Wildcats Record Strong Showing in Waco

WACO, Texas -- Akela Jones, A'Keyla Mitchell and Zack Riley all notched individual wins in their outdoor season debuts, helping K-State Track and Field to a strong performance from both the men's and women's squads at the Baylor Invitational in Waco, Texas. Held at Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium, the Wildcats were one of 10 schools competing on Friday, April 3, notching six first-place finishes and 24 top-five finishes overall.

On the Track...

· A'Keyla Mitchell made her outdoor season debut in impressive fashion, notching a victory in the 200-meter and helping the 4x400 squad to a second-place finish. In the 200-meter, Mitchell clocked a wind-aided time of 22.96 (3.3) seconds to best the field of 37 by nearly a half-second. The freshman's winning effort was also the fastest in program history in wind-aided conditions, besting the previous high of 23.21 (4.8) set by Donniece Parrish at the 2007 Nebraska Invitational. Joining Sonia Gaskin, Tia' Gamble and Sarah Kolmer in the 4x400, Mitchell and company placed a close second to Minnesota's relay squad, 3:41.28-to-3:41.81. Mitchell also ran alongside Zanri Van der Merwe, Jordan Matthews and Alyssa Kelly in the 4x100, with the foursome clocking 46.55 seconds for fifth-place.

· The junior-duo of Tia' Gamble and Sonia Gaskin both recorded notable individual efforts. For Gaskin, she ran her first 800-meter of the outdoor season, winning the event in 2:06.55. An All-American in the event last year, Gaskin's time was the fastest run by a Wildcat this season, as she edged defeated former Baylor Bear Mariah Kelly (2:06.68) in the third heat. Gamble, meanwhile, in her outdoor season debut, finished fourth in the 400-meter. Finishing the race in 55.78 seconds, Gamble was just four-tenths-of-a-second off her personal best time of 55.38 set at last year's Twilight Open.  

· In the distance events, Morgan Wedekind followed up a solid showing at the ESU Spring Open, while Laura Galvan kicked off her outdoor season strong in the 1500-meter. Wedekind, who set the ESU Spring Open 3000-meter steeplechase meet record last weekend for a second-straight year, took first in the event with a PR time of 10:43.07. The sophomore's latest winning effort marked her third victory in the event for her career, and bested her previous PR of 10:46.28 by over three seconds -- also the third-fastest time in school history.

In the 1500-meter, Galvan, who set career-bests in both the mile and 3000m during the indoor season, clocked 4:33.51 to take second behind Kansas' Hannah Richardson (4:26.81). The runner-up effort was only the second time Galvan had ran the event in her career -- the other time occurring at the Twilight Open, where she ran 4:49.70 to finish fifth.

· Rounding out the winning efforts on the track for the Wildcats was Akela Jones in the 100-meter hurdles. Making her outdoor season debut, Jones took first in a wind-aided 13.46 (2.2) seconds. A junior-transfer from Oklahoma Baptist, Jones earned All-American honors in the three events including the 60-meter hurdles during the indoor season. During her time with the Bison, Jones' PR in the event was 13.35 seconds set in 2014.

In the Field...

· Sara Savatovic edged Kansas' Daina Levy in the hammer throw for her first victory of the outdoor season. Levy, who hit 63.19m/207-04 on her second attempt, led for most of the afternoon before Savatovic marked 63.21m/207-04 in her final attempt. Her seventh career victory in the event, the Wildcat All-American's latest winning mark is tops in the Big 12. Joining Savatovic with a notable showing in the throws event was teammate Kyle Smith on the men's side. Smith, a sophomore from Topeka, Kansas, took fifth in the event with a personal best throw of 55.34m/181-07.

· Zack Riley debuted with a winning effort in the high jump, while Tommy Brady finished second in the pole vault for the men. A four-time scorer at Big 12s in the event, Riley cleared 2.15m/7-00.50 on his third attempt for the first-place finish. Brady, meanwhile, cleared 5.05m/16-06.75 to finished second behind former Wildcat All-American Kyle Wait (5.30m/17-04.50).

· Also notching a victory for the men was Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye in the long jump. A junior from Grand Turks and Caicos, Otuonye leapt a wind-aided 7.59m/24-11 (5.9) in his final attempt of the afternoon to secure the victory. The first-place finish for Otuonye is his first since winning the event at the Iowa State Classic during the 2014 indoor season.

· Lastly, the javelin saw both the men and women record solid showings. On the men's side, Ivan Hartung (61.94m/203-02) and Dwight Davidson (57.59m/188-11) finished third and fourth, respectively, while Danie Plank took second with a throw of 47.60m/156-02.

What's Next?

The Wildcats head to Tempe, Arizona for the 36th Sun Angel Track Classic on April 9-11. The Wildcats will be one of 20 schools attending the three-day meet held on the Sun Devils' Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium. For more information on K-State's upcoming road meet, visit www.k-statesports.com.  

Baylor Invitational
Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium
Waco, Texas

K-State Results

4: Terrell Smith, 21.11w (3.0)
12: Dane Steen, 21.79w (3.1)

1: A'Keyla Mitchell, 22.96w (3.3) -- Fastest wind-aided time in school history

4: Tia' Gamble, 55.78

10: Kain Ellis, 1:56.72

1: Sonia Gaskin, 2:06.55
17: Marija Stambolic, 2:14.92

6: Blake Goodin, 4:00.29

2: Laura Galvan, 4:33.51
18: Paige Kochuyt, 4:58.62

4: Brett Bachman, 8:57.44

6: Erika Schiller, 10:14.86
9: Jenny McCarty, 10:21.84
10: Mady Nestor, 10:31.27

1: Akela Jones, 13.46w (2.2)
12: Sarah Kolmer, 14.51w (3.3)
21: Joslyn Barnes, 15.26w (2.4)

6: Adam Deterding, 14.71w (3.0)

5: Avery Loyd, 1:04.44

3000m Steeplechase
5: Jeff Bachman, 9:41.76
7: Colton Donahue, 9:50.43

1: Morgan Wedekind, 10:43.07 -- Personal best & 3rd-fastest in school history
6: Kayla Doll, 11:14.67

4: Steen-T. Smith-Harrison-Otuonye, 41.35

5: Van der Merwe-Mitchell-Matthews-Kelly, 46.55

6: Otuonye-Harrison-Ellis-Deterding, 3:18.39

2: Gaskin-Gamble-Mitchell-Kolmer, 3:41.81

High Jump
1: Zack Riley, 2.15m/7-00.50

5: Rhizlane Siba, 1.70m/5-07
6: Rachel Proteau, 1.70m/5-07
14: Joslyn Barnes, 1.60m/5-03

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

11: Megan Vanderpool. 3.50m/11-05.75
--: Kristen Petry, NH

Long Jump
1: Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, 7.59m/24-11w (5.7)
18: Reinis Kregers, 6.24m/20-05.75 (0.7)

9: Alyssa Kelly, 5.53m/18-01.75w (2.9)
15: Zanri Van der Merwe, 5.30m/17-04.75 (1.0)
--: Nija Collier, FOUL

Triple Jump
4: Alyssa Kelly, 11.97m/39-03.25 (1.7)
5: Nija Collier, 11.95m/39-02.50 (1.7)

3: Ivan Hartung, 61.94m/203-02
4: Dwight Davidson, 57.59m/188-11
7: Lucas Moeder, 55.37m/181-08

2: Danie Plank, 47.60m/156-02
12: Akela Jones, 34.15m/112-00

Hammer Throw
3: Kyle Smith, 55.34m/181-07 -- Personal best
9: Kale Mueller, 48.57m/159-04

1: Sara Savatovic, 63.21m/207-04