K-State Ready For Competition at Big 12s

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Kansas State track and field team heads to Fort Worth, Texas as it prepares to compete in the 2016 Big 12 Championships at the Lowdon Track and Field Complex on May 13-15. 

At last season’s meet, the women finished in second place with 129.50 points, their best finish since the 2002 season, while the men finished in eighth place at the meet. The Wildcats also saw four individuals win titles in their respective events.  

K-State will have all four of those 2015 conference champions returning to compete in this weekend’s meet. On the men’s side, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye will look to defend his long jump crown, which he won last year with a leap of 7.69m/25-02.75. 

On the women’s side, Sara Savatovic will look to win her fourth straight outdoor title in the hammer throw after winning the 2015 event with a mark of 66.41m/217-04, while fellow thrower Dani Winters looks to defend her shot put crown after throwing 17.75m/54-03 last year. Kim Williamson also won the 2015 Big 12 title in the high jump with a mark of 1.87m/6-01.50. 

Senior Akela Jones will also look to have a big meet after she was named the high point scorer of the meet at last year’s competition. Jones will be competing in high jump, long jump, 100 meter hurdles, the 4x100 meter relay and the 4x400 meter relay.

Mid-distance runners Kain Ellis and Sonia Gaskin will also look for big marks in the 800 meter run. Gaskin won the 2016 Big 12 Championship in the 600 yard run and currently holds the third-fastest mark in the 800 meter run in the conference this season with a time of 2:05.05, while Ellis has the fifth-best mark in the conference after running 1:49.45 at the John McDonnell Invitational. 

Wildcat sprinters are poised for a big meet as well. A'keyla Mitchell currently holds the 9th best mark in the conference in the 100 meter dash (11.54) and the 4th best mark in the 200 meter dash (22.94). She is the school record holder in both events. 

Fellow sophomore Terrell Smith has top marks in his respective events in the conference, running the seventh-best time in the conference in the 100 meter dash with a mark of 10.33. He is tied for the best mark in the 200 meter dash after posting a mark of 20.44.  
K-State will look for an impact from some of its freshman performers as well. Thrower Brett Neelly competes in both the shot put and discus throw. Shadae Lawrence will also look for a big mark in discus throw, while her twin sister Shardia Lawrence is primed for a big weekend in triple jump. 

Competition opens on Friday morning at 9 a.m. CT with the women’s hammer throw. Savatovic and Janee’ Kassanavoid will be competition in that event for the Wildcats.

More information on the meet, including a full schedule and meet records, can be found by visiting the tournament central page 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.