Cats Host Second Meet of Young Season

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State track and field teams will bring in the new year with their second meet of the season when the Wildcats host the KSU Invitational this Friday and Saturday, January 4-5. One month after the first competition of the year, K-State will host the second meet from Ahearn Field House with a start of 2 p.m. on Friday as the women’s weight throw will kick off the event.

The long jump, high jump, 1000M and 200M will also take place on Friday. Saturday will contain a full slate of events with action starting at 12 p.m. in the shot put. Running events have an approximate start of 3:30 p.m.

A complete recap of events will be posted on Kansas State’s official athletic website, www.kstatesports.com, as soon as all event results are in.

AFTER ONE WEEK
The Wildcats had an early start to the 2008 indoor season as K-State completed its first meet of the season on December 8th. The weekend opened with the Carol Robinson Winter Pentathlon on Friday, Dec. 7th. The combined events night marked the first opportunity for newcomers Rok Derzanic, Moritz Cleve and Annika Schoenebeck to display their talents.

On the men’s side, the combination of Scott Sellers, Derzanic and Cleve took over the K-State top 10 list for all-time pentathlon scores, with Sellers taking the title after scoring 4,046 points. In addition to titling the event, Sellers captured his bid to the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the high jump after clearing an automatic mark of 7-04.25.

Lindsay Grigoriev finished third as the top female Wildcat in the pentathlon. She had  3,449 points while freshman Schoenebeck was one point back with 3,448 in fourth place.

During the KSU All-Comers on Saturday, Dec. 8th, the women added two student-athletes to the NCAA provisional list, including sophomore newcomer Alexandra Gonzalez. The native of Puerto Rico finished the women’s pole vault with a height of 12-11.50. Returning 2007 All-American Loren Groves took the top spot in the weight throw as she had a provisional toss of 66-10.00.

PENT OF EMPHASIS
After the completion of the Carol Robinson Winter Pentathlon, Kansas State’s top 10 list changed with the rotation of three new names being added to the standings. In his first ever combined events competition, junior Scott Sellers tallied the second best pentathlon mark in school history with 4,046 points. He finished with first-place finishes in both the high jump (7-04.25) and long jump (23-08.25).

Freshman Rok Derzanic took third place after notching 3,839 points to mark the fourth top mark in KSU history. He ran a time of 8.31 in the 60M hurdles, while also finishing at 6-05.50 in the high jump and 22-06.25 in the long jump. Freshman Moritz Cleve also had a top 10 mark, earning 3,792 for the eighth best mark all-time while placing fourth in the meet. Cleve ran the fastest mark in the 1000M with a time of 2:42.21, while also leading the K-State competitors in the shot put with a throw of 41-05.25.

SPRINTING AHEAD
The K-State sprinters showed very little signs of a long break since last outdoor season, as Donniece Parrish and Mike Myer raced ahead as the top Wildcats on each side. Parrish finished the 60M sprint in a time of 7.51 to finish first with a KSU All-Comer meet record and personal best mark. With a time of 7.61, Marnyka Honeycutt took second. For the men, junior Mike Myer ran a second-place time of 6.84 to finish 0.1 from the provisional requirement.

A number of newcomers also recorded their first times in the 60M, including a mark of 6.96 from Nelson Onyegbu to finish fifth. Desmond McGuire ran a time of 7.18, while Emmanuel Neizer crossed the line at 7.32.

Tiara Walpool finished fourth for the women with a run of 7.89, as LaKeisha Herring was ninth in 8.06.

RETURNING THE RELAY
The Kansas State women’s 4x400M relay team entered the season with the goal of returning the team to a national meet after competing in the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The squad returned half of the members from last year’s team in seniors Morgan Bonds and Donniece Parrish. In the season opener, the KSU All-Comers, the team placed first with a time of 3:49.99 using legs of Bonds, Parrish, Lauren Fisher and Marnyka Honeycutt. The automatic mark for the championships is 3:34.20 while provisional is set at 3:41.20.

GROVES IN A GROOVE
Wildcat thrower Loren Groves has put herself into a groove of performing well as the junior started the season strong with a victory in the women’s weight throw at the KSU All-Comers. The native of Scott City, Mo., won the event with a top mark of 66-10.00 to earn a provisional mark. As a sophomore, Groves threw for six NCAA provisional marks and opened the year with 64-02.50, which finished as her shortest toss of the season.

OVER THE TOP
Kansas State might have known the potential that transfer Alexandra Gonzalez held, but being the Puerto Rico record holder might make her potential apparent. Gonzalez proved her worth in the first meet as a Wildcat, as she recorded an NCAA provisionally-qualifying height in the pole vault with a clearance of 12-11.50. The height marks the first time for a K-State female vaulter to pass over 12 feet since the 2006 season.

JUST OUTSIDE
The men’s and women’s teams each missed the cut for the preseason top 25 from the USTFCCCA, but each is knocking at the door of the listings. Each team sits just outside as the women are ranked 31st with the new scoring system in place, while the men are at 38th.

The LSU women open the season with the coveted first-place ranking, while the Florida State men sit atop on the men’s side by a slightly smaller margin. LSU leads Arizona State by nearly 45 points as Florida State has an approximate nine point edge over Washington for the men’s lead.

Big 12 schools listed for the women are Texas Tech at seventh with Texas A&M only 0.13 of a point back in eighth. Texas enters the polls at 11th as the only other women’s team in the top 25. For the men, Baylor paces the conference at 10th with Kansas and Nebraska trailing at 11th and 12th, respectively. Reigning Big 12 outdoor champions Oklahoma sit at 17th with Texas in 18th. Texas A&M and Missouri round out conference foes in the top 25 as they enter the season 21st and 23rd, respectively.

The Wildcat women sit out of the top 25 by 8.75 while the men are 10.91 back of 25th Virginia Tech.

KSU INVITATIONAL HISTORY
Throughout the history of the KSU Invitational, the Wildcats have etched their names in the meet record book numerous times. Currently, 10 KSU women and six men hold event records for the competition. For the women, current Wildcat Loren Groves captured the weight throw top mark last season with a toss of 67-10.25. Despite being the only current K-State members to have a record, since 2000, Wildcats have earned a combined eight event records for the men and women.

During last year’s KSU Invitational, K-State captured 10 event titles, including three NCAA qualifying marks. As Groves took first in the weight throw, now-senior Laci Heller finished second with a provisional mark of 65-00.50. During the second day, Kaylene Wagner won the women’s high jump with a height of 5-10.75.

Current Wildcats Morgan Bonds, Jason Collett and Mike Myer each took wins in their respective events. Bonds won the women’s 600Y in 1:25.36; Collett ran a time of 1:56.32 in the men’s 800M; and Myer earned his first win as a Wildcat in the 60M with a mark of 6.90.