Cats Transition to Outdoor Season

This Week For Kansas State
ESU Spring Twilight
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Zola Witten Track/Fran Welch Stadium Emporia, Kan.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State will start nine straight weeks of outdoor track competition this Thursday at the ESU Spring Twilight. This will be the third straight year K-State has appeared at this meet. Last year, Loren Groves and Coby Cost regionally qualified in the hammer throw and discus and Laci Heller qualified in the hammer throw.

Last Time Outdoors
A season ago, Kansas State earned three All-America citations of its 11 representatives at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The three athletes earning the honor were Candice Mills (women’s long jump), Scott Sellers (men’s high jump) and Christian Smith (men’s mile).

The women notched a fourth-place finish during the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Waco, Texas, while the men placed 10th. The women earned their first individual outdoor Big 12 titles since the 2003 season as Laci Heller (hammer throw), Breanna Eveland (pole vault) and Marianne Schlachter (triple jump) secured their first outdoor Big 12 crowns. 

During the Midwest Regional two weeks later in Austin, Texas, the teams each finished seventh on the strength of event titles from Eveland (women’s pole vault) and Josh Scheer (men’s javelin).  

Sellers Ranked Among IAAF Elite
Sophomore Scott Sellers is ranked 43rd in the high jump according to the March 5 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world rankings. Sellers will likely climb in the next set of rankings on March 19 because of his third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

K-State Welcomes Back Three for Outdoor Campaign
After a full season on the sidelines due to a redshirt year and/or exhausted indoor eligibility, seniors Kyle Lancaster, TJ Staab and Shunte Thomas are set to put a wrap on their K-State careers during the 2007 outdoor season.

Lancaster, a native of Fort Scott, Kan., is a three-time outdoor All-American and owns the outdoor school record in the high jump at 7-07.00.

During the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Lancaster registered a second-place finish with a clearance of 7-06.00.

Staab reached the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the shot put and has a personal outdoor best of 59-06.25, which ranks sixth in school history. Staab will make a bid to become the first thrower for the Wildcats to surpass 60 feet since 1985 when Andrew Gillam set the school record at 64-07.50. 

Thomas regionally qualified in four events last season (200, 400, 4x100 and 4x400) and finished fourth at the 2006 Big 12 Championships with a time of 52.83. The product of Coral Springs, Fla. is a 2005 outdoor All-American in the 400 and has the fourth-fastest time in school history at 52.55.

Heller Wins First Hammer Title, Second Big 12 Title
Junior Laci Heller won the first Big 12 individual title for the Wildcats in just over two years, winning the hammer throw with a toss of 193-07. The native of Meriden, Kan., entered the finals with a leading toss of 191-07, but was surpassed by Slata Tarasova of Kansas. Heller needed her final throw of the afternoon to win the event.

Heller becomes the first Wildcat to win the hammer and weight throw titles in the same calendar year since Renetta Seiler accomplished the feat in 1999. Heller entered this weekend ranked number one in the Midwest Regional with a personal-best of 202-01.

Schlachter Wins First Big 12 Outdoor Title
Junior Marianne Schlachter won the first triple jump Big 12 title for the Wildcats since Vannita Kinard won the first in 1997. Schlachter skipped to a winning distance of 42-00.00 during the 2006 Big 12 Championships in Waco, Texas, to earn the title on her fifth jump of the competition.

Schlachter has a personal outdoor best of 43-05.00 during the UTEP Springtime Invitational on April 1.

Indoor Season Summary
K-State had three athletes earn All-America accolades during the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Athletes earning honors were Scott Sellers (men’s high jump), Loren Groves (women’s weight throw) and Kaylene Wagner (women’s high jump). The trio also earned All-America honors from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday.

Sellers finished third with a clearance of 7-03.25 to for his second career indoor citation and an improvement over his ninth-place finish during his freshman campaign. This was the 10th All-American honor in the high jump by a K-State athlete. Sellers six points gave the Kansas State men’s team a 32nd-place finish.

Groves registered a sixth-place finish in the weight throw with a toss of 67-06.75 for her first national honor. This was the sixth All-American distinction in the weight throw for a female Wildcat.

Wagner finished eighth in the high jump with a clearance of 6-00.00. This was the first All-American honor for a female K-State high jumper since Morgan High’s sixth-place effort in 2003. The combined effort of Groves and Wagner registered four points for the women’s 50th place finish. 

Stellar Sellers Sets School Record
Sophomore Scott Sellers placed himself atop the K-State record books in the high jump during the ISU Classic on Feb. 10 with a winning effort of 7-05.75. The Katy, Texas, native also set a new Lied Recreation Center record with the mark and was six feet better than the runner-up in the event. He also improved his NCAA automatic qualifying status and his standing amongst the national leaders.

Two weeks ago at the Dan DeHart Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., Sellers won with a height of 7-05.25. That clearance tied him with Kyle Lancaster and Percell Gaskins for the top indoor effort by a Wildcat. The mark also set a new Albuquerque Convention Center record and improved upon his NCAA automatic qualifying status.

To open the 2007 season, Seller quickly eliminated any doubt that a return trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships was in jeopardy, with an automatic qualifying height of 7-04.25 during the KSU All-Comers meet on Dec. 9. The effort tied his previous career-best from the 2006 Big 12 Indoor Championships.

Sellers earned All-American honors in his first NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing ninth in the high jump with a clearance of 7-02.50. The Katy, Texas native was the first male freshman to earn All-American honors in the Rovelto era and the first since Kenny Harrison in 1985.

Groves in the Groove
Sophomore Loren Groves became the third female in school history to win a Big 12 weight throw title with a winning toss of 67-10.75. Groves has now surpassed 60 feet in 12 of 13 career weight throw competitions.    Groves improved her career-best and Big 12 lead in the women’s weight throw to 68-03.75 with her win during the KSU Open on Feb. 15. The effort set a new meet record and ranks second in K-State history behind Renetta Seiler’s toss of 69-02.50 during the 1998 NCAA Championships. Groves improved on her NCAA Indoor Championship provisional status with the distance.

Groves registered a second-place distance of 67-11.50 during the ISU Classic in her first visit to Ames this season. The effort was her previous career-high and trailed only NCAA leader and world record holder Brittany Riley of Southern Illinois.  

Groves opened the season with three straight wins in the event, capturing the Dan DeHart Invitational with a toss of 67-04.00. This effort set a new Albuquerque Covention Center record and was the third time this season she had thrown beyond the NCAA provisional mark of 62-04.00. The Scott City, Mo., native won her second weight throw title of the season with a toss of 67-10.25 during the KSU Invitational.

Groves Named Big 12 AOW
Sophomore Loren Groves earned the first Big 12 indoor athlete of the week honor for K-State this season with her winning effort during the KSU Open on Feb. 15 in the women’s weight throw.

Groves earned her first career athlete of the week citation and became the first female to earn the award since Breanna Eveland on Jan. 17, 2006.

Wagner Wows’em
Senior Kaylene Wagner recorded a new personal career-best with a clearance of 6-01.25 during the KSU Open on Feb. 15. This is the fourth-highest effort in school history and the fourth time this year she has surpassed six feet.

Wagner started her K-State career with five wins in her first seven high jump competitions after an entire season on the sidelines as a transfer. She is believed to be the first female in school history to win five consecutive high jump titles in a single season. The product of Goleta, Calif., and a transfer from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, won her fifth title with a height of 6-00.75 at the Dan DeHart Invitational. The clearance was the fifth-highest in school history, tying with Morgan High’s effort from the 2004 KSU-KU-MU Triangular. Wagner is also the first K-State female to surpass six feet in the event since High.

Wagner opned the 2007 season with an NCAA automatic qualifying height of 6-00.50 during the KSU All-Comers on Dec. 9 and equaled the effort during the Conference Challenge on Jan. 20.

Wagner also added wins at the KSU Invitational (5-10.75) and at the Arkansas Invitational (5-11.25).

Her Name is Bonds, Morgan Bonds
Junior Morgan Bonds continued to perform well in the 2007 season winning her second career Big 12 title in the 600-yard run last weekend. The Hutchinson, Kan., product crossed the line in 1:20.05, setting the school record for the fastest oversized track mark. Bonds has won every race, eight(600-yards, 800-meters and 1,000) that she has competed in this season.

Bonds clocked an 800-meter victory in her first appearance in Ames this season during the ISU Classic in a time of 2:06.20. The time is the second-fastest oversized track 800-meter time in school history. She has won all four 800 races she has run this season.

Bonds made her first appearance in an 800-meter race this season a memorable one crossing the tape in a time of 2:07.87 to win the event in the championship heat of the Arkansas Invitational, Jan. 12. With the clocking, Bonds tallied her first career NCAA provisional mark in the event and the second-fastest time in school history. Her time trails only Lysaira Roman-Del Valle’s 2:05.52 during the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships. Both of these times were notched on the Randal Tyson Track in Fayetteville.

Just What the Schlachter Ordered
Junior Marianne Schlachter boosted her career-best in the women’s triple jump to 43-03.00 with her third-place finish at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. The performance is the third-longest triple jump in school history, trailing Chaytan Hill (44-09.50) and Vannita Kinard (44-03.25).

Schlachter garnered a second-place distance with her previous personal-best of 43-00.50 in the triple jump at the Dan DeHart Invitational.  Schlachter’s previous career-best came earlier this season at the Arkansas Invitational with a jump of 41-10.00. 

Schlachter has also registered a career-high this season in the pentathlon with 3,603 points during the Sevigne Husker Invitational for a seventh-place finish. The point total ranks 10th in school history and was just 97 points from an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Her previous career-best was 3,482 points during the season-opening Carol Robinson Winter Pentathlon.

17 and Counting for Heller
Junior Laci Heller won her 17th career weight throw crown with a toss of 63-10.25 during the ISU Last Chance Qualifier. She has a personal season-best of 65-00.50, which entered the weekend ranked 20th in the nation. The Meriden, Kan., native has surpassed the NCAA Indoor provisional mark in 22 of her 26 career meets. Heller has surpassed 60 feet in every competition during her career.

Heller finished third in the weight throw at the 2007 Big 12 Championships. It was the third top-three finish for Heller, as she finished second in 2005 and captured the title in 2006.

Everett Wins First Big 12 Title
Sophomore Tevan Everett became the sixth runner to win a 600-yard conference title in school history, as he snared his first career Big 12 title during last weekend’s Big 12 Indoor Championships. The Belaire, Kan., product broke a 10-year old meet record with a clocking of 1:08.56, winning K-State’s first title in the event since Joseph Lee’s win at the 2004 Big 12 Indoor Championships. A season ago, Everett earned a third-place finish in the event with a time of 1:09.86.