Wildcats Kick Off Outdoor Season at TCU

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State Track and Field opens its outdoor season in Fort Worth, Texas, this week for the TCU Invitational. Hosted by the Horned Frogs at the Lowden Track Complex, the Wildcats along with several Texas-based schools will partake in the two-day meet beginning Thursday, March 19.

The discus and hammer throws will be featured on Thursday beginning at noon, while the rest of the meet action will take place on Friday, March 20, starting in the field with the men's javelin at 9:30 a.m. Further meet information, including heat sheets, the meet schedule and a link to live results, can be found by visiting the TCU Outdoor Track and Field homepage. For updates on K-State Track and Field follow @kstate_gameday on Twitter under #KStateTF.

What to Watch For

The first of four trips to Texas for the Wildcats this outdoor season, this week's meet also marks the second-straight season K-State has opened outdoor action at TCU. Last season's TCU Invitational saw the Wildcats total seven top-three finishes including victories by Sonia Gaskin in the 800-meter, Alyssa Kelly in the triple jump and the men's 4x400. This season's invitational will see, notably, season debuts by javelin throwers Ivan Hartung and Danie Plank, as well as appearances from Sara Savatovic in the weight throw, Nija Collier in the long jump and Kain Ellis, Logan Smith and Terrell Smith on the track.

In the field, Hartung and Plank are both coming off NCAA-qualifying efforts last season with Hartung, in particular, nabbing second team honors. Both throwers recorded scoring performances at last season's Big 12 Outdoors and Plank, in her freshman year, hit 51.00m/167-04 at the Jim Click Shootout for the fourth-best mark in school history. Savatovic and Collier, meanwhile, will look to follow up strong indoor campaigns. Savatovic won the Big 12 weight throw title for a second-straight season and enters the outdoor season as a first team All-American and two-time reigning conference champion in the hammer throw. A freshman from Houston, Collier competed once in the long jump during the indoor season and was also the conference runner-up in the triple jump.

For Ellis and the Smith duo, each runner experienced their fair share of success on the track this past indoor season. Terrell, a freshman from Vicksburg, Mississippi, made his way into the K-State top-10 in both the 60-meter and 200-meter during his season debut with the Wildcats, while Ellis and Logan were part of the sixth-place finishing 4x400 squad at Big 12s - Ellis also notched scoring efforts in both the 800m and distance medley relay at the conference meet.

#KStateTF Quick Hits

• The 2014 outdoor season had several athletes record All-American efforts en route to impressive overall showings from both the men's and women's teams. Along with four athletes notching Big 12 individual titles, nine Wildcats earned All-American status including a runner-up showing from Alyx Treasure in the high jump and Sonia Gaskin and Erica Twiss both recording All-American performances in multiple events. Team-wise, both the men and women placed in the top-20 at NCAAs for the first time since 2011 and the 12 points scored by the men made it four-straight outdoor championships that they have recorded double-digit points.

• This past weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships saw eight individuals and one relay squad earn All-American honors including first team efforts by Akela Jones (high jump, long jump) and A'Keyla Mitchell (200-meter). The women's team, in particular, excelled all season finishing tied for 18th-overall at NCAAs, second at Big 12s and consistently ranking in the USTFCCCA top-10. In all, they combined to notch four Big 12 titles, break five school records, garner three postseason awards, as well as see head coach Cliff Rovelto be awarded both Big 12 and Midwest Region Women's Track & Field Coach of the Year.

What's Next?

The early stages of the outdoor season continue with stops in Austin, Texas and Emporia, Kansas, next week. K-State will send a group of athletes to Austin for the Texas Relays on March 27-28, while the other group will compete in the ESU Relays on March 28. Further information on K-State's upcoming outdoor slate can be found by visiting www.k-statesports.com.