Wildcats Complete Regular Season in Lincoln

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State will finish out the regular track and field season in Lincoln, Neb., at the Nebraska Invitational prior to traveling to Boulder, Colo., for next week’s Big 12 Championships. The Saturday event will get its start at 11 a.m. with the women’s hammer throw and men’s javelin. Track events are set to begin at noon with the women’s 3000M steeplechase.

The Wildcats are returning to action after a successful weekend the resulted in two new school records and four additional regional qualifiers. Most of the team competed at the Ward Haylett Invitational at the R.V. Christian Track, where junior Loren Groves shattered the KSU hammer throw record with a launch of 214-05. Two Wildcats participated in the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., as sophomore Beverly Ramos reset her school record in the 3000M steeplechase with a time of 10:15.56.

K-State will travel a group of 14 men and 13 women to Lincoln on Saturday. Live results of the event can be found at http://www.huskers.com/fls/100/trackstats/08NUInvite/index.htm. A complete recap will be posted at www.kstatesports.com at the event’s completion.

Last Time Out
Kansas State tore through the weekend of May 3rd and produced two school records, four new regional marks, nine titles and numerous personal bests. Junior Loren Groves opened the lone home outdoor meet, the Ward Haylett Invitational, with a hammer throw for the record books. The native of Scott City, Mo., finished with a school and facility record of 214-05. The toss broke the 10-year, 209-04 school mark of Renetta Seiler from the 1998 Big 12 Championships and bettered the facility record of 196-09, also from Seiler in 1998. Groves also captured the win in the discus with a personal-best throw of 173-08, fourth best in school history.

In men’s sprints, junior Mike Myer raced to two victories with season best regional marks. In the 100M, the Lenexa, Kan., native clocked a wind-aided run of 10.35 to improve his previous wind-aided PR of 10.36. In the afternoon, Myer also raced to the 200M victory with a sprint of 21.05, garnering his first win in the event.

In the women’s sprints, Marnyka Honeycutt earned her first regional mark in the 200M after she took the win with a time of 23.91. She also raced to a regional mark in the 100M with a career-best wind-aided mark of 11.48. Senior Donniece Parrish finished first in the 400M with a time of 54.54 to earn her first regional run in the event. On the track for the men, Sam James captured his second career victory in the 800M as he crossed the line in 1:51.65.

In field events, senior Candice Mills paced a group of three Wildcat women in the long jump. Mills earned her second win of the year with a jump of 20-06.50. For the men, junior Scott Sellers jumped to his seventh high jump win. He cleared the bar at 7-00.50.

At the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, Beverly Ramos dropped more than six seconds from her school record in the 3000M steeplechase. She raced to a time of 10:15.56 to break her 2007 record of 10:21.71 from the NCAA Midwest Regionals.

2007 Nebraska Invitational Recap
Kansas State competed at the 2007 edition of the Nebraska Invitational one week prior to the Big 12 Championships being hosted in the same location. Then-sophomore Liliani Mendez posted a personal best in the 1500M with a time of 4:23.86 to capture her first career win in the event. Additional women taking first-place finishes were Donniece Parrish and Marnyka Honeycutt. Parrish clocked a time of 23.21 in the 200M to win; the time still sits as her fastest run in the event with an illegal wind of 4.8 meters per second. Also clocking her fastest times but with illegal wind, Honeycutt won the 100M with a time of 11.71.

For the men, Sam James earned his first title in the 800M with a then-PR of 1:52.58. In the throwing event, K-State took two titles with Kyle Seiler and TJ Staab. Seiler finished with his fifth-best career mark with a regional toss of 206-03 in the javelin. In the shot put, Staab finished with a title throw of 54-04.00.

Right at Home
Kansas State sprinter Mike Myer has pulled out his best performances of the season in locations closest to home. In his own backyard of Lawrence, Kan., Myer took the 100M win at the Kansas Relays on Sat., April 19th. The junior, who is a native of Lenexa, Kan., raced to a run of 10.42 in the prelims on Thursday to qualify with the fastest time. He went on to earn his then-second career outdoor win with a 10.43 in the finals. Myer continued a streak of top finishes with his third-place effort at the Drake Relays. Myer qualified for the final with a prelim run of 10.43 and dashed to a time of 10.47 in the finals. At the Ward Haylett Invitational hosted by K-State, Myer posted his season-best of 10.35 in the 100M to capture his second win of the year. He added his first 200M win at the event with a sprint of 21.05 to improve his regional standing. In the 100M, Myer ranks 20th in the nation and sixth in the region. He is currently 50th in the 200M among regional qualifiers.

A Hammer to the Record
Junior Loren Groves took a hammer to the school and facility record on Saturday, May 3rd, at the Ward Haylett Invitational. On her first attempt, Groves earned both records with a throw of 214-01, breaking the school mark of 209-04 set by Renetta Seiler at the 1998 Big 12 Championships. The mark also broke Seiler’s 1998 throw of 196-09, which sat as the R.V. Christian Track record. On her second attempt, Groves earned her top mark of 214-05 which bettered her personal best by nearly six feet. At the conclusion of the event, Groves finished with five legal marks and each passed her throw of 208-04 from the Nike Elite Meet on March 29th.

Groves’ Growing Title List
Prior to this season, Loren Groves’ title list was abundant in indoor competitions, as the junior had one outdoor title with a 2005 discus victory. This season has shown great improvement as the Scott City, Mo., native has added six outdoor titles including her first four hammer throw wins. Groves opened the season with a second-place toss in the hammer, but has won each competition since. She earned her first win at the Nike Elite Meet with a then-personal best mark of 208-04. During the ESU Relays, Groves brought home two crowns as she took the discus (169-04) and hammer (204-11) victories. During the Kansas Relays, Groves captured her third overall win in the hammer and third of the season as she launched for a distance of 201-06. The win marked the third in four years that a Wildcat has captured the crown. She then earned her second school record (Groves owns the indoor weight record) after throwing a PR of 214-05 at the Ward Haylett Invite for her fourth win. She doubled her efforts for the second time this season after she tossed a PR in the discus with a 173-08 distance. Groves’ four hammer throw titles have been the result of her top three career marks. Three of her top four discus marks have also been recorded this season.

Ramos Resets Record
At the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on May 4th, Kansas State sophomore Beverly Ramos broke the school record in the 3000M steeplechase after finishing 13th. The field in Palo Alto, Calif., contained a number of professional athletes and found Ramos as the third finishing collegiate with a time of 10:15.56. Ramos owned the previous school record of 10:21.71, which she posted at the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regionals to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships. Ramos, a native of Trujillo, Puerto Rico, broke the Puerto Rico national record with the effort on Sunday.

As a freshman, Ramos first broke the 2001 school record of 10:49.65 by Amanda Crouse-Behnke with a time of 10:41.48 at the 2007 Pepsi Invitational in her second run of the event. She continued to lower the mark during championship rundowns with a clocking of 10:36.05 at the 2007 Big 12 Championships and finished with a season best at Regionals. Entering the Cardinal Invitational with the 25th-best collegiate mark, Ramos improves to 11th in the nation and fifth in the Midwest Region. Ramos notched a previous top-time of 10:28.70 this season at the Mt. SAC Relays to finish seventh.

Walpool Making a Name for Herself
A hidden weapon for the Wildcats emerged at the UTEP Invitational as freshman Tiara Walpool put together a performance that qualified her for the NCAA Midwest Regionals in May. The native of Richardson, Texas, recorded a mark of 41-09.25 in her first triple jump competition as a Wildcat during outdoor season. The distance quickly put the young Cat into the KSU history books as it ties for the seventh best mark in school history. Two weeks later, Walpool earned her first event victory as she captured the triple jump win at the Nebraska Open April 27th. The freshman earned her second regional mark with a skip of 40-05.00. Walpool also put together her first run in the 100M with a second-place time of 12.35.

Partial to Parrish
After having a phenomenal indoor season, senior Donniece Parrish remains a force to be reckoned with for the Wildcat women on the track. The odds have been in her favor since qualifying for her first NCAA Indoor Championships, as Parrish has placed her name among the contenders for the outdoor sprints. Parrish opened the season with a first-place finish at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in the 100M after crossing the line in 11.87. She then followed up the performance with her first career regional qualification and PR at the UTEP Invitational with a time of 11.70. After qualifying in the 200M as well at the Nike Elite with a then-PR, Parrish dashed to a time of 23.50 at the UTEP Invitational to better her 23.66 from the Nike. She had a previous 200M career mark of 23.67 from the Big 12 Championships last season. At the Ward Haylett Invite, Parrish added a third distance to her regional resume as she raced to a career best in the 400M with a run of 54.54. During the 2007 season, Parrish qualified for regionals on two occasions with both in the 200M, including her first career regional time of 23.88 at the UTEP Invitational.

Honeycutt Runs to Career Marks
Senior Marnyka Honeycutt had produced one regional mark in her career prior to this season, as she raced in the Midwest Regionals as a junior in the 100M. Before the Ward Haylett Invitational on May 3rd, Honeycutt had missed the qualifying mark on five attempts. During the home meet though, Honeycutt came through in a big way as she sprinted to her fastest wind-aided mark with a run of 11.48. She previously held a career best wind-aided mark of 11.73 from the 2007 Kansas Relays and dashed to a season-best 11.75 at the UTEP Invitational in April. Honeycutt doubled her efforts that Saturday from the R.V. Christian Track as she finished with a PR of 23.91 in the 200M. The time bettered her career mark of 24.02 from the 2008 UTEP Invitational and marked her first regional qualification in

Bergman Earns First Regional Mark of Year
Wildcat senior and 2008 team captain Bryce Bergman had been Mr. Consistent in the pole vault this season after reaching the 16-00.75 mark on three occasions during the month of April. After falling short of the regional mark four times this year, Mr. Consistent broke through at the Ward Haylett Invite and earned his ticket to the NCAA Midwest Regionals in Lincoln, Neb. Bergman cleared the bar at the 16-06.75 height to reach the regional clearance and earn third place. The vault marked his fifth regional mark and earned him a place at the meet for the fourth-consecutive year. The distance is a little less than one inch shy of Bergman’s career best of 16-07.25, which he obtained at the 2006 and 2007 Midwest Regionals.