Sellers Wins Big 12 High Jump Crown

LINCOLN, Neb. Kansas State’s Scott Sellers leaped to new heights on the final day of the 2007 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Bob Weir Stadium on Sunday afternoon.  


Sellers cleared a height of 7-07.75 on his third and final attempt to win his first career Big 12 title. The sophomore from Katy, Texas, broke the school record held by teammate Kyle Lancaster of 7-07.00, broke the Big 12 meet record, set the Bob Weir Stadium record, registered the fourth-best effort in NCAA history and the 15th highest clearance in United States history. This was the first Big 12 high jump crown for the Wildcats, since Nathan Leeper’s win at the 1998 Big 12 Championship in Columbia, Mo.


“Coming into this weekend I was feeling really good,” said Sellers about his mindset. “I could not have asked for better competition. This conference has a number of the best high jumpers in the nation. Everyone really just pushed me to go higher.”


Sellers entered the competition at 6-08.75 and cleared his first five heights on the first attempt. Sellers missed his first bar at 7-05.25, but cleared on his second attempt. The same scenario played out at 7-06.50, as he and Texas’ Andra Manson tied the previous meet record held by Mark Boswell of Texas in 1999. Sellers cleared the winning height and was awarded the title after Manson knocked off the bar on his final attempt.


“A big part of the effort today was due to my coach, Cliff Rovelto,” said Sellers about the K-State track coach. “He helped me make small adjustments throughout the day and I was able to keep going.”


Joining Sellers on the medal stand in the men’s high jump was senior Kyle Lancaster. The native of Fort Scott, Kan., cleared a height of 7-02.50 for a fourth-place finish in his final Big 12 outdoor meet.


In women’s action, Ashley Reider scored K-State’s first women’s points of the afternoon with a third-place finish in the women’s javelin with a toss of 150-05 into a strong crosswind. A season ago at her first Big 12 meet, Reider carded a sixth-place effort with a season-best and team-leading mark of 152-08.


The sophomore from Lansing, Kan., entered the weekend ranked fourth in the Big 12 with her career-best of 159-05. This was Reider’s first effort beyond the regional standard of 142-06 since April 9, after she had surpassed the regional mark in her first four competitions this season.


Beverly Ramos lowered her school record in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a third-place finish of 10:36.05. The freshman from Trujillo, Puerto Rico entered the weekend ranked fourth in the Big 12 with her previous career-best and regional-qualifying time of 10:41.48.


Shunte Thomas clocked a 53.54 in the women’s 400-meter dash to finish in third. The placing by the senior from Coral Springs, Fla., equals her career-best at the Big 12 meet from the 2005 edition.


Junior Marianne Schlachter registered a fourth-place distance in the women’s triple jump with a wind-aided leap of 43-09.00. The distance came on her second attempt of the afternoon. The effort was her second-longest wind-aided mark of her career, as she tallied a distance of 43-11.25 at the 2006 UTEP Invitational.


Also scoring for the women on Sunday was the women’s 4x100-meter relay team of Marnyka Honeycutt, Thomas, Monique Coleman and Donniece Parrish with a fourth-place time of 45.66, the women’s 4x400-meter relay team of Thomas, Parrish, Coleman and Morgan Bonds with a fourth-place clocking of 3:36.29, Bonds registered a fifth-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:11.45 and sophomore Liliani Mendez in the women’s 5,000-meter run with an eighth-place time of 17:47.74.


The time by the 4x400-meter relay team is a new season-best and is the second-fastest in school history.


TJ Staab registered a career-best finish in the men’s shot put with a third-place effort to start the afternoon for K-State. The senior from Plainiville, Kan., had never finished higher than sixth in the outdoor Big 12 meet until Sunday’s mark of 56-09.25.


Staab entered the weekend ranked fourth in the conference with his season-best and NCAA regional-qualifying mark of 57-05.00. He has surpassed the NCAA regional qualifying mark in six of nine shot put competitions this season.


Mike Myer finished fourth in the men’s 100-meter dash with a wind-aided time of 10.36. The sophomore from Lenexa, Kan., entered the weekend ranked fifth in the event with his previous career-best of 10.40. He lowered his legal career-best to a regional-qualifying time of 10.37 during the preliminaries on Saturday evening.


The men’s team picked up seven points in the javelin as junior Kyle Seiler reached a fourth-place distance of 198-11, while sophomore Adam Hoffman carded a seventh-place effort of 190-00.


The K-State women’s team finished seventh with a total of 60 points. The K-State men finished 10th with a total of 60 points. Winning the 2007 Big 12 team titles were Texas A&M (women 140 points) and  Oklahoma (men 110.50).


Kansas State will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Midwest Regional at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa on May 25-26.