Wildcats Gain Seven Regional Qualifiers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. During Saturday’s running of the inaugural Nike Elite Meet in Sacramento, Calif., the Kansas State track and field team collected seven additional NCAA regional qualifiers, including five for the Wildcat women. Overall, K-State completed the event with seven individual titles and 20 top three finishes.


The women earned five regional marks in field events and tacked 2006 All-American Candice Mills onto the list as she qualified in the long jump. Mills took the win with a mark of 20-00.50, while freshman Nina Kokot took second with her first collegiate jumps. Kokot neared a regional mark, but came up short with a jump of 19-06.25.


In the triple jump, senior Thomaida Polydorou earned her first qualifying distance of the year. The Cyrus native recorded a second-place finish after skipping to 41-01.00.


Junior Loren Groves finished the day with two regional marks, including an impressive personal best in the hammer throw. Groves launched a toss of 208-04 to shatter her previous PR of 197-11 from last week’s Baldy Castillo Invitational. The mark sits as the second best in KSU history and falls short of the record by one foot. Senior Laci Heller took second to Groves with a regionally-qualifying effort of 203-10, her second best career mark. Groves added a regional mark in the discus after taking second with a toss of 167-06.


Wildcat men finished with two regional qualifiers as junior Scott Sellers and senior Lamar Garrett earned a mark in the high jump. Sellers took the win with a clearance at 7-02.50, while Garrett placed sixth after passing over 6-10.75. The height tied Garrett’s personal best which he reached twice last season including at the Big 12 Championships.


The women also qualified two runners for the NCAA Midwest Regionals that will be held in Lincoln, Neb., in late May. Sophomore Beverly Ramos earned her first mark of the year in the 3000M steeplechase, as she took the event victory with a time of 10:29.95. Indoor national qualifier Donniece Parrish regionally qualified for the 200M as she took the crown with a mark of 23.66.


Junior Liliani Mendez finished first in the 1500M with a time of 4:26.08. She is already qualified for the Midwest Regionals after running a time of 4:23.90 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational last Saturday.


Other top-three finishes for the women include a first-place running in the 4x400M with a time of 3:42.21 and a run of 45.73 in the 4x100M to take second. Lauren Fisher had a second-place finish in the 400M after the sophomore crossed the line in 56.54. In the 100M, senior Marnyka Honeycutt recorded a personal-best non-wind-aided time of 11.79 to take the bronze. In field events, Cassie Styers finished second with a high jump of 5-05.00.


The men had five individuals listed in the top three in running events. Senior Colin Swaney was the lone Wildcat runner to take a win as he clocked a time of 14:45.45 in the 5000M. In the 800M, K-State recorded a two-three finish as Sam James finished second in 1:52.25, while Jason Collett took third in a time of 1:52.62. Junior Mike Myer finished third in the 200M with a run of 21.43, while Danny Schneider also took bronze as he raced to a personal best of 3:54.35 in the 1500M.


The K-State team will split next week with athletes headed to the prestigious Texas Relays and the Emporia State Relays. For complete coverage, please visit www.kstatesports.com.