K-State track and field sophomore Devin Field competes in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
June 16, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
Interviews courtesy of K-State Athletics' Anthony Meier
K-State track and field concluded its outdoor season last weekend in Eugene, Oregon, at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, with both men's and women's teams registering Top 20 finishes. It marked the first time since 2011 that both squads finished in the Top 20, as the men earned a tie for 19th with 12 points and the women tied for 20th with 11 points.
Of the 13 Wildcats entries at Eugene, compromised of a total of 14 athletes, 10 resulted in at least first or second team honors. Seven individuals garnered first team accolades as well, with Devin Field and Sonia Gaskin earning the honor in two events each.
FFIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Wildcat sophomores Devin Field, Alyx Treasure, Sarah Savatovic and Sonia Gaskin highlighted the NCAA Championship for K-State and were each named First Team All-Americans. Field and Gaskin each garnered two First Team awards.
Field, who earned All-America honors in both the long jump and the triple jump, placed sixth in the long jump with a jump of 7.48 m/24-06.50 and second overall in the triple jump with an outstanding leap of 16.46m/54-00.00. He became one of only eight Wildcat men's athletes to earn first team honors in multiple outdoor events. He also joined Olympian Kenny Harrison as the only K-State men's athletes to earn first team honors in both the long jump and triple jump at the same national outdoor meet.
"It is kind of bittersweet. I expect of myself to always do better, but I'm happy with the results and just have to plan for next year," Field said after the triple jump. "One thing I can say is that I'm very happy that this was a good comeback season. I'm happy with all my results."
In the women's high jump, Treasure cleared a personal-best height of 1.86m/6-01.25 for a second-place finish. She went a perfect five-for-five in the first five rounds of the event before dropping out at the height of 1.89m/6-02.25.
"It's bittersweet, but I'm ecstatic I got second," Treasure said. "The height isn't where I wanted to be yet, but I felt like I jumped really well up to [1.89m]. Then I kind of let things get into my head and rushed it a bit. I felt I should have had it, but considering everything else I jumped well at every other bar."
Savatovic and Gaskin continued their sophomore success as they took home seventh place finishes in the women's hammer throw and the 800-meter run, respectively.
Representing K-State in the women's hammer throw, Savatovic capped off an exciting sophomore campaign with a final mark of 63.80m/209-04. Her top-eight finish put her in elite company as she is just the fifth Wildcat women's thrower in school history to earn first team honors in the event.
Gaskin clocked in a speedy 2:04.55 in the 800-meter run for her seventh place and First Team All-American finish, but her NCAA Championship success didn't stop there.
Also a member of the women's 4x400 team, along with teammates Tia' Gamble, Erica Twiss and Merryl Mbeng, Gaskin earned a second First Team All-American honor for her team's eighth place 4x400 finish. It was an impressive showing by the Wildcats, as they earned the qualifying spot with a school record time of 3:33.12 in Thursday's semifinal heats.
The youthfulness of this year's squad on both the men's and the women's side provides K-State with a bright future as it now begins to look forward to the 2015 season.
Senior Ryan Hershberger notched a top-10 finish in the men's shot put after a career-best throw of 19.29m/63-03.50 to earn Second Team All-America honors. He finished his Wildcat career with a ninth place finish in his first-ever NCAA Championship appearance and became one of the most successful throwers in the event in school history. He secured his spot at No. 5 all-time in the men's shot put at K-State and had the best finish in the event since the 1985 NCAA Outdoor Championship when Andrew Gillam placed seventh.
Placing 10th in the decathlon, Reinis Kregers closed out his sophomore campaign with a multi-event score of 7,567 points - the second-highest total of his career. Though he was in 11th place going into the decathlon's final event, Kregers' strong finish in the 1,500-meter run was enough to secure him 10th place overall and Second Team All-America distinction.
Joining Kregers in the decathlon was 2014 Big 12 Champion senior Devin Dick. Despite a tough finish where he was unable to complete the 1,500-meter run, Dick closed out his exceptional Wildcat career with a 21st place finish.
Along with her All-American finish in the women' 4x400, Twiss placed 16th in the long jump. Recording a final wind-aided leap of 6.14m/20-01.75 in her third and final jump of the day, Twiss is only the third Wildcat women's jumper in the past decade to finish in the event's top-16.
Junior Ivan Hartung placed 16th in the men's javelin with a final mark of 64.56/211-10 in his first attempt of the event, while on the women's side freshman Danie Plank finished 21st overall in the women's javelin throw with a final throw of 45.56m/149-06.00 in her second attempt of the day. It was both Hartung and Plank's first visit to the NCAA Championship.
Finally, junior Zack Riley finished 18th overall in the men's high jump in his first career appearance on the national stage. On his second attempt at 2.10m/6-10.75, Riley cleared the height to ensure the top-20 finish. His appearance continued the Wildcats' tradition in the event, marking 12 consecutive years K-State has had a men's high jumper compete at the NCAA Championship.
Excited for the future of his young program, head coach Cliff Rovelto said he was happy with his team's performances at this year's NCAA Championship.
"It's been a really good year and we're going to have good teams going forward," Rovelto said. "I'm really pleased. I think our coaches do a good job and we got guys who work hard. We just got a lot of really good things going for us right now."
For video from the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship click the following links:
K-State track and field sophomore Alyx Treasure competes in the high jump at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.