Two Wildcats Advance to NCAA Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa Kansas State saw two athletes register national bids on Friday at Drake Stadium during the first day of the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. The Wildcats also recorded several qualifying marks for Saturday’s finals on the track.


Athletes who register an individual top-five finish this weekend are automatically placed into the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship field. Athletes finishing in sixth, seventh or eighth are entered into an at-large pool and are judged by their season-best to determine the final qualifiers.


Senior Kaylene Wagner punched her ticket to the NCAA outdoor championships in her home state of California, with a third-place clearance of 6-01.50. The native of Goleta tied with runner-up Caroline Wolf of Texas A&M, but Wolf cleared the height on her first attempt, while Wagner did it on her second. The event winner at 6-04.00 was Destinee Hooker of Texas.


This was the sixth clearance of six feet for Wagner this season. She is the first K-State female high jumper to advance to the NCAA Championships since Morgan High in the 2004 season.


Joining Wagner in California will be Ashley Reider. The sophomore from Lansing, Kan., tallied a career-best distance in the javelin of 165-00. The mark is almost a full six feet better than her previous career-best of 159-03 from the Jim Click Shootout on March 24. The distance was the third-longest in school history, surpassing Mandi Peterson’s effort of 162-09 during the 2003 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships.


Reider is the first K-State female javelin athlete to reach the NCAA Championships since Kendra Wecker in the 2002 season.


Athletes who qualified for Saturday’s finals on the track were: senior Shunte Thomas in the 400-meter dash (53.59 6th fastest in the preliminaries), junior Morgan Bonds in the 800-meter run (2:06.80 7th fastest in the prelims), sophomore Liliani Mendez in the 1500-meter run (4:24.90 10th fastest in the prelims), sophomore Mike Myer in the men’s 100-meter dash (10.47 8th fastest in the prelims) and the women’s 4x100-meter relay team in a time of 44.92.


Kansas State will conclude its weekend at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. with the men’s javelin.