Savatovic Headlines Stellar Final Day at KU Relays

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Sara Savatovic made K-State Track and Field history in the hammer throw, headlining a loaded final day of action for the Wildcats at the 88th Kansas Relays in Lawrence. Competing against host KU, as well as Purdue and Colorado State in quadrangular action, K-State racked up 10 first-place finishes, several personal best showings, and a couple national records to boot.

Savatovic Breaks Hammer Throw Record

Sara Savatovic added yet another accomplishment to what has already been a stellar Wildcat career. The junior from Crvenka, Serbia set the school record in the hammer throw en route to a first-place finish over fellow All-American Daina Levy in Friday night's action. Hitting 66.40m/217-10 on her sixth and final attempt of the evening, Savatovic just squeezed past Levy, who finished with a mark of 65.81m/215-11. A historic performance, Savatovic's mark vaulted her to No. 1 in K-State Track and Field history, surpassing Wildcat great Loren Groves and her career-best mark of 65.35m/214-05 in the process.

For Savatovic, her winning effort bested her previous PR of 65.19m/213-10, and added to what had already been a Serbian National Record. She currently ranks No. 1 in the Big 12, No. 2 in the Division I West Region and No. 3 in DI, overall.

Wins, PRs and Top-10s for the Rest of the Throws

· Following a career year in indoor competition, Dani Winters picked up right where she left off, making her outdoor season debut on Friday to the tune of a victory and new personal outdoor best in the shot put. Winters, who earned All-American honors as well as broke the indoor school record earlier in the year, marked 16.64m/54-07.25 on her second attempt of the night to earn first-place. The winning performance shattered her previous outdoor best of 15.93m/52-03.25 set at last season's Big 12 Championships, as well as moved her to No. 4 all-time in school history. A native of Plainville, Kansas, Winters now holds the second-best mark in the Big 12 to date.

· In the javelin throw, Danie Plank notched her third win of the season, while Haley Pitko set a new personal best. Plank, who entered the meet with the fourth-best mark in the Big 12 (49.70m/163-01), threw 47.65m/156-04 to secure the win over Colorado State's Jessi Macedo (46.16m/151-05). Pitko, meanwhile, took third with a final mark of 44.20m/145-00 -- over 10 feet better than her previous PR of 40.63m/133-04.

On the men's side, Ivan Hartung marked a new season-best of 65.17m/213-09 for second place. A senior from Manhattan, Kansas, Hartung was the top collegiate finisher in the event and it was his best performance in the event since he threw a PR 67.20m/220-06 in 2013.

· Lastly, sophomore Kyle Smith continued to build off a solid sophomore campaign, setting a PR in the hammer throw for a third-consecutive meet. A native of Topeka, Kansas, Smith marked 57.21m/187-08 on his fifth throw of the evening to take fourth-overall. The top-five effort marked a six-plus foot improvement from his previous career-high of 55.34m/181-07 in the event.

Jones Continues to Shine

Fresh off setting the second-best mark in school history at the Jim Click Shootout heptathlon last week, Akela Jones registered yet another stellar performance on Friday. Competing in three events on the day, Jones took home first-place honors in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles, and placed second in the 100-meter dash. In the long jump, the junior-transfer tied her season-best and sixth-best mark in school history of 6.33m/20-09.25 for the victory. She backed that effort with a time of 13.69 (-0.2) seconds in the 100H for win No. 2, while her second-place time of 11.64 seconds in the 100m was the sixth-fastest time in school history. The 100m time also added to what has become a plethora of notable marks in regards to conference standings, as Jones now has top-10 Big 12 marks in seven different events -- 100m, 200m, 100H, high jump, long jump, shot put, heptathlon.

Mitchell Takes Two

A'Keyla Mitchell continued her winning ways on the track, notching victories in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. First in the 200m, Mitchell clocked a wind-assisted 23.29 (2.6) for first-place and narrowly defeat Kansas' Zainab Sanni (23.95w (2.6)). The victory for Mitchell marked her second in the event this outdoor season and fourth-overall including indoor action. The freshman followed up that effort by taking first in her first career 400m over a field of 34 competitors. Mitchell clocked 53.34 seconds for the win to outlast both Oral Roberts' Madison Reynolds (53.88) and teammate Sonia Gaskin (54.42). The time also slotted Mitchell at seventh-fastest in school history, right behind the aforementioned Gaskin, who was the last Wildcat to run a faster time at 52.81 seconds.

Elsewhere in Notable Efforts...

· Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye set a new personal best, as well as improved upon his Turks and Caicos National Record of 7.43m/24-04.50 in the long jump. Leaping 7.58m/24-10.50 on his fifth attempt of the afternoon, Otuonye finished a close second behind Purdue's Tyler Askew (7.59m/24-11). The runner-up showing easily marked an overall personal best, as Otuonye improved by over a half-foot with his latest effort -- the junior's previous PR was 7.50m/24-07.25, set at the 2013 Big 12 Indoors during his freshman year. The record holder in both the indoor and outdoor long jump, as well as the indoor triple jump of his native Turks and Caicos, Otuonye's latest record-setting performance puts him at No. 1 in the Big 12.  

· Christoff Bryan made his Wildcat outdoor season debut on Friday, clearing 2.24m/7-04.25 to easily defeat a field of 10 in the high jump. Already with his fourth-career CARIFTA high jump title under his belt this outdoor season, Bryan was the lone jumper to clear seven-plus feet, as the freshman notched a new season-best in the process. He joins teammate Zack Riley, who also took third in the evening's festivities, as one of six jumpers to clear seven-plus feet in the Big 12 this season and the mark ranks No. 7 in K-State Track and Field history.

· Also with winning efforts on the track were Laura Galvan in the 1500m and Morgan Wedekind in the 3000m steeplechase. Galvan, who set the Mesa Classic 5K meet record last week, cruised past a field of seven in 4:29.83 for her first career win in the event. Wedekind, meanwhile, made it three-straight victories in the steeplechase. The sophomore from Wichita, Kansas, clocked 10:43.80 to earn a three-plus second victory over Kansas' Kelli McKenna (10:46.96). Joining Wedekind on the track was teammate Kayla Doll, who finished third in a strong time of 10:53.01. The third-place time marked an impressive improvement from the freshman's first-career go at the event, where she finished sixth in a time of 11:14.67 at the Baylor Invitational. She also cracked the program top-10 with the effort at No. 6 all-time.  

· Kain Ellis continued to produce consistent results on the men's side, registering top-three finishes in both the 800m and 1500m runs. Ellis, who set a personal best of 1:50.05 for first in the 800m at last weekend's Sun Angel Classic, clocked 1:52.07 for third, while his time of 3:52.09 in the 1500m was good enough for second-overall. Running the latter event for only the second time in his career, the runner-up effort marked a six second-plus improvement from his previous time of 3:58.94 at the ESU Spring Open. On the season, the sophomore now has five top-three finishes between the 800m and 1500m.

· Rounding out a slew of top-three finishes on the track were Terrell Smith in the 100m, Christopher Campbell in the 400m and Jeff Bachman in the steeplechase. In the 100m, Smith clocked a wind-assisted 10.46w (2.1) for second-overall, while Campbell, in his outdoor season debut, finished third in the 400m in 47.81 seconds. Bachman, meanwhile took third in 9:34.53 in his third steeplechase competed in this season. The time was a season-best for the sophomore by over seven seconds.

What's Next?

The Wildcats head to Berkeley, California, for the Brutus Hamilton Challenge on April 24-25. The meet will be K-State's final road date before hosting the annual Ward Haylett Invitational on May 2. For more information on K-State's upcoming schedule, visit

Kansas Relays
Rock Chalk Park
Lawrence, Kansas


Team Scores
1: Kansas, 226 | 2: Colorado State, 157 | 3: Purdue, 131 | 4: K-State, 121

1: Kansas, 194 | 2: K-State, 172 | 3: Colorado State, 159 | 4: Purdue, 143

2: Terrell Smith, 10.46w (2.1)

2: Akela Jones, 11.64 (0.8) -- 6th-fastest in school history
28: Keiteyana Parks, 12.52 (1.1)

10: Dane Steen, 21.68w (3.2)

1: A'Keyla Mitchell, 23.29w (2.6)
--: Keiteyana Parks, DNF

3: Christopher Campbell, 47.81

1: A'Keyla Mitchell, 53.34 -- 7th-fastest in school history
3: Sonia Gaskin, 54.42
15: Jordan Matthews, 57.75

3: Kain Ellis, 1:52.07
11: Blake Goodin, 2:00.86

8: Laura Galvan, 2:15.06
11: Marija Stambolic, 2:19.14

2: Kain Ellis, 3:52.90
7: Blake Goodin, 4:02.29

1: Laura Galvan, 4:29.83
5: Marija Stambolic, 4:37.76

9: Brett Bachman, 15:24.64
11: Bryan Zack, 15:53.00

7: Erika Schiller, 17:44.62
9: Jenny McCarty, 18:05.74

1: Akela Jones, 13.69 (-0.2)

4: Tia' Gamble, 1:00.32
13: Avery Loyd, 1:03.99

3000m Steeplechase
3: Jeff Bachman, 9:34.53
4: Colton Donahue, 9:43.11

1: Morgan Wedekind, 10:43.80
3: Kayla Doll, 10:53.01 -- 6th-fastest time in school history

High Jump
1: Christoff Bryan, 2.24m/7-04.25 -- 7th-best in school history
4: Zack Riley, 2.05m/6-08.75
6: Miles Bearden, 2.00m/6-06.75

5: Rhizlane Siba, 1.70m/5-07
T12: Rachel Proteau, 1.65m/5-05
21: Shannon Parr, 1.55m/5-01

Pole Vault
5: Tommy Brady, 4.96m/16-03.25

T14: Megan Vanderpool, 3.50m/11-05.75
--: Kristen Petry, NH

Long Jump
2: Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, 7.58m/24-10.50 (1.2) -- Personal best & Turks & Caicos Nat'l Record

1: Akela Jones, 6.33m/20-09.25 -- 6th-best in school history
4: Alyssa Kelly, 5.55m/18-02.50w (2.8)

Triple Jump
6: Alyssa Kelly, 11.98m/39-03.75
11: Nija Collier, 11.77m/38-07.50

Shot Put
9: Jason Coon, 15.63m/51-03.50
10: Reinis Kregers, 14.35m/47-01

1: Dani Winters, 16.64m/54-07.25 -- Personal outdoor best & 4th-best in school history

2: Ivan Hartung, 65.17m/213-09
9: Dwight Davidson, 57.96m/190-02
10: Lucas Moeder, 57.37m/188-02

1: Danie Plank, 47.65m/156-04
3: Haley Pitko, 44.20m/145-00 -- Personal best

Hammer Throw
4: Kyle Smith, 57.21m/187-08 -- Personal best
8: Kale Mueller, 47.66m/156-04

1: Sara Savatovic, 66.40m/217-10 -- Personal best, school record & Serbian Nat'l Record

College Open (4/16/15)

5: Colton Donahue, 3:54.46

4: Kayla Doll, 4:44.94
25: Paige Kochuyt, 5:00.03

10: Mady Nestor, 18:46.09

16: Daniel Worthington, 32:43.21