Gabby Thomas In The Relays, Sharon Lokedi In 5K: Kansas Relays Preview

The Kansas Relays features talent from across the collegiate scene with national champions from Division I all the way to the junior college level racing at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas. 

The meet will also have a meet-within-a-meet with a quadrangular competition taking place between Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, and Harvard. You can watch the meet live on FloTrack and find the full schedule and entries here. Below are a few athletes and events to watch. 

Watch The 2018 Kansas Relays Live On FloTrack

Women’s 5000m: Thursday, 7 PM CT

Sharon Lokedi of Kansas is the top seed and is coming off an indoor season where she placed third in the 5000m and sixth in the 3000m. Last year outdoors she focused on the 10,000m, taking third place at the 2017 NCAA Championships. She has made one appearance outdoors in 2017 and turned in a good result. At the Stanford Invitational Lokedi ran a personal best of 32:21 in the 10,000m to finish fifth.

Also entered in the race is Adva Cohen of Iowa Central Community College. She won three NJCAA titles indoors this season and has a personal best of 16:16 in the 5000m. The NAIA will be represented by Aminat Olowora of Oklahoma City University. Olowora won the 3000 at the NAIA Indoor Championships in March. 

Men’s 400m Final: Saturday, 12:36 PM CT

The preliminary heats take place on Friday at 4:05 PM CT, but if form holds then Saturday's final should feature Taysean Goodwin of Emporia State as the favorite. 

The junior placed second at the Division II National Indoor Championships and has a personal best of 46.83. The second seed is Jermaine Hole, a sophomore from Coffeyville Community College who owns a best time of 47.17. 800m standout Bryce Hoppel will be racing on his home track for the Jayhawks. The sophomore is seeded 10th and took eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. Regardless of whether he makes the final, Hoppel should be able to improve upon his personal best of 50.67.

Men’s 800m: Saturday, 12:56 PM CT 

With Hoppel focusing on the 400m, the 800m is left to Myles Marshall of Harvard. He qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships as well and ran a lifetime best this winter of 1:47.74. With that time under his belt and a fresh 400m personal best last weekend, Marshall looks poised for a breakout performance. On Saturday, his main competition will come from Kain Ellis, Brian Bell of Iowa Central, Isaac Clark of Friends, Thomas LaRoche of Emporia State, and Matthew Anyiwo of Kansas.

Women’s 4x100m Relay: Saturday, 3:33 PM CT 

This 4x100m relay section features the four teams in the quadrangular meet—Harvard, Kansas, Kansas State, and Nebraska. It's also a chance to see Harvard's Gabrielle Thomas. The collegiate record holder (and national champion) indoors in the 200m is off to a fabulous start. Thomas ran a wind-aided 22.13 at the Texas Relays in the 200m. The next weekend she ran a wind-legal 22.32—tops in the NCAA this season. She will be joined in this relay by Olivia Okoli, Karina Joiner, and Ngoze Musa. Nebraska boasts a strong team with Kierra Griggs and Lakayla Harris.

Women’s 4x400m Relay: Saturday, 5:22 PM CT

The same four teams from the 4x100m relay will tangle at the end of the competition, perhaps with the meet on the line. Thomas, again, will make an appearance. It will be interesting to see what she can clock for a 400m split on the anchor leg. Zoe Hughes, Maya Miklos, and Micha Meekins round out the Harvard squad. Nebraska will have the service of Lakayla Harris and Jasmine Barge, an NCAA qualifier in the 400m hurdles. 

But the favorite is the team from Kansas. Three of the four members of their NCAA Indoor Championships qualifying squad are entered on Saturday, including Honour Finley, Megan Linder, and Mariah Kuykendoll. 

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