Cats Set for Big 12 Championships This Weekend

This Week For Kansas State
Big 12 Championships
Friday-Sunday, May 11-13
Ed Weir Stadium Lincoln, Neb.

Television (tape-delayed): FSN Midwest
May 19 at 3 p.m. May 22 at 12 p.m.
Check local listings for availability on your local FSN affiliate

Live results at www.huskers.com

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State will make a return trip to Ed Weir Stadium this weekend for the 2007 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships, May 11-13. After hosting the indoor championships for six straight season before this year, Nebraska welcomes the outdoor meet for the first time as a member of the Big 12.

A number of high profile athletes will take part in the weekend’s proceedings including the following:
  20 NCAA champions with 23 total titles
  94 NCAA All-Americans with 192 career honors (including three by Kyle Lancaster, and one from Scott Sellers and Laci Heller)
  26 reigning Big 12 outdoor champions in 23 of the 42 events (including Laci Heller in the women’s hammer throw and Marianne Schlachter in the women’s triple jump)
  34 entries currently ranked among the NCAA’s top-five for their respective events (including Scott Sellers in the men’s high jump and Kaylene Wagner in the women’s high jump)

The K-State women’s team has finished among the top-six in the 10 previous championship meets, including back-to-back Big 12 titles in 2001 and 2002. The men will look to add a seventh top-five finish to its mantle.

Last Time Out at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships
A season ago at the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Waco, Texas, K-State finished fourth on the women’s side in the team standings, while the men placed 10th.

The women earned their first individual outdoor Big 12 titles since the 2003 season as Laci Heller (hammer throw), Breanna Eveland (pole vault) and Marianne Schlachter (triple jump) secured their first outdoor Big 12 crowns. Christian Smith captured his first Big 12 outdoor crown in the men’s 800-meter run. See the left side bar on page 4, for K-State’s results from the 2006 outdoor championships.

Last Time Out
The Wildcats earned six event titles during the Nebraska Invitational last Saturday. Winning event crowns were: Marnyka Honeycutt in the women’s 100-meter dash (wind-aided 11.71), Donniece Parrish in the women’s 200-meter dash (wind-aided 23.21), Liliani Mendez in the women’s 1500-meter run (4:23.86), Sam James in the men’s 800-meter run (1:52.58), Kyle Seiler in the men’s javelin (206-03) and TJ Staab in the men’s shot put (54-04.00).   

Sellers Rises to Top-40 Ranking on IAAF List
Sophomore Scott Sellers made his biggest jump, literally speaking, in the May 7 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world rankings for the men’s high jump. Sellers ranks 39th in the world, up from 47th two weeks ago in the April 23 ranking and up 10 spots from 49th on April 9. The Katy, Texas product climbed up the rankings after registering a personal career-best clearance of 7-05.00 in the Drake Relays’ special invitational high jump.

K-State Places 18 on Academic All-Big 12 Team
Kansas State placed 18 student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 first and second teams, announced by the Big 12 Conference on Tuesday. This was the highest number of recipients for the Wildcats since the 2003 season when the teams placed 26 athletes on the list.

Leading the way was senior Ashleigh Rogers (dietetics) with her fourth career citation. Earning their third career first team honor was junior Laci Heller (feed science management) and senior Wally Walstrom (nutrition science). Heller was the only Wildcat to make the first team with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and is the second straight year she has earned the honor with a 4.0 GPA. 

On the list for the second time in their career was junior Morgan Bonds (biology), junior Thomaida Polydorou (architectural engineering), junior Marianne Schlachter (English), sophomore Loren Groves (elementary education) and senior Hiral Bhakta (management).

On the Academic All-Big 12 first team for the initial time were: junior Jenny Glodowski (family studies), senior Kaylene Wagner (kinesiology), senior Bryce Bergman (mechanical engineering), sophomore Jason Collett (economics), sophomore Adam Fretwell (industrial engineering), senior Joe Moore (mass communication), junior Danny Schneider (food science) and sophomore Scott Sellers (pre-physical therapy). On the Academic All-Big 12 second team for the first time were sophomore Emily Dittemore (family studies) and junior Brittany Moroney (marketing).

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 sixth consecutive week on May 8. Sellers remained in second place for the third straight week, after registering a career-best height at the Drake Relays. Lancaster dropped two positions from seventh to ninth this week. 

Wagner remained atop the women’s high jump rankings for a second straight week, reaching the pinnacle after winning the Drake Relays’ special invitational high jump. One additional Wildcat included in the women’s rankings was Laci Heller in the women’s hammer throw. The junior from Meriden, Kan., is ranked eighth.

Despite the 10 points for men’s and women’s team and eight for the men, the Wildcats remain just outside the top-25.

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.

Wagner Continues to Wow’em
Senior Kaylene Wagner improved her win total to five in six competitions by outlasting the competition at the Drake Relays. In the special invitation women’s high jump, Wagner defeated former Olympian Amy Acuff in a jump-off to win with a height of 6-02.25. The product of Goleta, Calif., is now second in school history with the effort, trailing Gwen Wentland’s school record of 6-04.50. Wagner’s performance was also the fifth-best female clearance in the world this year. 

Wagner started her K-State career with five straight wins in the indoor 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.

Sellers’ Market
Scott Sellers continued to raise the bar on his season-best in the high jump, clearing a height of 7-05.00 in the men’s special invitation high jump at the Drake Relays. The effort is a new outdoor career-best for the Katy, Texas native and ranks as the fourth-highest in school history. He also secured the fifth-best height in the world this season. 

In just his second outdoor competition of the 2007 season, 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.

My, Oh, Myer  
Sophomore Mike Myer continues to engrave his name among K-State’s elite sprinters as he clocked the second-fastest 200-meter dash time in school history with a 20.91 at the Nebraska Invitational on May 5. Myer trails Ray Hill’s school record of 20.76, which was set at the 1989 Big Eight Championships.

In his first outdoor effort as a Wildcat in 2007, Myer zipped to the second-fastest 100 time in school history with a 10.48 at the Jim Click Shootout on March 24. Myer trails only Terence Newman’s record of 10.20 during the 2002 Jim Click Shootout. During that same meet, the product of Lenexa, Kan., garnered a second-place finish in the 200 with his previous personal season-best of 21.16.

During his debut indoor season with K-State, Myer finished tied with Dusty McDonald for the fastest 200-meter time (21.55) and clocked the eighth-fastest 60-meter time (6.83).

Heller and Her Hammer
K-State junior Laci Heller improved on her NCAA Midwest Regional standing for the second straight weekend in the hammer throw during the Nebraska Invitational on May 5. Heller carded a toss of 201-01, which surpasses her previous personal season-best of 200-00, which came on April 29 at the Nebraska Open in the same hammer circle.

The effort by the Meriden, Kan., product and the reigning Big 12 champion in the event was the seventh time this season she has recorded a final distance beyond 190 feet this season and is the third straight year she has thrown beyond 200 feet in a meet.

Heller has won eight career hammer throw titles, while competing in 29 events. She has surpassed the regional standard in 22 of those efforts. She has a career-best of 202-01 during the 2006 Texas Relays, which ranks second in school history behind Renetta Seiler’s mark of 209-04 during the 1998 Big 12 Championships.

Mendez Maneuvers to Win at Nebraska Invite
Liliani Mendez lowered her NCAA Midwest regional qualifying time in the 1500-meter run and her career best in the event during the Nebraska Invitational on May 5. The sophomore from Dorado, Puerto Rico won her first career title at the distance with a new personal-best time of 4:23.86. The time ranks seventh in school history.

Her previous career-best came at the 2006 Big 12 Championships with a clocking of 4:24.97 and a third-place finish. Mendez had recorded a regional-qualifying effort of 4:26.38 during the Jim Click Shootout on March 24.