Pair of Wildcats Lead Decathlon

LUBBOCK, Texas A pair of Kansas State Wildcats are in the hunt for a Big 12 title after the first day of the decathlon at the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Mantas Silkauskas and Moritz Cleve sit atop the standings after the first five events in a strong field at this year’s championship from Terry and Linda Fuller Track and Field at R.P. Fuller Stadium.

The top six competitors all scored more than 4,000 points on day one of the decathlon, setting the table for high point totals at the conclusion of the event.

Silkauskas leads the way with 4,231 points. He opened the championship with a bang finishing first in the 100 meters in a blazing 10.34 seconds. The time is an NCAA record for the decathlon. The closest time to Silkauskas in the 100 was 10.59 seconds ran by Texas A&M’s Trinity Otto.

In the second event, Silkauskas continued to lead winning the long jump with a leap of 24-07.00. The leap was more than one foot longer than his personal record. He set personal records in all five events on Friday.

Cleve stands just 29 points behind Silkauskas at 4,202. He began making his push in the final three events of the day finishing second in the shot put, third in the high jump and second in the 400 meters. Cleve also posted personal records in all five events seeing his largest improvement in the shot put improving by 1 foot 8.5 inches.

The duo will battle the rest of the field on day two for the conference title in a tightly contested field. Three athletes are within 100 points of the lead, and two other Wildcats are showing strong. Rok Derzanic sits in sixth place with 4,073 points. Adam Fretwell is also in contention to make the medal stand currently in ninth with 3,714 points.

In the women’s combined event, Stephanie Hejde finds herself in ninth place after the first four events in the heptathlon. Hejde currently has 2,800 points. She opened the day with her fastest time in the 100 hurdles at 15.11 seconds.

The throwers were in action as well on Friday with the men’s and women’s hammer throw as they battled heavy winds while dust storms began rolling into Lubbock. Senior Loren Groves failed to defend her title from a year ago, finishing second with a throw of 195-05. Amanda Boor also earned points for the Wildcats finishing seventh with a 169-08. Ali Pistora finished 19th with her throw of 151-02.

For the men Nate Brummet finished with a throw of 190-03 to come in sixth place and earn three points.

Two other Wildcats were in action on the first day of the Big 12 Championship with Beverly Ramos and Alyssa Bellinder both running in the women’s 10,000 meters.

Ramos battled among the leaders of a tightly congested pack for the first half of the race. She crossed the line in 37:19.64 to finish eighth and earn one point. Bellinder ran the race in 38:50.79 to finish 14th for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats will return to Fuller Track and Field on Saturday for day two of action. The day will begin with the final events of the heptathlon and decathlon at 10 a.m. Field events start at 1 p.m. with the women’s discus and preliminary heats for the running events a slated to start at 6 p.m.