K-State Off to 98th Drake Relays

This Week For Kansas State
98th Drake Relays
Thursday-Saturday, April 26-28
Drake Stadium Des Moines, Iowa
Live results at www.drakerelays.org

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State will voyage to one of the most prestigous meets in the nation this weekend, as the squad takes part in the 98th Drake Relays. This will be the first of two trips to the blue track in Des Moines, as the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional will also take place in Drake Stadium.

Last Time Out
The remained in the state last weekend, competing in the 80th Kansas Relays in Lawrence. K-State garnered two event wins during the four-day competition.

Kaylene Wagner soared to a new season-high in the women’s high jump with a winning clearance of 6-01.50. The senior from Goleta, Kan., was just three-quarters of an inch from tying the Relays record of 6-02.25 by Julianne Broughton of Arizona in 1990.

Marianne Schlachter skipped to a winning distance of 42-11.75. The distance was a wind-aided mark. The junior from Albbruck, Germany and the defending Big 12 champion in the event secured a regional qualifying mark of 41-10.50 during the UTEP Invitational on April 14. Schlachter has finished either first or second in her three triple jump efforts this season.

Last Time Out at the Drake Relays
Scott Sellers finished second to Mickael Hanany of UTEP in the men’s special high jump. Sellers, a native of Katy, Texas, cleared a height of 7-00.50 to finish as a runner-up in his first career Drake Relays appearance. Due to inclement weather, the high jump was conducted indoors in 2006.

The men’s distance medley relay of Colin Swaney, Casey Becker, Tevan Everett and Christian Smith finished second to Missouri with a clocking of 9:48.34. Smith had success on the Drake Stadium track before last year’s meet, running the anchor leg of the first-place 4x800-meter relay (7:21.32) during the 2005 Drake Relays.

In other special events involving Wildcat athletes, Shunte Thomas finished fifth in the women’s 400-meter run with a time of 53.71; Breanna Eveland finished sixth in the pole vault with a final clearance of 13-05.75; Liliani Mendez finished sixth in the women’s 1,500-meter run with a clocking of 4:30.88.

Six in Drake Relays Hall of Fame
Kansas State has left a small mark on the rich history of the Drake Relays, as four athletes and two coaches have been elected into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame. The four athletes to engrave their names into the hall are: Gene O’Connor (1956-58), Jerome Howe (inducted 1977), Ken Swenson (inducted 1980) and Pinkie Suggs (inducted 1998). O’Connor was inducted for his efforts in the 440-yard hurdles, while Howe was selected for his efforts in the mile and the relays and Swenson for the relays. Suggs was chosen for her accomplishments in the shot put and discus.

The two track mentors enshrined into the hall are DeLoss Dodds (inducted 1988) and current head coach Cliff Rovelto (inducted 2002).

Sellers Ranked Among IAAF Elite
Sophomore Scott Sellers rose two positions in the April 23 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world rankings for the high jump. Sellers ranks 47th in the world, up from 49th two weeks ago. The Katy, Texas product climbed up the rankings after registering a personal season-best clearance of 7-03.00 at the UTEP 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 on April 17. 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.

Lucky 13 for Lancaster
Senior Kyle Lancaster won his 13th career high jump title during the Pepsi Invitational in Eugene, Oregon. Lancaster overtook two teammates, sophomore Scott Sellers and senior Lamar Garrett, to win the crown with a personal season-best clearance of 7-01.00. 

Lancaster made his return on March 24 at the Jim Click Shootout with an NCAA Regional qualifying height of 7-00.50. The Fort Scott, Kan., native redshirted during the 2006 outdoor campaign. This was his first outdoor win since May 28, 2005 at the NCAA Midwest Regionals.

Wagner Continues to Wow’em
Senior Kaylene Wagner has won four of five high jump comeptitions to start her one and only outdoor campaign with K-State. Entering this weekend in Des Moines, Wagner is ranked third in the nation with her winning clearance of 6-01.50 during the last weekend’s Kansas Relays. The effort ranks tied for third in school history with three other athletes, the last being Morgan High during the 2004 Baldy Castillo.

Wagner started her K-State career with five straight wins in the high jump after an entire season on the sidelines. She is believed to be the first female in school history to win five consecutive high jump titles in a single season. She finished her lone indoor season as an All-American and cleared a height of 6-01.25 during the KSU Open in Ahearn Field House. The height ranks fourth in school history.

The Schlachter is In
Junior Marianne Schlachter registered quite a weekend at the Kansas Relays. The product of Albbruck, Germany started the meet by registering a personal-best point total of 4,789 in the heptathlon. The score ranks as the 10th best in school history. During the heptathlon, Schlachter recorded a regional qualifying height in the high jump of 5-09.25, a new career-best and her first career regional mark in the event.

Schlachter continued to dazzle, as she registered a wind-aided distance of 42-11.75 to win the triple jump.  This was her second win in the event this season and her third straight finish among the top-two. She has a wind legal season-best and regional qualifying mark of 41-10.50 during the UTEP Invitational on April 14.