LAWRENCE, Kan. — Nebraska wrapped up the Kansas Relays on Saturday with four event titles. Freshman Mara Griva shined for the Huskers with a NCAA leading mark in the women’s long jump.
After a slow start to the outdoor season Griva broke out on Saturday with a wind-aided personal-best jump of 21-7 ¼ (2.1). Voted as the Big 12 Women’s Outstanding Indoor Freshman of the Year after sweeping the long and triple jumps at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, Saturday marked the first time during the 2011 outdoor season that Griva had cleared more than 20 feet. With marks entering the weekend, Oregon’s Jamesha Youngblood will drop to second on the NCAA list her leap of 21-2. Paul Hamilton later added another win in the jumps with a leap of 7-0 ½, which tied his season best.
Natalie Willer successfully defended her women’s pole vault title with a first-attempt clearance of 13-5 ¼. Willer was joined in the top five by teammates Cami Jiskra, who was third (13-5 ¼), and Breanna Bussel, who was fourth (13-1 ½). Nebraska’s discus throwers combined for two top-three finishes. Morgan Wilken finished second on the women’s side with a toss of 165-3 and freshman Chad Wright took third for the men with his throw of 182-5.
Ashley Miller opened the Huskers’ individual events on the track with a runner-up finish in the 1,500 meters. Miller clocked a time of 4:29.23, while Kansas’ Rebeka Stowe took first with a 4:28.19 on her home track. Karyn LaCour then added a second-place showing in the 100 hurdles with a season-best time of 13.67 (2.2 m/s).
It would not be long before the Huskers took gold in an event as Brooke Dinsdale held off her sister, Blaire, in the 800 meters. Brooke ran 2:09.13 while Blaire was right behind her at 2:10.34. Tommy Brinn nearly completed a sweep for the Huskers in the 800 but he was unable to chase down 2008 Olympian Christian Smith. Smith won the race in 1:52.07 and Brinn was right on his heels at 1:52.46.
Freshman Kurt Pauly posted a third-place finish in the sprints for the Huskers with a time of 48.72 in the 400 meters. The Huskers then put two hurdles in the top three of the 400 hurdles with Eric Lund’s second-place time of 51.35 and Adam Dailey’s third-place time of 51.86.
The Huskers ended the meet on the track with two top-three finishes in the 4×400-meter relays. The women’s team of Alyssa Vierregger, Mara Weekes, Ellie Grooters and Ellen Dougherty finished third in 3:45.92, while the men’s squad of Miles Ukaoma, Blaise Rewaka, Brinn and Lund finished second with a time of 3:12.86.
The Huskers will start on the road next weekend before hosting their lone home meet of the outdoor season on Sunday. NU will be at the Drake Relays and Penn Relays starting on Wednesday, April 27 and will finish both meets on Saturday, April 30. The Huskers will then host the Nebraska Open at Ed Weir Stadium with the meet scheduled to start at 2 p.m.