Myer Ties School Record at Regional

NORMAN, Okla. The Kansas State Wildcats opened the NCAA Midwest Regional with a bang on Friday with two wins and two more advancing to the finals on Saturday. K-State saw its seniors come up strong for the team as Jason Collett, Loren Groves, Mike Myer and Scott Sellers all turned in some of their best performances of the year and even added a school record to the mix.

Myer continued running strong following his strong showing at the Big 12 Championship by posting his fastest time of the year in the 100 meters and following it up with a school record in the 200.

He won his heat in 10.33 seconds to automatically advance to Saturday’s finals. It was the third fastest time of the four preliminary heats on Friday with Texas A&M’s Gerald Phiri and Baylor’s Trey Harts ahead of him.

The senior from Lenexa also tied the school record in the 200 meters running 20.76 to finish second in his heat behind Phiri. The time was just enough to qualify for the finals in his second event as the top finisher in all five heats received automatic berths. The next three fastest times also advanced. Myer’s time was eight overall.

Myer did not know his fate in the 200 meters before leaving the track Friday night as final results had not been posted and was excited to hear the news nearly an hour after running.

Sellers posted his highest jump of his senior campaign leaping 7-04.50 en route to claiming the title. The mark matches the highest jump in the nation this season. It also is the second regional title of Sellers’ career repeating his performance from 2007 when he also won the NCAA title.

Sellers passed on the first height of the competition and cleared each his first four heights on his first attempt. He and Ivan Diggs of Houston had a one-on-one battle for the crown at 7-03.25 where Sellers cleared on his second attempt and Diggs forced the match-up to continue with his third leap. Sellers then cleared the winning height on his second attempt as Diggs could not.

He made two attempts at clearing 7-07.00 before stopping and accepting the title. Sellers said he was happy with how he jumped and felt the strong competition helped push him to do his best.

“I’m happy with it. A lot of guys showed up and jumped well. It was a good field,” Sellers said. “I felt good, and I jumped better than I have been.”

Also winning a regional title for the Wildcats to advance to the NCAA Championship in two weeks was Groves. The senior thrower bested the field in the hammer throw with her throw of 202-06. It was her second-longest throw of the season and gives her back-to-back Midwest Region titles.

Groves passed the field by seven feet seven inches for the win and appeared to have the win by even more until fellow Big 12 Conference competitor Ozie Okolie of Texas Tech posted 194-11 on her final throw. No other athlete in the field cleared the 190-foot mark.

“I am really excited about being the regional hammer champion for the second year,” Groves said. “I am thankful I am still able to throw and finish out my senior year even battling an injury. I am looking forward to competing at nationals in my K-State gear one more time.”

Groves also qualified for the regional in the discus and finished eighth with a best throw of 159-11. The mark does not advance her to the NCAA Championship meet automatically, but her season-best of 168 feet is in the qualifying pool and could add her to the championship field depending on the descending order list.

Collett also automatically advanced to Saturday’s final in the 800 meters by winning his heat in 1:48.74. After finishing second at the Big 12 Championship, Collett posted the third-fastest time of the preliminaries as he rode momentum from his second-place finish at the Big 12 Championship. Jack Sachse ran in the same heat as Collett finishing sixth in 1:51.33, which was not fast enough to qualify for the final.

In the men’s javelin a pair of Wildcats competed but could not quite push on to Saturday’s finals. Cory Boulanger finished with a throw of 194-07 to place 18th. Senior Cameron Traxson finished fifth in his flight at 197-01 and 16th overall. Although the marks did not advance them to the finals, Boulanger’s season-best of 218-02 could qualify him for nationals depending on the size of the field and his place on the descending order list.

Alexandra Gonzalez vaulted 12 feet in the women’s pole vault to finish 21st in the event bringing her season to an end as the top five finishers in field events automatically advance to the NCAA Championship.

K-State will return to John Jacobs Track and Field Complex on Saturday for the finals Wildcats qualified in as well as three field event finals. Nate Brummet will start the action for the Wildcats in the hammer throw while teammate Eric Thomas will close the field events in the men’s discus. A pair of female Cats will throw in the javelin final as well with Ali Pistora and Ashley Reider looking to advance to nationals.

Fans can follow the action from Norman at soonersports.com.

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