Six Wildcats to Compete at NCAA Indoor National Championships

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Six Wildcat track and field student-athletes are set to represent Kansas State at the 2016 Indoor NCAA Track and Field National Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday and Saturday. 

Competing for the Wildcats are: Christoff Bryan (high jump); Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye (long jump); Akela Jones (pentathlon, high jump); Kimberly Williamson (high jump); A’Keyla Mitchell (200 meter dash); and Dani Winters (shot put). 

Jones opens the first day of competition looking for another shot at breaking the NCAA pentathlon record of 4,678 points set by Georgia’s Kendell Williams at last year’s NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The senior fell just 35 points short of the record at the DeLoss Dodds Invitational with an impressive 4,643 points.

She also recorded a strong outing at the Big 12 Championships two weeks ago, winning the conference title in high jump, long jump and 60 meter hurdles. Her three titles, along with a third-place finish as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team, earned her high-point scorer of the meet with 31.50 points. 

The St. Michael, Barbados, native became the first female Wildcat to win three conference titles at the same meet since 1976 when K-State Athletics Hall of Famer Teri Anderson won the 880 yard run (2:16.6), the mile run (4:51.3) and the two mile run (10:22.3) at the Big Eight Conference meet in Manhattan.

Her stellar indoor season did not go unnoticed as she was named the Big 12 Female Indoor Track and Field Performer of the Year and the USTFCCCA Midwest Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. 

Bryan and Otuonye are also coming off strong performances at the conference meet, winning the title in high jump and long jump, respectively. The titles were the first of their careers. 

Bryan won the high jump title with a mark 2.22m/7-03.25, just shy of his season best mark of 2.25m/7-04.25 which he set at the Tyson Invitational. He currently holds the second-best mark in the Big 12 and is tied for the third-best mark in Division I. 

Fellow jumper Otuonye won his title with a leap of 7.70m/25-03.25. The senior also set his season and personal best at the Tyson Invitational, recording an impressive mark of 7.75m/25-05.25, good for the top mark in the conference and sixth best in Division I. 

Williamson and Winters also recorded impressive results at the Big 12 Championships. Winters finished in second place in shot put at the meet with a school record throw of 17.63m/57-10.25, while Williamson also recorded a second-place finish in high jump with a mark of 1.81m/5-11.25. 

On the track, Mitchell will look to record a strong performance in the 200 meter dash. She qualified for the finals of the conference meet in the event with a time of 23.32 before finishing in third place with a time 23.16, her season best. 

Friday’s competition will begin at 12:15 p.m. with Jones competing in the pentathlon 60 meter hurdles. Otuonye (long jump) begins competition at 5:20 p.m., followed by Mitchell (200 meter dash) and Bryan in (high jump) at 7:55 p.m.

On Saturday, Jones and Williamson will compete for the high jump title at 2:00 p.m., followed by Winters competing in shot put at 5:00 p.m. Mitchell closes out the day with the 200 meter dash finals at 6:00 p.m.

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

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