Groves Throws to First Outdoor Title

BOULDER, Colo. Kansas State junior Loren Groves captured her first Big 12 outdoor gold as she launched a Potts Field record of 212-04 in the women’s hammer throw on Fri., May 16th. Groves led the Wildcats to a one-two finish as senior Laci Heller threw to the silver with a throw of 197-06. The Big 12 Championships, being hosted by Colorado for the first time in conference history, kicked off on Friday and will run through Sunday in Boulder, Colo.


In the first round of throws, Heller opened with the top-mark after recording a toss of 195-11, while Groves fouled on her first attempt. In Groves’ final two launches of the preliminary throws, the junior Wildcat posted two marks over 196-00 feet, including a field-leading 211-04. All three opening round marks bettered the 2006 Potts Field record of 195-08 set by Kate Burton of Wyoming.


During the finals, Heller posted her top mark of the day with a throw of 197-06 to take over second place from Kansas’ Zlata Tarasova, who won the bronze. Groves finished with three additional marks over 196-00 including her winning throw of 212-04 on her fifth attempt.


“I am really excited because I have never won a Big 12 championship in the hammer yet,” Groves said of her win Friday. “This is my first one outdoor, so this is a big step for me.”


The two-time indoor All-American adds the victory to her two Big 12 weight throw titles which she won in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008. The title becomes K-State’s fifth hammer throw win in 12 Big 12 Championships. Groves, a native of Scott City, Mo., becomes the third Wildcat to sweep the weight and hammer throw in a single year and joins Renetta Seiler (1997-99) and Laci Heller (2006).


Heller takes the silver with an improvement on her 2007 standing, when she earned the bronze. She finishes her conference championship career having finished no worse than third, as she also took bronze in 2005.



A trio of Wildcat men sit in scoring position in the men’s decathlon, while freshman Rok Derzanic leads the three with a second-place 4,163 points. He sits one point back from sophomore Nick Adcock of Missouri. Freshman Moritz Cleve and junior Adam Fretwell are in seventh and eighth, respectively, as Cleve has tallied 3,863 points while Fretwell has 3,837.


Derzanic was elevated to the lead after leaping to a career best 25-02.50 in the long jump, which led the field by nine inches. Prior to the championships, Derzanic had only posted one mark in the long jump which was a distance of 22-03.00 with a 4.5 meters per second wind. The jump from Boulder marks the sixth best in K-State history and also regionally qualifies Derzanic as he passed the 24-01.00 minimum in the event. The freshman started the decathlon on Friday with a PR in the 100M after dashing to the second-best time in the 14-man field with a wind-aided 10.68. Derzanic remained in first after the shot put as he threw a PR of 40-08.75. He slipped to second after the high jump, where he posted a four-inch career best of 6-04.75. Derzanic remained in second after the 400M but pulled within one after posting a second-best field time of 49.00 in the 400M.


Cleve has consistently sat around seventh place throughout the day since opening with a time of 11.07 in the 100M. In the long jump, the freshman from Germany finished with a career best of 22-10.50. Despite throwing the field’s third best mark in the shot put, Cleve fell to eighth after three events with a toss of 44-05.25. He then tied his PR in the high jump with a clearance of 6-02.25 and improved to seventh after a PR of 50.19 in the 400M.


Fretwell opened the day in third after tying his wind-aided best in the 100M with a sprint of 10.88 with a 2.4 m/s wind. He then tied his PR in the long jump with a mark of 23-04.75 and added a throw of 40-06.25 in the shot put to move to sixth. Fretwell, who finished the 2007 Big 12 Championships with a PR in the high jump, matched that mark on Friday with a height of 6-02.25. He closed the afternoon with a clocking of 50.96 in the 400M to bring him to 3,837 on the day.


The decathlon competition will wrap up on Saturday with the final five events. The field will open the morning with the 110M hurdles at 10 a.m. and will be followed by the discus, pole vault and javelin. The final event, the 1500M, is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.



With four events completed in the women’s heptathlon, K-State freshman Annika Schoenebeck sits in a tie for fourth with 3,003 points, while sophomore Stephanie Hejde is seventh with 2,890. Each of the pair opened the meet with a personal best in the 100M hurdles as Schoenebeck clocked a time of 15.08 while Hejde recorded a 15.70. Schoenbeck added marks of 5-01.75 in the high jump, 40-01.50 in the shot put and 26.03 in the 200M. Hejde finished the opening day with two additional PRs of 38-02.75 in the shot put and 25.19 in the 200M while posting a jump of 4-11.50 in the high jump.


The two will complete the combined events on Saturday with the long jump, javelin and 800M. The long jump is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m.



Freshman Ali Pistora earned her first all-conference honor after placing seventh in the women’s javelin early Friday evening. The native of Lawrence, Kan., finished with a top mark of 152-03 to earn two points for the Wildcat women. Pistora finished eight inches shy of sixth place, as Oklahoma’s Amy Backel threw for 152-11. Nebraska’s Kayla Wilkinson won the title with a Big 12 meet record 182-10.


After two events scored, the Wildcat women sit in second place with 20 points, including 18 from the women’s hammer throw. Texas A&M leads the 12 squads with 23 points, while Nebraska sits in third with 10. (Note: This total is prior to Friday evening’s men’s and women’s 10000M.)


The Championships will continue on Saturday from Potts Field in Boulder, Colo., with multis starting at 10 a.m. The field events are scheduled to start at 12 p.m. with the women’s shot put, while the 1500M prelims will be the first on the track at 4 p.m. For complete coverage of the conference championships, please follow links posted on either, or A complete recap of Wildcat events will be posted on following each day’s completion.