Bonds Earns Ticket to Des Moines in 800M

LINCOLN, Neb. With a season-best race, senior Morgan Bonds peaked at the right time as she finished fourth in the women’s 800M to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The Wildcat from Hutchinson, Kan., erased over two seconds from her previous season best after clocking a time of 2:06.63 during Saturday’s concluding day of the NCAA Midwest Regionals from the Ed Weir Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.


Bonds had a late surge in the final 100M in an effort to take third but finished half of a second short while holding off fifth-place finisher Ilyssa Pettigrew of SMU who raced a time of 2:07.13. Bonds qualified for the Saturday final after recording a then-season best of 2:08.78 during Friday afternoon’s preliminary heats. Advancing to her third-consecutive outdoor championship, the regional time is Bonds’ third-best career mark and shy of her 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional PR run of 2:06.07. Bonds earned an at-large bid last year with the time and garnered her first automatic qualification during her sophomore campaign in 2006.


Freshman Tiara Walpool finished less than eight inches shy of an automatic qualification in the women’s triple jump after notching a huge personal best and placing seventh. The product of Richardson, Texas, skipped to a distance of 43-02.25 to better her top jump of 41-09.25 from the UTEP Invitational on April 12th. After sitting at 51st in the country, her distance ties for the 19th best prior to the inclusion of regional marks and gives Walpool the potential to earn an at-large bid. The mark thrusts Walpool into the school record book with the fourth best mark in Wildcat outdoor history, passing teammate Thomaida Polydorou who is listed at sixth. Senior Polydorou placed 24th in the field of 30 after recording a top mark of 40-03.25.


Walpool also competed on the Wildcat relay team on Saturday, aiding in the seventh-place finish of the 4x100M squad. The team of Marnyka Honeycutt, Candice Mills, Walpool and Donniece Parrish had a time of 45.28 to cross the line ahead of North Texas who finished in 45.44. The four bettered their time from the prelims when they clocked a mark of 45.32.


After earning an automatic bid as a freshman, sophomore Beverly Ramos will have to await the at-large announcements in the women’s 3000M steeplechase after placing 11th out of 23 competitors. She finished with a time of 10:28.32, but has a season-best mark of 10:15.56, which sits as the 12th best in the country.


Wildcat senior and 2008 team captain Parrish also raced individually in the women’s 200M and finished eighth in the strong field that contained the five fastest collegiate runners in the country this season. After notching a career mark of 23.36 in the prelims Friday, Parrish crossed the line in 23.59 on Saturday.


Also closing the season with a PR effort, freshman Ali Pistora placed 13th in the women’s javelin with a throw of 153-01. With her first attempt, the Lawrence, Kan., native met the mark to better her previous top throw of 152-03 from the Big 12 Championships in Boulder, Colo.


Sophomore Eric Thomas qualified for the finals of the men’s discus and reached his top throw with his fourth attempt of 170-04, which enabled him to finish in sixth place. 

Texas A&M won both the men’s and women’s titles at the NCAA Midwest Regional with the men’s team scoring 87 points to out-distance host Nebraska (68.5) and women’s team posting 116 points to defeat second place Texas Tech (66.5).  The Wildcat women finished in a tie with Texas for 10th place with 30 points, while the men finished in 19th place with 10 points.


A full list of NCAA qualifiers including at-large bids will be announced in the coming week as the Wildcat contingent prepares to conclude the 2007-08 track and field season at the NCAA Championships scheduled for June 11-14 in Des Moines, Iowa. For complete coverage of K-State track and field, please visit