K-State Heads West for Brutus Hamilton Meets

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- K-State Track and Field heads to Berkeley, California this weekend for the Brutus Hamilton Open on Friday, April 24, and Brutus Hamilton Challenge on Saturday, April 25. Held at the University of California's Edwards Stadium, the Open and Challenge will in total feature 17 different schools with the latter meet being a scored meet featuring programs such as Stanford, UC Davis and Utah State.

Friday's Open action is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. CT with the women's hammer throw, before concluding with the track events that are slated to start at 2:30 PM CT. Saturday's Challenge will then open with the women's portion of the Upshaw Family Long Jump at noon CT and run later into the evening with the 4x400s capping off action around 6 p.m. CT.

Named after Brutus Hamilton, head coach of the Golden Bear track team for 33 years, this is K-State's first trip to California since last April, where the Wildcats competed at the Mt. SAC Relays and Beach Track and Field Invitational in Walnut and Norwalk, respectively. Further information on this weekend's action, including live results and a meet schedule, can be found by visiting the California Track and Field homepage, while K-State updates will be provided at @kstate_gameday on Twitter under #KStateTF.

What to Watch For -- Women

Entering the meet as the No. 10 team in the country according to the USTFCCCA, several Wildcat women will look to build off strong efforts from last weekend's Kansas Relays. Headlining the group is Sara Savatovic, who set the school record in the hammer throw last weekend at 66.40m/217-10, and is currently No. 1 in the Big 12. She will be joined in the throws by Danie Plank and Haley Pitko in the javelin and Dani Winters in the shot put. Plank is currently fourth in the Big 12, while Pitko is coming off a PR performance in Lawrence. Winters, meanwhile, looks primed for to make a run at the shot put conference title season sweep, as her outdoor season-opening mark of 16.64m/54-07.25 was a new personal outdoor best and moved her to No. 3 in the Big 12. Savatovic, Plank and Pitko are all expected to compete in Friday's Open, while Winters is slated for Saturday's Challenge.

Shifting to the track, the Wildcats will deploy a smaller group, including the multis, and featuring A'Keyla Mitchell, Sonia Gaskin, Morgan Wedekind and Kayla Doll. Mitchell, a freshman from Corpus Christi, Texas, has impressed so far this outdoor season, clocking top-10 program marks in the 200-meter, 400-meter and as part of the 4x400. She'll look to make it four events in her first 100-meter of the season. Gaskin, on the other hand, is set to compete in the Louise Romo 800-meter on Saturday among other events. A first team All-American in the event last season, Gaskin's season-best of 2:05.74 is currently 10th in the Division I West Region. The 3000-meter steeplechase, meanwhile, will see Wedekind and Doll look to continue their strong showings in the event so far this season. Along with setting a personal best, Wedekind has finished first in all three steeplechases ran this year, while the freshman Doll is coming off running the sixth-fastest time in school history at 10:53.01 -- over a 20-second improvement from her first career go at the event.

Lastly, Kim Williamson and Alyx Treasure are expected to compete in the high jump for the second time this outdoor season on Saturday. Williamson, the Big 12 Indoor champion in the event, marked 1.81m/5-11.25, while Treasure cleared 1.78m/5-10 both at the Sun Angel Classic earlier this April. The season-opening efforts for both All-Americans are top-15 in the West Region.

What to Watch For -- Men

For the men, Terrell Smith, Kain Ellis, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye and Nate Gipson will be in action along with several other Wildcats. Smith, a freshman from Vicksburg, Mississippi, is slated for the Challenge's 200-meter among other events. An event he has excelled in all year, Smith's current outdoor season-best of 20.92 is fifth in the Big 12, as well as the fifth-fastest in school history. Joining Smith on the track is Ellis, who has been extremely consistent in his sophomore campaign. His latest effort at the Kansas Relays resulted in top-three finishes in both the 800-meter and 1500-meter, and he has already set a personal best in the former of 1:50.05. On the year, Ellis has a total of five top-three finishes between the 800m and 1500m.

In the jumps, Otuonye and Gipson will look to improve upon top-10 conference marks in the long jump and high jump, respectively. For Otuonye, the junior is coming off a personal best and Turks and Caicos National Record performance at the Relays. Leaping 7.58m/24-10.50 to take first-overall in Lawrence, Otuonye's showing was his best since leaping 7.50m/24-07.25 during his freshman year and he currently ranks No. 1 in the Big 12. He is expected to take part in the Upshaw Family Long Jump at 1:45 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Finally, Gipson will compete in the high jump for the second time this outdoor season on Saturday. Clearing 2.11m/6-11 at the Sun Angel Classic, he currently ranks No. 9 in the conference.

Rankings N'at
(Please Note: Only marks in the Top-50 DI, Top-50 DI West and Top-20 Big 12 are displayed according to TFRRS -- converted marks are not used)

Men

AthleteEventMarkDivision IDI WestBig 12
Terrell Smith200M20.9238th18th5th

4x10040.3142nd25th5th
Christoff BryanHigh Jump2.24m/7-04.254th3rd2nd
Zack RileyHigh Jump2.15m/7-00.5018th12th5th
Nate GipsonHigh Jump2.11m/6-1138th27th9th
Ifeanyichukwu OtuonyeLong Jump7.58m/24-10.5023rd13th1st
Adam DeterdingDecathlon679546th25th2nd


Women

AthleteEventMarkDivision IDI WestBig 12
A'Keyla Mitchell200M22.96w5th5th2nd
A'Keyla Mitchell400M53.3430th16th6th
Sonia Gaskin800M2:05.7419th10th4th
Akela Jones100H13.4635th14th5th

4x4003:35.1215th5th2nd
Akela JonesHigh Jump1.83m/6-0011th5th2nd
Kim WilliamsonHigh Jump1.81m/5-11.2516th7th3rd
Alyx TreasureHigh Jump1.78m/5-1024th13th5th
Akela JonesLong Jump6.33m/20-09.258th3rd2nd
Dani WintersShot Put16.64m/54-07.2512th8th3rd
Sara SavatovicHammer Throw66.40m/217-103rd2nd1st
Danie PlankJavelin49.70m/163-0117th9th4th
Akela JonesHeptathlon60492nd1st1st
Sarah KolmerHeptathlon500448th32nd7th


What's Next?

K-State returns home to host their lone home meet of the outdoor season, the annual Ward Haylett Invitational on Saturday, May 2. Further meet information can be found by visiting the K-State Track and Field schedule page and clicking on the meet's respective tab.