Skip to content

KU ready to attack 16 events at this week's NCAA prelims in Arkansas

3 min read
The site of this year's NCAA West Preliminary track meet. [Photo courtesy of @RazorbackTF]

Wednesday marks the start of the NCAA West Preliminary Round for the Kansas men’s and women’s track and field squad, and the Jayhawks figure to have plenty of athletes in the mix for a spot at the top of the podium.

In all 31 KU athletes and 2 relay teams will compete for the Jayhawks this week, Wednesday through Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Follow along...

• Here's a look at the start schedule for this week's meet, which, of course, is subject to change in the event of bad weather.

• And here's the landing spot for live results, where you can follow along with all the action.

It’s distance runners and pole vaulters who will dominate KU’s entries on the men’s side of the meet.

Ten of the 16 individual qualifiers on the men’s side will compete in those two events, with school record holder Chandler Gibbens competing in both the 5,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run and Big 12 pole vault champion Anthony Meacham leading the way as one of five from a stacked squad of KU pole vaulters.

Fellow-pole vaulters Clayton Simms and Ashton Barkdull both qualified for indoor nationals, so any of those three, along with Luke Knipe and Andy Saloga, could make some noise at the pole vault pit this week.

Joining Gibbens on the long distance runs for Kansas are Grant Lockwood in the 800, Tanner Newkirk in the 1,500 and Peter Walsdorf in the 10,000.

Two other big names to watch on the men’s side are high jumper Devin Loudermilk, who owns both the indoor and outdoor Big 12 titles this season, and Big 12 discus champion Dimitrios Pavlidis, who will be joined in the event by teammate Joe Kieny.

Long jumper Tayton Klein, triple jumper Jaden Patterson and hammer throw specialist Oleg Klykov round out the men’s entries at this week’s meet, where a spot at nationals June 5-9 in Eugene, Oregon will be on the line.

You might be wondering where decathlete Alex Jung, who recently won a Big 12 title and broke a 27-year-old school record, fits into this. Jung will be in Arkansas with his teammates but he already has hit a qualifying mark for nationals and will not have to compete this week.

On the women’s side of things, freshman Mason Meinershagen leads a trio of pole vaulters (with Erica Ellis and Gabby Hoke) into the meet, where the KU women will bring all kinds of speed and power to the track.

Short-distance hurdlers Gabbie Gibson, who has broken her own school record twice this season, and Yoveinny Mota will both look to advance to nationals in the 100-meter hurdles.

Another KU hurdler, Sidney Smith, will be attacking the 400-meter hurdles, while Aaliyah Lindsay and Taylor Mayo will compete in the explosive triple jump together.

Also on the track, Deshana Skeete will run the 400, Aaliyah Moore will run the 800, Emma Jemutai and Addie Coppinger will run the 1,500 and Dorcas Kiptanui will run the 5,000.

In the field, Sofia Sluchaninova and Tori Thomas will battle the competition in the discus. And the KU women will field the only two relays that the Jayhawks will have in Arkansas — the 4x100 team which is made up of Claire Farrell, Ahmya McKeithan, Deshana Skeete, Yoveinny Mota, Gabbie Gibson and Madison Campbell, and the 4x400 squad that includes Gibson, Smith, Skeete, Campbell running with Pearl Awanya and Addison Brooks.

Veteran distance runner Lona Latema also will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

All of these Jayhawks will be vying for qualifying times and marks to compete at the national meet, and a handful, like Jung mentioned above, already have their tickets punched for Eugene in early June.

We’ll keep an eye on all of the results this week to track down the best stories from a KU track team that is loaded with talent and competing at an incredibly high level almost across the board.

— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit