Wildcats Set for 80th Kansas Relays

This Week For Kansas State
80th Kansas Relays
Wednesday-Saturday, April 18-21
Memorial Stadium Lawrence, Kan.
Live results at www.kuathletics.com

MANHATTAN, Kan. - For the next two weeks, Kansas State will compete in two of the most nationally recognized relays beginning Wednesday with the start of the 80th Kansas Relays. The Wildcats will send 14 athletes and two relay squads that have surpassed the NCAA Midwest Regional qualifying standards in their respective events.

Last Time Out
Kansas State competed at two meets last weekend, the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla., and the UTEP Invitational in El Paso, Texas. The Wildcats collected a title at each location as Morgan Bonds won the 800-meter run in Norman, while Lindsay Grigoriev won the shot put in Texas.

K-State also had four athletes register new personal season-bests in El Paso. The athletes who tallied a new season-best were: Shunte Thomas in the 400-meter dash (52.98), Grigoriev in the discus (157-08), Thomaida Polydorou in the triple jump (41-02.50) and Scott Sellers in the high jump (7-03.00).

Last Time Out at the Kansas Relays
K-State secured two event titles at the 79th Kansas Relays, as Morgan Bonds won the women’s 800-meter run title and Laci Heller captured the hammer throw crown. Bonds, a product of Hutchinson, Kan., crossed the line in 2:09.81. Bonds finished out the 2006 campaign with a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships and finished 20th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 800.

Heller won her second straight Kansas Relays hammer title and her second straight title in 2006 with a toss of 197-04. The native of Meriden, Kan., would eventually go on to win the Big 12 title in the event and become K-State’s first female Big 12 outdoor champion since the 2003 season. 

Sellers Ranked Among IAAF Elite
Sophomore Scott Sellers fell nine positions in the April 9 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world rankings for the high jump. Sellers ranks 49th in the world, despite registering an NCAA Midwest regional qualifying height in his first outdoor effort of 2007 at the Pepsi Invitational.

Three High Jumpers in Dandy Dozen
Scott Sellers, Kyle Lancaster and Kaylene Wagner remain in Trackwire.com’s Dandy Dozen for the high jump for the third consecutive week. Sellers moved up one place to second after clearing 7-03.00 last weekend in El Paso, while Lancaster remains in eighth. Wagner fell back two spots to sixth.

The factors used to build the Dandy Dozen include quantitative values that measure performances in past major competitions (such as conference championships, national championships and Olympic competition), durability and freedom from injuries, demonstrated ability to compete well in multiple rounds of competition, ability in other events, head-to-head competition with other top athletes, and personal or seasonal bests.

Sellers’ Market
In just his second outdoor competition of the 2007 season, Scott Sellers cleared 7-03.00 to finish second at the UTEP Invitational. The clearance was the sophomore’s second straight above the NCAA Midwest Regional qualifying height of 6-10.75 and his highest outdoor effort since June 10, 2006 at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif. 

Thomas Tags Fastest 400 of Season for K-State
Shunte Thomas registered her fastest time of the season in the 400-meter dash with a second-place finish of 52.98. The senior from Coral Springs, Fla., improved her standing within the NCAA Midwest regional qualifier standings with the effort; her previous season-best of 54.03 came at last weekend’s Pepsi Invitational in Eugene, Ore. This was the fastest clocking by Thomas since May 14, 2006 at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Waco, Texas, when she registered a 52.83.

Heller and Her Hammer
K-State junior Laci Heller improved on her NCAA Midwest Regional standing in the hammer throw during the Jim Click Shootout with a toss of 195-04. The effort by the Meriden, Kan., product was the second of her three tosses beyond 190 feet this season and is an improvement of almost five feet from her previous season-best of 190-11.

Heller has won eight career hammer throw titles, while competing in 26 events. She has surpassed the regional standard in 18 of those efforts. She has a career-best of 202-01 during the 2006 Texas Relays, which ranks second in school history.

Strong Bonds
Junior Morgan Bonds qualified for her second career NCAA Midwest regional meet during the Pepsi Invitational on April 7. Bonds recorded the mark in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:07.51. The product of Hutchinson, Kan., has finished below the regional qualifying mark six times in her career and has a career best of 2:06.45 during the 2006 Ward Haylett Invitational. This clocking ranks third in school history.