Kansas senior Sydney Conley did not need much help from the wind to notch her to a second Big 12 long jump title on Saturday at Rock Chalk Park, but she wasn't one to complain.
Conley set the tone with a mark of 22 feet, 2.25 inches on her first attempt, and it proved to be the winning jump. While the jump moved her to No. 3 overall in the NCAA rankings, it did not count as a personal or school record because it was wind-aided.
"To be honest, is it (wind) legal? That was my first thought," Conley said. "I was just hoping, but nonetheless, it was a good jump and I was pleased."
Everything clicked for Conley on the first jump in terms of technique, and she is looking forward to break the 22-feet mark without the help of the wind when the opportunity presents itself.
"Honestly the run and me being upright, not leaning back, gathering on my takeoff — everything on that first jump was pretty good."
The Kansas senior has high hopes for her final two meets in a Jayhawk uniform, as she has the top mark in the NCAA West region. Conley has had plenty of motivation throughout the season, too, after being sidelined last year with a torn labrum.
"It feels great. It's always a blessing," Conley said. "I want to thank God for it. He's allowed me to come back for my last year after sitting out a year and get this title. I'm just glad I got it for the team."
The pole vaulting duo of Laura Taylor and Alexis Romero joined Conley in helping the KU women to third place through two days of the Big 12 meet. Taylor and Romero both had personal-best clearances to take second and third, respectively.
"I think we did really good. It's a tough competition to do your best on," Taylor, who cleared 14 feet, 1.75 inches, said. "It's really unrealistic to think that you're going to come out here and PR, and we had two of us PR — which is pretty good."
Taylor did not have a specific mark that she was shooting for at the Big 12 meet, but she was hoping to clear 14 feet by season's end. With the 14-foot barrier now behind her, it's on to new heights for Taylor.
"I just have to reevaluate now," Taylor said with a laugh. "I guess 14-03, the bar I went out at, is the new goal."
Part of what also made the meet special for Taylor, Romero and the rest of the field was watching eventual champion Annie Rhodes continue to raise the bar. The Baylor senior set a new Big 12 record of 15 feet, 1.50 inches — which also tied for the fifth best mark in NCAA history.
As the pole vault was wrapping up, the Kansas 3,000-meter steeplechase tandem of Courtney Coppinger and Alaina Schroeder helped close out the second day of the conference meet on the track. Coppinger and Schroeder placed third and fourth with respective times of 10:19.62 and 10:21.37.
The KU women have a team score of 36 points entering today, which is the third and final day of the competition. Kansas State (67 points) and Oklahoma (43) are sitting in first and second.
Lombardino, Hodgson lead KU men
Junior Brandon Lombardino (shot put) and sophomore Dylan Hodgson (3,000-meter steeplechase) both earned third-place finishes in their respective events to pace the Kansas men's squad on Saturday.
Lombardino was one of three Jayhawks to place in the shot put, as Kenny Boyer and Mitchell Cooper followed in fifth and eighth, respectively.
"Usually the shot put is the most fun event for me just because we have a lot of guys around the same area," Lombardino said. "It's fun to feed off of each other. It makes it easier to compete."
While Lombardino was pleased to achieve a personal-best throw, one of the Jayhawk throwers had a day he would like to forget in Nicolai Ceban. The KU junior entered as the second seed, but fouled on all three of his throws to miss finals.
"I think we just have to make up for it and do a lot better in some of the other events, and hopefully do the best we can scoring wise," Lombardino said. "We have a good chance to score a lot in the discus, so that's all we can control now at this point."
Hodgson nearly joined Lombardino in posting a new personal-record, but was just two seconds off with a time of 8:52.68.
Barden Adams chipped in a fourth-place finish in the long jump with a mark of 25 feet to help the KU men to second in the team standings entering today. The Jayhawks have 41 points, just 4.5 behind first-place Texas.
The Big 12 Championships will conclude today with the field events starting at 2:30 p.m., and the running events getting underway at 5 p.m. The women's high jump will be the first of six field events on tap, while the women's 4x100-meter relay finals will start things off on the track.
Big 12 track and field meet
Saturday at Rock Chalk Park
Day Two of Three
Men's team scores — 1. Texas, 45.5; 2. Kansas, 41; T-3. Oklahoma, 39; T-3. Texas Tech, 39; 5. Kansas State, 28.5; 7. Oklahoma State, 23; 8. Baylor, 18; 9. TCU, 15.
Decathlon 110 hurdles — 10. Dylan Poirier, 17.30.
Decathlon discus — 10. Dylan Poirier, 93-11.25.
Decathlon pole vault — 1. Dylan Poirier, 16-05.25.
Decathlon javelin — 8. Dylan Poirier, 144-00.
Decathlon 1,500 — 8. Dylan Poirier, 5:23.64.
Decathlon final results — 8. Dylan Poirier, 6,532 points.
High jump — 7. Joel Long, 6-11.
Long jump — 4. Barden Adams, 25-00; 10. Denzel Harper, 24-03.
Shot put — 3. Brandon Lombardino, 56-06.50; 5. Kenny Boyer, 52-03.75; 8. Mitchell Cooper, 47-11.75; Nicolai Ceban, foul.
1,500 prelims — 11. Daniel Koech, 3:54.75; 17. Bryce Richards, 3:59.55.
110 hurdles prelims — 9. Nick Giusti, 14.31; 11. Christian Hicks, 14.66.
400 prelims — 7. Tre Daniels, 47.12; 8. Ivan Henry, 47.20; 12. Marcus Davis, 47.77.
100 prelims — 9. Quentin Dancer, 10.39.
800 prelims — 3. Bryce Hoppel, 1:50.18; 5. Strymar Livingston, 1:50.96; 10. Daniel Koech, 1:52.38; 17. Matthew Anyiwo, 1:56.21.
400 hurdles prelims — 6. Cody Johnson, 52.93; 8. Alex Wilson, 52.12; 9. Nick Giusti, 53.15.
200 prelims — 7. Ivan Henry, 20.89.
3,000 steeplechase — 3. Dylan Hodgson, 8:52.68; 12. Ben Burchstead, 9:22.24.
Women's team scores — 1. Kansas State, 67; 2. Oklahoma, 43; 3. Kansas, 36; 4. Iowa State, 30; 5. Texas Tech, 29; 6. Baylor, 27; 7. West Virginia, 17; 8. Texas, 16; 9. TCU, 5.
Heptathlon long jump — 3. Talia Marquez, 18-09.75; 9. Morgan Griffiths, 17-09.25.
Heptathlon javelin — 8. Talia Marquez, 106-06; 10. Morgan Griffiths, 91-09.25.
Heptathlon 800 — 10. Talia Marquez, 2.24.44; Morgan Griffiths, DNF.
Heptathlon final results — 9. Talia Marquez, 4,948 points; 12. Morgan Griffiths, 3,855 points.
Long jump — 1. Sydney Conley, 22-02.25.
Shot put — 11. Shaylyn Stallbaumer, 39-09.25.
Pole vault — 2. Laura Taylor, 14-01.75; 3. Alexis Romero, 13-09.75; 10. Morgan Griffiths, 12-10; 12. Andrea Willis, 12-04.
1,500 prelims — 7. Malika Baker, 4:30.82; 1. Riley Cooney, 4:34.98.
400 prelims — 5. Nicole Montgomery, 53.78; 8. Mariah Kuykendoll, 53.97; 11. Adriana Newell, 54.57; 13. Megan Linder, 55.03.
100 prelims — 4. Sydney Conley, 11.27; 12. Jedah Caldwell, 11.66.
800 prelims — 9. Hannah Dimmick, 2:11.37; 18. Whitney Adams, 2:17.75.
400 hurdles prelims — 9. Caroline Slattery, 1:01.11.
200 prelims — 12. Jedah Caldwell, 23.88.
3,000 steeplechase — 3. Courtney Coppinger, 10:19.62; 4. Alaina Schroeder, 10:21.37.