`Cats Take Four in First Day of Big 12s

March 1, 2014

Results | Photo Gallery  K-State AthleticsAMES, Iowa – K-State Track and Field opened up the first day of the Big 12 Indoor Championships in a big way with four individual conference titles. On the day, both the K-State men and women were able to finish day one in the top-three of scoring. The women tied with Texas at 38 points apiece, while the men slotted in at the second with 33 points, trailing Oklahoma State by six.

Individually, along with the four conference titles, the Wildcats had eight athletes qualify for event finals tomorrow.

Twiss Takes Home the Pentathlon Title

In a season filled with firsts, bests and records, Erica Twiss kicked off the Big 12 Championships with her biggest first yet, a Big 12 title in the pentathlon. The senior from Carrollton, Texas, won the multi-event with a personal-best score of 4,074 points.

Her winning performance was not one without challenges though, as she trailed for a better part of the afternoon, sitting third right up until the final event of the pentathlon, the 800 meter.

After opening with a school pentathlon-best in the 60-meter hurdles, taking first in a time of 8.31 seconds, Twiss fell to fourth following the high jump and shot put. She trailed leader Lindsay Vollmer by nearly 300 points and with both athletes fifth and sixth in the conference in the long jump, respectively, Twiss needed a big performance.

She delivered, posting the top-mark of 5.79m/19-00.00 in the event; while Vollmer fouled out, unable to register a mark in three attempts. Now trailing only Texas’ Shanay Briscoe and Texas Tech’s Shanice Stewart by less than 200 points each, a win in the 800 meter would all but seal the title.

Twiss won the event in 2.15.23, defeating Briscoe and Stewart by nearly 20 seconds and claiming the first pentathlon conference title for the Wildcats since Ryann Krais won the multi-event in 2012 in College Station, Texas. Her final point total moved her to sixth in Division I and seventh all-time in K-State history.

Competing with Twiss in the pentathlon, was Merryl Mbeng, Sarah Kolmer and Joslyn Barnes, who placed third, fifth and 12th, respectively. For Mbeng, it was her first pentathlon of the season, as she registered 4,035 points and personal bests in the 60 meter hurdles and shot put. Her point total moved her to No. 10 in Division I, as both she and Twiss sit within the qualifying top-16 for the NCAA Championships.   

Kolmer rounded out the top-five with a personal best score of 3,782 points, as the junior competed in the pentathlon conference championship for the first time in her career. The trio scored 20 points for the K-State women.  

Wait with the Historic Performance

Kyle Wait picked up his first-ever Big 12 title in the indoor pole vault, tying his own school record of 5.45m/17-10.50 in the process.

For Wait, he is the first Wildcat to claim an indoor conference title in the event since Doug Lytle won a Big Eight title in 1981 in Lincoln, Neb. His record performance also tied his previous career-high that he set at least season’s Arkansas Final Qualifier in Fayetteville, Ark.

Head coach Cliff Rovelto said it was a strong finish for Wait, who had had an up-and-down season up to the conference championship.

“Kyle getting the win in the vault is obviously significant,” Rovelto said. “He’s had a rough indoor season, but it doesn’t make any difference because the bottom line is that it’s all about what you do in the championship meets and he got it done.”

Wait now sits in a four-way tie for the 10th best mark in Division I.

Savatovic Adds to the Title Collection

Sara Savatovic completed a dominant 2014 Big 12 season with a first-place finish in the women’s weight throw, winning the event with a mark of 19.29m/63-03.50. The Big 12 title is the first for the Wildcats since Loren Groves completed her three-peat of the weight throw in 2009 in College Station, Texas.

For the sophomore, it’s her second title in three career Big 12 Championships, she won the outdoor hammer throw last season, and marked her seventh win in eight meets this season.

Savatovic won in dramatic fashion, beating runner-up Rylee Rackley’s mark of 19.20m/63-00.00 in her final attempt of the evening. The 63 foot three-and-a-half inch throw for Savatovic came after her best throw in the attempts prior was 18.11m/63-03.50.

Savatovic’s victory gave the K-State women another 10 points, while her teammate Dani Winters also found her way onto the medal stand. Winters took sixth in the event final with a mark of 18.12m/59-05.50, as she improved six spots from last season’s Big 12 Indoor Championships 12th-place finish. Winter’s scoring effort gave the Wildcats a total of 13 points from the weight throw.

Bowry Makes it Back-to-Back

Jharyl Bowry wrapped up his second-straight conference title in the long jump. For the senior, his back-to-back effort didn’t come easy though, as he didn’t take the lead until his, and the event’s as well, final jump of the night.

Holding the lead after three jumps with a mark of 7.39m/24-03.00, Bowry saw TCU’s Cameron Echols-Luper take a slim lead with a mark of 7.40m/24-05.00 in the fifth round. Bowry would foul in his first attempt to overtake the lead, but with the mark remaining at 7.40m in the final round and only him left to go, Bowry took advantage.

He finished the night with a jump of 7.44m/24-05.00, sealing his back-to-back titles and becoming the first Wildcat since former Wildcat great Kenny Harrison won four long jump titles in a row from 1985-1988 to earn consecutive conference titles.

On the night, along with teammates Devin Field (5th) and Tyris Jefferson (8th), the Wildcat long jumpers combined to score 15 points for the K-State men.

Rovelto said the group had an impressive effort, overall results aside.

“That group of guys, one, they’re good and two, they’re very competitive and want to jump huge every time out, which isn’t going to happen,” Rovelto said. “The bottom line is that you get the win and that’s significant for Jharyl.

“To get three guys in the final, and get 15 points, yeah you could look at it and say we could get a little bit more, but the bottom line is it wasn’t bad.”

Dick and Kregers Go For Sweep

In the men’s heptathlon, Devin Dick and Reinis Kregers put on an impressive show, scoring 3,164 and 3,126 points, respectively, as the duo finished first and second in the event’s first day of competition.

For Dick, the senior entered the multi-event as the top seed and did not disappoint, finishing first in two of the four events. He took the long jump with a mark of 7.20m/23-07.50 on his final attempt of the afternoon and tied a school heptathlon record in the shot put with a chuck of 14.61m/47-11.25. The All-American also notched a personal best in the 60 meter, 7.20 seconds, and tied for third in the high jump.

Kregers broke out in a big way after competing on and off for much of the season, registering personal bests in two events and a dominant first-place finish in the high jump. The Vecumnieki, Latvia native defeated the field in the high jump by over half a meter, while his personal bests in the long jump and shot put both rank within the K-State heptathlon top-10.

Also competing for the Wildcats was freshman Adam Deterding in his first career heptathlon. The Hays, Kan., native finished the day fourth with a score of 2,850 points, drawing praise from coach Rovelto.

“I thought [Adam] did a nice job,” Rovelto said. “His 60 meter was not bad for his first one ever, his long jump and [shot put] was solid and his high jump was better than what he had done.”

With the first day completed, only 38 points separate Dick and Kregers, as the duo will look to complete a combined events sweep for the first time in K-State history. The final day of competition in the heptathlon is set to start tomorrow at 11 a.m., with the 60 meter hurdles.

Points! – The Rest in Today’s Scoring Performances

• In the men’s weight throw, Alex Roe and Ryan Hershberger delivered scoring performances with the latter setting a new personal best (17.77m/58-03.75). Roe finished fifth, while Hershberger placed seventh, as the duo combined for six points.

Martina Tresch banked a point for the women’s team with an eighth-place finish in the 5000 meter run in a time of 16:52.35. For the senior, it marked the second time in her career she had scored in the event at the conference championships.

Erica Twiss kept busy after her pentathlon win, scoring for the first time in her career in the women’s long jump. Competing in the event for the second time in the same day, she placed eighth with a mark of 5.81m/19-00.75.

Onto the Finals…

• Coach Cliff Rovelto’s thoughts on the qualifying efforts
    o “The big thing is qualifying today. In terms of qualifying, we qualified even better than you could have expected so that was very good. I thought based on what I was able to observe that all those kids competed really hard.”

Erica Twiss qualified for the 60-meter hurdles final in a time of 8.46 seconds. Her effort was good enough for fourth overall among the qualifiers, as she will look to become the first Wildcat since Lisa Maurer in 2006 to finish top-three in the event. The final for the 60m hurdles is set to start at 1:30 p.m.

Christopher Campbell qualified for the 600 yard run final with an impressive third-place finish in the preliminary round. His time of 1:10.33 bested his previous high on the Lied Recreational Center track by over a second. Campbell is set to run in the event final at 2:40 p.m.

Tia' Gamble and Jordan Matthews both earned qualification for the 600 yard run final. For Gamble, she placed second, marking the second-straight year she has reached the final, while Matthews finished seventh in her first career conference championship 600 yard run. The start time for tomorrow’s final is 2:30 p.m.

Sonia Gaskin made it three sophomores to qualify on the track for K-State as she finished second to qualify for the 800 meter final. The qualifying effort marked the second-straight year she has qualified for the event, as she will look to best last season’s fifth-place finish. Gaskin will hit the track for the 600 yard final at 2:30 p.m.

• Rounding out the qualifying performances on the track were Kyle Hanson and Logan Smith for the men and Marija Stambolic for the women. Hanson and Smith qualified for the 800 meter final with sixth- and seventh-place finishes, respectively, while Stambolic reached the 1000 meter final by placing eighth. The women’s 1000 meter final will take place at 3:20 p.m., and the men’s 800 meter final is set for 3:50 p.m.

The final day of action in Ames, Iowa, will get started at 11 a.m., with the 60 meter hurdles for the heptathlon and conclude on the track with the women’s and men’s 4x400 meter relays. Live results and heat sheets can be found on K-State Track and Field’s schedule page under the meet’s tab, while live streaming of all the action can be found on the Big 12’s Track and Field homepage.

Big 12 Track and Field Indoor Championships
Lied Recreational Center
Ames, Iowa

K-State Results Day One

Team Scores
2: K-State, 33

T1: K-State, 38

60m Hurdles – Semifinals
11: Adam Deterding, K-State, 8.35

4: Erica Twiss, K-State, 8.46 (Qualifies for final)
10: Merryl Mbeng, K-State, 8.75
12: Angela Hart, K-State, 8.86

600y – Preliminaries
3: Christopher Campbell, K-State, 1:10.33 (o) (Qualifies for final)

2: Tia’ Gamble, K-State, 1:20.86 (o) (Qualifies for final)
7: Jordan Matthews, K-State, 1:22.67 (o) (Qualifies for final)

800m – Preliminaries
6: Kyle Hanson, K-State, 1:52.40 (o) (Qualifies for final)
7: Logan Smith, K-State, 1:52.50 (o) (Qualifies for final)

2: Sonia Gaskin, K-State, 2:09.07 (o) (Qualifies for final)

1000m – Preliminaries
8: Marija Stambolic, K-State, 2:54.19 (o) (Qualifies for final)
9: Mary Frances Donnelly, K-State, 2:54.25 (o)

8: Martina Tresch, K-State, 16:52.35

7: Goodin-Harrison-Jantsch-Ellis, 10:08.98 (o)

6: Donnelly-Hart-Taylor-Wedekind, 11:44.86 (o)

Pole Vault
1: Kyle Wait, 5.45m/17-10.50 – Ties school record and personal best
11: Tommy Brady, 4.90m/16-00.75
12: Cameron Savage, 4.75m/15-07.00

Long Jump
1: Jharyl Bowry, K-State, 7.44m/24-05.00
5: Devin Field, K-State, 7.34m/24-01.00
8: Tyris Jefferson, K-State, 7.29m/23-11.00
12: Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, K-State, 7.08m/23-02.75

8: Erica Twiss, K-State, 5.81m/19-00.75
9: Alyssa Kelly, K-State, 5.72m/18-09.25

Weight Throw
5: Alex Roe, K-State, 18.08m/59-04.00
7: Ryan Hershberger, K-State, 17.77m/58-03.75

1: Sara Savatovic, K-State, 19.29m/63-03.50
6: Dani Winters, K-State, 18.12m/59-05.50

Heptathlon (Day One)
1: Devin Dick, K-State, 3,164 pts
60M: 7.20 – 813 pts – Personal best
LJ: 7.20m/23-07.50 – 862 pts
SP: 14.61m/47-11.25 – 766 pts – Tied for 1st in school heptathlon history
HJ: 1.91m/6-03.25 – 723 pts

2: Reinis Kregers, K-State, 3,126 pts
60M: 7.26 – 792 pts
LJ: 7.03m/23-00.75 – 821 pts – Personal best & T-9th best in school heptathlon history
SP: 13.25m/43-05.75 – 682 pts – Personal best & 8th-best in school heptathlon history
HJ: 2.03m/6-08.00 – 831 pts

4: Adam Deterding, K-State, 2,850 pts
60M: 7.31 – 775 pts
LJ: 6.56m/21-06.25 – 691 pts – Personal best
SP: 11.69m/38-04.25 – 588 pts
HJ: 1.97m/6-05.50 – 776 pts

1: Erica Twiss, K-State, 4,074 pts – Personal best, 7th-best in school history
60H: 8.31 – 1,059 pts – 1st in school pentathlon history
HJ: 1.68m/5-06.00 – 830 pts
SP: 9.69m/31-09.50 – 509 pts
LJ: 5.79m/19-00.00 – 786 pts – 5th-best in school pentathlon history    
800M: 2:15.23 (o) – 890 pts

3: Merryl Mbeng, K-State, 4,035
60H: 8.65 – 984 pts – Personal best & 6th-best in school pentathlon history
HJ: 1.68m/5-06.00 – 830 pts
SP: 10.80m/35-05.25 – 582 pts – Personal best
LJ: 5.73m/18-09.75 – 768 pts
800M: 2:16.52 (o)

5: Sarah Kolmer, K-State, 3782 – Personal best
60H: 9.15 – 879 pts
HJ: 1.56m/5-01.25 – 689 pts
SP: 11.81m/38-09.00 – 649 pts
LJ: 5.49m/18-00.25 – 697 pts
800M: 2:16.78 – 868 pts

12: Joslyn Barnes, K-State, 2710
60H: 9.61 – 787 pts
HJ: 1.68m/5-06.00 – 830 pts
SP: 9.35m/30-08.25 – 487 pts
LJ: 5.17m/16-11.50 – 606 pts
800M: DNF – 0 pts