Twiss, Field Headline the Final Day of Big 12s

May 19, 2014

Final Results  |  Photo Gallery  |  HighlightsK-State Athletics LUBBOCK, Texas – K-State capped off an exceptional performance at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships with the women taking fifth and the men finishing sixth, respectively. The Wildcats’ individual efforts were highlighted by a conference title performance by Devin Field in the triple jump, as well as several scoring performances.

The women’s fifth-place finish was their first time reaching the top-five since 2008, while the 93 total points were the most since the 2002 women’s group won the Big 12 title with a final tally of 121 points.

Head coach Cliff Rovelto was thoroughly impressed with both the men’s and women’s teams – only six athletes out of the 33 that competed for K-State failed to record scoring performances over the three-day meet.

“We had a really solid day,” Rovelto said. “The bottom line is that both teams scored more points than what I had projected on paper. What’s more important is sometimes you pick up points because other people stumble, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case this time. I think we picked up more points because a lot of people really stepped up.

“There were a lot of really, really great individual performances.”

Rovelto, in particular, discussed the impact that the combined events athletes on the women’s side in Joslyn Barnes, Sarah Kolmer, Merryl Mbeng and Erica Twiss have had on the team as a whole. The foursome combined to score 32.25 points for the women’s team.

“We have a lot of special kids, but the group of Erica, Sarah, Joslyn and Merryl, those four scored a ton of points this weekend,” Rovelto said. “They have scored a lot of points in the past couple years and it’s not like you’re talking about superstars coming out of high school. You’re talking about good kids who work extremely hard and all compete hard.

“That’s a special group. I know we have a lot of special kids, but in a lot of ways they are kind of the heart and soul of the team because they are willing to do whatever they have to do, whenever they have to do it to succeed.”

Field First in Triple Jump

Devin Field put in a stellar performance in the men’s triple jump, dominating the event en route to a first-place finish with a final wind-aided leap of 16.13m/52-11.00. The sophomore’s conference title was the first by a Wildcat men’s triple jumper since Stelios Kapsalis won the event in 2004.  

Field’s winning mark came in his final jump of the evening, though he technically had the event wrapped up after jump No. 2. The Desoto, Texas, native was the only jumper to eclipse 16 meters the entire event, as he jumped 16.00m or better in four of his six total jumps. Second-place went to freshman Hayden McClain of Oklahoma, who finished with a mark of 15.84m/51-11.75.

Rovelto had plenty of praise for the sophomore’s showing.

“With Devin [Field], he hasn’t been healthy,” Rovelto said. “For him to come in this meet and get third in the long jump and win the triple is pretty remarkable.”

Rovelto added that Field, who had primarily competed in the long jump his freshman year, may have his best performances ahead of him especially in the triple jump, likening him to former Wildcat Clifton Etheridge, a three-time All-American and five-time Big Eight Conference Champion.

“I really think Devin’s best event is the triple jump,” Rovelto said. “In a way he reminds me a little bit of a guy we got when I first got to Kansas State in Clifton Etheridge, who was a good long jumper in high school like Devin. He never triple jumped until his sophomore year of college, ever, and in his first year he goes almost 53 feet. And I think Devin is similar to him, but even faster.

“I think his upside in the triple jump, and I’m not saying that he will not jump well in the long jump, but I think his upside in the triple is higher.”

Field ended the meet accumulating a men’s team high 16 total points, including his third place finish in yesterday’s long jump. The scoring effort was the most by a Wildcat men’s athlete since Shadrack Kimeli tallied 20 points in 2001 over two events on the track. Field’s total ranked him No. 3 all-time in K-State Big 12 scoring performances. Below are the top-three men’s scoring performances since the beginning of Big 12 track in 1997.

Athlete (Year)EventsPoints
Shadrack Kimeli (2001)1500m, 5000m 20
Gene Peterson (1997)Hammer Throw, Discus18
Devin Field (2014)Triple Jump, Long Jump16

Twiss Caps Off a Magnificent Performance

Already with a long jump title in hand, Erica Twiss was nowhere near finished at the conference championship, registering scoring performances in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles, as well as a part of the 4x100 squad.

Twiss opened up her second day of action in the 4x100 meter relay with Tia’ Gamble, Jordan Matthews and Angela Hart. The foursome, running together for only the second time this season, took sixth in a time of 46.24 seconds.

In the individual events, Twiss, who had qualified for both hurdles finals last night, took fourth-place in the 100H. Clocking in at a wind-aided time of 13.20 seconds, Twiss’ effort was the best wind-aided time in K-State history, passing Kim Kilpatrick’s time of 13.32 seconds set at the 1989 Kansas Relays. It was an impressive showing, as Twiss faced a deep field that included the top-three finishers all running sub-13 second times.

Notching five points to her already accumulated 10.75 points from the long jump and 4x100, Twiss followed up the school record performance with a third-place showing in the 400H. Her time of 58.33 was a near personal best (58.20), as she held off Baylor’s Melissa Gonzalez in the final stretch of the race to secure another six points.

Twiss finished the day with an impressive 21.75 points, second to only Texas’ Morolake Akinosun’s 22.50 points for women’s high point scorer of the meet. Even without the accolade, the seniors’ overall performance was one of the best in program history. Her final point tally was the most scored since Austra Skujyte notched 22.75 in 2002 over four events, as well as ranked Twiss fifth-best in school history – the top-five women’s outdoor scoring performances can be found below.

Rovelto said described Twiss’ overall performance as phenomenal.

“What Erica did in this meet was phenomenal,” Rovelto said. “For her to run what she did, wind aside, in the 100, win the long jump, take third in the 400 and leading off the 4x100 was great. And she probably could have run on the 4x400, but I don’t want kill her. But she could have and she probably would have won that award.”

Austra Skujyte (2001)Heptathlon, LJ, Javelin, Shot Put28
Renetta Seiler (1999)Shot Put, Discus, Hammer Throw25
Renetta Seiler (1998)Shot Put, Discus, Hammer Throw23
Austra Skujyte (2002)LJ, SP, Discus, Javelin, 4x10022.75
Erica Twiss (2014)LJ, 100H, 400H, 4x10021.75

Treasure and Proteau Go 2-3 in the High Jump

Alyx Treasure and Rachel Proteau racked up 14 points for the K-State women in the high jump, finishing second and third, respectively. Both clearing the bar at 1.81m/5-11.25, Treasure and Proteau became the first teammates in K-State history to finish in the event’s top-three outdoors.

The shot for a conference title boiled down to Treasure, Proteau and now four-time outdoor conference champion Shanay Briscoe after each athlete cleared 1.76m/5-09.25. Briscoe cleared the following height of 1.81m in her first try, while Treasure and Proteau cleared in their second and third, respectively. The missed bars were ultimately the difference as all three athletes each missed in their following three tries at 1.84m/6-00.50 and Briscoe won the title by virtue of least amount of failed attempts.

Battling blustery conditions on Fuller Track, Treasure nearly won the conference title on her final attempt the afternoon with only her leg clipping the bar in the final moments. Despite the close loss, Treasure made it back-to-back conference meets that she has finished second, while also becoming the first K-State women’s high jumper since Kaylene Wagner in 2007 to finish second in the event outdoors.

For Proteau, her final mark was a season-best, as well as the second-best mark by Wildcat high jumper this season. She was also the first freshman Wildcat women’s high jumper to score points at a conference meet since Treasure took fifth in 2012.

Rovelto said the freshman’s result was well-deserved from how hard she has trained.

“The changes she has been working her way through in that event, not only from a technical standpoint, but also from a training standpoint is pretty significant,” Rovelto said. “Good athletes are as hard on themselves as anybody and she wants to do better. She’s hung in there, there’s no doubt in my mind that at some point this year that she was going to jump significantly higher than she has been. It’s there; it’s just a matter of her figuring it out.

“She’s going to be a very good high jumper.”

Wait and Brady Finish 2-8 in the Pole Vault

Kyle Wait and Tommy Brady finished second and eighth, respectively, becoming the first pair of K-State teammates to both score in the event outdoors in the Big 12 era.

For Wait, though he was unable to complete a pole vault title three-peat, he cleared a season-high bar of 5.44m/17-10.25. It was a solid meet for the senior, who missed only twice at 5.34m/17-06.25 and three more times at the winning height of 5.49m/18-00.00. Wait nearly cleared at 5.49m as well, clipping the bar in his first and third tries.

Brady, meanwhile, cleared the bar at 5.19m/17-00.25 – the first time in his career he has marked over 17 feet. His effort was good enough for his first career scoring performance in the event, as well as moved him No. 3 all-time in K-State history.

Points! – The Rest in Today’s Scoring Performances

Laura Galvan finished sixth in the 5000 meter run, finishing in 17:28.34 and notching three points for the women. The sophomore distance runner was the first Wildcat to score in the event since Beverly Ramos took fourth in 2010 in Columbia, Missouri.

• In relay action, the men finished took second and the women finished third, respectively. For the men, Christopher Campbell, Carlos Rodriguez, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye and Tyris Jefferson nearly took home the conference title over first-place Baylor, finishing the race in a time of 3:07.02.

On the women’s side, Tia' Gamble, Sonia Gaskin, Sarah Kolmer and Jordan Matthews clocked in at a time of 3:36.62, behind only Texas Tech and Baylor, who both recorded facility record times.

The 4x100 saw the men finish fifth, while the women placed sixth. The men’s squad, consisting of Rodriguez and Jefferson along with Magnus Scott, Jr. and Dane Steen, tallied four points, clocking in at 40.36 seconds.

For the women, Twiss and Angela Hart joined Gamble and Matthews to earn three points, finishing the relay in a time of 46.24 seconds.

• Both Gamble and Gaskin had busy days on the track individually as well. Gamble took fifth in the 400 meter hurdles in 59.23 seconds, securing a scoring performance for the first time in her career. Gaskin, meanwhile, finished sixth in the 400 meter in 52.72 seconds.

Alyssa Kelly registered a scoring performance for the fourth-consecutive conference meet in the triple jump, placing seventh. Kelly finished the event with a wind-aided leap of 12.53m/41-01.50.  

Zack Riley tallied two points for the K-State men in the high jump, finishing seventh. His final cleared height of 2.11m/6-11.00 tied him with four other jumpers with Riley finishing last out of the bunch due to highest amount of missed attempts.

• And lastly on the track, Mary Frances Donnelly took seventh in the women’s 1500 meter run and Kyle Hanson finished fifth in the 800 meter run. Donnelly, competing with the Wildcats outdoors for the first time in her career, finished the race in 4:41.27, while Hanson clocked in at 1:51.72 in the final conference meet of his career.

The Wildcats will now shift their attention to the NCAA West Regional Preliminary Rounds, scheduled to start in less than two weeks. For more information on the Wildcats’ impressive weekend in Lubbock, as well as more info on upcoming action, visit

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

K-State Results
**Please note all marks are not converted for altitude

8: Carlos Rodriguez, K-State, 10.32w (4.2)

6: Sonia Gaskin, K-State, 52.72

5: Kyle Hanson, K-State, 1:51.72

7: Mary Frances Donnelly, K-State, 4:41.27

6: Laura Galvan, K-State, 17:28.34

100m Hurdles
4: Erica Twiss, K-State, 13.20w (2.6) – No .1 wind-aided mark in school history

400m Hurdles
3: Erica Twiss, K-State, 58.33
5: Tia’ Gamble, K-State, 59.73

3000m Steeplechase
10: Morgan Wedekind, K-State, 11:35.92

5: Scott, Jr.-Rodriguez-Jefferson-Steen, K-State, 40.36

6: Twiss-Gamble-Matthews-Hart, K-State, 46.24

2: Campbell-Rodriguez-Otuonye-Jefferson, K-State, 3:07.02

3: Gaskin-Gamble-Matthews-Kolmer, K-State, 3:36.62

High Jump
7: Zack Riley, K-State, 2.11m/6-11.00
9: Miles Bearden, K-State, 2.06m/6-09.00

2: Alyx Treasure, K-State, 1.81m/5-11.25
3: Rachel Proteau, K-State, 1.81m/5-11.25 – T-9th in school history

Pole Vault
2: Kyle Wait, K-State, 5.44m/17-10.25
8: Tommy Brady, K-State, 5.19/17-00.25 – Personal best & 3rd-best in school history

Triple Jump
7: Alyssa Kelly, K-State, 12.53m/41-01.50w (5.1)

--: Ryan Hershberger, K-State, FOUL

--: Dani Winters, K-State, FOUL