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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Quad format helps Relays return to roots

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Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger is taking a different tack to return the Kansas Relays to its former glory.

Rather than bring in a few big-name national track stars to make headlines at the Relays, as has been the case in the recent past, Zenger — after discussions with KU coach Stanley Redwine — will try to put the Relays back in touch with its roots.

This year’s Relays, the second at KU’s stylish new Rock Chalk Park, will feature a four-team quadrangular. KU, Kansas State, Colorado State and Purdue will compete in every event in an effort to crown a champion.

“I’m a fan of track and field, and it’s an important part of our rich history as an institution,” Zenger said. “I want this to be a special week each year for the University of Kansas and for Lawrence. I really think this event can again become as special as it used to be.

“Our goal is that some day, when kids who grew up in Lawrence look back on their childhood, they’ll remember the Relays as the best week of the year.”

This year’s Relays will be the second to take place at Rock Chalk Park, but Zenger referred to last year’s running as more of “a soft opening” and expects this year’s event to be closer to what he hopes to see in the future.

“I thought that went really well,” he said. “But now it’s time to take the next step and evaluate where we go from here.”

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