K-State Hosts Inaugural DeLoss Dodds Invitational

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Track and Field is back in action this Saturday, Jan. 24, hosting the inaugural DeLoss Dodds Invitational at Ahearn Field House. The last home meet before hitting the road for the next three weeks, the Wildcats will compete in a triple dual against Big 12 foe Oklahoma State, as well as the University of Tulsa.

Action this weekend is set to begin at 11 a.m. with the women’s weight throw and continue into the afternoon on the track. Live results will be available the day of the meet courtesy of www.heartlandtiming.com with a link to available on the K-State Track and Field schedule page under the meet’s respective tab. Up-to-the-minute results can also be found by following @kstate_gameday under #KStateTF and for further information on the meet itself, including the meet schedule and heat sheets, visit the track homepage at www.k-statesports.com

What to Watch For…

This weekend’s meet honors former Wildcat standout student-athlete, coach and athletics director DeLoss Dodds. Dodds, who along with serving as athletic director from 1977-81, both competed and coached K-State Track and Field, playing a major role in helping the Wildcat men’s program gain national notoriety. During his time with track and field, Dodds captured three Big Eight titles as a student-athlete, as well as coached the men’s cross country and track and field squads to a combined eight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships in his 12 seasons as coach. Formally announced this past October, further information on the honoring of Dodds can be found here

As for competition this Saturday, K-State will look to build off a solid showing at last weekend’s KSU-KU-WSU Triangular that saw the Wildcats men’s and women’s squads combine to win the in-state showdown. Both Oklahoma State and Tulsa will look to provide a healthy dose of competition for the ‘Cats, with the Cowboys, in particular, already having paid a visit to Manhattan in December for the K-State Winter Invitational. Oklahoma State also boasts an impressive all-around squad with its men’s and women’s teams ranking no. 31 and 13, respectively, according to the Preseason USTFCCCA DI Rankings. Meanwhile, the Wildcats have the no. 68-ranked men’s team and no. 12-ranked women’s team Tulsa’s men’s team is ranked no. 81 heading into this meet. 

#KStateTF Quick Hits

• Thanks to the combined winning effort over the Shockers and Jayhawks last week, both the Wildcat men’s and women’s teams took top-10 spots in the first Track and Field News Collegiate Dual-Meet Rankings of the year. The women, who improved to 2-0, rank third in the country, while the men, also 2-0, placed no. 10 overall. Both teams’ rankings are notable compared to their fellow Big 12 schools as well, with the women holding the highest spot of any school in the Big 12 and the men being one of only two schools in the conference to hold a top-10 spot. Further information on the Wildcats’ fast start in dual competition can be found here.

• The Wildcat women’s throws group has opened the season rolling on all cylinders with Sara Savatovic, Janee' Kassanavoid and Dani Winters all holding top-50 Division I marks in their respective events. Savatovic, who has won two-straight in the hammer throw, is no. 18 in the nation in the weight throw to date, while Kassanavoid also cracked the DI top-50 (no. 39) thanks to her third-straight consecutive PR effort. Winters, on the other hand, has already PRed in both the weight throw and shot put this season, with her shot put mark of 16.19m/53-01.50, in particular, being the 11th-best mark in DI so far. All three throwers hold top-five weight throw marks in the Big 12 as well.

• Lastly, an early theme for the Wildcats this season has been the success of several newcomers on both the men’s and women’s side. For the women, along with the aforementioned Kassanavoid, a transfer from Johnson County CC, they have already had four new additions crack the K-State indoor top-10 in their respective events, including school record showings from freshman A'Keyla Mitchell in the 60m and 200m and junior-transfer Akela Jones in the 60H. Not to mention along with Jones (60m, 60H, HJ, LJ), Kassanavoid (WT) and Mitchell (60m, 200m), freshmen Nija Collier (TJ), Rhizlane Siba (HJ) and junior-transfer Kim Williamson (HJ) all hold top-50 DI marks in their respective events.

On the men’s side, freshmen Christoff Bryan, Thilina Karunaratne, Nate Gipson and Terrell Smith have all began the season with standout performances. Smith, on the track, has cracked the K-State indoor top-10 in both the 60m and 200m and holds the 14th-fastest DI time in the 200m at 21.57 seconds. For the other three, all have competed in the high jump with varying degrees of success. Karunaratne, a native of Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, kicked off his K-State career with a victory in the event at the Winter Invitational. Meanwhile, Bryan and Gipson finished 1-2 at last week’s Triangular, cracking the DI top-10 in the process, with Bryan, in particular, debuting to a cleared height of 2.25m/7-04.50 – tied for sixth-best in school history and the second best mark in all of Division I.

Rankings N’at
(Please Note: Only marks in the Top-50 DI and Top-20 Big 12 are displayed according to TFRRS – converted marks are not used)


EventAthleteMarkDivision IBig 12
60mTerrell Smith6.7640th6th
200mTerrell Smith21.5714th3rd

Carlos Rodriguez21.8129th6th
400mChristopher Campbell48.6534th2nd
800mLogan Smith1:53.9931st2nd

Kain Ellis1:54.3841st5th
High JumpChristoff Bryan2.25m/7-04.502nd1st

Nate Gipson2.19m/7-02.256th3rd

Zack Riley2.10m/6-10.75T-30thT-6th

Miles Bearden2.10m/6-10.75T-30thT-6th

Thilina Karunaratne2.10m/6-10.75T-30thT-6th
Pole VaultTommy Brady5.07m/16-07.5041st7th
Long JumpDevin Field7.48m/24-06.5012th1st

Tyris Jefferson7.24m/23-09.0037th2nd
Triple JumpDevin Field15.43m/50-07.5012th1st


EventAthleteMarkDivision IBig 12
60mA'Keyla Mitchell7.4018th3rd

Akela Jones7.4732nd5th
200mA'Keyla Mitchell23.963rd1st
400mTia' Gamble55.7217th3rd
800mSonia Gaskin2:08.123rd1st

Erica Twiss2:14.3237th3rd
MileMary Frances Donnelly4:56.8238th2nd
60HAkela Jones8.172nd1st

Erica Twiss8.319th2rd
High JumpRhizlane Siba1.81m/5-11.256th1st

Akela Jones1.80m/5-10.758th2nd

Kim Williamson1.78m/5-10.0017th3rd

Alyx Treasure1.73m/5-08.0039th6th
Long JumpAkela Jones6.33m/20-09.254th1st

Erica Twiss5.99m/19-08.0021st4th
Triple JumpAlyssa Kelly12.46m/40-10.5016th1st

Nija Collier12.28m/40-03.5030th2nd
Shot PutDani Winters16.19m/53-01.5011th2nd
Weight ThrowSara Savatovic19.59m/64-03.2518th1st

Janee' Kassanavoid18.72m/61-05.0039th4th

Dani Winters18.57m/60-11.2543rd5th
PentathlonErica Twiss41141st1st

Joslyn Barnes358211th2nd

Sarah Kolmer349517th3rd

What’s Next?

The Wildcats travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico next Saturday, Jan. 31, for the New Mexico Team Invitational – their first of three-straight road meets. K-State will not return home until the third week of February to host the K-State Open for its final meet of the regular season.