KU Women Take Fourth in Controversial Finish at NCAA Outdoor Championships
June 9, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Kansas women's track and field team wrapped up a fourth-place finish Saturday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, accumulating 28 points to earn the highest placement in the program's history at the outdoor meet. The KU men finished in a tie for 23rd, amassing 12 points over the four-day event.
Andrea Geubelle had the performance of the meet for the Jayhawks, competing in the triple jump to start out the fourth and final day Saturday morning. The University Place, Wash., native had hit the best mark in the NCAA two weeks ago at the West Preliminary meet and was looking to take home the first individual outdoor title in school history.
In the preliminary flight, the junior got out to a shaky start, fouling on her first attempt and recording a marginal mark on her second jump. On her third attempt though, Geubelle hit a mark that measured out to 13.84 meters (45-5 ft.), which set a new wind-legal personal best and school record. The jump vaulted her into finals where she sat in third place with three jumps remaining.
After Southern Mississippi's Ganna Demydova hit a new meet-record mark of 14.20 meters (46-7.25 ft.) during the second flight of competition, Geubelle, the reigning indoor national champion, entered finals needing a big jump to reclaim a spot at the top of the NCAA. She rose to the occasion, leaping to a huge wind-aided mark on her fourth attempt that measured out to 14.32 meters (46-11.75 ft.), shooting her to the top of the leaderboard into a commanding first place. Fouls on her final two attempts wouldn't matter as she remained at the top spot, and claimed her and the school's first individual outdoor national championship, or so it seemed.
A protest and review after the event's completion determined that Geubelle had fouled by a few millimeters on her fourth attempt, wiping away her winning mark and the national title. With her next-best jump now her top mark, she ended the day with a third-place finish and an additional six points to KU's team total.
Regardless of the place, Geubelle still brought home a new school record, her eighth All-American honor as a Jayhawk and her third-straight All-American distinction in the outdoor triple jump. She will now try to earn a trip to the London Olympics as she competes at the US Team Trials in Eugene, Ore., on June 23.
It was another controversial finish that hurt the Jayhawks Saturday to close out the meet in the 4x400-meter relay. Juniors Denesha Morris, Paris Daniels, Taylor Washington and sophomore Diamond Dixon came into the race with the nation's second-fastest time at 3:28.10 and were looking to collect big points to propel their team to a third-place finish.
The Kansas women got out strong, hanging with the leaders for the first half of the race. Daniels handed off of to Washington with the team in a close fourth. While Washington and Dixon could not catch the leaders they still brought the team home in third-place with a new school-record of 3:27.19. However, it was later determined that one of the Jayhawk runners had stepped out of her lane, disqualifying the team, negating their school-record time and again stripping the women's team of several crucial points.
Junior Mason Finley was the lone KU male in action Saturday as he was looking to become an All-American in his second event of the week, the shot put. The Salida, Colo., native began strong as usual, heaving the shot to a mark of 19.33 meters (63-05 ft.) on his second throw, which eventually earned him a spot in the finals.
Finley improved is the finals, hitting a mark of 19.38 meters (63-07 ft.) on his fourth attempt, however he was unable to move up in place. A foul on his last two attempts kept him in eighth overall at the finish, claiming an additional point for the KU men.
Finley is now a three-time outdoor All-American in the shot put and has earned the distinction a total of eight times throughout his Kansas career. He was the highest KU scorer over the weekend, collecting nine points with his finish in the discus and shot put competitions.
Daniels hit the track earlier in the day in the finals of the 200 meters, having run the third-fastest time in the semifinal round Thursday. The Big 12 Champion had a tough task on her hands as she was running in the lane next to the world leader in the event, LSU's Kimberlyn Duncan.
Daniels got out of the blocks at a quick pace, but was unable to keep up with the lightning-fast Duncan and other top runners. The junior crossed the finish line in eighth place, clocking in at 23.73. The finish marked her first All-America honor in the event and the second time in school history a KU women has earned the distinction in the 200 meters.
With Geubelle's and Daniels' seven combined points on the final day of competition, the KU women were able to finish in a tie for fourth place with their 28 points, the highest finish in program history.
Select Jayhawks will now move on to national meets as the USA Junior Championships will take place next week in Bloomington, Ind. The USA Olympic Team Trials will take place in Eugene, Ore., June 22-July 1, with several Jayhawks vying for sports on the US Olympic team. Stay updated on all news up to and during the meets by logging on to kuathletics.com.