Scoring Performances Headline Day One of Big 12s

May 16, 2014

Results  |  Photo Gallery  |  HighlightsK-State AthleticsLUBBOCK, Texas – K-State Track and Field opened up day one of the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas, with strong performances in the throws, headlined by another Big 12 title performance by Sara Savatovic, as well as a scoring effort by Laura Galvan in the 10K.

The K-State women finished day one in third place with 18 points, while the men sit in fifth with nine points.

Savatovic Goes Back-to-Back, Highlighting an Impressive Throws Group Effort

Sophomore Sara Savatovic highlighted a strong collective effort by the throws group, as she along with four other Wildcats combined for 24 total points.

First, Savatovic continued what has been a dominant 2014 campaign, taking first in the women’s hammer throw. Savatovic’s final mark of 60.80m/199-06 came on her third and final marked throw of the day, as she outlasted the field of nine in the remaining three rounds of the final.

For Savatovic, she has now won back-to-back titles in the hammer throw, making her the first K-State thrower since Renetta Seiler in 1998 and 1999 to accomplish the feat. She is also the first Wildcat since Loren Groves in 2008 to win both indoor and outdoor conference titles in the same year. With the hammer throw titles in back-to-back outdoor seasons, as well as a weight throw title from this indoor season, the sophomore has now won three-consecutive Big 12 titles, joining Groves, Ryann Krais and Erik Kynard as the only Wildcats to have won three or more consecutive conference titles in the past decade.    

Head coach Cliff Rovelto said though Savatovic would have liked to have registered a higher mark, notching 10 points for the win was key.

“Sara didn’t throw far, but she won,” Rovelto said. “The bottom line is it’s the conference championship, it’s about points and she accomplished getting the most out of that event.”

Danie Plank and Ivan Hartung in the javelin and Alex Roe and Kyle Smith in the hammer throw all followed suit, each recording scoring performances.

In the women’s javelin, Plank placed fourth, finishing the day with a final throw of 50.86m/166-10. It was an impressive performance for the freshman in an extremely deep field that included the top-three finishers all breaking the facility record and the top two recording Big 12 meet record marks. Plank was one of only two freshmen, along with Oklahoma State’s Ieva Zarankaite, to record a scoring performance in the event as well.

Along with notching her first career conference scoring performance, Plank is the first K-State thrower to record points in the event since Ali Pistora in 2011. Rounding out the Wildcat competitors in the javelin was freshman Haley Pitko, who placed 11th with a season-best throw of 40.63m/133-04.  
On the men’s side, Hartung took fourth with a final throw of 64.95m/213-01. It was a season best throw for the junior, as he registered a scoring performance for the second-straight outdoor conference meet. Hartung’s mark came in his second throw of the day.

Rovelto said he thought both Plank and Hartung performed well.

“For Danie, one, her series of throws were good,” Rovelto said. “For her to throw basically right at her PR her first conference meet as a freshman, I thought that was very good. The three athletes that placed ahead have all thrown really far this year, so she did a great job.

“With Ivan, coming off Tommy John surgery, today his series was probably as good of a series as he has had. It’s all about consistency and he’s probably better right now than he was a year ago at this time and that’s coming off the surgery so that’s pretty good stuff.”

Lastly, in the men’s throws hammer throw Roe and Smith finished sixth and eighth, respectively. For Roe, his final mark, 54.94m/180-03, came on his final throw of the day, as he closed out his Big 12 career with points in four-straight conference championship meets. Smith, in his first career conference meet, picked up a point for K-State with a throw of 50.20m/164-08.

Said Rovelto, “Between the two of them, I thought we get four points out of them and we did. So we held serve there.”

Rovelto added that the throws events today exemplified not only the depth of talent in this conference, but a majority of it being youth as well – freshmen and sophomores combined for 57.7 percent of the points in today’s four total throws events (90 out of 156), including an impressive 76.9 percent in both javelins (60 out of 78).  

“It’s interesting, if you’re looking at a lot of the scorers in this year’s events, it’s a lot of freshmen and sophomores,” Rovelto said. “There’s a lot of good of young athletes for sure in college. It’s not easy to find people to score significantly because those top-end people are good and they’re all young.

“I think this conference historically, over the years, the quality of the coaching in this conference is pretty good. The guy at Oklahoma is a hell of a throws coach, the guy at Texas Tech is a hell of throws coach, I think we got a great young throws coach [Greg Watson] and the guy at KU is a great, young throws coach. We have really, really good coaches in almost every event area in this conference. So if you get some good kids with these coaches, you’re going to see really good things happen with these young kids.”

Galvan Finishes Sixth in the 10K

In her first career 10,000 meter run, Laura Galvan accomplished something no other K-State women’s distance runner has done since 2011. Finishing sixth in a time of 36:03.91, Galvan notched three points for the Wildcats, the first scoring performance by a women’s distance runner since Sydney Messick took seventh in 2011 in Norman, Oklahoma.

Rovelto was extremely pleased with Galvan’s performance.

“What Laura did, that was great,” Rovelto said. “It’s the first time she has been in that race all year. I know coach Mike [Smith] felt like she was fit, but you don’t know what to expect with someone that hasn’t raced all year. So I really thought that she did a really, really nice job.”

Also competing in the 10K for K-State was junior Erika Schiller, who battled to a 15th-place finish in a time of 38:47.42.  

Devin Dick’s Impressive First Day Performance Headlines Decathlon

Already with a heptathlon Big 12 title this season, Devin Dick has shown no signs of slowing down, leading the men’s decathlon field of eight after day one of competition. In all, Dick set K-State top-10 decathlon marks in four of the multi-
event’s first five events, including registering personal best performances in three of those events, as well as three first-place finishes.

Dick opened action with a third-place performance in the 100-meter hurdles. Finishing the event in a time of 11.29 seconds, the senior’s time bested a previous career high of 11.31 seconds set at last season Big 12 Outdoor Championships. He followed up that PR with back-to-back top-10 decathlon marks in the long jump and shot put. Dick’s leap of 7.21m/23-08.00 took first in the event, as well as moved him up to No. 8 all-time in school decathlon history. His shot put mark of 14.67m/48-01.75 also took first, easily beating the field by well over a meter, as well as placing him at No. 2 in school decathlon history.

The Hutchinson, Kan., native closed out the day with PR performances in the high jump and 400 meter. Taking first in the high jump, Dick cleared the bar at 2.05m/6-08.75, tying a personal outdoor best set at the 2012 Big 12 Championships. The effort also tied him for fifth all-time in school history. Following the high jump, Dick ended day one of competition with a second-place finish in the 400 meter in a PR time of 49.41 seconds – the first sub-50 second time of his career in the event.   

Competing alongside Dick in the multi-event were Reinis Kregers and Adam Deterding. Kregers finished day one in third with a score of 3,883 points. He set PRs in both the long jump, 7.09m/23-03.25, and 400 meter, 49.96 seconds, while placing second in all but two of the multi’s first five events.

Deterding, competing in only his second career decathlon, ended day one in sixth-place with a score 3,565 points. His largest point scoring performances came in the 100 meter, long jump and 400 meter, with both the long jump, 6.74m/22-01.50w, and 400m, 51.28 seconds, marking season bests.

Rovelto said each athlete performed to his day one expectations.

“They all did well,” Rovelto said. “When you look at the standings, optimistically, I’d hope we could go 1-2-6-or-7, and I think we have a shot at doing that. Devin is in really good shape, he just has to be solid tomorrow and he has a shot at a huge PR. Reinis has that opportunity too so those two guys are doing well and Adam is doing fine.”

PRs Galore for K-State Women in the Heptathlon

The trio of Merryl Mbeng, Sarah Kolmer and Joslyn Barnes had a strong showing in the heptathlon, finishing day one of competition in fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively. At least one athlete set a personal best in each of the multi’s first four events with Kolmer setting three PRs, Mbeng setting two and Barnes registering one.

For Mbeng, she put in personal best performances in the shot put and 200 meter dash. Her chuck of 11.47m/37-07.75 was good for fifth, as well as easily bested her previous high of 11.07m/36-04.00 set at this season’s Sam Adams Multi. In the 200 meter, Mbeng finished second in 24.72 seconds, a little over three-tenths of a second behind overall day one leader Lindsay Vollmer. As well as setting a new personal best, the senior’s second-place performance was the sixth-best performance in school heptathlon history. Mbeng’s final point tally of 3,283 was less than 200 points out of the top-three.

Kolmer’s fifth-place performance was highlighted by PR showings in the 100H, high jump and 200 meter. Her time of 14.60 in the hurdles moved her to 10th-all-time in K-State heptathlon history and was her fastest time in the event since she ran 14.87 seconds at the Jim Click Shootout in 2013. Kolmer followed up the hurdles performance with a career-best height cleared of 1.58m/5-02.25 in the high jump, narrowly eclipsing her previous best of 1.57m/5-01.75. Registering a final day one score of 3,139 points, Kolmer closed out competition with a personal best and K-State top-10 heptathlon mark in the 200 meter. Clocking in at 24.95 seconds, she took third in the event and moved to eighth all-time in school history.

Rounding out the multis group for the ‘Cats was Barnes. Along with a personal best showing in the 200 meter dash, Barnes’ highest point-scoring performance came in the high jump. The junior cleared the bar at 1.70m/5-07.00 to tie for third in the event. She finished the day with a final score of 3,067 points after setting a PR in the 200 meter in a time of 25.71 seconds - .05 better than her previous best of 25.76 set at the ASU Invitational in 2012.

Rovelto said, all things considered, the trio did a solid job in their first day of competition.

“I think Merryl could have made another bar or two [in the high jump], but other than that it was very good,” Rovelto said. “Sarah was off a little bit with the shot in what she was capable of throwing, but other than that it was really good. Joslyn was off in the high jump – her PR is second in the Big 12 this season – but other than that it was really good.

“So they all had an event where they might have been just a little bit off, but everything else they were in PR kind of territory. Collectively, I thought they all did a really good job.”

The Wildcats are back at it tomorrow bright and early with the men’s decathlon 110 meter hurdles at 10 a.m. For more information on today’s action, including full results, visit

Big 12 Track and Field Outdoor Championships
Fuller Track and Field Complex
Lubbock, Texas

K-State Results

6: Laura Galvan, K-State, 36:03.91
15: Erika Schiller, K-State, 38:47.42

4: Ivan Hartung, K-State, 64.95m/213-01

4: Danie Plank, K-State, 50.86m/166-10
11: Haley Pitko, K-State, 40.63m/133-04

Hammer Throw
6: Alex Roe, K-State, 54.94m/180-03
8: Kyle Smith, K-State, 50.20m/164-08

1: Sara Savatovic, K-State, 60.80m/199-06

Decathlon (Day One)
1: Devin Dick, K-State, 4,122 pts
100m: 11.29 – 797 pts – Personal best
LJ: 7.21m/23-08.00 (-0.3) – 864 pts – 8th-best in school decathlon history
SP: 14.67m/48-01.75 – 769 pts – 2nd-best in school decathlon history
HJ: 2.05m/6-08.75 – 850 pts – Ties personal outdoor best & T-5th-best in school decathlon history
400m: 49.41 – 842 pts – Personal best & 10th-best in school decathlon history

3: Reinis Kregers, K-State, 3,883 pts
100m: 11.34 – 786 pts
LJ: 7.09m/23-03.25 (1.2) – 835 pts – Personal best
SP: 13.19m/43-03.25 – 679 pts
HJ: 1.96m/6-05.00 – 767 pts
400m: 49.96 – 816 pts – Personal best

6: Adam Deterding, K-State, 3,565 pts
100m: 11.59 – 734 pts
LJ: 6.74m/22-01.50 (3.0) w – 753 pts
SP: 12.46m/40-10.50 – 634 pts
HJ: 1.87m/6-01.50 – 687 pts
400m: 51.28 – 757 pts

Heptathlon (Day One)
4: Merryl Mbeng, K-State, 3,283 pts
100H: 13.87 (0.3) – 997 pts – 5th-best in school heptathlon history
HJ: 1.61m/5-03.25 – 747 pts
SP: 11.47m/37-07.75 – 626 pts – Personal best
200m: 24.72 (-0.4) – 913 pts – Personal best & 6th-best in school heptathlon history

5: Sarah Kolmer, K-State, 3,139 pts
100H: 14.60 (1.3) – 895 pts – Personal best & 10th-best in school heptathlon history
HJ: 1.58m/5-02.25 – 712 pts – Personal best
SP: 11.69m/38-04.25 – 641 pts
200m: 24.95 (-0.4) – 891 pts – Personal best & 8th-best in school heptathlon history

8: Joslyn Barnes, K-State, 3,063 pts
100H: 15.18 (1.3) – 818 pts
HJ: 1.70m/5-07.00 – 855 pts
SP: 10.58m/34-08.50 – 567 pts
200m: 25.71 (-0.2) – 823 pts – Personal best