K-State Dominant on Day One of UCLA Legends Invitational

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State’s track and field team saw three athletes earn first-place finishes and one break a school record after the first day of competition at the UCLA Legends Invitational in UCLA Drake Stadium on Friday. 

For the second-straight meet, the men’s hammer throw school record was broken as freshman Tyler Merkley recorded a throw of 62.31m/204-05. The previous mark of 61.94m/203-02 was set by junior Brady Grunder at the UTSA Invitational. 

Junior Kyle Smith also recorded the fourth-best mark in hammer throw with a throw of 60.68m/199-01 to finish second in the meet. On the women’s side, junior Janee’ Kassanavoid finished in third place with a throw of 58.20m/190-11. 

On the track, the Wildcats went 1-2-3 in the men’s 1500 meter run during Friday’s Distance Carnival. Sophomore Lukas Koch finished first with a time of 3:51.51, while junior Kain Ellis and freshman Kurt Loevenstein took second and third with times of 3:51.58 and 3:51.95, respectively. All three times set new personal bests. 

Senior Sonia Gaskin recorded her third first-place finish across all events this season in the women’s 800 meter run, finishing with a time of 2:08.12. 

In the Wildcats’ final event of the day, junior Morgan Wedekind finished in fourth place in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 10:38.65. Sophomore Kayla Doll added a fifth-place finish with a personal-best time of 10:41.09. 

Saturday’s competition resumes at 2 p.m. CT with the men’s javelin throw in the field. Track events on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. CT with the women’s 4x100 meter relay. 

More information on the meet can be found here. Live updates from the meet can be found on Twitter by following @kstate_gameday or by following the meets live results here. 

For the latest on K-State track and field, follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter using the hashtag #KStateTF or on the team’s Facebook page. 

UCLA Legends Invitational
UCLA Drake Stadium
Los Angeles, Calif. 

Women’s 800 Meter Run
1. Sonia Gaskin – 2:08.12

Men’s 1500 Meter Run
1. Lukas Koch – 3:51.51 (PR)
2. Kain Ellis – 3:51.58 (PR)
3. Kurt Loevenstein – 3:51.95 (PR)

Women’s 3000 Meter Run
4. Morgan Wedekind – 10:38.65
5. Kayla Doll – 10:41.09 (PR)

Women’s Hammer Throw
3. Janee’ Kassanavoid – 58.20m/190-11

Men’s Hammer Throw
1. Tyler Merkley – 62.31m/204-05 (PR, School Record)
2. Kyle Smith – 60.68m/199-01