GUANAJUATO, Mexico – Five of the six members of the Kansas track & field team who competed for Team USA at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championships returned home with a medal after completion of the three-day weekend meet. Senior-to-be Andrea Geubelle earned Gold in the triple jump with junior-to-be Diamond Dixon also winning gold in the 4x400-meter relay.
Geubelle, who was battling flu-like symptoms along with the majority of Team USA, only needed two jumps to claim victory in the triple jump Saturday afternoon. On her first attempt of the day she hit a mark of 13.14 meters (43-1.25 ft.). American teammate Michelle Jenije came within less than an inch of Geubelle’s top leap but was unable to better the Jayhawk, giving the eight-time All-American the victory.
Dixon was the final Jayhawk to compete in Guanajuato Sunday afternoon, running in the 4x400-meter relay. The Houston, Texas native ran the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter race, crossing the finish line in 3:28.64 and giving the U.S. a commanding victory. The Gold medal isn’t the first for Dixon in international competition. She was a part of the winning 4x400-meter relay teams a year ago at the Pan American Junior Championships and at the 2010 World Junior Championships.
Dixon will now travel to the 2012 Olympic Games as a member of Team USA’s 4x400-meter relay team. The opening ceremony from London is set for July 28th with the track and field events starting August 3rd.
On Friday night Mason Finley took part in the discus competition. The senior-to-be was the reigning champion in the event after winning gold at the 2010 NACAC Games. Finley got off a top throw of 59.00 meters (193-7 ft.) but was unable to top Jamaican Travis Smickle’s 62.11 meter (203-9 ft.) toss, settling for a second-place finish and a Silver medal. The finish gave the Salida, Colo., native his third international medal in the last three years.
Outgoing senior Rebeka Stowe ran in the seven-person final of the 3,000-meter Steeplechase Saturday. The three-time All-American, who was running in her second NACAC Championships after winning Gold in 2010, ran the 7.5 laps in 10:45.14 to finish second behind American teammate Alyssa Kulik.
Sophomore-to-be Michael Stigler ran his way to Silver in the 400-meter hurdles Sunday morning. Stigler rounded the track in 50.48, missing first place by less than half a second.
In the women’s javelin Heather Bergmann finish fourth overall. The senior-to-be launched the javelin to a mark of 49.98 meters (164-0 ft.), her best throw in nearly two months.
Kansas Track & Field will have another athlete compete on the international stage later this week. Casey Bowen will be in action at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain and will take part in the men’s pole vault. Bowen is slated to begin in the qualifying stage Tuesday morning, July 10 at 3:50 a.m. (CT). Stay updated on Bowen’s performance by logging on to kuathletics.com and following on twitter at @KU_Track.
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NACAC U-23 Championships
Women’s 4x400-meter Relay
1. USA: Cassandra Tate, Phyliss Francis,
Rebecca Alexandra, Diamond Dixon – 3:28.64
Men’s 400-meter Hurdles
2. Michael Stigler – 50.48
Women’s 3,000-meter Steeplechase
2. Rebeka Stowe – 10:45.14
Women’s Triple Jump
1. Andrea Geubelle – 13.14m (43-1.25 ft.)
4. Heather Bergmann - 49.98m (164-0 ft.)
2. Mason Finley – 59.00m (193-7 ft.)