Women do well at Kansas

She’s done it again.

Senior thrower Danee Jones has broken the University weight throw record twice, and she’s only had three meets this season.

With a second-place sling of 61-9 3/4, Jones earned an automatic qualifying mark for the national indoor championships.

The throw could have given Jones a provisional in Division I competition.

“She really shattered the old mark and her previous mark,” said Patty Vavra, head women’s track and field coach.

Before the Jan. 28 meet at the University of Kansas, Jones’ previous goal was to throw farther than 60 feet in weight throw.

Jones said she was happy when she realized what she threw.

Now, having surpassed her goal by more than a foot and a half, she now has her sights on 62 feet.

However, Jones wasn’t the only Lion to show improvement.

“The throwers as a group saw improved performances and continue to make nice gains,” Vavra said.

Jones also placed fifth in the shot put by throwing 43-9.

Freshman thrower Jessica Selby followed a foot behind her with a throw of 42-9.

Selby went on to earn eighth place.

In the triple jump competition, junior Iashia Castle leaped 37-5 to take sixth place.

Castle received 10th place in the long jump with 16-7 3/4.

“I thought I did pretty well,” Castle said. “But there’s always room for improvement.”

She said there was good competition at KU, but it was not as steep as last week’s meet at the University of Arkansas.

Also placing in the top 10 were the 4X400-meter relay team and senior pole vaulter Melissa Turner.

The relay team turned in a season’s best time of 4:06.89 for ninth place, and Turner vaulted 10-6 for 10th place.

The distance runners did not compete at KU.

“It’s been a long season already with cross country behind them,” Vavra said. “We want to prevent them from peaking too soon.”

She said taking a break from the meet gave the runners a chance to have a great work week in practice.

In anticipation for this week’s home meet, Coach Vavra sees the home crowd and the lack of travel as the team’s advantages.

Jones is ready to see and compete with the conference competition early in the season.

Castle agrees.

“I am looking forward to seeing people in the conference who we’ll be running against later in the season,” she said.

Castle is particularly looking forward to running in the distance medley relay.

Vavra said she’d like to see quality performances in the nationally-ranked events like the DMR to solidify their chance of being in the national championship.

“We’re looking for nice performances this weekend,” Vavra said. “It’s that time of year where you need it.”