Titles Won, Records Broken in Day Two

AMES, Iowa -- Dani Winters and Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye snagged Big 12 titles in their respective events en route to helping the K-State Track and Field women and men to second and fourth-place, respectively, in day two of the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Ames, Iowa.

Holding team point totals of 48 for the women and 43 for the men, the Wildcats also combined on the day to break four school records -- men's and women's 200-meter, women's long jump and women's shot put.

Head Cliff Rovelto thought the team as a whole performed to and above expectations, leaving plenty of room for optimism heading into the final day of action tomorrow.

"I thought we did some really, really good things. You always want to see people perform at their best and, most importantly, at this meet and we did that for the most part," Rovelto said. "We're in good shape to perform better than where I thought we'd be at coming into this meet. We'll see how everyone runs tomorrow, but we got the people there that we would hope to be there. So we'll see."

Winters Captures a Title and a Record

Dani Winters followed up her fellow throwers' solid day one performance with a spectacular showing of her own in the shot put on day two. Entering the meet as the indoor champion in the event, Winters won the outdoor title in dramatic fashion, needing her sixth and final attempt on the afternoon to put away reigning conference and NCAA Champion Christina Hillman of Iowa State.

Hitting 17.29m/56-08.75 on her third attempt, Winters sat in second behind Chase Ealey of Oklahoma (17.39m/57-00.75) for the most of the afternoon. In the sixth round, Hillman, who was the third-to-last thrower to go in said round, marked 17.45m/57-03 to take control over the then-leader Ealey. Falling to third with the mark by Hillman, Winters put in her best performance to date, indoors included, throwing 17.75m/58-03 to leapfrog both the Cyclone and Sooner throwers and take a lead of exactly one foot that would hold for the remainder of the event.

"Dani was phenomenal," Rovelto said. "To respond on your last throw, and to respond with a PR, and to look at what she has done given where she started -- it's pretty remarkable the progress she has made. The wonderful thing for us is she still has got another year. She's been fantastic."

Nabbing the first outdoor shot put conference title by a women's Wildcat thrower since Rebekah Green in 2002, Winters' final mark also broke the school record set by Green of 17.24m/56-06.75 at the 2003 USA Championships. The Plainville, Kansas, native now holds the school shot put record indoors and outdoors and is only the second Wildcat women's thrower in the past 25 years to sweep the indoor and outdoor conference titles in the same year -- Angie Miller accomplished the feat in both 1990 and 1991.

A sure-fire lock to compete at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in two weeks, Winters' school record mark is currently No. 3 in all of Division I.

Otuonye Makes History in the Long Jump

In the men's long jump, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye accomplished a feat no other Wildcat men's athlete has accomplished since the Big 12 era began in 1997. Leaping 7.69m/25-02.75 on his fourth attempt of the afternoon, Otuonye clinched the first-ever Big 12 outdoor long jump title for the men's team. Historic in that right alone, Otuonye's winning mark was also a personal best and added to his already held Turks and Caicos national record.

To win the conference title, Otuonye outlasted Ramone Bailey of TCU, who marked 7.65m/25-01.25 on his second attempt to lead all the way up until the Wildcat's winning mark in the fifth round -- Bailey would go onto foul in his final two attempts. Entering the meet as the top-ranked jumper in the conference, Otuonye also improved upon his wind-legal season-best, overall PR and national record of 7.58m/24-10.50 in the victory, moving to No. 8 in school history in the process.

Rovelto said Otuonye's jump to conference champion has been a direct result of hard work by the junior.

"Ifeanyi did a nice job in the long jump. Part of that is I think he is in the best physical condition of his life and there's no question about that," Rovelto said. "Because of his physical condition, I think his confidence-level is higher and he's jumped at a pretty high level the past couple months. He's doing a great job. To jump what he did today in these conditions compared to his longer wind-aided jump [7.98m/26-02.25w -- top-five in Division I] at the Rock Chalk Classic, there's no comparison -- this was a better jump."

He is the first Wildcat men's athlete to a win the conference crown in the event outdoors since Clifton Etheridge in 1990.

Jones Just Misses on Long Jump Title

The indoor long jump champion entering the meet, Akela Jones marked two inches behind first-place to narrowly miss out on taking home the outdoor title.

Jones, who finished with a final mark of 6.43m/21-01.25, hit 6.35m/20-10w on her first attempt of the day to hold the lead for the better part of the first three rounds. Sydney Conley though would mark a season-best of 6.48m/21-03.25w in the third round to regain control of the lead for the remainder of the event and secure her first career conference title. The junior Wildcat responded with her eventual final mark of 6.43m in the fifth round, but it was not enough, as she would close the event fouling in her final attempt.

Rovelto praised Jones on what he thought was her most consistent showing of the season in the event.

"Akela, of course, wants to win all the time and she didn't jump poorly. In a lot of ways that was probably one of, if not the best series of jumps in her career [Jones fouled only twice in six attempts]," Rovelto said. "She can run into being inconsistent at times and has a tendency to not get to the board, but today she got to the board. She had a couple fouls, but was aggressive getting to the board and overall did pretty well.

"The reality of this meet was she didn't come into today with the best mark in the conference," Rovelto added. "[Conley] has jumped at a high level all year, and sure Akela is capable of winning, but she came up a couple inches short. It happens."

Despite the close defeat, Jones' leap of 6.43m moved her from No. 6 to the top spot in school history, besting the previous program record held by both Candice Mills (2006) and Nina Kokot (2011) of 6.38m/20-11.25. With the outdoor long jump record, Jones has now broken three school records dating back to this indoor season, where she set the 60-meter hurdles and long jump records.    

Records Fall on the Track in Prelim Action

The freshman duo of A'Keyla Mitchell and Terrell Smith rounded out the slew of record-breaking performances for the Wildcats, making history in the 200-meter dash for the women and men, respectively.

Mitchell, who had yet to record a wind-legal time in the event outdoors, clocked a monster time of 23.02 seconds to secure the fifth qualifying spot in the 200m prelim. Also holding the 200m record indoors, Mitchell's latest effort increased her program record tally to a gaudy five, including her 100m record-breaking performance at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge this past April. Like her 100m performance in Berkeley, California, Mitchell's time broke another 20-plus year school record, this one set by Markeya Jones in 1991 of 23.28 seconds.

Adding her qualifying effort in the 100-meter from today's action, where she clocked a wind-assisted time of 11.447w (2.3) for the fifth spot in the final, Mitchell looks primed to help the Wildcats score across four events. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native is set to also compete in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays along with the two sprints in tomorrow's action.

For Smith, his performance was near-identical to Mitchell's on the track, as he not only set the 200m school record, but earned qualification in both the 200m and 100m finals. In the former, Smith clocked 20.51 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in the preliminary heats, to break the school record previously held by Carlos Rodriguez of 20.72. The Vicksburg, Mississippi, native entered the meet with a wind-legal season-best of 20.77, which had been the fourth-fastest time in school history.

Smith's other qualifying effort in the 100-meter saw him finish in 10.357 seconds -- the fourth-fastest time in school history. Like Mitchell, he is set to compete in both sprints, as well as a relay in tomorrow's action.

Men's High Jump Tallies 12

Christoff Bryan led a Wildcat men's high jump group that tallied 12 points on the day, as the freshman cleared 2.24m/7-04.25 to finish third behind the Red Raider high jumping duo of Jacorian Duffield (1st) and Bradley Adkins (2nd). Joining Bryan in competition were Nate Gipson, Zack Riley and Miles Bearden, who finished fifth, seventh and 13th, respectively.

In total, the field of 15 saw seven athletes clear seven feet or better, including the top-three all clearing 7-04.25. Bryan's third-place finish came thanks to eight missed attempts compared to four by Duffield and six by Adkins. Matching an outdoor season-best set at the Kansas Relays earlier this April, Bryan's height cleared is the seventh-best mark in school history.

"The high jump was good. Obviously to have that many guys in the field to jump 2.21m/7-03 is pretty remarkable. Having three guys jump 2.24m is very good for this event. You jump that at the NCAA meet and you're going to be in the top-eight. So it's high-level," Rovelto said. "Zack jumped well up until 2.21m, he did a nice job. And for Christoff and Nate, you got fifth-year seniors, seniors, experienced juniors and guys who have placed high at the national meet in this field, and our two freshmen have continued to do a really nice job against that type of competition all year."

Gipson and Riley, meanwhile, cleared 2.21m and 2.16m/7-01, respectively, for their scoring efforts. Riley's mark in particular was his best showing in the event since clearing 2.16m at the West Prelims in 2014.

Kolmer, Deterding with Top-Five Finishes in Multis

Sarah Kolmer closed out her final collegiate heptathlon with a fourth-place finish, while Adam Deterding PRed his way to a fifth-place showing in the decathlon.

In the heptathlon, Kolmer scored 4,988 points to record her third-straight scoring performance in the multi. A senior from Emporia, Kansas, Her showing in the 800m was particularly notable, as she clocked 2:20.28 for her highest individual event point total of day two at 820. Joining Kolmer was Joslyn Barnes, who was also making her final appearance collegiately in the heptathlon. The senior Wildcat placed ninth with a final tally of 4,303 points.

On the men's side, Deterding's tallied a PR total of 6,995 points for fifth-place. A 200-point improvement from his previous PR set at the Kansas Relays, Deterding set individual personal bests in two of the multis' final five events -- discus and javelin -- and took first-overall in the 110-meter hurdles.

Said Rovelto on Deterding's performance, "I thought Adam did a really, really nice job," Rovelto said. "He kind of ran out of a little bit of a gas for what he was hoping to run [in the 1500m], but I really thought he had a great. The hurdles were good, he had PRs in the disc and javelin and was close to a PR in the pole vault. He did everything I thought he could do, it was a nice job."

Onto the Finals...

Including the qualifying efforts by Mitchell and Smith, the Wildcats saw eight out of their 13 entries on the track qualify for event finals. Said Rovelto, "In the qualifying, we really qualified everybody we hoped to get into finals. And I thought even some of the ones that didn't, like [Marija Stambolic] and [Christopher Campbell], ran higher than what their seeding was. So even the couple of kids that didn't make it ran well, they did a good job. I really can't imagine we could have done any more than what we did."

A look at the rest of the qualifying performances can be found below...

Akela Jones ensured herself a second scoring performance, qualifying for the 100-meter hurdles final in a time of 13.31. A considerable improvement from her wind-legal season-best time of 13.67 seconds, Jones' mark is also a personal best and the second-fastest time in school history. The women's 110H finals are tentatively scheduled for 4:25 p.m.

• In the 400H, Tia' Gamble clocked 59.70 seconds to move onto the event final. The third-fastest time in the preliminary heats, it is third-straight meet Gamble has recorded a sub-minute time in the event. She was joined on the track by senior Avery Loyd, who in her final appearance for K-State, finished 10th. The 400H finals are tentatively scheduled for 5:35 p.m.

• The 800m had a pair of Wildcats qualify, as Sonia Gaskin notched a bid for the women and Kain Ellis did for the men. On the women's side, Gaskin clocked 2:07.99 to cruise to her third-straight final in the event outdoors. For Ellis, he clocked 1:50.39 for the qualifying bid, finishing the event sub-1:50 for the second time this season. Tentative start time for the tomorrow's final is 5:15 p.m. for the women with the men to follow right after.   

What's Next?

The Wildcats finish up Big 12 Outdoors action with the remaining field events, as well as the event finals on the track. Along with the aforementioned qualifiers, some notable Wildcats in action will be the women's high jump trio of Alyx Treasure, Kim Williamson and Akela Jones, as well as the women's 4x400. Action is set to start at noon with the high jump group and continue into the evening, concluding with the awards ceremony around 7:30 p.m. For live updates on K-State in Ames, follow @kstate_gameday on Twitter under #KStateTF.


Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships (Day II)
Cyclone Sports Complex
Ames, Iowa

100m (Prelims)
Men
6: Terrell Smith, 10.357q (1.3) -- 4th-fastest time in school history
21: Dane Steen, 11.35 (1.8)

Women
5: A'Keyla Mitchell, 11.447qw (2.3) -- 3rd-fastest wind-aided time in school history

200m (Prelims)
Men
7: Terrell Smith, 20.51q (0.6) -- School record

Women
5: A'Keyla Mitchell, 23.02 (1.3) -- School record

400m (Prelims)
Men
11: Christopher Campbell, 47.67

Women
19: Jordan Matthews, 58.03

800m (Prelims)
Men
5: Kain Ellis, 1:50.39q

Women
5: Sonia Gaskin, 2:07.99q
12: Marija Stambolic, 2:11.79

100H (Prelims)
Women
4: Akela Jones, 13.31q (-0.7) -- Personal best & 2nd-best in school history

400H
Women
3: Tia' Gamble, 59.70q
10: Avery Loyd, 1:04.54

High Jump
Men
3: Christoff Bryan, 2.24m/7-04.25 -- 7th-best in school history
5: Nate Gipson, 2.21m/7-03
7: Zack Riley, 2.16m/7-01

Long Jump
Men
1: Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, 7.69m/25-02.75 (1.0) -- Personal best, Turks and Caicos record & 8th-best in school history

Women
2: Akela Jones, 6.43m/21-01.25 (0.8) -- School record
11: Zanri Van der Merwe, 5.72m/18-09.25 (1.1)
12: Alyssa Kelly, 5.71m/18-09 (0.9)

Shot Put
Women
1: Dani Winters, 17.75m/58-03 -- Personal best & school record

Decathlon
5: Adam Deterding, 6,995 pts. -- Personal best
100m: 11.28 (0.4) -- 799 pts. -- Personal best
LJ: 6.69m/21-11.50 (0.8) -- 741 pts.
SP: 12.86m/42-02.25 -- 659 pts.
HJ: 1.93m/6-04 -- 740 pts.
400m: 49.79 -- 824 pts. -- Personal best
110H: 14.74 (-2.4) -- 881 pts.
DT: 33.35m/117-09 -- 531 pts. -- Personal best
PV: 3.70m/12-01.50 -- 535 pts.
JT: 52.47m/172-02 -- 625 pts. -- Personal best
1500m: 4:43.20 -- 660 pts.

Heptathlon
4: Sarah Kolmer, 4,988 pts.
100H: 14.71 (0.5) -- 880 pts.
HJ: 1.52m/4-11.75 -- 644 pts.
SP: 11.94m/39-02.25 -- 657 pts.
200m: 24.79 (0.9) -- 906 pts. -- Personal best & 8th-fastest in school heptathlon history
LJ: 5.23m/17-02 (-0.7) -- 623 pts.
JT: 29.03m/95-03 -- 458 pts.
800m: 2:20.28 -- 820 pts.

9: Joslyn Barnes, 4,303 pts.
100H: 15.06 (0.9) -- 834 pts. -- Personal best
HJ: 1.67m/5-05.75 -- 818 pts.
SP: 11.17m/36-07.75 -- 606 pts.
200m: 26.22 (0.6) -- 778 pts.
LJ: FOUL -- 0 pts.
JT: 31.98m/104-11 -- 514 pts.
800m: 2:25.31 -- 753 pts.