Wildcats Chalk Up Seven Titles at Home Invitational

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State men’s track and field team had a strong showing at the Wildcat Invitational, as K-State walked away with seven victories on Friday. A competitive invitational high jump opened the meet, while the Wildcat men closed the evening with a 4x400M relay and high jump win.


During the men’s invitational high jump, a battle ensued as six of the seven competitors cleared the seven-foot mark. Wildcat junior Scott Sellers tied his top mark of the season when he cleared a height of 7-04.50, tying the meet record. He finished second to Jesse Williams, a 2006 USC graduate, as he won in a jumpoff after clearing 7-05.75 on the fourth attempt.


A trio of Wildcat men captured their first indoor victories since donning the Purple and White. Eric Thomas opened the Wildcat Invitational with a win in the men’s weight throw with a personal-best toss of 54-10.75. The Hays, Kan., native threw nearly three feet better than his previous best from the KSU All-Comers meet in December. Thomas also took third in the shot put with a launch of 49-04.25.


Freshman Emmanuel Niezer competed in his first long jump competition as a Wildcat and earned his first win. Niezer had his best mark on his first jump as he recorded a distance of 23-09.00, finishing over a foot better than second-place Calvin Wilson of Butler County CC.


In the standard competition of the high jump, K-State freshman Michael Healey won his first event after clearing the 6-08.25 bar on the second attempt. Alex Pyle of Emporia State finished second at the same height. The pair missed on each attempt at 6-10.25.


Tying his second-best run in the men’s 60M, junior Mike Myer finished first on Friday evening with a time of 6.84. He earned his second win of the season as he finished ahead of freshman Nelson Onyegbu, who placed third with a time of 6.98. Freshmen Desmond McGuire (7.03) and Niezer (7.25) each ran personal bests to take fifth and ninth, respectively.


Sam James and Jason Collett continued with their competitive one-two punch in the mid-distance events, as they finished first and second, respectively, in the 600Y. James took the title after crossing the line at 1:12.65, while Collett had a run of 1:14.70. The event is the third time the duo has taken the top two spots in either a 600Y or 800M this season, while they also finished alongside each other (fifth and sixth) at the Arkansas Invitational 800M last week.


The men’s 4x400M team raced to a seven-second win with a time of 3:21.77, defeating Cloud County CC who clocked a 3:28.65. Rok Derzanic ran as the first leg and handed off to Sellers while in third place in the first heat. Sellers pulled the team up one place before James pushed ahead in his 400M leg. Collett finished the race for the Wildcat A’ team while maintaining a safe lead on Cloud County.


Adam Fretwell vaulted to his first individual win in the pole vault, as he cleared 14-01.25 on his second attempt. The junior finished ahead of freshman Moritz Cleve, who also passed over the height but on his third attempt.


Running in his first mile of the year, junior Alex Umberger took the runner-up position with a time of 4:27.52. He finished a shade behind Julius Bor of Cloud County CC, as he won in a clocking of 4:27.09. Freshman Mike Sickafoose placed fourth in a run of 4:31.17. Sickafoose, from Colorado Springs, Colo., also competed in his first 1000M event, finishing second with a time of 2:38.93.


The women will compete on the second day of the Wildcat Invitational on Saturday with action starting at 12:15 p.m. from Ahearn Field House. Complete results will be made available on www.kstatesports.com following the conclusion of the meet.