Future Jayhawk sets meet record, KU takes plenty of wins on Day 2 of Kansas Relays

Kansas hosts the 100th Kansas Relays on Friday, April 14, 2023 at Rock Chalk Park.

Bryce Barkdull, a senior pole vaulter from Andover Central High School who is signed to compete at Kansas next year, broke the Kansas Relays meet record on Friday afternoon by clearing 5.36 meters.

The previous pole-vault record for high school boys was 5.35, set by Chris Nilsen of Park Hill in 2016.

Barkdull earned a decisive first-place finish in the event, as Caelan Harland from Macon High School in Missouri came in second place at 5.21 meters.

Barkdull’s older brother Ashton, a KU sophomore, is also scheduled to compete in the men’s invitational pole vault Saturday at 3 p.m.

While Barkdull had one of the day’s defining moments, plenty of current KU athletes shone as well.

Senior Tori Thomas won the women’s shot put with a throw of 15.63 on her fourth attempt. She will throw the discus on Saturday.

It was a good day for KU’s jumpers, as freshman Mason Meinershagen won the women’s high jump with a score of 1.70, and fellow freshman Taylor Mayo scored 12.75 in the triple jump for a first-place finish of her own.

At last year’s Kansas Relays, Dimitrios Pavlidis both won the discus and set a school record of 64.90 meters; he didn’t throw it quite as far this time, reaching 60.68, but still secured first place. Teammate Joseph Kieny finished in fourth at 53.32.

The Jayhawks’ men’s 4×800 relay team earned a team victory with a time of 7:41.71, surging into first early on and refusing to relinquish its lead.

KU swept the distance medleys Friday afternoon, taking first place on the men’s side in an eight-team field with a time of 10:07.11, and while only five teams competed on the women’s side, the winners (12:04.16) and runners-up (12:19.63, unattached) were both associated with KU.

Preliminary action

With KU’s record-holding hurdler Gabrielle Gibson sidelined due to injury, senior Yoveinny Mota cruised to first place in the prelims for the 100-meter hurdles at 13.59 seconds to move on to the final at 12:11 p.m. Saturday. Fellow Jayhawk Lauren Heck was third in her own heat — behind Mota and Renee Finke of Central Methodist — but managed to qualify as well as one of the four competitors who did not win their heats (with a time of 15.02).

On the men’s side, Alexander Jung was able to move on in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.82 seconds and will be back in action at 12:22 p.m. Saturday.

Unattached Jayhawk Michael Joseph (who actually holds the KU record in a different event, the 400) came in first overall in the prelims for both the 100 (10.42) and 200-meter runs (21.01). He will move on to compete Saturday at 12:51 p.m. and in one of the meet’s final events at 2:26 p.m. Junior Mateo Vargas also qualified out of the 100 by winning heat No. 5 at 10.69.

The Jayhawks had one of their most robust showings in the prelims for the women’s 400-meter hurdles, claiming the top two spots with freshman Sidney Smith (58.61) and junior Addison Brooks (1:00.27), as freshman Madison Campbell (eighth place, 1:02.58) also qualified. The final is at 1:06 p.m. Saturday.

KU had two runners move on from the women’s 200 prelims, as junior Ahmya McKeithan came in fourth overall but won heat No. 1 at 24.77, while freshman Claire Farrell was the last runner to qualify at 24.88 for Saturday’s 2:23 p.m. final.

Former KU athlete and current assistant coach Honour Finley finished second and won her heat in the 400 at 53.75 to move on to 12:36 p.m. Saturday; junior Deshana Skeete also qualified by winning her heat at 55.73.

Junior Jaylen Shropshire also made it out of the men’s 400 with a second-place result (47.72).

Jameir Colbert emerged from the men’s 400-meter hurdle prelims, as teammate Donovan LaJeunesse narrowly missed out; Colbert will be back at 1:10 p.m. Saturday.

Selected other results

Sophomore Alyse Moore took bronze in the women’s javelin throw with a mark of 39.99.

KU’s women’s 4×800 relay team finished third at 9:26.82, with Cloud County Community College claiming the decisive win.

Despite five Jayhawks’ participation in the women’s pole vault, Brynn King of Roberts Wesleyan took first place and broke a 13-year-old meet record by clearing 4.51. Junior Gabby Hoke was the top Jayhawk, finishing in third place after clearing 4.10.


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