Bryce Hoppel returns to Kansas Relays, beats KU senior standout Gibbens in 1,500

Former Kansas Jayhawks track and field standout Bryce Hoppel, who won the 800 at the World Indoor Championships on March 4 in Glasgow, Scotland, did more than sign autographs and pose for pictures at the 101st running of the Kansas Relays on Saturday at Rock Chalk Park.

Hoppel, a five-time All-American, two-time NCAA champion, four-time Big 12 champion and 2020 Olympian from Midland, Texas, returned to Lawrence Saturday to compete in the 1,500 run against Chandler Gibbens, a KU school record holder in four events.

Competing for Adidas, the 26-year-old Hoppel placed first in a time of 3 minutes, 44.32 seconds. Gibbens, a senior from Columbia, Missouri, was timed in a personal-best 3:44.84. KU sophomores Tanner Talley and Tanner Newkirk were third and fourth, respectively, in 3:46.21 and 3:47.33.

The Jayhawks won a batch of gold medals at the Relays, which ran Thursday through Saturday.

Dimitrios Pavlidis, a junior from Greece, won the men’s discus with a mark of 60.68 meters. Tayton Klein, a sophomore from Andover, Kansas, won the long jump (7.52 meters); and Clayton Simms, a junior from Watson, Louisiana the men’s pole vault (5.27 meters, 17-3 1/2).

Devin Loudermilk, a KU junior from Howard, Kansas, won the high jump (2.16 meters) and Cale Littrell, a sophomore from Columbia, Missouri, topped the men’s 3000 steeplechase (9:06.56). KU’s 3,200 men’s relay team placed first in 7:41.71.

On the women’s side, Sidney Smith, a freshman from Tulsa, won the 400 hurdles in 58.6 and Yoveinny Mota, a senior from Venezuela, the 100 hurdles in 13.25. Tori Thomas, a senior from Hastings, Nebraska, won the shot put (15.63 meters), while Aaliyah Lindsay, a junior from Jamaica won the long jump (6.17 meters) and Taylor Mayo, a freshman from Springfield, Missouri the triple jump (12.75 meters).

Emmaculate Jemutai, a freshman from Kenya, won the 800 in 2:05.53 and Lona Latema, a senior from Kenya, won the 1,500 in 4:26.71. KU also won the women’s 1,600 relay in 3:51.58.

Mason Meinershagen, a freshman from St. Louis, won the women’s high jump (1.70 meters). Former KU athlete Patrick Larrison placed first in the men’s shot (19.19 meters).

Jackson Cantwell, a sophomore football/track standout from Nixa High in Missouri, set a pair of Kansas Relays records in the weight events. He’s the son of two former Olympic shot-putters: Christian Cantwell, who starred at Mizzou, and Teri Steer (who competed at SMU).

The younger Cantwell placed first in the shot put with a throw of 21.03 meters (69-0 feet), breaking a boys Kansas Relays shot-put record that had stood since 1980. His record-setting throw came on his sixth and final attempt.

Cantwell also won the discus with a Relays record throw of 62.6 meters (205-4 feet). It’s the second best throw in the country by a high schooler this season.

Val Galligan of Olathe Northwest placed first in the javelin, (150-5 feet), second in the shot put (school record 43-5) and second in the discus (school-record 148-11).

Bryce Barkdull of Andover Central, who will compete at KU next season, won the boys pole vault in a Kansas Relays record distance of 5.36 meters (17-7).

Blue Valley North ran a Kansas high school all-time best time of 3:52.65 to win the 1,600 relay. That state record had stood since 1982, according to Sports In Kansas. The four runners were Audrey Brown, Alli Kneller, Emma Ramboldt and Delia Gregory.