`Cats Tune Up for Big 12s

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Track and Field capped off its final meet before Big 12s with several Wildcats recording either personal or season-bests in a strong showing at the K-State Open. Competing in their final home meet of the indoor season, the Wildcats left off in Manhattan recording 12 first-place finishes.

Head coach Cliff Rovelto said this meet provided the athletes a solid opportunity to further prepare themselves for the upcoming slate of tough competition.

“This meet today, there were a few people that, whether because of injury or rounding into shape late, kind of needed to demonstrate here if we could justify having them, for example, run on a relay and so forth,” Rovelto said. “And some of the multis were able to compete in some events they needed to do because some of them hadn’t competed in a while.

“So those were the areas in terms of impacting on next week where there was, ultimately, some good things today.”

On the Track…

Dane Steen picked up a pair of victories on the evening, including tying a personal best in the 200-meter. The senior Wildcat first picked up a victory in the 60-meter, clocking 6.88 seconds to take the top spot. The winning effort also marked his first career win in the event, as Steen bested a field of 19.

He went on to cap off his evening on the track with a decisive first-place finish in the 200-meter dash. Clocking 21.83 seconds, Steen cruised past a field of 20 by nearly a half-second en route to tying his indoor PR in the event for a second-straight meet – Steen also finished in 21.83 at last weekend’s Tyson Invitational.

• Also notching wins to go along with PR performances were Logan Smith in the 1000-meter and Laura Galvan in the mile. For Smith, he finished first in 2:28.19 to narrowly outpace fellow Wildcat Kain Ellis, who finished less than a second behind Smith at 2:28.86. Smith’s winning time was the fastest 1000m time ran by a Wildcat this season and currently sits as the second-fastest time in the Big 12 – Ellis’ time is No. 4.

Galvan, on the other hand, set a personal best for a third-straight meet. After notching PRs in the 3000-meter in two-consecutive meets, Galvan took to the mile finishing first in a personal-best 4:56.65, nearly 10 seconds better than the rest of the field. Her winning effort was the fastest by a Wildcat this year in the event.

Their counterparts. Kayla Doll and Colton Donahue, picked up first-place finishes in the women’s 1000-meter and men’s mile, respectively, to complete the event sweeps. Doll, running the event for the first time this season, secured the victory with a time of 3:01.88, while Donahue notched the mile victory with a season-best time of 4:18.82.

• Elsewhere on the track, K-State also recorded sweeps in both the 600-yard and 3000-meter runs. Kevin Jantsch and Sonia Gaskin powered the ‘Cats to victories in the men’s and women’s 600-yard runs, while Jeff Bachman and Jenny McCarty were the victors in the 3000-meters. Gaskin’s time of 1:21.65, in particular, narrowly missed breaking former Wildcat Shunte’ Thomas’ meet record of 1:21.06. Jantsch, McCarty and Bachman, meanwhile, all picked up their first individual victories of the season.

• Lastly in winning efforts, Avery Loyd took first-overall in the 800-meter run. Finishing the event in 2:24.66, Loyd cruised past the field of five by over eight seconds.

In the Field…
Zanri Van der Merwe leapt a personal best 5.75m/18-10.50 to take first in the women’s long jump. Along with being the sophomore’s first victory in K-State purple, her latest effort marked an impressive improvement over her previous PR of 5.62m/18-05.25, reached twice already this season.

• In the pole vault, Tommy Brady and Megan Vanderpool placed second on their respective sides, narrowly missing season-best marks in the process. Brady dueled with former teammate and Wildcat All-American Kyle Wait on the men’s side, clearing 5.05m/16-06.75 en route to a runner-up finish – Wait would take first, clearing 5.20m/17-00.75. For Brady, it was the fourth time he has cleared five meters or better this season, as he approached his PR of 5.12m/16-09.50 in the process, but ultimately bowed out after three tries at 5.20m.

Vanderpool tied for second, finishing with a height cleared of 3.60m/11-09.75. The freshman pole vaulter held a season-best of 3.62m/11-10.50 entering the meet, but was unable to improve upon that mark, missing at the next height of 3.75m/12-03.50 on three attempts.

Kyle Smith nabbed a personal best in the men’s weight throw, hitting 16.28m/53-05 to finish sixth-overall. For the sophomore, he improved upon a previous personal best of 15.47m/50-09 set at this past January’s DeLoss Dodds Invitational and continues to show considerable progress in the event. Smith entered his sophomore campaign having not hit above 48 feet in the event, but has now marked over 48 feet in all five meets this season, including 50 feet or better in his past three efforts.

• Lastly, Miles Bearden placed third in an entertaining men’s high jump that included former Wildcat and Olympian Erik Kynard, as well as Wang Chen of China. Bearden cleared 2.11m/6-11 to finish third overall while both Kynard and Chen (2.16M/7-01) were able to eclipse seven feet to finish first and second, respectively. In his first action in Manhattan since last season’s Wildcat Invitational, Kynard soared past 2.30m/7-06.50 to set himself up for three tries at a personal indoor best and facility record of 2.35m/7-08.50, but was unable to clear the record height. 

What’s Next?

The Wildcats dive into postseason competition, starting with the Big 12 Track and Field Indoor Championships in Ames, Iowa on Feb. 27-28. Last season saw both the men and women finish in the top-five against their respective competition, while also combining for five individual indoor titles. For more information on K-State’s upcoming conference showdown, visit www.k-statesports.com.

K-State Open
Ahearn Field House
Manhattan, Kan.

K-State Results

1: Dane Steen, 6.88

1: Dane Steen, 21.83 – Ties indoor personal best

3: Alyssa Kelly, 26.34

2: Kaneil Harrison, 50.38

2: Keiteyana Parks, 58.40
3: Jordan Matthews, 59.20

1: Kevin Jantsch, 1:11.97

1: Sonia Gaskin, 1:21.65
2: Marija Stambolic, 1:26.30

3: Sam Oxandale, 1:59.92

1: Avery Loyd, 2:24.66

1: Logan Smith, 2:28.19 – Personal best
2: Kain Ellis, 2:28.86

1: Kayla Doll, 3:01.88
2: Marie Taylor, 3:05.31

1: Colton Donahue, 4:18.82
3: Brett Bachman, 4:28.23

1: Laura Galvan, 4:56.65 – Personal best
2: Morgan Wedekind, 5:05.11
3: Paige Kochuyt, 5:28.12

1: Jeff Bachman, 9:00.17
2: Bryan Zack, 9:11.64
3: Daniel Worthington, 9:16.33

1: Jenny McCarty, 10:18.16
2: Erika Schiller, 10:24.47
3: Mady Nestor, 10:49.89

2: Adam Deterding, 8.23
15: Max Estill, 9.21

4: Sarah Kolmer, 9:09
6: Joslyn Barnes, 9.28

High Jump
3: Miles Bearden, 2.11m/6-11

6: Shannon Parr, 1.58m/5-02.25

Pole Vault
2: Tommy Brady, 5.05m/16-06.75

T2: Megan Vanderpool, 3.60m/11-09.75
T10: Kristen Petry, 3.15m/10-04

Long Jump
6: Adam Deterding, 6.65m/21-10
7: Max Estill, 6.57m/21-06.75

1: Zanri Van der Merwe, 5.75m/18-10.50 – Personal best
3: Alyssa Kelly, 5.62m/18-05.25
6: Sarah Kolmer, 5.29m/17-04.25
7: Joslyn Barnes, 5.26m/17-03.25

Weight Throw
6: Kyle Smith, 16.28m/53-05 – Personal best