Six Wildcats Earn Ticket to NCAA Indoor Championships

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State will travel a contingent of six Wildcats to the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend as the declaration lists were announced Monday evening. Three men and three women qualified, including Big 12 champions Scott Sellers and Loren Groves. Seniors Laci Heller and Donniece Parrish and first-time qualifiers Mortiz Cleve and Rok Derzanic also made the cut for the trip to Fayetteville, Ark.  

 

Junior Sellers, the reigning outdoor high jump champion, will make his third trip to the NCAA indoor meet and fifth to a championship event. The Katy, Texas, native is the standing school-record holder after he finished with a height of 7-06.00 to win the Big 12 gold two weeks ago in Lincoln, Neb. The four-time All-American finished third in the high jump at last year’s meet and ninth as a freshman. Sellers, currently ranked first among collegiate jumpers, will compete in a field of 16, including five conference members.

 

Freshmen Cleve and Derzanic will compete in the two-day men’s heptathlon as each qualified with the eighth and 10th best marks in the field of 16. Cleve’s last combined events competition resulted in a silver medal at the Big 12 Championships, as he finished with the second-best mark in K-State history. Cleve’s total of 5,655 points automatically qualified the Bochum, Germany, native for his first nationals. Derzanic, of Artice, Slovenia, finished third at the conference meet in his first-ever completion of the heptathlon. Derzanic captured the bronze with an NCAA provisional total of 5,594 points to notch the third-best total in KSU history.

 

Groves and Heller each earned a ticket to the championships in the women’s weight throw after a season that found a new personal best for each. Groves’ top mark, which is the fourth best in the country, was a school-record toss of 70-03.00 and earned her the Big 12 weight throw crown. The junior will be making her second-consecutive appearance at nationals, as she earned her first All-America accolade as a sophomore.

 

Heller will travel to the indoor meet for the third time in her Wildcat career, as she earns the spot from a 66-10.00 performance at the Air Force Open on February 9th. The Meriden, Kan., native sits with the 10th best throw in the nation and will aim to earn her first indoor All-America honor. Heller’s previous efforts at the indoor championships earned her 10th place (63-00.25; 2006) and 18th (61-08.25; 2005).

 

Senior Parrish will be making her first nationals appearance, as the Florissant, Mo., native will compete in the women’s 400M. The senior earned her spot with a school-record run of 53.15 to place second at the Big 12 Championships. Parrish earned four NCAA provisional marks this season with her first at the Sevigne Husker Invitational with a run of 53.95.

 

More information regarding the 2008 NCAA Championships, including a complete list of qualifiers, can be found on www.ncaasports.com.