Wildcats Build Momentum in Final Home Meet

Kyle Wait

Feb. 17, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – It was a successful day at the track for the Kansas State Wildcats coming away with five wins and a 17 personal records as well as a handful of top 10 marks in school history at the KSU Open. The Wildcats saw improvement from their sprinters and pole vaulters for the second straight week, and the throwers had a strong showing to build momentum heading into next week’s Big 12 Championship.

The pair of Kyle Wait and Cameron Savage put on a display in the pole vault as each improved their PR’s by a large margin to clear 5.20 meters (17-00.75) to take the top two spots. Wait claimed the win based on misses as he cleared 5.20 on his first attempt with Savage making it on his third. The mark puts the two in a tie for 35th in the nation and ranks third in school history. The last time a Wildcat cleared the height was 2007 when Bryce Bergman did so at the Dan DeHart Invitational.

“I think it was a pretty good day for us,” said K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto. “Our top guys in the vault both had PR’s, and even our other freshman Tommy Brady had one and almost made his next bar.”

Another highlight of the day came from another meet. Senior mid-distance runner Boglarka Bozzay went to compete in the Nebraska Tune-Up where she again dominated the field. Bozzay broke the school record in the 800 meters clocking in at 2:05.16. The mark also was a new facility record for the Devaney Center. Bozzay now owns the facility record at Nebraska in the 800 and the 1,000. The time also ranks ninth in the NCAA this season.

Back at the KSU Open, Carlos Rodriguez ran his way to a win and improved his fastest time in the 60 meters clocking in at 6.71 seconds. The time moves him into fourth in school history and 28th in the NCAA this season. Samantha McKnight won the women’s 60 meters as she also improved on her PR crossing the finish line in 7.59 seconds. That time still keeps her at eighth in school history. Also for the sprinters, Martynas Jurgilas returned to form running his fastest time of the season in 6.82 seconds to take second place in the final. Dane Steen also ran 6.91 seconds in the final for his fastest time and a fifth-place finish.

In the throwing events, Tomaz Bogovic posted his best throw as a Wildcat and was just a quarter of an inch off his personal best winning the men’s weight throw at 18.64 meters (61-02.00). The mark also holds his spot in eighth in school history. Junior college transfer Ryan Johnson had his best throw since becoming a Wildcat in January finishing second with his distance of 18.34 meters (60-02.00). It also puts him 10th on the K-State list all-time. Chris Gattman finished third for the Wildcats with his best throw since transferring to K-State in January. He had a season best mark of 17.88 meters (58-08.00). Ryan Hershberger kept his consistently strong season going with a win in the men’s shot put with a new PR. He claimed the win with a toss of 17.83 meters (58-06.00) to move into eighth in school history.

The women’s throwers took spots 2-3-4 in the weight throw led by Ali Pistora. Chelsie Bonds and Jessica Carter finished behind her with Chandra Andrews competing unattached and getting the win. In the shot put, Jacquelyne Leffler tallied another home with with her best toss of 14.75 meters (48-04.75). It marked her third win of the season and best throw since mid-January.

The 60 meter hurdles was another strong event for K-State on Friday at Ahearn Field House. Junior college transfer Richelle Farley finished second for the women’s squad clocking in at 8.59 seconds for a new PR with Erica Twiss close behind at 8.61 seconds. Twiss ran 8.56 in the preliminaries for a new personal best. Tarique Hill ran a new PR for the men finishing in 8.03 seconds in the preliminaries. He went on to run 8.11 in the final and finish fourth.

“In general the hurdlers all had a solid day. Some were right at their PR’s or just off it,” Rovelto said. “I think everyone in the 60 ran very good today. Carlos had never run indoors in his life before he got here in January. That was only his fourth meet indoors and that’s a pretty good time. Martynas ran a lot better than he has been running, and Samantha McKnight ran her best. The thing about her is sometimes it’s good to be in the lead, but she doesn’t have a lot of experience being in the lead. I think she stayed relaxed and ran very well with a lead today.”

Freshman Sophia Alonso led all the way in the women’s 400 meters to get the win in 57.38 seconds. Edina Brooks ran it in 59.11 to take third place. Blaine Cash got the win for the win running the 400 in 50.39. Another freshman took a win in a long sprint event as Sarah Kolmer came from behind on the final stretch to beat senior Ryann Krais in the 600 yards. Kolmer clocked in at 1:24.51 for the victory and Krais finished in 1:24.86. It was Kolmer’s first time running the 600.

Jacob Davies ran his way to a meet record in the men’s 800 meters to tally another win for the Wildcats. Davies ran the race in 1:51.18, shaving nearly half a second off the previous meet record set in 1991. He also now ranks ninth in school history. A pair of Wildcats ran well in the 1,000 meters for the men to keep the success coming for the mid-distance runners. Kyle Hanson won with his time of 2:27.65 followed by Ryan Hershner in 2:31.69. Hershner’s time was a new personal best.

K-State travels to the Lone Star State next week for the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Texas A&M. Action gets underway Friday from Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium with the Wildcats looking to build on the momentum from Friday’s meet and improve on last year’s showing for the men and women.