`Cats Compete in Rock Chalk Classic

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- K-State Track and Field is set to compete in Lawrence, Kansas, this Saturday, May 2, at the Rock Chalk Classic at the University of Kansas' Rock Chalk Park. Their final time competing in the Sunflower State this season, the Wildcats will face off against in-state competition in KU, Wichita State and UMKC, as well as squads from Air Force and Oral Roberts.

Action is expected to get started at 11 a.m., with several throws events and continue throughout the day, concluding on the track with the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays, set to run around 4:30 p.m. More information, including the full meet schedule, heat sheets and a link to live results, can be found by visiting the meet central page at www.KUathletics.com. Updates on K-State Track and Field will be provided on Twitter at @kstate_gameday under #KStateTF.

What to Watch For --

Nearly 50 athletes are expected to be competing for the Wildcats this Saturday.

On the men's side, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye will make his first appearance in the long jump since setting a personal-best and the current top mark in the Big 12 of 7.58m/24-10.50 at the Kansas Relays earlier this month. Building upon his already-held Turks and Caicos National Record, Otuonye's mark also ranks 25th in Division I and 14th in the West Region. The men's high jump will see Christoff Bryan, Nate Gipson and Zack Riley all in action together for the first time this outdoor season. All holding marks in the top-15 of the West Region, the trio will look to further secure their spots in the West Prelims, set for later this May. Lastly, Terrell Smith is expected to keep busy, taking part in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes among other events. A freshman from Vicksburg, Mississippi, the sprinter has excelled so far this season, notching top-10 program marks in both events, including most recently clocking the fourth-fastest 200m time (20.77) at last weekend's Brutus Hamilton Challenge.

For the women's squad, who enter this weekend ranked No. 10 in Division I for a third-consecutive week, they will have several All-Americans in action. The shot put will see Dani Winters, currently ranked 13th in DI, take on a field of 14, while freshman Danie Plank, who placed 21st at last year's NCAAs, will look to improve upon her current national standing of 19th in the javelin. In the high jump, Alyx Treasure will compete for a second-straight week -- the senior's latest effort saw her clear a Wildcat season-best 1.84m/6-00.50 to take first in Berkeley. While on the track, the group of A'Keyla Mitchell, Akela Jones, Tia' Gamble and Sonia Gaskin highlight the day's festivities. Mitchell, in particular, is fresh off setting the 100-meter dash school record last weekend and will be competing in three separate events on Saturday. 

#KStateTF Quick Hits

· As mentioned above, the Wildcat women checked in at No. 10 in the USTFCCCA Team Rankings for a third-straight week. Including their season-high ranking of No. 9 in week two of the rankings, the women have now held a top-10 spot for over a month and only one Big 12 school, Texas at No. 7, ranks higher than K-State currently. The Regional Rankings, meanwhile, slot the women atop of the Midwest for the first time this season, while the men rank No. 10 -- a two-spot improvement. Also of note, this weekend's field features Midwest regional foes in Kansas (Men: 6th | Women: 2nd) and Wichita State (Men: 9th | Women: 10th).

· Individually, both the K-State men's and women's squads have made their mark so far in the rankings. All in action this weekend, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye (1st), Christoff Bryan (2nd), Terrell Smith (4th), Zack Riley (5th) and Nate Gipson (5th) hold top-five conference marks in their respective events, while Bryan, in particular, is currently fourth in Division I in the high jump. The women's team is one of 19 schools nationally to currently have four or more athletes rank within the top-10 in their respective events. This list includes Akela Jones in both the heptathlon (2nd) and long jump (9th), as well as Sara Savatovic in the hammer throw (3rd) and A'Keyla Mitchell in the 200m (5th). With Big 12s only two weeks away, it's also worth noting the women's athletes have combined for a gaudy 28 top-10 conference marks across 17 events.

· Success for both the men and women have translated to the program top-10s with the two squads combining to set 18 top-10 program marks across 12 different events. Highlighted by school record performances from Mitchell in the 100m and Savatovic in the hammer, the 2015 outdoor season has also been marked by youth. Only two of the 13 women to set a top-10 mark this season, Laura Galvan in the 5,000 meter and Sarah Kolmer as part of the 4x400, are currently seniors, while both Gipson and Smith on the men's side are freshmen.

Last Time Out...

The Wildcats traveled to Berkeley, California, for the Brutus Hamilton Open on Friday and Brutus Hamilton Challenge on Saturday. Friday's action was highlighted by PR-efforts, as both Morgan Wedekind and Laura Galvan put in career-best showings in their respective events, while also climbing the K-State top-10 lists. Wedekind clocked 10:28.61 to win her fourth-consecutive 3000-meter steeplechase, while also improving upon her already third-fastest time in school history of 10:43.07 -- she was joined in the event by freshman Kayla Doll, who moved from No. 7 to No. 4 all-time with a time of 10:45.23. Galvan, meanwhile took a close second in the 5000m in 16:37.94, moving her to No. 7 in program history.

The Challenge saw the women finish first and men finish second in a scored competition against California, UTEP and Utah State. Top-10 marks were set by A'Keyla Mitchell in the 100-meter, Terrell Smith in the 200-meter, Megan Vanderpool in the pole vault and Nija Collier in the triple jump. As mentioned before, Mitchell's time in particular was a school record, as the freshman clocked 11.40 to take first-overall and break a 20-plus year school record set by Latricia Joyner of 11.51 in 1991.

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 Smith200m20.7726th14th4th
Christoff BryanHigh Jump2.24m/7-04.254th3rd2nd
Zack RileyHigh Jump2.15m/7-00.5019th12th5th
Nate GipsonHigh Jump2.15m/7-00.5019th12th5th
Ifeanyichukwu OtuonyeLong Jump7.58m/24-10.5025th14th1st
Adam DeterdingDecathlon679549th27th2nd


Women

AthleteEventMarkDivision IDI WestBig 12
A'Keyla Mitchell100M11.4013th9th3rd
A'Keyla Mitchell200M22.96w5th5th2nd
A'Keyla Mitchell400M53.3434th16th6th
Sonia Gaskin800M2:05.7419th10th4th
Akela Jones100H13.4640th16th5th
Tia' Gamble400H59.2142nd19th3rd

4x4003:35.1220th8th2nd
Alyx TreasureHigh Jump1.84m/6-00.5011th5th2nd
Akela JonesHigh Jump1.83m/6-0014th6th3rd
Kim WilliamsonHigh Jump1.81m/5-11.2520th8th4th
Akela JonesLong Jump6.33m/20-09.259th3rd2nd
Dani WintersShot Put16.64m/54-07.2513th9th3rd
Sara SavatovicHammer Throw66.40m/217-103rd2nd1st
Danie PlankJavelin49.70m/163-0119th9th4th
Akela JonesHeptathlon60492nd1st1st


What's Next?

The Wildcats travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, next Saturday, May 9, for one more tune-up before Big 12s in Ames, Iowa on May 15-17. Competing in the Nebraska Invitational, the meet will be scored and held at the Husker's Ed Weir Stadium.