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Archive for Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kansas claims 3 league titles

March 1, 2008

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— Kansas University seniors Egor Agafonov, Crystal Manning and Kate Sultanova became Big 12 champions in their respective events during day one Friday of the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships.

With one day of competition left, the men are in third place with 14 points, while the women, who have two individual champions for the first time since 1998, are in second place with 33 points, behind Nebraska's 49.50.

Sultanova became the first Jayhawk to win back-to-back indoor conference titles in the pole vault, while Agafonov is the only Jayhawk to win three consecutive weight-throw titles. Manning became Kansas' first Big 12 long jump champion since Monique Peters in 2002.

Agafonov surpassed Chris Rohr of Missouri on his final throw of the day to win the Big 12 Championship in the men's weight throw with a toss of 22.67 meters.

The Togliatti, Russia, native improved his automatic qualifying mark and regained the nation's lead in the event.

"I was just trying to throw as far as I could," Agafonov said of his final attempt. "I had nothing to lose."

Sultanova successfully defended her Big 12 pole vault championship with her winning effort of 4.13 meters.

"I felt good about my last jump," the Krasnodar, Russia native said. "I'm just happy about winning so that I can help the team get points."

Kansas' women scored 18 team points in the pole vault, with three vaulters finishing within the top six. Senior Libby Harmon tied for third with a jump of 3.83 meters, and freshman Julia Cummings placed sixth at the same height, losing the tie-breaker due to a miss on the first bar.

Manning won the conference championship in the long jump with a career-best leap of 6.05 meters.

In the women's weight throw, junior Zlata Tarasova broke her own school record and improved her NCAA provisional qualifying mark with her toss of 18.97 meters. Tarasova's previous record was 18.92 meters at the Tyson Invitational in 2007.

Senior Barrett Saunders scored for Kansas in the men's long jump, placing fifth. His jump of 7.36 meters was a season-best.

Junior Ashley Brown qualified for the 60-meter hurdles finals with her time of 8.44 - just one-tenth of a second off a provisional mark. Juniors Nickesha Anderson (60 and 200 meters), Charity Stowers (600-yard run) and Victoria Howard (200 meters), sophomore Lauren Bonds (1,000-meter run), senior Maresia Pencil (800 meter-run) and freshman Kendra Bradley (400-meter dash) also advanced to today's finals.

On the men's side, Matt Baysinger will run in the finals of the 600-yard run after a season-best time of 1:10.77 in the prelims, while senior Julius Jiles matched a season-best of 7.88 in qualifying for the finals of the 60-meter hurdles. Sophomore Jack Sachse also advanced to the finals in the 800-meter run.

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