K-State Finishes Regular Season in Lincoln

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- K-State Track and Field travels to Lincoln, Nebraska, to compete in the Nebraska Invitational on Saturday, May 9. Their final tune-up before Big 12s, the Wildcats will have a small group square off against a number of programs including Nebraska and UNO at the Huskers' Ed Weir Stadium.

Action is expected to start at noon with the women's hammer throw and continue into the early evening, concluding on the track with the men's and women's 4x400-meter relays. Further meet information, such as heat sheets, a meet schedule and a link to live results, can be found by visiting the Nebraska Track and Field homepage. Updates on K-State Track and Field will be provided on Twitter at @kstate_gameday under #KStateTF.

#KStateTF Quick Hits

• The latest edition of the USTFCCCA Computer Team Rankings saw the K-State men make a 25-spot jump into the national top-25 for the first time this outdoor season. Moving to No. 20, the men joined the women, who ranked No. 10 for the third-straight week, marking the second-straight outdoor season both squads have ranked top-25 nationally at the same time. The women's No. 10 ranking is second-best in the Big 12 behind only Texas (No. 4), while they are also, along with the Longhorns, one of only two schools in the conference to have occupied a top-10 spot for four-straight weeks or longer. The Midwest rankings, meanwhile, have the women continuing their hold on the No. 1 spot for a second-straight week and the men slotted at No. 9, a one-spot improvement.

• Individually, the Wildcats had multiple athletes crack the national top-10 after last weekend's Rock Chalk Classic. The men's side, in particular, made the biggest moves with both Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye and Nate Gipson moving to No. 3 and No. 7 in the long jump and high jump, respectively. The duo joined Christoff Bryan, who ranks No. 4 nationally in the high jump, to make the men one of six Big 12 schools to have three or more athletes rank in the national top-10. For the women, A'Keyla Mitchell (200-meter), Dani Winters (shot put), Sara Savatovic (hammer throw) and Akela Jones (heptathlon) all rank among the nation's elite. Perhaps even more impressive, especially with Big 12s next weekend, the women's team as a whole has combined for seven marks that are either No. 1 or No. 2 in the Big 12 -- the second-most competitive conference behind only the SEC, according to USTFCCCA.

• Lastly, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted the sixth-annual Mark A. Chapman Powercat Choice Awards earlier this week. For track, both the men's and women's squads nabbed several honors. In all, the Wildcats took home eight awards, including Women's Team of the Year, Coach of the Year (Cliff Rovelto), Women's Athlete of the Year (Akela Jones), and Female Newcomer of the Year (A'Keyla Mitchell). For a full list of the night's award recipients, click the link here.

Last Time Out...

Competing in the Sunflower State for the final time this season, the Wildcats put in an impressive showing at the Rock Chalk Classic in Lawrence. Held at the Jayhawks' Rock Chalk Park, K-State combined for 29 top-five finishes, including eight victories and three top-10 program marks.

Among the highlights for the men's squad, were the aforementioned performances by Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye in the long jump and Nate Gipson in the high jump. Otuonye leapt a wind-assisted 7.98m/26-02.25w (2.7) to cruise past a field of 17 by nearly three feet for his victory in the event this season. Though the junior narrowly missed the wind-aided cutoff at 2.0, his performance was still impressive as he was one of only two athletes in the top-five to register a wind-reading of less than 3.0 on his final mark -- the other was Kyle Gartrell of Air Force, who finished fifth at 2.8 (6.81m/22-04.25). Gipson, on the other hand, cleared an overall season-best 2.23m/7-03.75 to finish a close second behind former Wildcat great Erik Kynard and tie for the eighth-best mark in school history. Also notching notable efforts for the men were Terrell Smith, who took home first-place honors in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and Ivan Hartung, who eclipsed the 66-meter mark in the javelin (66.17m/217-01) for the first time since his freshman year to take second-overall.

The women, meanwhile, had strong showings from Dani Winters in the shot put, Alyx Treasure in the long jump and the 4x400 group. Winters hit a huge PR in the shot of 17.21m/56-05.75 for first-place and vaulted herself to No. 2 in school history, while Treasure cleared 1.84m/6-00.50 for a second-straight week to also earn first-place honors. For Treasure, she cleared six feet or better in consecutive meets for the second time in her career -- last time that happened came at the end of the 2014 outdoor season in a stretch of three-straight meets that saw the then-junior Wildcat place second at NCAAs and take home titles at both the Canadian and NACAC U23 Athletics Championships. On the track, the 4x400 saw the group of Tia' Gamble, A'Keyla Mitchell, Sonia Gaskin and Akela Jones run for the first time together this season, clocking 3:37.18 for first-place -- also the 9th-fastest time in school history.

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 Smith100M10.30w29th17th7th
Terrell Smith200M20.7731st18th5th
Christoff BryanHigh Jump2.24m/7-04.254th3rd2nd
Nate GipsonHigh Jump2.23m/7-03.757th6th4th
Zack RileyHigh Jump2.15m/7-00.5023rd16th6th
Ifeanyichukwu OtuonyeLong Jump7.98m/26-02.253rd3rd1st
Adam DeterdingDecathlon679549th27th2nd


Women

AthleteEventMarkDivision IDI WestBig 12
A'Keyla Mitchell100M11.4019th11th4th
A'Keyla Mitchell200M22.96w6th5th2nd
A'Keyla Mitchell400M53.3439th18th7th
Sonia Gaskin800M2:05.7424th13th5th
Akela Jones100H13.30w27th12th5th

4x4003:35.1221st8th2nd
Alyx TreasureHigh Jump1.84m/6-00.5011th5th2nd
Akela JonesHigh Jump1.83m/6-0015th7th3rd
Kim WilliamsonHigh Jump1.81m/5-11.2523rd9th4th
Akela JonesLong Jump6.33m/20-09.2511th3rd2nd
Dani WintersShot Put17.21m/56-05.756th4th1st
Sara SavatovicHammer Throw66.40m/217-103rd2nd1st
Danie PlankJavelin49.70m/163-0121st10th4th
Akela JonesHeptathlon60492nd1st1st


What's Next?

The Wildcats jump into postseason competition, traveling to Ames, Iowa, for the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 15-17. Hosted by Iowa State at its Cyclone Sports Complex, the men's and women's squads will look to improve upon last year's showing that saw them finish fifth and sixth, respectively.