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Money Speaks in Big 12 Track and Field

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By Mark Janssen 

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Cliff Rovelto stresses that it is not an excuse, "... but just a fact. There is a really high correlation between budgets and where people are expected to place."

So when the starting gun fires on the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Friday, it will be Texas A&M, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Baylor expected to make up the top division of the standings.

"According to one set of data, Texas A&M's budget is over $4 million," said Rovelto, "and all of the schools picked to be in the top half of our championships were in the top 15 in the country in budgets. It's not acceptable to make excuses, but that's the reality of it."

K-State's overall track budget is slightly more than $1 million, but Rovelto is hoping that his cast for runners, jumpers and throwers can be the best of the rest.

"When those top two or three teams will be scoring 90 to 110 points, that doesn't leave many (points) for the rest of us," said Rovelto, whose men's team is ranked No. 20 in the nation, but could finish seventh or eighth in the league meet. "On a pretty good day, I think we can be in the mid- to high-30s. I really think the difference between seventh and 10th or 11th place could be as few as 10 points. To get to 40 points would take some really, really special things to happen."

Rovelto says that the Southeastern Conference is the No. 1 conference in the nation and the Big 12 is No. 2.

In making one comparison, Rovelto said that K-State's Jason Coniglio and J.J. Marshall recently ran times of 6.87 and 6.88 in the 60, but neither will even be entered in the Big 12 Indoor.

"The Big East Conference has 16 teams and those times would be first and second," said Rovelto. "In the Big 12, they're down around 12th with no chance of making the finals."

Kudos to Pistora
K-State thrower Ali Pistora has been selected to the 2011 Big 12 Conference Winter Chick-fil-A Community of Champions.

Pistora is a senior majoring in kinesiology and holds a 3.81 GPA. Some of the organizations and programs she has volunteered for include Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, Cats for Cans, Read to Achieve, Students for Environmental Action, National Girls and Women in Sports Day among others. Pistora also serves as a student tutor in the Kinesiology Department on campus to help her fellow students.

Pistora also serves her fellow student-athletes as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Last season she finished 13th at the NCAA West Regional in the javelin and fourth at the Big 12 Championship. As a sophomore in 2009, Pistora advanced to the NCAA Championship finishing 17th in the javelin after claiming third in the Big 12. She also was named to USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for her successes in the classroom as well. Currently, Pistora ranks sixth in the Big 12 in the weight throw as the team prepares for the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championships next week.

Chick-fil-A awards $3,000 each year to every Big 12 Conference institution toward scholarships and sponsors this award to recognize student-athletes for their continued hard work and excellence in areas beyond sports.

On the Big 12 Charts
Men
60 - Martynas Jurgilas 6th, 6.65
60-Hurdles - Mantas Silkauskas, 2nd, 7.74; Jeffrey Julmis, 4th, 7.81
600 - Ben Love, 20th, 1:11.64
800 - Sam James, 11th, 1:50.82
Mile - Adam Porter, 15th, 4:06.31
High Jump - Erik Kynard, 1st, 7-7 3/4
Pole Vault - Isaac Mallory, 12th, 16-0 3/4; Dezso Szabo, 12th, 16-0 3/4; Kyle Wait, 12th, 16-0 3/4
Weight Throw - Tomaz Bogovic, 6th, 60-2 1/2; Jordan Bauer, 7th, 59-8 1/4
Heptathlon - Moritz Cleve, 4th, 5,443

Women
60-Hurdles - Denise Baker, 4th, 8.32
800 - Sara  Stoakes, 16th, 2:11.49
1000 - Boglarka Bozzay, 1st, 2:45.91
Mile - Boglarka Bozzay, 6th, 4:46.60
3000 - Martina Tresch, 11th, 9:34.09
5000 - Sydney Messick, 18th, 16:59.06
Long Jump - Nina Kokot, 2nd, 21-1 1/4
Triple Jump - TiAra Walpool, 5th, 42-2 1/4
Weight Throw - Chelsie Bonds, 8th, 58-8 1/2; Ali Pistora, 9th, 58-7 1/2
Pentathlon - Ryann Krais, 2nd, 4,021; Julia Zeiner, 7th, 3,495

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