Wildcats Face Staunch Competition in Ames

Jan. 29, 2014K-State AthleticsMANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Track and Field hits the road this week for the Bill Bergan Invitational in Ames, Iowa, the first multi-day meet for the Wildcats this indoor season. Coming off a performance last weekend that saw 17 first-place finishes for the Wildcats, K-State will be facing their staunchest competition this season to date. Along with host Iowa State, K-State will compete in a scored meet against last season’s men’s Big 12 Indoor Champions Texas, as well as quality Big Ten opponents in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Rounding out the meet’s participants are North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota and South Dakota State. The invitational, held in Iowa State’s Cyclone Sports Complex, kicks off Thursday with the men’s heptathlon, as senior All-American Devin Dick will be the lone Wildcat competing in the multi-day event. Competition will then continue into Friday with the women’s pentathlon, men’s heptathlon and two field events, before wrapping up with the rest of the track and field events on Saturday. This meet will be the first of three trips to Ames for the Wildcats, which includes the Big 12 Indoor Championships. Last year’s invitational saw the men and women both finish third behind nationally ranked top-10 opponents. Action is expected to get started at noon Thursday. More information on the meet, including live results, is available on www.cyclones.com and can be found under the track and field schedule.

#KStateTF Quick Hits

•  The USTFCCCA released its first official rankings of the 2014 indoor season this past Tuesday, as the Wildcat men and women, who were ranked No. 39 and No. 35, respectively, in the preseason rankings, both dropped a couple spots. For the men, they remain in the national top-50 with their No. 47 ranking, while the women dropped three spots to No. 38.

•  Four of the nine opponents K-State face this weekend has one or both of their men’s and women’s squads fall in the Division I top-25. On the men’s side, Wisconsin checks in at No. 4, while Minnesota and Texas rank at No. 15 and No. 19, respectively. The Badgers will be the highest-ranked team the Wildcat men have faced this season – No. 10 Oklahoma State in the Wildcat Invitational was the previous high. The defending Big 12 champion Longhorns, meanwhile, boast two Preseason Bowerman Watch list candidates in thrower Ryan Crouser and heptathlete Johannes Hock.
• For the women, the Longhorns hold the No. 2-ranked squad in the country and are led by another Bowerman candidate in sprinter Ashley Spencer. Also cracking the top-25 are the Cyclones at No. 24. Both squads are two of six schools in the Big 12, including K-State, that are ranked in the national top-50.
•  After competing against China’s Zheng Xingjuan the past couple meets, the Wildcats women’s high jumpers get another tough opponent in South Dakota’s Megan Glisar. The senior holds the fourth best mark in the nation at 1.83m/6-00.00. Alyx Treasure’s season-best mark of 1.80m/5-10.75 is the 13th-best jump in DI, while Rachel Proteau sits at 34th with a mark of 1.76m//5-09.25.
•  In the men’s pole vault, the trio of Kyle Wait, Cameron Savage and Tommy Brady has continued to be a consistent source of success for the Wildcats. Both Savage and Brady have already set new personal bests on the season, while Wait has held the one of the top marks in the Big 12 since early January’s Bill Easton Classic. Including Wait and Savage, this week’s invitational has five of the top-25 pole vaulters in DI competing. Minnesota’s Zach Siegmeier is the highest-ranked at No. 14, while Texas’ Reese Watson and North Dakota State’s Andy Lillejord are tied for 16th and 23rd, respectively.     

Heptathlon and Pentathlon Bring New Action

• The K-State combined events athletes will get their first crack at multi-events competition since this season’s Carol Robinson Pentathlon.  Devin Dick, who posted strong numbers in the December meet, will compete in his first heptathlon of the year. Last season saw the Hutchinson, Kan. native finish second among a strong field with a score of 5,465 points. Competition this season will be just as tough, as Andy Lillejord holds the second-highest score in the pentathlon in DI competition with 5,628 points. On the women’s side, Erica Twiss will look to continue to build upon her exceptional start to the season. Already with the eighth best score in DI, Twiss’ only pentathlon this year saw her set a new personal best in score as well as in the high jump. Also competing for the Wildcats among others is Joslyn Barnes, who at last year’s Bill Bergan Invitational finished second to current volunteer assistant coach Bettie Wade.

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)

  • Men
AthleteEventMarkDivision IBig 12
Carlos Rodriguez60m6.7222nd2nd
Zach RileyHigh Jump2.15m/7-05.0018th4th
Kyle WaitPole Vault5.22m/17-01.50T-23rdT-2nd
Cameron SavagePole Vault5.22m/17-01.50T-23rdT-2nd
Jharyl BowryLong Jump7.64m/25-00.756th1st
Tyris JeffersonLong Jump7.32m/24-00.2539th5th
Ryan HershbergerShot Put18.46m/60-06.7527th4th
  • Women
AthleteEventMarkDivision IBig 12
Sonia Gaskin800m2:08.6010th1st
Erica Twiss60m Hurdles8.3317th3rd
Alyx TreasureHigh Jump1.80m/5-10.7513th2nd
Rachel ProteauHigh Jump1.76m/5-09.2534th4th
Joslyn BarnesHigh Jump1.75m/5-08.7539th5th
Dani WintersShot Put15.85m/52-00.0026th3rd
Sara SavatovicWeight Throw20.09m/65-11.0016th1st
Erica TwissPentathlon39278th1st
Sarah KolmerPentathlon365828th2nd
Joslyn BarnesPentathlon358837th3rd

Athlete Spotlight: Alyssa Kelly

•  Coming off a personal best performance in the long jump, Kelly has gotten off to great start in her sophomore campaign. The Overland Park, Kan. native has been one of the most active Wildcats this season, competing in four overall events to date. She holds team-best marks in the triple jump and 60 meters and has also competed in the 200 meters. Both her marks in the long jump (5.77m/18-11.25) and triple jump (11.36m/37-03.25) also rank in the top-10 in the Big 12 as well.

What’s Next?

•  The Wildcats split off into two groups, sending one set of athletes to Lincoln, Neb., for the Sevigne Husker Invitational, while the other set heads to the site of this year’s Indoor NCAAs in Albuquerque, N.M., for the New Mexico Classic. Both meets are scheduled to run from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8.