Originally published April 15, 2013 at 05:33p.m., updated April 16, 2013 at 12:11a.m.

KU Relays downtown shot put, long jump events moved to Douglas County Fairgrounds


The high-profile Kansas Relays downtown shot put won’t be taking place downtown this year, meet director Milan Donley said. Instead, it will be moved indoors to the Douglas County Fairgrounds livestock arena, 2110 Harper Street. Wednesday’s weather forecast that calls for severe thunderstorms resulted in the decision to move the event.

“If people enjoyed watching those guys throw, it will be just as exciting,” Donley said. “It actually could be louder in there if people show up and support them.”

The event, for which there is no admission charge, is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Competitors will begin warming up at 5:15.

Donley said Thursday’s women’s long jump, which also had been scheduled to take place on the streets of downtown, will take place at the livestock arena because of concerns that the wind-chill could be below freezing.

Reese Hoffa, the winner of last year’s downtown shot put, is in the field and has agreed to compete against Kansas University senior basketball player Kevin Young in a Rubik’s Cube contest.

Donley indicated he did not think extra security forces would be hired to work at the Kansas Relays — which take place Wednesday through Saturday with most of the events in Memorial Stadium — in light of Monday’s bombings that resulted in three confirmed deaths at the Boston Marathon.

“Obviously it just makes you more aware that anything can happen at any time,” Donley said. “Nothing is sacred anymore. The Boston Marathon is most open event you can find.”

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, spectators entering Memorial Stadium for the event have had their backpacks, etc. searched.

“We’ve been doing that for quite a while and maybe even more so now,” Donley said. “I feel safe in Lawrence. I think Lawrence is a safe city.”


parrothead8 8 years, 5 months ago

I can't wait for that Rubik's Cube contest.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 5 months ago

Too bad. I had planned to come to Lawrence for the downtown events, but with this development the trip will be cancelled.

Dick Sengpiehl 8 years, 5 months ago

Sorry we don't have a suitable venue downtown.


Tom Keegan 8 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for asking. That should have been in story. It's at 21st and Harper. See you there.

Woody Cragg 8 years, 5 months ago


My Dad was a participant in the 1927 KU Relays, so that's when Memorial Stadium was virtually spankin' new. He also vaulted, long, & triple jumped in the Drake relays, though not sure how many or which years. He attended both Baker & Pitt State on scholarships. Also the medals were made of real gold & silver back then. The ones we have from the KU Relays are about 2 1/2" T x 3/4" W. rectangular. Most of the large loving cups were pueter with marble or granite bases, as several yrs ago we had some of them restored. I couldn't imagine vaulting with a bamboo pole, but that was it before steel & aluminum. You had to be a stud just to run with the steel poles-they were heavy as heck. Fiberglass didn't emerge till the late 50s or so. Dad was only 5'10" but even at 40 yrs old he could still dunk-one handed. He could also hold his body straight horizontal from the grab irons on a caboose. Medicine thought that an enlarged heart was considered an "athlete's heart" till the 1960's or so. Dad passed in 1959 from exactly that, but he had a whole lot of fun before he left! ME! Guess KU is in the DNA Keegs.

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