K-State Registers Solid Showing in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Neb. -- K-State Track and Field closed out its regular season with a solid effort by a small group of Wildcats at the Nebraska Invitational in Lincoln. Held at Ed Weir Stadium, the Wildcats sent seven athletes total to compete in Saturday's festivities, with the group combining for five top-five finishes, multiple season-bests and a program top-10 mark.  

On the Women's Side...

Megan Vanderpool set a new overall season-best in the pole vault, clearing 3.81m/12-06 on her third attempt to finish ninth overall. A freshman from Lenexa, Kansas, Vanderpool's effort bested her previous high of 3.65m/11-11.75 set at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge during the indoor season by over a half-foot. With her latest performance, Vanderpool also moved to No. 6 in school history in the event. Her clearance is the best by a women's pole vaulter outdoors since Alexandra Gonzalez marked 3.95m/12-11.75 to tie for third-best in program history at the 2008 NCAA Midwest Regionals.  

Alyssa Kelly competed in both the 100-meter dash and long jump. In the former, Kelly clocked 12.66 seconds to finish second out of three competitors, while in the long jump the senior marked 5.80m/19-00.50 on her fifth attempt of the afternoon to finish sixth. Her performance in the long jump was particularly notable, as it marked an overall season-best and was her best showing since setting a personal best mark of 5.83m/19-01.50 at the Ward Haylett Invitational in 2014.

• Rounding out action on the track for the women were Avery Loyd in the 400-meter hurdles and Marija Stambolic in the 800-meter. For Loyd, the senior ran a personal best 1:03.59 for fourth-overall and marked the second time she has ran sub-1:04 this season. Also of note, former Wildcats Erica Twiss (58.20) and Merryl Mbeng (59.52) finished first and second, respectively, in the event. Stambolic, meanwhile, cruised to first-place over a field of five in the 800m in 2:11.83. A sophomore from Belgrade, Serbia, Stambolic's victory was the third for her career in the event.

On the Men's Side...

Blake Goodin clocked a solid personal-best effort in the 1500-meter, finishing second-overall in 3:57.14. The runner-up showing marked the first time in four tries this season he has clocked a sub-four minute time in the event and bested his previous fastest time of 3:57.63 set in 2014.

• Lastly in the field, Jason Coon in the shot put and Kale Mueller in the hammer throw were in action for the `Cats. For Coon, the freshman chucked an outdoor season-best of 15.73m/51-07.25 for fourth-overall. Mueller, meanwhile, built off a PR effort (49.30m/161-09) at last Saturday's Rock Chalk Classic, marking 47.92m/157-03 for seventh-place. The sophomore thrower has now marked 47 meters or better in six of seven meets this season.

What's Next?

The Wildcats jump into postseason action, competing in the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 15-17. Held at the Cyclone Sports Complex in Ames, Iowa, the men's and women's squads will look to improve upon last year's showing that saw them finish fifth and sixth, respectively.

Nebraska Invitational
Ed Weir Stadium
Lincoln, Nebraska

2: Alyssa Kelly, 12.66 (1.8)

1: Marija Stambolic, 2:11.83

2: Blake Goodin, 3:57.14 -- Personal best

4: Avery Loyd, 1:03.59 -- Personal best

Pole Vault
9: Megan Vanderpool, 3.81m/12-06 -- 6th-best in school history

Long Jump
6: Alyssa Kelly, 5.80m/19-00.50 (2.0)

Shot Put
4: Jason Coon, 15.73m/51-07.25

Hammer Throw
7: Kale Mueller, 47.92m/157-03