Long jumpers put Kansas on top after Day 1 of NCAA championships
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Senior Andrea Geubelle claimed the NCAA Indoor long jump crown while teammate Francine Simpson took bronze as the Kansas track & field team competed on the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championships. The KU women sit in first place after amassing 20 points through the first day of competition.
Geubelle entered the day as the No. 1 jumper in the nation and won her first long jump national title, also the first in school history.
Competing in the first of two flights, Geubelle quickly moved up the leaderboard after posting two marks over 20-9 ft. On her third attempt she soared to a distance of 6.55 meters (21-6 ft.) to put herself into first and earn herself three more jumps in the final. Her senior teammate Simpson also moved onto the final three attempts after coming up with a clutch jump of 6.24 meters (20-5.75 ft.) on her third attempt of the preliminary flight.
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With both Jayhawks still jumping, the KU duo continued to post impressive marks. Simpson notched a jump of 6.41 meters (21-5 ft.) on her fourth jump to move up to third overall, where she would eventually finish her day. Even though Geubelle was unable to improve on her third-attempt leap on her final three jumps, she recorded another jump of 6.53 meters (21-5.25 ft.), which turned out to be important in the final standings. Arizona State's Christabel Nettey jumped to the same distance as Geubelle's third-round jump, tying her atop the leaderboard. Both athletes finished the day with identical top marks, however the tiebreaker was given to the jumper who's next best jump is further, which was Geubelle.
The KU duo combined for 16 points in the event, the most ever for Kansas in a single event at a NCAA championship meet, indoor or outdoor. The finish makes Geubelle the sixth national champion in KU women's track history and will make her an indoor First Team All-American for the fourth time. Simpson's bronze medal is her best as Jayhawk on the national scene and will make her a First Team All-American in the event for the second season in a row.
Alena Krechyk kicked off the meet for the Jayhawks in the women's weight throw earlier in the afternoon. The senior, who won the 2013 Big 12 title in the event, entered the day as the No. 4 seed after hitting a school-record and personal-best mark of 21.76 meters (71-4.75 ft.) earlier this season. Krechyk had a sub-par start after her first two throws put her on the bubble to make it to finals. However she came up with a clutch mark of 20.64 meters (67-8.75 ft.) on her third attempt to move up to fifth overall and earn her three more throws in the final.
On her first toss of the final, Krechyk launched the 20-pound weight 20.95 meters (68-8.75 ft.). The mark cemented her into a scoring position, where she would eventually place sixth-overall. The finish will likely give Krechyk First Team All-America honors in the event for the first time in her career and notched her team's first three points of the meet.
Paris Daniels scored for the first time as a Jayhawk at the indoor national meet, speeding to a high finish in the 200 meters. She won her first Big 12 indoor championship in the event on Feb. 24 and entered the day with the sixth-best time in the nation this year. Daniels made her first indoor 200-meter final as she raced to the seventh-fastest qualifying time in the semifinal, turning in a time of 23.23. In the final, Daniels sped around the track in 23.37 to finish eighth overall and claim one point to her team's total
In prelim action, Diamond Dixon looked to continue her bid to repeat as the 400-meter national champion. Running in the third of four semifinal heats, she raced twice around the 200-meter track in 52.77 to place third in her heat. The time was good enough to advance her as the seventh-fastest qualifier. She will run in the final Saturday night.