Wildcats Driven by Personal Bests in Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Kansas State closed the Arkansas Invitational with 15 personal bests, including the school’s third-best pole vault effort from sophomore Alexandra Gonzalez. The native of Puerto Rico cleared the bar at 13-02.25 to become only the third Wildcat in school history to reach 13 feet. Gonzalez placed fifth out of 21 competitors, as the winner, April Steiner, went out at 13-10.00.


Junior Scott Sellers won his second-consecutive Arkansas Invitational high jump title after capturing the win on Friday with a height of 7-02.25. Competing in the high jump for the first time this season outside of the Carol Robinson Winter Pentathlon, Sellers took the victory over Alain Bailey of host Arkansas (7-00.25). Wildcat freshman Michael Healey took fifth in the competition with a mark of 6-06.25.


K-State had a number of second-place finishers, including in both the men’s and women’s 200M. Mike Myer crossed the tape at 21.71 in his first running of the event this year. He took second to Baylor’s Courtney Thomas who finished in 21.65. For the women, Donniece Parrish finished 0.01 from an NCAA provisional mark after running a time of 24.11, the second best mark of her career. Wildcats Marnyka Honeycutt and Tiara Walpool finished 12th and 13th with times of 25.15 and 25.21, respectively.


The women walked away with two runner-up performances in distance events from Wildcats competing in their first races of the year. Junior Liliani Mendez raced to second place in the women’s championship mile with a time of 4:57.51. Junior Emily Dittemore finished seventh in the same race running a time of 5:06.91 for her first career mark in the mile. In the women’s 3000M championship run, sophomore Beverly Ramos clocked a time of 9:49.20 to finish second to Nichole Jones of Baylor (9:45.22).


With a personal-best showing in the women’s triple jump, senior Thomaida Polydorou finished fourth. The native of Limassol, Cyprus, had a top jump of 40-04.25, beating her previous career leap of 40-00.50 from the Husker Invitational in 2006.


Sam James and Jason Collett placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the men’s 800M. James had a time of 1:52.95 to mark his second best run in the event; Collett, competing in the same heat at James, had a mark of 1:54.00. Freshman Mike Sickafoose finished 23rd of 41 competitors with a personal-best 2:01.14. Sickafoose also ran a PR in the men’s mile with a time of 4:24.52 to take 10th. Danny Schneider finished fifth in the mile with a career-best of 4:17.98, bettering his previous mark of 4:20.58.


Freshman Moritz Cleve and junior Adam Fretwell took fourth and fifth in the consolation run of the men’s 60M hurdles. Cleve finished the preliminary heat with a personal best time of 8.41, but had a faster run of 8.25 in the final race. Fretwell finished the finals in 8.49 while running 8.53 in the prelims. Cleve also recorded a PR in the men’s long jump with a leap of 22-00.75 to finish 11th.


Freshman Nancy Harrington vaulted to a PR with a height of 11-06.50 to finish 12th in the women’s pole vault. Other Wildcats with personal bests include sophomore Lauren Fisher in the women’s 400M (58.10), freshman Desmond McGuire in the men’s 60M (7.13) and freshman Annika Schoenebeck in the women’s long jump (17-06.75).


The Wildcats return home to host the Wildcat Invitational on Jan. 18-19. The men will compete on Friday while also hosting an invitational high jump, while the women will contend on Saturday. For complete coverage of the K-State track and field teams, please visit www.kstatesports.com.