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Next stop: Outdoor Nationals!

10 KU track athletes qualified for a spot at next week's national meet in a dozen events

3 min read
KU junior Aaliyah Moore holds up her ticket to Outdoor nationals after running a qualifying time and breaking her own school record at the prelims in Arkansas. [Kansas Athletics photo]

It was a solid weekend for the Kansas track & field team in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where nearly one-third of the athletes the Jayhawks took to the NCAA West Prelims qualified for next week’s national meet in Eugene, Oregon.

In all, 10 Jayhawks will compete in 12 events at NCAA Nationals, which will run from June 5-8 in Eugene.

The KU contingent is expected to leave for Oregon on Sunday, giving themselves plenty of time to get acclimated to the facilities and everything else that comes with competing on the biggest stage in collegiate track.

We’ll have a few deeper-dive stories on these qualifiers throughout the week and into next week. But, for now, here’s a quick list of the Jayhawks who “punched their tickets,” as they say, for this year’s national meet.


Yoveinny Mota – 100-meter hurdles

The native Venezuelan had a monster meet, finishing with a school record in the 100-meter hurdles in 12.66 seconds and a qualifying time for her home country for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. A transfer from Arkansas, Mota took third place in Arkansas and has been rock solid and consistent throughout the 2024 season, constantly pushing herself and challenging the school record.

Aaliyah Moore – 800-meter run

A junior from Guyana and team captain, Moore broke her own school record in her signature event, running a 2:02.50 to finish fifth and earn her first trip to the national meet.

Mason Meinershagen – Pole vault

A freshman from St. Louis, Meinershagen made it 2 for 2 during her rookie season, backing up her trip to Indoor nationals with a trip to the outdoor meet, as well. She finished fifth in Arkansas after clearing 4.3 meters.

Lona Latema – 3,000-meter steeplechase

This veteran distance runner took third in her heat and sixth overall in the grueling event with a time of 10:10.21. The senior from Kenya caps off her KU career with back-to-back appearances at Outdoor nationals.


Chandler Gibbens – 5,000-meter run & 10,000-meter run

One of the more decorated distance runners in recent KU history, the fifth-year senior from Columbia, Missouri, has a chance to end his career on a high note in not one but two of his favorite events. Gibbens took 2nd in the 5,000 (13:45.69) and also snagged a 4th-place finish in the 10,000 at 28:33.36. All of this after a stellar cross country season, as well.

Tayton Klein – Decathlon & Long jump

Already armed with a qualifying time in the decathlon entering last week’s meet, the Andover, Kansas native punched his ticket to nationals in a second event by taking 11th place in the long jump at 7.7 meters to earn the trip to Eugene.

Dimitrios Pavlidis – Discus

Solid and steady all season long, with plenty of trips to the top of the podium under his belt, the junior from Greece took second in the discus with a mark of 60.69 meters to earn his spot in Eugene.

Devin Loudermilk – High jump

Your back-to-back, indoor/outdoor Big 12 champion and another Jayhawk who backed up his trip to Indoor nationals by securing a spot in the outdoor meet, Loudermilk finished fourth overall by clearing 2.2 meters in his event.

Clayton Simms – Pole Vault

During his three seasons as a Jayhawk, Simms has now qualified for indoor and outdoor nationals all six times. The Watson, Louisiana native secured his latest spot in a three-way tie for third place at 5.42 meters.

Alex Jung – Decathlon

Jung, a native of Germany, hit his qualifying mark in his signature event long ago but he was in Arkansas supporting his teammates two weeks after winning the Big 12 decathlon title and breaking a 27-year-old school record in the process. His presence, along with Klein’s give Kansas two decathletes at outdoor nationals for the second consecutive year. Jung qualified with the 13th-best mark in the nation and Klein was right behind him in 18th place.

Check back throughout the week for more on these Jayhawks who are headed west to represent KU on college track’s biggest stage.