Wildcats Make Mark at Regional

NORMAN, Okla. The Kansas State track and field team built on its success from the first day at the NCAA Midwest Regional to keep adding strong performances to the tally. The Wildcats added three more automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championship in two weeks and also posted solid numbers with a chance to qualify at-large.

The trio of Mike Myer, Ali Pistora and Eric Thomas joined Scott Sellers and Loren Groves in the mix of Wildcats to qualifying for nationals at the regional meet. That group joins the trio of decathletes already qualified for the meet to give K-State a strong group going to Fayetteville, Ark., in two weeks.

Myer continued pouring it on to close his senior season with a bang. Myer ran to a fourth-place finish in the 100 meters in 10.35 seconds and advance to the NCAA Championship for the first time in his career. He also earned five points toward the men’s team effort.

Myer ran another fast time in the 200 meters final finishing in 20.91 seconds. He was just outside the automatic qualifiers in sixth place to cap off an impressive showing for him at the regional meet. Myer’s school-record time of 20.76 from the preliminaries on Friday could earn him an at-large berth as it ranks 26th in the nation.

Thrower Ali Pistora entered the regional meet ranked sixth in the javelin and will be going to nationals by the smallest of margins. Pistora’s throw of 48.24 meters (158 feet 3 inches) finished fifth to earn an automatic bid and surpassed Brittany Williams of Houston by just one centimeter. Also in the women’s javelin, Ashley Reider finished 14th overall for the Wildcats with her throw of 137-08.

Continuing the success of the Wildcats in the throwing events at the regional, Eric Thomas advanced to the finals of the discus out of his flight. The junior finished fourth overall with a throw of 182-03 to automatically advance to the NCAA Championship. It will be his first appearance in the national meet as well.

Jason Collett failed to qualify automatically just missing the cut finishing seventh in the 800 meters in 1:51.16. He still holds a strong chance to get an at-large berth into the national championship meet as he holds the seventh fastest time in the nation out of the deep Midwest region.

Sophomore triple jumper TiAra Walpool advanced to the finals in the triple jump out of her flight and finished eighth. Her leap of 43-01.75 improved her season-high by nearly two feet and ranks 13th in the nation this year. Her eighth-place finish did not automatically qualify her for the NCAA Championship in two weeks, but her standing on the descending order list may get her to the meet depending on the size of the desired field.

Also in the triple jump, Emmanuel Neizer advanced to the men’s final finishing 10th. He jumped his way into the K-State record books during the competition leaping 50-10.75 as the mark ranks eighth in school history.

Nate Brummet finished second in his flight of the men’s hammer throw at 184-08, but it was not enough to advance to the finals in the event. His throw was good for 12th place.

The men’s squad tallied 25 points in the team competition to finish tied for ninth. The Wildcat women earned a total of 16 points to finish 15th out of 34 teams.

K-State will send its national qualifiers to the NCAA Championship in Fayetteville, Ark., in two weeks with eyes set on bringing home individual titles and improving on last year’s performance. The at-large berths will be announced on Tuesday to complete the field for the championship.

k-statesports.com