K-State Helps Big 12 Win Conference Challenge

LINCOLN, Neb. Kansas State secured seven event titles as the Big 12 Conference defeated the Mountain West Conference in the first-ever Conference Challenge, 223-144, on Saturday afternoon at the Devaney Sports Center.


The Big 12 Conference was represented by Kansas State, Missouri and host Nebraska, while the Mountain West Conference was represented by Air Force and Colorado State. Since the Big 12 had one more team, a secret draw was held on Friday night to determine which two schools would score in each event with the third school held out of the scoring for that event. K-State scored a total of 64 points on the afternoon, with the Wildcat women recording 36 points and the men tallying 28.


Senior Kaylene Wagner won her fourth straight high jump title, tying her season-best and Big 12 leading clearance of 6-00.50. The product of Goleta, Calif., entered the weekend third in the nation with her NCAA Indoor Championship automatic qualifying effort of 6-00.50 from the KSU All-Comers.


Sophomore Laci Heller stood atop the women’s weight throw podium for the first time this season with a winning toss of 62-05.50. The native of Meriden, Kan., has now won 16 career weight throw crowns and has surpassed the NCAA provisional standard in the event in 19 of her 22 career competitions.


Sophomore Scott Sellers won his first collegiate triple jump competition with a distance of 48-04.00. The Katy, Texas native has automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the high jump with an NCAA-leading height of 7-04.25.


With Sellers competing in the triple jump, senior Lamar Garrett took advantage of the opportunity to win his first career high jump title as a member of the Wildcats. The product of Oklahoma City, Okla., cleared a height of 6-09.50 to win the event. Garrett has a season-best in the event of 6-10.25 during the KSU All-Comers.


On the track, junior Morgan Bonds and senior Monique Coleman won the 800- and 200-meter runs, respectively. Bonds broke the tape in the 800 in an NCAA provisional time of 2:08.95. It is her second win at the distance this season and the Hutchinson, Kan., product has won every race she has run this season (600-yard, 800-meter and 1,000-meter). Last weekend at the Arkansas Invitational, Bonds provisionally qualified in the event with the second-fastest time in school history of 2:07.87.


Coleman captured her first win in the 200 this season in a K-State season-best clocking of 24.74. The Richmond, Calif., native held the previous Wildcat best of the 2007 of 25.08 from last weekend’s Arkansas Invitational.


The women’s 4x400-meter relay team of Coleman, freshman Laura Smith, senior Candice Mills and Bonds crossed the tape in first with a time of 3:50.14. It is the fastest time by a women’s K-State 4x400 relay team this season.


Kansas State will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., next weekend for the Roger Cox Multis and the Dan DeHart Invitational, Jan. 25-27 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.