Long Jumpers Propel KU to the Top After Day One of NCAA Championships
March 8, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Senior Andrea Geubelle claimed the NCAA Indoor long jump crown while teammate Francine Simpson took bronze as the Kansas track & field team competed on the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championships. The KU women sit in first place after amassing 20 points through the first day of competition.
Geubelle furthered her argument as one of the all-time Kansas greats Friday evening inside the Randal Tyson Center as she won her first long jump national title, also the first in school history. The University Place, Wash., product entered the day as the No. 1 jumper in the nation this year and made sure she would keep that distinction at day's end.
Competing in the first of two flights, Geubelle quickly moved up the leaderboard after posting two marks over 20-9 ft. On her third attempt she soared to a distance of 6.55 meters (21-6 ft.) to put herself into first and earn herself three more jumps in the final. Her senior teammate Simpson also moved onto the final three attempts after coming up with a clutch jump of 6.24 meters (20-5.75 ft.) on her third attempt of the preliminary flight.
With both Jayhawks still jumping, the KU duo continued to post some impressive marks. Simpson notched a jump of 6.41 meters (21-5 ft.) on her fourth jump to move up to third overall, where she would eventually finish her day. Even though Geubelle was unable to improve on her third-attempt leap on her final three jumps, she recorded another jump of 6.53 meters (21-5.25 ft.), which turned out to be an important on in the final standings. Arizona State's Christabel Nettey jumped to the same distance as Geubelle's third-round jump, tying her atop the leaderboard. Both athletes finished the day with identical top marks, however the tiebreaker was given to the jumper who's next best jump is further, which was Geubelle.
The KU duo combined for 16 points in the event, the most ever for Kansas in a single event at a NCAA championship meet, indoor or outdoor. The finish makes Geubelle the sixth national champion in KU women's track history and will make her an indoor First Team All-American for the fourth time. Simpson's bronze medal is her best as Jayhawk on the national scene and will make her a First Team All-American in the event for the second-straight season.
Geubelle will now attempt to complete the rare long jump/triple jump double title as she will look to defend her indoor triple jump title Saturday evening at 6 p.m.
Alena Krechyk kicked off the meet for the Jayhawks in the women's weight throw earlier in the afternoon. The senior, who won the 2013 Big 12 title in the event, entered the day as the four seed after hitting a school-record and personal-best mark of 21.76 meters (71-4.75 ft.) earlier this season. Inside the Walker Pavilion Friday, Krechyk had a sub-par start after her first two throws put her on the bubble to make it to finals. However the Grodno, Belarus native came up with a clutch mark of 20.64 meters (67-8.75 ft.) on her third attempt to move up to fifth overall and earn her three more throws in the final.
On her first toss of the final, Krechyk launched the 20-pound weight 20.95 meters (68-8.75 ft.). The mark cemented her into a scoring position, where she would eventually place sixth-overall. The finish will likely give Krechyk First Team All-America honors in the event for the first time in her career and notched her team's first three points of the meet.
Paris Daniels scored for the first time as a Jayhawk at the indoor national meet, speeding to a high finish in the 200 meters. The senior won her first Big 12 indoor championship in the event on Feb. 24 and entered the day with the sixth-best time in the nation this year. The St. Louis native made her first indoor 200-meter final as she raced to the seventh-fastest qualifying time in the semifinal, turning in a time of 23.23. In the final, Daniels sped around the track in 23.37 to finish eighth overall and claim one point to her team's total
In prelim action, Diamond Dixon looked to continue her bid to repeat as the 400-meter national champion. Running in the third of four semifinal heats, the junior raced twice around the 200-meter track in 52.77 to place third in her heat. The time was good enough to advance her as the seventh-fastest qualifier. She will run in the final Saturday night at 6:40 p.m.
Kyle Clemons, the lone KU male competing at the national meet, took part in the semifinal of the 400 meters. The senior out of Rowlett, Texas broke the 30-year-old school record three weeks ago to qualify for his first NCAA Indoor meet, running 46.44 at the Big 12 Championships. Friday Clemons turned in a semifinal time of 46.95 to finish 15th-overall. The finish will likely earn him the third second-team All-America honor of his career.
The KU women will continue their bid for the first team title in NCAA history as they compete on the second and final day of the NCAA Indoor Championships. Sophomore Lindsay Vollmer will start things off in the pentathlon at 11:45 a.m. (CT). Also in action will be Natalia Bartnovskaya and Demi Payne in the pole vault at 5:30 p.m. Follow all the action by logging on to KUAthletics.com or follow on twitter at @KU_Track. A live web stream will be available via NCAA.com and ESPN3.com.
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