KU Vaulter Bowen Takes Second at USA Junior Championships, Advances to World Junior Games
June 15, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Kansas freshman Casey Bowen finished second in the pole vault at the USA Junior Championships Friday afternoon at Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the campus of Indiana University. The runner-up finish earns Bowen a spot on Team USA, which will travel to Barcelona, Spain for the World Junior Championships July 10-15.
Bowen, who hails from Gardner, Kan., needed only five attempts to clear three heights on the day. It took him all three tries to get over his first bar at 5.00 meters (16-4.75 ft.), however he only needed one attempt to clear each of his next two heights, which shot him up the leaderboard and put him into contention for the all-important top three spots traveling to the World Junior Games. His first attempt clearance of 5.20 meters (17-0.75 ft.), not only set a new outdoor personal record for the freshman, but also punched his ticket to Barcelona for the 2012 World Junior Championships. Bowen claimed a runner-up finish in the event and will be one of two Americans representing the U.S. in the pole vault, which takes place July 10.
In his first season at Kansas, Bowen was one of the Jayhawks' most consistent vaulters, competing in both the indoor and outdoor Big 12 Championships and scoring at the outdoor league meet with his seventh-place finish. He also qualified his way into the NCAA West Preliminary Meet, where he finished in a tie for 41st.
Bowen wasn't the only young Jayhawk to have a successful day Friday in Bloomington. Reid Buchanan ran and advanced through the semifinals of the 1,500 meters. A native of Manhattan, Kan., Buchanan made the 3.75 laps around the track in 3:53.53 to earn a spot in the finals as the 12th and final qualifier. He will try to capture a spot on the World Championship team Sunday at 2:30 p.m. as he competes in the 1,500-meter finals.
Three more Jayhawks are set to compete Saturday at the USA Junior Championships. Kenneth McCuin will start things off in the semifinals of the 400 meters at 4:35 p.m. (CT). Colleen O'Brien will compete in the high jump at 5:20 p.m. and Evan Landes will run in the 10,000 meters at 7:30 p.m. Watch for updates on twitter at @KU_Track and log on to kuathletics.com for a complete recap of the day's action.