Track and Field Signs Three for 2008-09 Season

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State track and field and cross country teams have signed three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, as announced by head coach Cliff Rovelto on Tuesday. Andre McDonald will join the men’s team in jumps and hurdles, while Emilee Morris inks with the women as a mid-distance and distance runner and Jacquelyne Leffler signs as a thrower.


McDonald will join the Wildcats out of Park Hill High in Kansas City, Mo., where he titled the high jump and long jump at the 4A State Missouri meet as a junior. He has recorded personal bests of 7-00.50 in the high jump, while adding a mark of 23-10.00 in the long jump. McDonald is also a four-time AAU Junior Olympics national champion as he titled the 2006 decathlon, 2004 55M hurdles and long jump and the 2001 long jump. McDonald, who also had interest in Arkansas, Michigan and Nebraska, additionally is a three-time AAU Junior Olympic runner-up and four-time school-record holder (triple jump, high jump, 110M hurdles and 110M shuttle hurdle relay). He has obtained PRs of 13.96 in the 110M hurdles, 48-02.75 in the triple jump and 6,562 in the decathlon.


“Andre is a very versatile athlete who will be able to contribute in a number of events,” Rovelto said. “He is a valuable addition to our program.”


Morris signed with K-State as a senior out of Hutchinson High in Hutchinson, Kan. The distance runner placed third at the 2007 5A State Cross Country meet with a 4K time of 15:08. She had a streak of three first-place finishes during the course of last year’s cross country season and her name litters the school-record books in the sport. During her junior year with the Salthawks track team, Morris finished second at State with a time of 2:19.84 in the 800M and took the bronze in the 1600M in a run of 5:16.06.


“Emilee is relatively new to the distance events and brings good leg speed to those events (58.7 400M),” cross country head coach Mike Smith said. “We are excited about her potential in both cross country and on the track.”


Leffler will join the Wildcat throwing crew that has produced two All-Americans in recent years. The Northern Heights High (Allen, Kan.) senior is a three-time 3A State champion in both the shot put and discus. During the 2007 year, Leffler threw a toss of 46-8.00 in the shot put to capture the 3A state record. She also holds personal bests of 151-8.00 in the discus, 142-2.00 in the javelin and 159-11.00 at the hammer throw.


“Jacquelyne is an extremely versatile and quality thrower,” Rovelto said. “She will contribute both indoors and outdoors in multiple events.”