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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kansas track shines

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— Kirk Cooper won the men's pole vault with a regional-qualifying mark, Dustin Turner took the title in the men's long jump, and Kansas University won the women's 4x400-meter relay as a total of five Jayhawks qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships to lead the KU track & field team Saturday at the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla.

"We're definitely excited," Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine said of his team's regional qualifiers. "Now we have our home meet for the ones that haven't qualified to get it done there. We're excited about being prepared for the Kansas Relays. Hopefully we can continue to get better and do well at the Relays and then later on in the season at the Big 12 Championships."

Cooper, a junior from Centennial, Colo., vaulted a season-best 5.05 meters (16 feet, 6 3/4 inches). Sophomore Cooper Merrill placed second with a jump of 4.90 meters (16-0 3/4.

Turner, a senior from Oak Grove, Mo., jumped a season-best 7.28 meters (23-10.75) to win the long jump by 1 1/4 feet over Neelon Greenwood of Oklahoma.

The Jayhawk women's 4x400 team of seniors Sha'Ray Butler, Victoria Howard, Charity Stowers and freshman Shayla Wilson posted a season-best time of 3:43.69.

Nickesha Anderson regionally qualified in her third different event in two weeks, placing second in the women's 400 meters with a time of 54.36.

A week removed from his victory and regional-qualifying performance in the men's triple jump in Tucson, Ariz., freshman Corey Fuller triple jumped 14.98 meters (49-1 3/4) to place second.

Victoria Howard regionally qualified in the women's 200 meters, recording a time of 23.76 to finish in fifth place.

Lauren Bonds finished as the runner-up in the women's 600 meters after clocking in at 2:11.47. Bonds also finished second in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:39.37.

In the 1,500 meters, freshman Donny Wasinger placed second in a time of 3:54.23. Right behind in third place was junior Bret Imgrund, who finished in a time of 3:55.92.

Imgrund also placed third in the men's 800 meters, running a time of 1:57.94.

Junior Jacob Breth placed second in the men's javelin, recording a throw of 42.91 meters (140-9).

Two KU freshmen took the third and fourth finishing spots with regional-qualifying times in the men's 110-meter hurdles, as Keyen Porter placed third with a time of 14.21 and Keith Hayes finished right behind in fourth (14.22).

Butler was the runner-up in the women's 400-meter hurdles, finishing in a time of 1:02.01.

The KU men's 4x400-meter relay team of juniors Jacob Breth, Reggie Carter, freshman Keith Hayes and junior Chandler Frigon recorded a third-place finish, posting a season-best time of 3:11.41.

Junior Kelsey Erb placed third in the women's high jump, equaling her season-best mark of 1.65 meters (5-5).

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