Mitchell Breaks School Record at Bill Easton Classic

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Freshman A'keyla Mitchell highlighted a strong overall effort from K-State Track and Field at the Bill Easton Classic in Lawrence, Kansas, breaking the 200-meter school record. Mitchell, along with the rest of the Wildcats, were impressive, leaving Anschutz Pavilion with 11 first-place finishes, four top-10 program marks and several personal bests.

Mitchell Makes it Three-for-Three

Freshman A'keyla Mitchell continued her fast start to the season breaking yet another school record, this time in the 200-meter dash. Mitchell, who in last month’s Winter Invitational set the 60m record as well as helped the 4x400 squad to a program record, clocked in at 23.97 seconds to register the lone sub-24 second time en route to defeating the field of 19 handedly. The win marked her third win in three events competed in this season with all three those events resulting in a program record.

For Mitchell, her time of 23.97 seconds bested a K-State record held for nearly 25 years by Markeya Jones – Jones ran a time of 24.01 at the 1991 NCAA Championships to earn first team honors. The dominant showing by the Corpus Christi, Texas, native finished just shy of the Anschutz Pavilion record of 23.62 and she is currently the lone sprinter in Division I to have registered a time of sub-24 in the 200-meter.

‘Cats Excel on the Track

Mitchell wasn’t the only one to enjoy success on the track, as several Wildcats recorded first-place finishes, personal bests and top-10 marks…

• In the men’s 200m, fellow freshman Terrell Smith notched his second victory of the season, this time clocking in at 21.57 seconds. Smith’s time narrowly defeated teammate Carlos Rodriguez’s time of 21.81, while also placing him on the K-State top-10 for the second-straight meet. Already with the sixth-fastest 60m time in school history, Smith slotted in at sixth-fastest in the 200m with his latest effort – the fastest time ran by a Wildcat in the event since Rodriguez himself finished in 21.24 seconds in 2013.

Also competing alongside Smith and Rodriguez with notable finishes were Dane Steen (4th), Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye (5th) and Tyris Jefferson (6th).

Sonia Gaskin registered a personal best in her first-place finish in the 600-yard run. The junior smoked the field of 12 by well over two seconds, clocking in at 1:21.08 to best her previous fastest time of 1:21.89 set at last season’s Bill Easton Classic and put herself at tied for fourth-best in school history. The victory marked Gaskin’s second-straight individual first-place finish – she took first in 1000m at last month’s Winter Invitational.

Gaskin also helped the women’s 4x400 ‘A’ squad to victory in the Wildcats’ final event of the night. Finishing in 3:46.48, the foursome of Gaskin, Keiteyana Parks, Akela Jones and Sarah Kolmer defeated the field of 11 by nearly four seconds for the victory.

• In the 400m, Christopher Campbell took first on the men’s side, while Tia' Gamble finished second for the women. The senior Campbell finished the race in a time of 48.65, to defeat a field of 23 for his first victory of the season and first win in the event since the Wildcat Invitational in 2013. Gamble, a mainstay on the women’s 4x400 squad, ran the 400m competitively for only the sixth time in her K-State career. She registered a time of 55.72, narrowly missing her personal best time of 55.38 seconds.

• In the mid-distance events, sophomore Kain Ellis narrowly defeated Michael Stigler to take first in the men’s 800-meter. Ellis won the race by the narrowest of margins, out-running the All-American Stigler 1:54.38 to 1:54.39 to nab his first victory of the season by .01 seconds. For Ellis, the race marked the first time he has ran the event indoors with the Wildcats.

For the women, Marija Stambolic and Mary Frances Donnelly recorded W’s of their own in the 800m and 1000m, respectively. Stambolic bested a field of nine in a time of 2:17.15, while Donnelly neared a personal best with her time of 2:54.50. In the men’s 1000m, Blake Goodin took third. 

• Elsewhere on the track, the aforementioned Rodriguez placed first in the 60m, while Adam Deterding and Reinis Kregers PRed in the 60-meter hurdles. The latter pair clocked in at 8.25 seconds and 8.56, respectively, with Kregers’ time occurring in the event prelims and Deterding’s in the event final - Deterding took second overall, Kregers seventh.

Rounding out the slew of top-five finishes on the track for the ‘Cats were Logan Smith, Lukas Koch and Erika Schiller in the mile run. Smith and Koch finished fourth and fifth, respectively, for the men and Schiller took fourth on the women’s side in a time of 5:14.49.

Women’s Throwers Find Success

All-American Sara Savatovic made her season debut in the weight throw to the tune of another victory, while fellow teammates Dani Winters and Janee' Kassanavoid had career-best days. Winters, who had top-three finishes in both the shot put and weight throw on Friday, excelled in the former event in particular, recording a personal best en route to second-place. The junior chucked 16.11m/52-10.25 to best her previous PR of 15.85m/52-00 and take hold of the No. 4 spot in the K-State top-10.

For Kassanavoid, a transfer from Johnson County Community College, she PRed in the weight throw for the second-consecutive meet. The sophomore finished second overall with a final throw of 17.85m/58-06.75, well over two feet better than her previous PR of 17.08m/56-00.50.

Lastly, Savatovic earned the weight throw victory with a final mark of 18.80m/61-08.25. No stranger to hot starts, Savatovic was the lone thrower on Friday to record a mark over 60 feet and has now placed first in each of her season debuts, including outdoor, dating back to her freshman year in 2013. 

Other Notables in the Field…

• Another newcomer for the Wildcats, Akela Jones, who set the school record in the 60H last month, made her impact in the field this time around. Jones took first overall in the women’s high jump, clearing the bar at 1.80m/5-10.75.

• In the men’s high jump, Zack Riley and Miles Bearden took second and third, respectively. Riley, who qualified for NCAA Outdoors in the event last season, cleared 2.10m/6-10.75 in his season debut, while Bearden also cleared the same height, but finished third by virtue of more failed attempts.

• In her long jump season debut, senior Erica Twiss finished second behind KU’s Sydney Conley. Twiss finished the day with a final leap of 5.79m/19-00. Joining Twiss in competition for K-State were Nija Collier and Sarah Kolmer, who finished fourth and seventh, respectively.

What’s Next?

With the short trip to Lawrence out of the way, the ‘Cats will next host back-to-back home meets with the KSU-KU-WSU Triangular up first on Jan. 17. K-State will host the Jayhawks, as well as the Shockers in a three-team scored triangular meet with action set to begin at 11 a.m. next Saturday. For more information on the Wildcats’ upcoming slate of action, visit 

Bill Easton Classic
Anschutz Sports Pavilion
Lawrence, Kansas

K-State Results

60m (Finals)
1: Carlos Rodriguez, 6.83

6: Zanri van der Merwe, 7.97

60m (Prelims)
--: Carlos Rodriguez, 6.85q
12: Devin Field, 7.16

--: Zanri van der Merwe, 7.86q

1: Terrell Smith, 21.57 – 6th-best in school history
2: Carlos Rodriguez, 21.81
4: Dane Steen, 22.19
5: Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, 22.36
6: Tyris Jefferson, 22.43
14: Devin Field, 22.89

1: A'keyla Mitchell, 23.97 – School record
4: Keiteyana Parks, 25.36
5: Zanri van der Merwe, 25.41

1: Christopher Campbell, 48.65
6: Jay-J Parks, 50.20

2: Tia' Gamble, 55.72
5: Jordan Matthews, 1:00.73
6: Avery Loyd, 1:01.72

7: Kaneil Harrison, 1:18.03

1: Sonia Gaskin, 1:21.08 – Personal best & T-4th best in school history

4: Logan Smith, 4:21.54
5: Lukas Koch, 4:23.08

4: Erika Schiller, 5:14.49

1: Kain Ellis, 1:54.38
7: Sam Oxandale, 2:00.23

1: Marija Stambolic, 2:17.15
5: Kayla Doll, 2:23.35

3: Blake Goodin, 2:33.45

1: Mary Frances Donnelly, 2:54.50

60H (Finals)
2: Adam Deterding, 8.25 – Personal best
7: Reinis Kregers, 8.73

60H (Prelims)
--: Adam Deterding, 8.30q
--: Reinis Kregers, 8.56q – Personal best
16: Max Estill, 13.86

10: Joslyn Barnes, 9.35

1: Gaskin-K. Parks-Jones-Kolmer, 3:46.48
5: Barnes-Matthews-Collier-Loyd, 4:06.33

High Jump
2: Zack Riley, 2.10m/6-10.75
3: Miles Bearden, 2.10m/6-10.75
8: Reinis Kregers, 2.00m/6-06.75
12: Adam Deterding, 1.90m/6-02.75
13: Max Estill, 1.85m/6-00.75

1: Akela Jones, 1.80m/5-10.75
T4: Rachel Proteau, 1.65m/5-05.00
T6: Shannon Parr, 1.65m/5-05.00
T6: Joslyn Barnes, 1.65m/5-05.00

Pole Vault
6: Tommy Brady, 4.90m/16-00.75

T8: Megan Vanderpool, 3.50m/11-05.75
11: Kristen Petry, 3.35m/10-11.75

Long Jump
2: Erica Twiss, 5.79m/19-00.00
4: Nija Collier, 5.69m/18-08.00
7: Sarah Kolmer, 5.36m/17-07.00

Shot Put
4: Jason Coon, 15.82m/51-11

2: Dani Winters, 16.11m/52-10.25 – Personal best & 4th-best in school history
10: Sarah Kolmer, 11.90m/39-00.50

Weight Throw
6: Kale Mueller, 15.16m/49-09 – Personal best
7: Kyle Smith, 14.88m/48-10 – Personal best

1: Sara Savatovic, 18.80m/61-08.25
2: Janee' Kassanavoid, 17.85m/58-06.75 – Personal best
3: Dani Winters, 17.32m/56-10.00