Local sports fans needing something to look forward to now that the Kansas University basketball season is officially over won’t have long to wait.
Two signature events from the Kansas Relays again will move to downtown Lawrence on April 17 and 18. While most events still are held at Memorial Stadium, this is the third year the shot put competition will be set up on Eighth Street between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The event is expected to attract 10 world-class shot putters, and spectators will be able to enjoy an entertainment zone, complete with beer sales, at the location.
The next night the women’s long jump competition will be set up in the 100 block of West Eighth Street. Eight to 10 top jumpers are expected for the event, which will have similar entertainment opportunities for spectators. A special local attraction at this competition is expected to be KU’s Andrea Geubelle, who recently was crowned NCAA indoor national champion in her event.
Both events require quite a bit of pre-event preparation, which means streets and a couple of intersections must be closed for much of a day, but the activities have been popular with spectators and drawn large crowds. Setting up the venues for shot put and long jump events in downtown Lawrence may not be as novel as it was a few years ago, but it’s still a fun way to spend a spring evening.
This is a great interaction between KU and the city that acts as its host. We hope it’s a tradition that won’t be lost once KU moves its track and field facilities to the west side of town.