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Outdoor Nationals tracker

How the 10 Jayhawks who went to Eugene, Oregon this week fared at the NCAA Championships

5 min read
The University of Oregon's famed Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, site of the NCAA's 2024 outdoor nationals. [@NCAATrackField photo]

Ten members of the Kansas track and field team were in Eugene, Oregon this week to compete for national titles in 12 different events.

The fun got under way on Wednesday, with Alex Jung and Tayton Klein competing in the decathlon, Chandler Gibbens running the 10,000 and Clayton Simms going for gold in the pole vault.

By Friday night, the Jayhawks' time at nationals was finished. But, boy, did they make their presence felt while they were there.

The KU men finished in a tie for 10th place in the team standings. And the good news there is that many of the Jayhawks who recorded those team points will have a chance to return next year to improve upon the finish.

The KU women did not score a team point, but still competed well in several of their events.

The meet will conclude today with the heptathlon and the rest of the women's finals. But the Jayhawks are done competing. Here's a look back at how things went during a memorable trip to the mecca of collegiate track and field.

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Day 3:

The KU men picked up two more massive finishes on Day 3 in Eugene, from high jumper Devin Loudermilk and discus thrower Dimitrios Pavlidis.

Pavlidis, who hails from Greece, finished third in his signature event to bring home KU's second-best finish of the meet, behind silver-medal pole vaulter Clayton Simms.

His top throw flew 60.97 meters and put him third in a stacked field.

At around the same time that Pavlidis was shining, Loudermilk was doing his thing in the high jump pit, where he brought home a fifth-place finish by clearing 7 feet, 2.5 inches at his first ever appearance at Outdoor Nationals.

Loudermilk's mark of 2.2 meters was the third highest clearance at the meet.

In the Jayhawks' only other event on Friday, senior distance runner Chandler Gibbens, who took fifth in the 10,000-meter run earlier this week, finished in 15th place in the 5,000, running a time of 14:04.20 in his final race as a Jayhawk.

That earned him a second-team All-American nod for cracking the top 16.

The images below, from Wednesday, were taken after Gibbens' fifth-place showing in the 10,000.

Day 2:

Tayton Klein and Alex Jung capped off their time at the meet with the final five events in the 2024 decathlon.

Klein took 14th place with 7,530 points, earning him second-team All-American honors.

Jung, meanwhile, who owns KU's school record with 7,706 points, finished with 6,891 points and in 23rd place.

On the track, KU senior Yoveinny Mota, who also owns the school record in her event, fell short of qualifying for Saturday's finals in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.97, which earned her fourth in her heat and 14th overall.

KU's Aaliyah Moore also missed out on reaching the finals in the 800 by running a 2:04.61 to take 21st place in her signature event. Senior distance runner Lona Latema saw the same fate, taking 19th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:08.31.

Freshman pole vaulter Mason Meinershagen also competed on Thursday, taking 16th place by clearing 13 feet, 7.25 inches in her first trip to Outdoor Nationals.

With the KU women who made the trip to Oregon either finishing or failing to reach the finals in their events, the Jayhawks are down to three remaining competitors in Eugene this week: Discus thrower Dimitrios Pavlidis, high jumper Devin Loudermilk and distance runner Chandler Gibbens, who already took home 5th place in the 10,000-meter run and will look to add to his haul on Friday night in the 5,000.

Loudermilk and Pavlidis are both slated to begin their quest for a national title around 7:30 p.m. central on Friday night.

Day 1:

• Competing in his sixth consecutive national meet, junior pole vaulter Clayton Simms delivered his best mark yet, finishing in second place with a top vault of 18 feet, 5.25 inches to take silver.

• In the first of his two races at his final meet as a Jayhawk, fifth-year senior Chandler Gibbens took 5th place in the 10,000-meter run in 28:10.87. That broke his own school record and sent him out with his best runs as a Jayhawk in one of his favorite events. He narrowly missed out on a third-place finish by just over half a second. Gibbens will now cap off his KU career on Friday night in the 5,000-meter run.

• Through Day 1 of the decathlon, Tayton Klein sits in 8th place overall (4,068 points) through 5 events and Alex Jung is in 17th place overall (3,895 points) with five events to go on Day 2.

R1S1 features on 5 of the Jayhawks at Outdoor Nationals:

• 'I've had the record in my sights'

• KU's Yoveinny Mota off to nationals as record holder & future Olympian

• Devin Loudermilk's jam-packed path from hooper to high jumper

• 'It's kind of what you dream of'

• Clayton Simms' memorable streak