Groves Shatters School Record En Route to Title

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State junior Loren Groves launched a throw of 214-05 in the women’s hammer on Saturday to break the school and facility record as well as capture the title at the Ward Haylett Invitational. The Scott City, Mo., native broke the 10-year, 209-04 school record of Renetta Seiler from the 1998 Big 12 Championships and bettered the R.V. Christian Track mark of 196-09, also set by Seiler in 1998.


The junior Wildcat let loose on her first throw of the competition on Saturday as she recorded a distance of 214-01, which gave Groves the record early in the day. Her second effort earned Groves the final record mark of 214-05 and her third toss remained consistent with another mark over 210 feet as she threw for 214-04 before moving on to the finals. At the conclusion of the event, Groves finished with five legal marks and each passed her career best of 208-04.


Groves finished with her PR at the Nike Elite Meet on March 29th when she won her first career hammer throw title. She sat at seventh among collegiates with her Nike Elite mark, but improves to fourth with her Saturday toss. Groves, who now has four hammer victories on the season, sits at 12th in the United States with her Ward Haylett distance. She maintains a safe lead on the Big 12 performance list, as teammate Laci Heller sits at second and third-place Ozie Okolie of Texas Tech has a season best of 207-04.


Doubling her efforts, Groves garnered the women’s discus victory with a personal-best throw of 173-08. The mark breaks her previous top toss of 170-10 from the ESU State Farm Relays in 2005 when Groves was a freshman. She held a season best of 169-04 from the ESU Relays and improves her to 16th among regional qualifiers and second in the conference. With her third career discus win, Groves moves to fourth all-time in school history with the distance.


Heller also competed on Saturday in the hammer and finished third in the competition with a mark of 204-04 on her third toss. The distance is her second best career effort as she has a season-best and PR of 208-03 from the Baldy Castillo Invitational. In the discus, Lindsay Grigoriev finished as runner-up to Groves with a regional-qualifying mark of 159-01. The throw was eight inches from her season tops from the Baldy Castillo Invitational on March 22nd.


Also taking home two titles was junior Mike Myer as he swept the sprints with season-best regional performances. The Lenexa, Kan., native opened with the 100M victory as he clocked a wind-legal mark of 10.35, his fastest career mark. Myer raced to a time of 10.36 at last year’s Big 12 Championships with a 2.3 meters per second wind to earn the second-best wind-aided 100M time in KSU history; Myer’s time on Saturday keeps the junior in second. Among collegiate regional qualifiers, Myer sat at 35th prior to the Ward Haylett, but now moves to 17th with his fifth top-three finish this year.


Later in the afternoon, Myer took the 200M after dashing to a time of 21.05 and earning his first win in the event. In his third run of the distance this season, Myer improves his previous regional mark of 21.09 (21.16 altitude converted) from the UTEP Invitational.


In the women’s sprints, K-State added a regional qualifier in Marnyka Honeycutt after she titled the 200M. The Denver, Colo., product posted a time of 23.91 to break her previous PR of 24.02 from the UTEP Invitational earlier this year. The time marks Honeycutt’s first regional qualification in the event and also sits as the seventh best time in Wildcat history.


Honeycutt also earned her ticket to the NCAA Midwest Regionals in the 100M after running a career-best wind-aided time of 11.48 to finish second. The time knocks a quarter of a second from her previous top run of 11.73 from the 2007 Kansas Relays that had a wind of 2.6 m/s. For Honeycutt, who had an earlier season best of 11.75 from UTEP, the regional qualification is only her second in the event and also places the senior in the record books with the fourth-best wind-aided mark in KSU history.


Senior Donniece Parrish continued the Wildcat wins in the sprints as she won the 400M in only her second time competing in the distance. Parrish clocked a time of 54.54 to reach the regional mark in her first run this season and has now earned a place in all three sprints 100M, 200M and 400M. The senior Wildcat broke her PR of 55.07 that she set at the Sun Angel Classic in 2006.


Also snatching his first regional mark of the year was senior Bryce Bergman in the men’s pole vault. Bergman, who redshirted the indoor season, had been consistently finishing at 16-00.75 during the month of April, but cleared the bar at 16-06.75 to finish third on Saturday. He has now reached the regional mark each of his four years as a Wildcat.


Improving his season best and regional standing, sophomore Eric Thomas placed second in the men’s discus. Thomas opened the competition with a throw of 172-06 on his first attempt and earned a nearly two-foot season best. The distance is his second best career effort and his third top-three finish in two seasons. Thomas also recorded a PR in the shot put as he took third place with a throw of 53-10.25. The mark betters his previous best by over a foot as he threw for 52-08.25 at the 2007 Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz.


The men’s team also earned event victories from Sam James and Scott Sellers. James crossed the line in the 800M in 1:51.65 to take his second career victory in the event. The time was very nearly a season-best, but fell short of his run of 1:51.60 from the Baldy Castillo Invitational in March. Sellers took the win over teammates Michael Healey and Lamar Garrett as he passed over the 7-00.50 bar. The win marks the seventh of the Katy, Texas, native’s KSU career. Healey tied for second with his third regional mark at 6-10.75, while Garrett finished fourth at 6-08.75.


K-State had a triple threat in the women’s long jump as a Wildcat finished in all top three places with senior Candice Mills leading the way. With her second win of the season, Mills recorded a jump of 20-06.50 backed by an illegal wind of 4.8 meters per second. Freshman Nina Kokot took second with a jump of 20-05.75 (4.1 wind), while sophomore Stephanie Hejde completed the sweep with a wind-aided mark of 18-06.00 to finish third.


Four additional Wildcats finished in runner-up position, including junior Emily Dittemore in the women’s 1500M. Dittemore led the three Wildcats in the event with a run of 4:35.00, her second best effort in the event. The finish marks Dittemore’s third second-place this year and ties her top overall finish. Alyssa Bellinder (4:42.69) and Sydney Messick (4:43.12) placed third and fourth, respectively, with personal-best marks. In the men’s 1500M, Danny Schneider also finished second as he raced to a time of 3:59.33.


Freshman Alexandra Gonzalez tied for second in the women’s pole vault after passing over the bar at 12-01.50. Sophomore Megan-Anne Perrin raced a second-place effort in the women’s 3000M steeplechase with a PR of 11:17.17, bettering her previous time of 11:18.32 from 2007.


K-State’s weekend of track and field will continue tomorrow as Morgan Bonds and Beverly Ramos will compete at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. For complete coverage of Wildcat track and field, please visit