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Friday, May 27, 2016

Kansas’ Lokedi qualifies for NCAA in 10,000

Kansas freshman vaulter Hussain Alhizam competes in the pole vault competition Friday, May 27, indoors at KU's Anshutz Sports Pavilion.

Kansas freshman vaulter Hussain Alhizam competes in the pole vault competition Friday, May 27, indoors at KU's Anshutz Sports Pavilion.

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Kansas University sophomore Sharon Lokedi was planning on competing in the NCAA West Preliminaries 10,000-meter run at 9 p.m., on Thursday at Rock Chalk Park.

Mother Nature had different ideas, however, washing out the first day and night’s action, forcing her to reschedule/regroup for 8 a.m., Friday.

That’s correct. Instead of running a few hours before bedtime, her challenge was to place in the top 12 and qualify for NCAAs just a few hours after waking up.

“It was so tough mentally, but it was for everybody. I went home and got ready for the big race,” Lokedi, a 5-foot-6 sensation from Eldoret, Kenya, said. “It was a good thing and a bad thing. It was good to race early in the morning. I wanted to get it done.”

Lokedi, KU’s school record holder in the 10,000 who placed first at the recent Big 12 championships, completed Friday morning’s race in 34:31.38, good for a 10th-place finish and much-coveted spot in the NCAA championships, set for June 8-11 in Eugene, Ore.

Top 12 in the event advanced to nationals. Arkansas senior Dominique Scott won the qualifier in 34:20.35.

“I just wanted to qualify and get ready for the the big meet coming up. You run but at the same time you are careful,” Lokedi said of strategy in a qualifier.

Lokedi is off to a stellar start in her KU career. She won the 5,000 meters at the 2016 Big 12 Indoor, and she had a 10th-place showing at the NCAA cross country championships as a freshman.

“I love running for the Jayhawks,” she said. “I try to do whatever I can for my team, make sure I do something good for my team.”

Here’s a look at some Jayhawks who did not advance to Eugene.

Laura Taylor placed 14th in the pole vault (13-6 1/4), missing by two qualifying spots.

Daina Levy, who did not qualify in the hammer after scratching on her three throws, leads the weather-delayed discus two rounds into the second flight with a season-best toss of 173-11.

Evan Landes placed 23rd in the 10,000 (30:26.77). Oregon’s Edward Cheserek was first in 29:45.41.

Whitney Adams placed 17th in the 800 (2:08.09), missing a qualifying spot by 1.2 seconds. Zainab Sanni placed 14th in the 100 (11:53), missing a qualifying spot by .01.

Ben Burchstead was 17th in the steeplechase (9:00.49) and Dylan Hodgson 22nd (9:06.5). Nick Maestretti (17-3 3/4) and Nick Meyer (16-10) were 13th and 16th in the pole vault respectively.

Track events run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Rock Chalk Park.

NCAA West Preliminaries

Friday at Rock Chalk Park

Kansas Women

100 Meters — 14. Zainab Sanni, 11.53

400 Meters — 30. Adriana Newell, 55.35

800 Meters — 17. Whitney Adams, 2:08.09

10,000 Meters — 10. Sharon Lokedi, 34:38.31q (advances to NCAA Championship)

3,000-Meter Steeplechase — 24. Kelli McKenna, 10:33.43; 44. Courtney Coppinger, 11:08.60

Pole Vault — t14. Laura Taylor, 4.12m (13’6¼”)

Javelin — 35. Shaylyn Stallbaumer, 44.27m (145’3”)

Kansas Men

400 Meters — 26. Ivan Henry. 47.29; 46. Drew Matthews, 48.61

800 Meters — 30. Strymar Livingston, 1:51.11

10,000 Meters — 23. Evan Landes, 30:26.77

400m Hurdles — 26. Alex Wilson, 52.47

3,000m Steeplechase — 17. Ben Burchstead, 9:00.49; 22. Dylan Hodgson, 9:06.50

Pole Vault — T-13. Nick Maestretti, 5.28m (17’3¾”); T-16. Nick Meyer, 5.13m (16’10”); T-16. Paulo Benavides, 5.13m (16’10”); 29. Hussain Al Hizam, 5.13m (16’10”)

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