Cleve Wins Big 12 Heptathlon

COLLEGE STATION, Texas Last season Moritz Cleve finished second in the men’s heptathlon at the Big 12 Conference Championship. This year he defeated the defending champion and nearly set the school record in the process of winning his first conference title.


Cleve climbed up from behind on the final day to get the win with an automatic qualifying mark of 5,783 points. The point total was a new personal record and just three points shy of the Kansas State record. He said he was aware of how close to the school record but also praised the competition for a strong race.


“I wanted the school record,” Cleve said of his performance. “I beat the defending champion and it was awesome. After the 60 meter hurdles, I thought that it was going to be really close.”


Cleve set four personal records in the event three coming in individual events and the fourth for his overall point total. He said improving in so many areas he is peaking at a good time and hopes to continue posting strong numbers at the NCAA Championship in two weeks.


“I’m ready to go,” Cleve said. “The pole vault was the biggest improvement, but for me having more consistency in the long jump is great. To jump consistently over seven meters is the biggest point to me."


Cleve vaulted 15-11.00 improving his personal record by eight inches. He also PR’ed in the 60 meters and shot put on Friday.


The Wildcat men finished 10th overall with 35 points over the two days of action. The K-State women finished tied for seventh with a point total of 52. The Texas men came away with the Big 12 Championship with 115 points, and the No. 1-ranked Texas A&M women ran away with the title with 130 points winning by 26.5 points.


Joining Cleve on the podium in the heptathlon from K-State was freshman Mantas Silkauskas with 5,444 points. That mark improved his personal best and is a provisional qualifier. Adam Fretwell finished 12th for the Wildcats in the heptathlon with 5,206 points.


Senior high jumper Scott Sellers failed to defense his title in the event finishing second behind Raymond Harris of Texas. Sellers jumped 7-00.25 to earn eight points for the Wildcat men. Michael Healey finished 10th for the Wildcats in the event with his leap of 6-06.75. In the women’s high jump, Cassie Styers finished 12th with her jump of 5-04.25


In the other field event K-State competed in on Saturday, TiAra Walpool finished third in the women’s triple jump. Her leap of 42-07.00 earned the Wildcats six team points. It also was a provisional qualifying mark and a personal record. Walpool flew passed her previous best by more than 19 inches.


Senior sprinter Mike Myer advanced to the final in both individual events he competed in finishing seventh in the 60 meters to start the day. Myer stumbled out of the blocks and ran to a time of 6.97 seconds. He finished seventh in the 200 meters with his time of 21.43 seconds.


Liliani Mendez earned six points for the Wildcat women finishing third in the mile run. Her time of 4:42.02 was a new personal record and a provisional qualifying mark. Mendez kept pace for three-fourths of the race before Colorado’s Jenny Barringer and Sally Kipyego pulled away. The two rivals ran at the fastest pace in collegiate history as Barringer set a new collegiate record at 4:25.91.


In other distance action, Beverly Ramos finished third in the 3,000 meters with her time of 9:23.82 shaving nearly 17 seconds off her personal best time. Her time also puts her in the mix to qualify for the NCAA Championship in two weeks breaking the provisional mark.


After posting the second fastest time in the 800 meters in preliminaries, freshman Boglarka Bozzay nearly repeated the feat in the final to earn six points for the women’s squad. Bozzay completed the race in 2:09.92 to finish third. For the men in the 800 meters Jason Collett finished fourth in 1:50.43 earning five points for the men’s cause. His time also was a new personal record besting his previous best of 1:50.90 set this year at the ISU Classic.


Kansas State will have its national qualifiers return to College Station for the NCAA Indoor Championship in two weeks March 13-14. The Wildcats are not scheduled to participate in any meets between now and then at this time.