Wildcats Close Regular Season at Home

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats return home to Ahearn Field House this weekend to play host for the KSU Open on Saturday. K-State will welcome competitors from around the region in preparation for the postseason with conference championships approaching next week.

Competition begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with field events as running events will begin at 2 p.m. at Ahearn. After taking last week off, K-State’s throwers will be back in action as well. They will join a full slate of Wildcats competing in the KSU Open.

Last year at the KSU Open, the Wildcats claimed six event titles while Loren Groves set a meet record in the weight throw. K-State swept the top three spots in the women’s weight throw in 2008 and have done so in two of three home events so far this season.

The KSU Open will provide the final opportunity for the Wildcats to improve heading into the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championship in College Station, Texas. The conference championship will be hosted by Texas A&M at the newly renovated Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium from February 27-28.

Smooth as Silk-auskas
Freshman Mantas Silkauskas made a strong showing in his first career heptathlon as a Wildcat at the ISU Classic. The native Lithuanian bested the field by nearly 300 points posting an NCAA provisional qualifying mark at 5,406.

Silkauskas won three of the events in the heptathlon running a personal best 6.83 in the 60 meters -- winning by alost half a second. He won the long jump with a leap of 23-03.50, which was almost two feet longer than second place. Silkauskas also won the 60 meter hurdles clocking in at 8.12. He finished third in the shot put and high jump, fourth in the pole vault and second in the 1,000 meters.

Jumping to Nationals
Kansas State marked two more provisional qualifying marks in jumping events at the ISU Classic. Senior high jumper Scott Sellers posted his third provisional mark in as many performances with a leap of 7-01.50.

On the women’s side, Nina Kokot posted a long jump of 20-03.50 in her first career indoor long jump. Kokot finished 12th at last year’s outdoor Midwest Regional after redshirting during the indoor season. She has participated in sprints at meets prior to the ISU Classic this season in preparation for the long jump.

With Kokot’s provisional mark, K-State now has three student-athletes who have posted provisional marks for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Texas A&M. Michael Healey also has reached the mark in the high jump.