junior Alex Bishop and sophomore Casey Bowen vaulted themselves into the top-12 of the final standings to each advance to Nationals. Both Bishop and Bowen cleared a top bar of 5.40 meters (17’8.5”) to erase their previous personal bests by several inches. Bowen ended his day with a sixth-place finish, while Bishop checked in at 10th overall.

Both will look to become Kansas’ ninth and 10th pole vault All-Americans when they suit up for the event final scheduled for June 5 at 6 p.m. (CT).

Leading off the final day in Austin for the Jayhawks was senior Jesse Vaughn, hoping to earn his first ticket into the NCAA Championships in the javelin. This season’s Big 12 Champion in the event, Vaughn had another career outing with a top mark of 68.69 meters (225’4”) on his third attempt of the day. The throw, which is a personal best for the Shawnee Heights, Kan., native, was the best of the 16-man second flight and earned him three additional throws in the final.

Vaughn was not able to top his personal best heave in the final, but managed to stay in the all-important top-12 and advance to the final in Eugene. Vaughn, who was the 12th and final qualifier out of the West Region, will attempt to earn All-America honors in Eugene on June 8 at 2:30 p.m. (CT).

KU’s 4x100-meter relay set the tone for a successful night session for the Jayhawk women. Daniels, Tianna Valentine, Denesha Morris and Diamond Dixon finished the quarter-mile race in 43.56 to notch the fastest qualifying time out of the West Region. The quartet’s time was not only a school record, but the fourth-best in the NCAA this season and earned the team a trip to the NCAA Championships, a first for the Kansas women.

To conclude the meet the men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relays took center stage. Leading off was the KU women’s team of Morris, Dixon, Taylor Washington and Daniels. Running in one of the more competitive heats, the Jayhawks passed the baton around in 3:31.77 to take second in their quarterfinal heat. The team’s time was the fifth-fastest qualifier out of the West Region and earned the quartet a date in the national semifinal scheduled for June 6 at 8:20 p.m. (CT).

The Jayhawk men, who also had to traverse through the fastest of the three quarterfinal heats, managed to stake their names among those who qualified for Eugene. DeMario Johnson, Kyle Clemons, Michael Hester and Michael Stigler completed the mile race in 3:04.93, their fastest of the season and the No. 7 qualifying time out of the West Region. The foursome will take to the Hayward Field track for the semifinal heat on June 6 at 8:40 p.m. (CT).

Kansas will send a total of 20 entries to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. Hosted by the University of Oregon at Historic Hayward Field, the top-ranked Kansas women will see the following compete for national titles: Natalia Bartnovskaya (pole vault), Heather Bergmann (javelin), Sydney Conley (long jump), Paris Daniels (200m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Diamond Dixon (400m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Andrea Geubelle (long jump, triple jump), Christen Guenther (pole vault), Alena Krechyk (hammer throw), Jessica Maroszek (discus), Denesha Morris (4x100m, 4x400m), Tianna Valentine (4x100m), Lindsay Vollmer (heptathlon) and Taylor Washington (4x400m).

The Kansas men will also be represented well in Oregon with the following advancing: Alex Bishop (pole vault), Casey Bowen (pole vault), Kyle Clemons (400m, 4x400m), Michael Hester (4x400m), DeMario Johnson (4x400m), Jonathan Miller (discus) and Michael Stigler (400m Hurdles, 4x400m).


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