K-State Sweeps Inaugural DeLoss Dodds Invitational

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State Track and Field put in a strong performance at the inaugural DeLoss Dodds Invitational with both the men's and women's teams sweeping the triple dual against Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Along with strong overall performances, the Wildcats saw several individuals set PRs, while also combining for 14 first-place finishes.

Head coach Cliff Rovelto said with several athletes being held out this week after competing in the Triangular, including returning All-Americans Carlos Rodriguez, Devin Field, Sara Savatovic, Alyx Treasure and Erica Twiss, he was pleased with the amount of athletes that stepped up.  

"At meets like this, obviously we held some people out, and had people run in some off events," Rovelto said. "The first thing with that is there were athletes that performed at PR-level, especially those that put themselves in position where they're cementing their role with the conference team. With that in mind, I thought there were a lot of good performances."

Rovelto also praised the multis, Adam Deterding, Reinis Kregers, Joslyn Barnes and Sarah Kolmer, on their strong efforts. Barnes (60H), Deterding (long jump) and Kregers (shot put) all notched personal bests.

"The decathletes were good, Adam had a good mark in the long jump and has been consistent in the hurdles. And Reinis ran well in the relay and he's looking like he's getting close to performing at a high level when he does his [heptathlon this season]," Rovelto said. "The women in the hurdles ran solid, Joslyn had a PR, Sarah's getting closer and they both ran solid in the relays too."

With the `Cats hitting the road starting next week in Albuquerque and Lawrence, and for the better part of February, Rovelto said today's meet was a solid way to leave off in Manhattan.

"People look at [the athletes that didn't compete this week] and think, `okay, you took the week off and so you lose a week,' Rovelto said. "But we actually did more work this week. Yes, sometimes it's nice to have that week off from competition, but they're making up for it in practice. So I am looking forward to the trips to [KU and New Mexico], I think it will be exciting and we got people that are ready to do some good things so it will be fun."

In the Field...

Dani Winters continued her recent string of PR efforts with another personal best set in the women's shot put. The junior thrower marked 16.52m/54-02.50 in her first throw of the afternoon to eventually capture second behind Oklahoma State's Chase Ealey (16.71m/54-10). For Winters, her throw of 16.52m marked the third-consecutive meet she has set a PR in the event, as well as moved her closer to former Wildcat Pinkie Suggs in the K-State top-10 - Suggs holds the no. 3 mark in school history of 16.74m/54-11.25. 

Rovelto said the performances from both Winters and Akela Jones, who took fourth with a throw of 13.99m/45-10.75, were impressive.

"There were a lot of good things in the field events," Rovelto said. "Dani is getting very consistent, hitting 16-mid, which is very good and one of these days she's going to hit one that will be over 17 meters and she's getting close. Akela, with her mark, obviously for a [heptathlete] that's a big throw and if she can do that in a pentathlon, that's a lot of points.

"It was encouraging."

With her latest effort, Winters holds the sixth-best mark in Division I and second-best mark in the Big 12.

• Elsewhere in the throws, Reinis Kregers, Kale Mueller and Kyle Smith all set personal bests in their respective events. Smith led the way for the Wildcats in the men's weight throw, chucking both a personal and K-State season-best 15.47m/50-09 to place third overall. His PR easily bested a previous career high of 14.96m/49-01 set at last weekend's Triangular, as Smith finished ahead of fellow teammate Mueller, who also PRed (15.17m/49-09) to finish fourth in the event.

Kregers rounded out the personal best showings in the throws, finishing fourth in the shot put with a final mark of 14.37m/47-01.75. It was a dramatic increase for the returning All-American, as his previous high in the event was 13.25m/43-03.75 set at last year's Big 12 Indoor Championships.   

• In the high jump, sophomores Miles Bearden and Rachel Proteau combined to sweep the men's and women's high jump, with the former capturing a career best effort in the process. Bearden, who entered this season with a personal best of 2.12m/6-11.50, cleared 2.16m/7-01 in his third attempt of the afternoon at the height to capture his second career win in the event. He becomes only the fifth jumper this season to clear seven feet in the Big 12 and joins fellow teammates Christoff Bryan (2nd) and Nate Gipson (3rd) in the conference top-five.

On the women's side, Proteau cleared 1.68m/5-06 to earn her first career win in the event, as she outlasted teammates Joslyn Barnes, who also cleared 1.68m, but finished second by virtue of more missed attempts, and Shannon Parr, who placed third (1.58m/5-02.25).

• Joining Bearden and Proteau in the win column, were Alyssa Kelly in the long jump and Megan Vanderpool in the pole vault. Kelly, who nabbed a PR and K-State top-10 mark in the triple jump last weekend, placed first overall in the women's long jump with a leap of 5.65m/18-06.50. The junior hit the mark in her fourth attempt of the afternoon to defeat Oklahoma State's Viktoriia Sadokhina (5.32m).

In the women's pole vault, Vanderpool cleared 3.56m/11-08 to secure her second victory this season, as well as further move up the K-State top-10. The freshman, whose previous season-high of 3.52m/11-06.50 ranked 10th in school history, moved up to no. 8 in the event top-10. She is one of five Wildcat freshmen this season to have cracked the K-State top-10 in his or her respective events.

On the Track...

Dane Steen put in a strong effort on the track, notching personal best performances in both events competed in. First in the 60-meter dash, Steen clocked 6.85 seconds to finish a close second behind Tulsa's Otugo Ananaba (6.83). The senior's runner-up performance was .03 seconds faster than his previous best of 6.88, set at last season's K-State Winter Invitational. Not done for the day, Steen followed up the 60m with a first-place finish in the 200m, running 21.92 and finishing just ahead of teammate Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye (22.07). His time of 21.92 was a career-best effort in the event indoors and just shy of his overall PR of 21.69.

Tyris Jefferson and Jordan Matthews helped K-State sweep the men's and women's 400-meter dashes. For Jefferson, he placed ahead of teammate Kaneil Harrison (50.62) in 49.67 seconds - good for the second-fastest time by a Wildcat in the event this season. Matthews, who ran in the event for the second time this season, defeated a field of three by a half-second with her time of 59.09 seconds. It was the junior sprinter's first career 400m win.

• In the 4x400, Matthews, along with Sarah Kolmer, Joslyn Barnes and Keiteyana Parks, took first ahead of two Oklahoma State relay squads. Clocking 3:52.26, the Wildcats defeated the field of five by nearly four seconds, ensuring the 'Cats ` fourth-straight meet with a first-place finishing 4x400 team. All four runners ran well with each notching a split of sub-59 seconds.

On the men's side, two Wildcat relay squads faced off with the group consisting of distance runners Logan Smith, Kain Ellis, Sam Oxandale and Kevin Jantsch taking first over multi-athletes Reinis Kregers, Adam Deterding, Max Estill, as well as Harrison. Smith, Ellis, Oxandale and Jantsch combined for a time of 3:21.62 to take first overall, nearly five seconds better than their teammate's time of 3:26.80.

• Both the Wildcats' men's and women's distance group kept busy on the day, combining for eight top-three finishes, including first-place finishes in the 800m and 3000m. In the former, Sonia Gaskin and Tia' Gamble finished 1-2, with Gaskin clocking 2:08.20 to take the top spot - just shy of her PR time of 2:08.12, set last weekend. For Gamble, who ran 2:13.65, it was the junior's first time running in the event since the outdoor season of her freshman year.

Morgan Wedekind notched the win for K-State in the women's 3000m, finishing 1-2 with teammate Jennifer McCarty. The two Wildcats kept the race close, with Wedekind (10:20.06) finishing a little over a second faster than McCarty (10:21.72).

• Lastly, the 60-meter hurdles saw K-State sweep the event, with Joslyn Barnes also recording a personal best time in the process. Adam Deterding nabbed the men's victory, finishing the event in 8.26 seconds for his second-straight victory in the event this season, while on the women's side Sarah Kolmer (9.01) defeated Barnes (9.17). For Barnes, the runner-up effort bested a previous PR set at last season's K-State Open of 9.21 seconds. 

What's Next?
The Wildcats split into two groups for their first of three-straight weeks on the road. The multis will compete in combined events action at the Jayhawk Classic from Thursday, Jan. 29, to Friday, Jan. 30, at the Jayhawk Classic, while the rest of the `Cats will travel to Albuquerque for the New Mexico Team Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 31.

DeLoss Dodds Invitational
Ahearn Field House
Manhattan, Kansas

Team Scores
K-State, 77 | Tulsa, 59
K-State, 90 | Oklahoma State, 52

K-State, 83 | Tulsa, 47
K-State, 84 | Oklahoma State, 54

K-State Results
2: Dane Steen, 6.85 - Personal best
4: Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, 7.00

4: Alyssa Kelly, 7.88

1: Dane Steen, 21.92 - Indoor personal best
2: Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, 22.07

1: Keiteyana Parks, 25.63
2: Alyssa Kelly, 26.20

1: Tyris Jefferson, 49.67
2: Kaneil Harrison, 50.62

1: Jordan Matthews, 59.09

3: Avery Loyd, 1:31.91

2: Logan Smith, 1:53.32
3: Kain Ellis, 1:54.37
4: Kevin Jantsch, 1:55.40

1: Sonia Gaskin, 2:08.20
2: Tia' Gamble, 2:13.65
4: Marija Stambolic, 2:17.44

4: Sam Oxandale, 2:35.17

5: Marie Taylor, 3:16.85

3: Colton Donahue, 4:21.56
7: Jeff Bachman, 4:24.99

4: Laura Galvan, 5:05.68
9: Kayla Doll, 5:14.54
10: Mady Nestor, 5:28.82
11: Alexandra Miller, 5:51.50

3: Blake Goodin, 8:48.11
4: Lukas Koch, 8:54.67
7: Bryan Zack, 9:07.34
8: Daniel Worthington, 9:33.20

1: Morgan Wedekind, 10:20.06
2: Jennifer McCarty, 10:21.72
6: Paige Kochuyt, 11:09.04

1: Adam Deterding, 8.26
3: Max Estill, 9.26

1: Sarah Kolmer, 9.01
2: Joslyn Barnes, 9.17 - Personal best

1: Smith-Ellis-Oxandale-Jantsch, 3:21.62
2: Kregers-Harrison-Deterding-Estill, 3:26.80

1: Kolmer-Parks-Matthews-Barnes, 3:52.26

High Jump
1: Miles Bearden, 2.16m/7-01 - Personal best
2: Max Estill, 1.87m/6-01.50

1: Rachel Proteau, 1.68m/5-06
2: Joslyn Barnes, 1.68m/5-06
3: Shannon Parr, 1.58m/5-02.25

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

1: Megan Vanderpool, 3.56m/11-08 - 8th-best in school history

Long Jump
2: Reinis Kregers, 6.85m/22-05.75
4: Adam Deterding, 6.61m/21-08.25 - Personal best

1: Alyssa Kelly, 5.65m/18-06.50
4: Sarah Kolmer, 5.31m/17-05.25

Shot Put
3: Jason Coon, 15.88m/52-01.25
4: Reinis Kregers, 14.37m/47-01.75 - Personal best

2: Dani Winters, 16.52m/54-02.50 - Personal best & 4th-best in school history
4: Akela Jones, 13.99m/45-10.75

Weight Throw
3: Kyle Smith, 15.47m/50-09 - Personal best
4: Kale Mueller, 15.17m/49-09 - Personal best