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Saturday, January 30, 2010

New faces spark Kansas track

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KU runners find success at home meet

Kansas University track and field had a good day Friday at a home event.

Given the level of acclaim bestowed upon the Kansas University women’s track team’s 2009 recruiting class — a group that featured three high school All-Americans and was tapped as the nation’s fourth-best by “Track and Field News” — it was reasonable to assume the unit eventually would have a major impact on the program.

That that impact would come less than two months into the 2010 indoor season, however, was far less predictable.

“I think we’ve all just been like, ‘Wow, where did these girls come from?’” said senior distance runner Lauren Bonds, following Friday’s Jayhawks Classic at Anschutz Pavilion.

So far this year, one freshman — triple-jumper Andrea Geubelle — already has qualified provisionally for the national meet, and Friday’s invitational, which didn’t include team scores, featured a number of standout performances by some of the team’s newest faces.

Former prep All-American Rebecca Neville, who concluded her high school career ranked as the nation’s No. 2 heptathlete, finished first in the pentathlon, tallying 3,562 points and narrowly missing a provisional qualification of her own. Geubelle was first in the long jump and third in the 200-meter dash, and Taylor Washington added a victory in the 600 to lead the Jayhawks.

“I just came out at the beginning of the season and haven’t really taken a break yet,” Geubelle said. “Over Christmas break, I trained hard, and I guess it’s all paying off.”

There were plenty of noteworthy moments from the team’s non-freshman members Friday, as well.

Bonds’ time of 9:30 in the 3,000 marked a school record. Alena Krechyk’s weight-throw distance of 18.59 meters topped the runner-up by more than three meters, and on the men’s side, Jordan Scott (pole vault), Don Wasinger (mile run) and Kyle Clemons (200) earned individual victories.

The day, though, belonged largely to the freshman women, whose early success seems to have exceeded the expectations of coaches and teammates.

“Kansas, as we get older and older and older, is going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Neville said. “And it’s already starting to show now. So I’m not surprised (by the early success), but I know we have so much more potential — which makes me super-excited.”

Comments

Ron Prichard 10 years ago

njjayhawk, what's up with the negativity. I don't think anyone said they were satisfied with where things currently stand. However, there is improvement (significant improvement) and these student athletes should definitely be proud of their accomplishments so early in their careers and excited about the future. It would be great if we could just snap our fingers and be national champs in every sport. I'm not sure about where you are from, but from my experience, that's not how the world works.

JohnFrancis58 10 years ago

OK, I get reporting about the local athletes but not mentioning that the 3000 was won by a high school girl -- Emily Sisson -- in one of the top two or three times ever by a H.S. athlete -- that is some pretty poor reporting in my opinion. -- KU Journalism grade, '86.

JohnFrancis58 10 years ago

Oops, sorry about the "grade." I was a good reporter in my day but not much of a proofreader.

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