K-State Track and Field Set for NCAA Championships

"I really like the competitiveness of this group," said K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto. "I feel like we're in a pretty good position. This group is very comparable to what we had last year. I thought the kids did a great job last year at the meet, and I think that this group is poised and ready to do very similar things."
Last year, the Wildcat women's squad placed 19th and the men's team finished 20th. While it is true the teams each earned solid finishes in 2014, the sky is the limit for the Wildcats this year. 
K-State enters competition - which begins today and runs through Saturday - with 14 entries, and nine of those 14 entries are ranked in the top 10 nationally. With the women's team at No. 10 and the men's team ranked 23rd, K-State is one of just 17 NCAA Division I programs to have both squads ranked in the top 25. 
On the women's side, K-State will have 10 entries across eight events and will look to secure the program's first top-10 finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since 2002. 
"This women's team, if you look at it from the perspective of completeness - i.e. a dual meet team plus a high-end conference level team - you could make an argument that this is as good of a team that we've ever had," said Rovelto. "I feel like we have good people in every event area."
Leading the way for the women's team is junior Akela Jones who will compete in the heptathlon and also represent K-State in the women's high jump. Jones enters the meet ranked No. 4 in the nation in both events.
Along with Jones, sophomore Kim Williamson and senior Alyx Treasure will also compete in the high jump, while junior Dani Winters will throw in the shot put, junior Sara Savatovic will compete in the hammer throw, freshman A'Keyla Mitchell will run in the 200-meter and junior Tia Gamble will compete in the 400-meter hurdles. The women's 4x400 team will be made up of junior Sonia Gaskin, Mitchell, Gamble and a runner soon to be determined. 
On the men's side, the freshmen duo of Christoff Bryan and Nate Gipson will represent K-State in the men's high jump, Terrell Smith will run in the 200-meter and Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye will be competing in the long jump. 
Competition begins today at 11:00 a.m. (PT) with the combined events. 
"It's been a good year for these kids," said Rovelto. "They're a good group, they really are. The thing that's going to be fun is, if everyone stays healthy, there's no question that this women's team will be better a year from now. And it's a really good team now, so it's going to be something special." 
For more information on the Wildcats' trip to the NCAA Championship, please click here
ROVELTO, JONES, OTUONYE EARN REGIONAL HONORS
Head coach Cliff Rovelto, as well as student-athletes Akela Jones and Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, were honored by the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in the annual announcement of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Regional Awards. Rovelto was named the Midwest Women's Coach of the Year, while Jones and Otuonye swept the men's and women's portions of the Midwest Field Athlete of the Year.
To continue reading about the Wildcats regional honors, please click here
 
FORMER WILDCAT STREB QUALIFIES FOR U.S. OPEN
Former Kansas State men's golfer and current PGA Tour pro Robert Streb qualified for the 115th U.S. Open after carding a two-round score of 7-under par 137 in sectional qualifying on Monday.
Streb was one 15 competitors to advance from the Columbus, Ohio, sectional qualifier as he shot a 3-under par 69 at The Lakes Golf and Country Club before a 4-under par 68 at Brookside Golf and Country Club later in the day. Following the 36-hole day, he survived through a playoff among five players fighting for the final three qualifying spots.
A K-State letterwinner from 2006-09, Streb will take part in his first career U.S. Open, held June 15-21, at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Washington.
To continue reading about Streb, please click here
 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.