High Jump Trio Impresses at NCAA Prelims
After each cleared 1.82m/5-11.50 this weekend, Treasure, Williamson and Jones each punched their ticket to the 2015 NCAA Championships later this month in Eugene, Oregon.
Never before in K-State track and field history have multiple Wildcat women's high jumpers earned All-America outdoor honors in a single season. So for this talented bunch, history is theirs for the taking.
"It'd be amazing to be a part of K-State history," said Jones after the preliminary meet. "I'm all about creating history, so it'd be amazing to go out and have all of us get All-America status. I think that would show that we are even more dominant in the high jump than people might think. It would be amazing to do that."
And if there's ever a group to do it, it's this one.
Going an impressive 4-for-4 in clearances, Treasure led the way by tying for first overall at the NCAA West Prelims, while Jones and Williamson tied for third after missing on only one attempt each at 1.78m/5-10.
"I'm feeling good," said Treasure. "I needed that clean run to get my confidence back going into Nationals, so I'm happy with it."
Of the three, Treasure, is the only student-athlete with NCAA Outdoor Championship experience. Last year, the senior from Prince George, Canada, earned All-America status after tying for second at the 2014 NCAA Championships with a jump of 1.86m/6-01.25. Heading into this year's national meet, she now has the opportunity to become the first Wildcat women's high jumper in 23 years to earn first team All-America honors in consecutive seasons.
Williamson, a sophomore transfer from Central Arizona College, has never been to the NCAA Outdoor Championships before, but she's been competing at an extremely high level in her first year with the Wildcats. She earned back-to-back Big 12 titles in the high jump this year after placing first at both the Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Championship meets. During the outdoor season, she has never finished a meet placing lower than third, earning two first-place finishes, one second-place finish and one third-place finish.
The young jumper said practicing with Treasure and competing with her teammates by her side throughout this season has only made her stronger.
"I have been training with Alyx," said Williamson, a native of Frankfield, Jamaica. "She motivates me and pushes me in practice, so that has really been helpful. It's competitive between us, it really is, but it's helped me improve."
Added Treasure, "In practice with Kim, we definitely push each other and make sure we're doing everything to the best of our abilities. It has been fun because I've never really had teammates that I've practiced with and competed with, so it's a new experience. I've enjoyed it."
While Williamson and Treasure train together in practice, Jones, a multi-event athlete, doesn't spend much time training with the high jumpers. Although she isn't with them every day in practice, their support during competitions has helped her out immensely.
"You have your own support system right there telling you what you did wrong, what you did right," explained Jones. "They cheer you on and it makes it feel like you're home even when you're away from home."
Along with the high jump, Jones will be competing in the heptathlon and the women's 4x400 at the NCAA Championships.
Though the three are different, their mindset entering the NCAA Championships is the same: they hope to represent K-State well and, of course, win.
"To have three people competing at the NCAAs, it shows that we've done a good job and it puts us out there as a good high jump school," closed Jones. "We're one of the best high jump schools in America, and this proves it."
Overall, K-State will enter the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships from June 10-13, with 14 entries.
Along with the three high jumpers, K-State will have women competing in six other events. Sara Savatovic (hammer throw,) Tia' Gamble (400-meter), A'Keyla Mitchell (200-meter), Dani Winters (shot put) and Alyssa Kelly (triple jump) will all be representing the Wildcats as well as Sonia Gaskin, Gamble, Jones and Mitchell in the women's 4x400.
For the men, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye will compete in the long jump, Christoff Bryan and Nate Gipson will take part in the high jump while Terrell Smith will run in the 200-meter.
To read more on how the Cats fared at the NCAA West Prelims, please click here.