Groves, Sellers Take Home Silver at Big 12

BOULDER, Colo. During the final day of the Big 12 Championships, two Kansas State Wildcats posted silver medal performances, including Friday’s hammer throw champion Loren Groves. The junior out of Scott City, Mo., finished second with a seven-foot personal best in the discus from Potts Field in Boulder, Colo.


Groves, who entered with the conference’s third best mark and a PR of 173-08, posted a throw of 180-06 on her fifth attempt to take the silver from Baylor’s Brittany Devereaux. Groves earned a place in the finals after recording a career best on her first attempt with a launch of 177-09. Her final mark of 180-06 moves Groves into second on the all-time KSU outdoor list as she passes Angie Miller’s 179-08 mark from the 1990 Kansas Invitational. Groves was shy of the school record which sits at 194-01 by Pinkie Suggs.


Groves brings her point total for the weekend to 18 points, fourth most for an individual competitor at the 2008 championships, as she earned 10 on the opening day with a first-place effort in the women’s hammer throw. The second-place discus finish is her top conference placing in the event as she took fifth as a freshman in 2005 and was 10th a year later in 2006.


Also taking home the silver was junior Scott Sellers in the men’s high jump, as he finished with a clearance of 7-03.00. The mark, his third best on the season, was reached on his third attempt, while he passed over the previous two on his initial try. Nebraska senior Dusty Jonas took the win in the event after clearing a Big 12 record 7-08.75.


Senior Lamar Garrett posted a personal-best height of 7-00.50, which marks the first time the product of Oklahoma City has passed over seven feet outdoor. The effort earned Garrett fifth place and the team four points, while the senior garnered his first all-conference honors. Garrett had finished ninth at both the 2005 and 2007 Big 12 Championships. His previous outdoor PR was a regional mark of 6-10.75, which he recorded once this season (Nike Elite Meet; March 29th) and twice in 2007.


Freshman Michael Healey was just shy of scoring position in the high jump, as he took ninth with a 6-08.75 effort.


The K-State women finished fifth in the team standings with 76.50 points, an improvement from its 2007 finish when the Wildcats placed seventh with 60 points. The Texas A&M women defended their title as they took the trophy with 157 points over Nebraska who tallied 105.


The Wildcat men pulled out a 10th-place finish, matching their 2007 place, and notched 38 points over the three-day event. Host Colorado won their first Big 12 title after recording 138 points, including 81 from distance events alone. Texas A&M finished second with 121 while Texas took the bronze with 96 points.



With a personal-best time, senior Donniece Parrish earned the bronze in the women’s 400M after posting a mark of 52.51. The run is her first sub-53 second performance and elevates her to the school’s fourth best mark in the event. Parrish, a senior out of Florissant, Mo., qualified for Sunday’s final with a then-PR of 53.77 in the prelims, the field’s fourth-best mark. The finish is Parrish’s best in a Big 12 competition as she earns her first All-Big 12 individual accolade.


Also capturing her first all-conference honors, sophomore Lauren Fisher recorded a time of 55.94 to finish eighth in the finals. The St. Louis native raced to a PR in the prelims on Saturday after crossing the line in 55.56. The two times from the Championships sit as Fisher’s top two marks and her first times under 56 seconds.



Junior Cameron Traxson earned his first All-Big 12 honors Sunday morning after taking fourth in the men’s javelin. The transfer from Cowley County Community College proved an asset for the Wildcat men after posting a throw of 208-03 to earn five points to start the final day.  Traxson earned the mark on his third attempt and led the field into the finals, but was unable to better the mark in his last three tries.


Junior Adam Hoffman just missed qualifying for the finals and completed the meet with a top toss of 196-04 to finish 10th.



Senior Wildcat Morgan Bonds tied her top finish in the Big 12 Championships after finishing fourth in the women’s 800M. The Wildcat from Hutchinson, Kan., crossed the line in 2:09.94, an NCAA regional mark. She opened the meet with a time of 2:09.76 in the Saturday prelims.


On the men’s side, sophomore Sam James earned his first medal of the conference meet after finishing sixth with a time of 1:52.18. He qualified for the finals with a run of 1:51.01, the field’s seventh best mark. At the 2007 Championships, then-freshman James recorded a 10th-place finish and missed finals qualification.



Junior Mike Myer finished the Big 12 Championships with five points and two all-conference honors with top-eight finishes in the 100M and 200M. Myer opened the day in the 100M with a sixth-place finish and a wind-aided time of 10.39. He ran a PR of 10.35 in the prelims on Saturday and had the second-fastest time out of 17 contenders.


An hour later, Myer added his first All-Big 12 recognition in the 200M as he took seventh with a run of 20.95. The run sits in his top five personal bests and improves his ninth-place finish from the 2007 Big 12 meet. Texas A&M’s Gerald Phiri raced to a meet-tying record with a time of 20.29.



After finishing sixth at the championships a year ago, sophomore Eric Thomas improved to fifth this year in the men’s discus. On his third attempt, Thomas threw for 162-02 to advance to the finals. He neared the mark during the last three throws, but was unable to improve and placed fifth to earn four team points.



In women’s distance running, junior Emily Dittemore ran to a seventh-place finish in the 1500M after clocking a time of 4:44.53. With two team points, Dittemore nabbed her first all-conference recognition as she competed at last year’s 800M and finished 17th overall. Dittemore reached the finals after finishing eighth in the prelims with a time of 4:37.98.


Sophomore Beverly Ramos also added a pair of points for the Wildcat women with her seventh-place effort in the 3000M steeplechase. The Puerto Rico national record holder raced to a mark of 11:10.12 to finish ahead of 10 competitors.



The women’s relay teams notched two sixth-place finishes, including the 4x100M squad that recorded the school’s third best mark in outdoor history. Using legs of Marnyka Honeycutt, Candice Mills, Tiara Walpool and Donniece Parrish, the team clocked a time of 44.64 to post the season best. The quartet had a previous top mark this year of 45.58 from the Kansas Relays. With the third best in KSU history, the time is only .09 from the school record and .01 from tying for the second fastest.


Also placing sixth, the 4x400M team finished with a time of 3:41.82 to earn two points and keep the Cats in fifth place overall. The Wildcats used Parrish, Bonds, Fisher and Walpool to comprise the squad.



In her first Big 12 Championships, freshman Tiara Walpool skipped to a regional mark of 41-04.25 in the women’s triple jump to capture eighth place. The Richardson, Texas, native recorded the jump on her second attempt to earn the last spot in the finals by a single inch. The distance sits as Walpool’s second best career mark as she has a PR of 41-09.25 from the UTEP Invitational.


Senior Thomaida Polydorou closed her conference career with a finish of 14th with a mark of 40-02.00, her second best mark this season. She improves her 2007 conference finish when she placed 18th and the finish is her second best of her four-year Wildcat career; Polydorou posted a seventh-place finish as a sophomore.



Senior Bryce Bergman was one missed vault from tying for eighth and two misses from a three-way tie for fifth in the men’s pole vault. The native of Baileyville, Kan., cleared a regional height of 16-06.75 to place ninth, tying his season-best mark. Although missing scoring for K-State, Bergman improved his placing from 2007 when he finished 13th.


In his first triple jump competition, freshman Emmanuel Neizer leapt to a distance of 48-09.00. He placed 12th in the field of 20 student-athletes after recording the mark on his first jump of the day.


The K-State track and field season will continue with the NCAA Midwest Regionals from Lincoln, Neb., on May 30-31st. For complete coverage of the conference championships, please follow links posted on either, or