Rovelto, Jones and Bryan Honored by USTFCCCA

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Head coach Cliff Rovelto, as well as junior Akela Jones and freshman Christoff Bryan were all honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in their annual regional awards, announced earlier Friday.

Honored for an outstanding 2014-15 campaign that saw the men's and women's squads combine for 11 entries into next weekend's NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships, Rovelto was named Midwest Region Women's Coach of the Year, while Jones for the women and Bryan for the men were each awarded Midwest Field Athlete of Year.

Already named the Women's Coach of the Year by the Big 12 earlier this week, Rovelto is now a six-time Midwest Regional Coach of the Year as well. He is currently in his 23rd season as head of the Wildcat track and field program and most recently led the women to indoor program-bests in regards to both finish (second) and points (132.50) at last weekend's Big 12 Indoor Championships in Ames, Iowa. Along with the impressive conference finish, the women's season-long success indoors under Rovelto has been, arguably, the best-ever in the Big 12 era, as they have nabbed nine qualifying bids to NCAAs (200m, 60H, 4x400, high jump (3x), long jump, shot put and pentathlon), as well broken a total of six school records (60m, 200m, 60H, 4x400, long jump and shot put).

With his latest accolade, Rovelto adds to a stocked cabinet of awards that includes two conference Outdoor Women's Coach of the Year honors (2001 & 2002) and being named the USTCA Women's Outdoor National Coach of the Year in 2001.

For Jones and Bryan, the duo swept the regional field awards for the first time in program history. Bryan, whose height cleared of 2.28m/7-05.75 is currently tops in Division I, is the third K-State high jumper since 2007 and first since Erik Kynard in June of 2013 to be named Field Athlete of the Year - Kynard that year swept the indoor and outdoor honors. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Bryan has excelled in his first year at K-State with his season-best mark ranking third in school history. Prior to joining the Wildcats, Bryan experienced considerable success including winning the U-18 high jump gold at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (CAC) in 2012 and he is also a three-time Caribbean Free Trade Agreement Games (CARIFTA) champion.

Bryan will compete alongside teammate Nate Gipson at NCAAs next weekend in the high jump.

On the women's side, Jones earned her second indoor accolade this week, as she was named Big 12 Co-Performer of the Year this past Wednesday. The first year junior-transfer from Oklahoma Baptist has dominated competition all season-long, most recently earning the conference championship high point scorer of the meet to go along with a conference title in the long jump. Competing in three events at NCAAs next weekend (60H, high jump and long jump), Jones finished the indoor season with the No. 1 long jump mark (6.67m/21-0.50 - school record), No. 2 pentathlon mark (4,402 - not converted), No. 8 high jump mark (1.85m/6-00.75) and No. 8 hurdles time (8.14 - school record) in Division I.

K-State will finish up the 2014-15 indoor season next weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the NCAA Championships. For more information on K-State and the championship meet, visit www.k-statesports.com.