Wildcats Look for Gold in California

This Week For Kansas State
NCAA Outdoor Championships
Wednesday-Saturday, June 6-9
Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex Sacramento, Calif.

Television:
Friday (live) - 7:30 p.m. on CSTV
(check with your local cable or satellite provider)

Saturday (live) - 12 p.m. on CBS

Live results at www.ncaasports.com

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State will take part in this week’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with 10 athletes and two relay teams. This is the fourth trip in the last five years, that K-State has made to Sacramento, Calif., for the NCAA Championships.

The K-State women’s team will be represented by six athletes: Morgan Bonds (800-meter run), Laci Heller (hammer throw), Beverly Ramos (3,000-meter Steeplechase), Ashley Reider (javelin), Marianne Schlachter (triple jump), Kaylene Wagner (high jump) and two relay teams (4x100 and 4x400).

The men’s team is represented by four athletes: Adam Fretwell (decathlon), Kyle Lancaster (high jump), Scott Sellers (high jump) and TJ Staab (shot put).

Lancaster leads the group with four appearances at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, while Heller is making her third trip. Schlachter, Sellers and Staab are making their second. This the first outdoor national championship appearance for Ramos, Reider and Fretwell.

Last Time Out at the NCAA Outdoor Championships
At the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Kansas State tallied three All-America citations of its 11 representatives at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The three athletes earning the honors were Candice Mills (women’s long jump), Scott Sellers (men’s high jump) and Christian Smith (men’s mile).

25 Years and Counting
The 2006 outdoor All-American honor by Candice Mills at the NCAA Championships marked the 25th straight year the K-State women have had at least one athlete earn an NCAA All-American honor. The streak dates to the first NCAA Championship in 1982 when Kelly Wenlock finished seventh in the long jump. Over that time period, 33 Wildcats have earned 58 All-American certificates, including five national championships.

Odds and Ends
The following are some odds and ends regarding K-State at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The K-State men’s team has tallied 87 All-American honors and nine national titles dating back to the 1921 season.
The Wildcat women’s team has tallied 64 All-American citations and five national champions in the 25 years of the women’s national championship.
K-State has earned 12 All-America honors in the men’s high jump, including eight during the Cliff Rovelto era; three of these are held by Kyle Lancaster and one by Scott Sellers.
Adam Fretwell will attempt to become K-State’s first decathlete to earn an All-America honor since Attila Zsivoczky and Jason Williams in 1999
TJ Staab is attempting to earn the first men’s All-America honor in the shot put since Andrew Gillam in 1985.
Ashley Reider will try to become the third Wildcat female to garner an All-American citation in the javelin and the first since Kendra Wecker in 2002.
Morgan Bonds has an opportunity to become K-State’s first dual All-American since Austra Skujyte in the 2002 season (heptathlon and shot put); Bonds will be running in the 800-meter run and as a member of the 4x400-meter relay.

Last Time Out
Kansas State competed at the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on May 25-26 in Des Moines, Iowa and finished seventh (38 points) in the women’s standings and 13th on the men’s side (24 points). The Wildcats were able to place 10 athletes and two relay teams in the NCAA Outdoor Championship field.

K-State garnered one event title, as Scott Sellers won the men’s high jump, fending off teammate Kyle Lancaster for the crown.

Sellers Rises to Top-35 Ranking on IAAF List; Wagner Debuts
Scott Sellers continued his rise among the world’s elite high jumpers, while Kaylene Wagner joined the top-50 on the women’s side for the first time this season in the May 21 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world rankings for the men’s and women’s high jump. He has risen 17 places in a little over a month in the ranking.

In a little over a month, Sellers has climbed 17 places from 49th (April 9) to his current standing of 32nd. The sophomore from Katy, Texas climbed up the rankings after winning a Big 12 title with a meet and school record clearance of 7-07.75 during the Big 12 Championships.

Wagner’s ranking of 50th has been aided by her consistency over the last month, including a personal season-best clearance of 6-02.25 at the Drake Relays and a second-place finish in the Big 12 Championships of 6-01.50.

Sellers’ Market
Scott Sellers secured his place among K-State’s elite high jumpers by setting a school, Big 12 meet and Ed Weir Stadium records while winning his first Big 12 title with an incredible clearance of 7-07.75. The effort is the fourth highest outdoor mark in NCAA history and the 15th highest in United States history.

He continued his late season surge by winning the NCAA Midwest Regional title in Des Moines, Iowa with a clearance of 7-04.50. In his earlier visit to Drake Stadium this season, Sellers cleared a height of 7-05.00 in the men’s special invitation high jump at the Drake Relays. 

The sophomore from Katy, Texas, now owns both in the indoor (7-05.75) and outdoor school records. He has cleared seven feet in the outdoor season in 13 of 14 competitions and has won three event titles. He has surpassed the regional qualifying standard in all nine efforts that have regional qualifying implications.

Three High Jumpers in Dandy Dozen
Scott Sellers, Kyle Lancaster and Kaylene Wagner remain in Trackwire.com’s Dandy Dozen for the high jump for the sixth consecutive week on May 8. Sellers remained in second place for the fourth straight week, after registering a career-best height at the Big 12 Championships. Lancaster climbed one position this week from ninth to eighth. 

Wagner fell one spot after her runner-up finish at the Big 12 Championships. The senior from Goleta, Calif., had the naional lead in the event for two straight weeks. One additional Wildcat included in the women’s rankings was Marianne Schlachter in the women’s triple jump. The junior from Albbruck, Germany is just outside the scoring in 10th place.

Despite the nine points for  the men’s team and eight for the women, the Wildcats remain just outside the top-25 in both polls.

The factors used to build the Dandy Dozen include quantitative values that measure performances in past major competitions (such as conference championships, national championships and Olympic competition), durability and freedom from injuries, demonstrated ability to compete well in multiple rounds of competition, ability in other events, head-to-head competition with other top athletes, and personal or seasonal bests.

Wagner Continues to Wow’em
Senior Kaylene Wagner recorded one of two runner-up finishes by a K-State female athlete during the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Lincoln, Neb. Wagner cleared a height of 6-01.50 and narrowly missed on her two attempts at 6-02.75.

Wagner improved her win total to five in eight competitions on April 28, by outlasting the competition at the Drake Relays. In the special invitation women’s high jump, Wagner defeated former Olympian Amy Acuff in a jump-off to win with a height of 6-02.25. The product of Goleta, Calif., is now second in school history with the effort, trailing Gwen Wentland’s school record of 6-04.50. Wagner’s performance was also the fifth-best female clearance in the world this year. 

Wagner started her K-State career with five straight wins in the indoor high jump after an entire season on the sidelines. She is believed to be the first female in school history to win five consecutive high jump titles in a single season. She finished her lone indoor season as an All-American and cleared a height of 6-01.25 during the KSU Open in Ahearn Field House. The height ranks fourth in school history.

Lucky 13 for Lancaster
Senior Kyle Lancaster won his 13th career high jump title during the Pepsi Invitational in Eugene, Oregon. Lancaster overtook two teammates, sophomore Scott Sellers and senior Lamar Garrett, to win the crown with a personal season-best clearance of 7-01.00. 

Lancaster made his return on March 24 at the Jim Click Shootout with an NCAA Regional qualifying height of 7-00.50. The Fort Scott, Kan., native redshirted during the 2006 outdoor campaign. This was his first outdoor win since May 28, 2005 at the NCAA Midwest Regionals.

Heller and Her Hammer
K-State junior Laci Heller will make her third straight NCAA Outdoor Championship appearance in the hammer throw, after finishing third at the Midwest Regional with a distance of 199-07. The effort by the Meriden, Kan., product was the ninth time this season she has recorded a final distance beyond 190 feet this season

Heller improved on her NCAA Midwest Regional standing in the hammer throw during the Nebraska Invitational on May 5. Heller carded a toss of 201-01, which surpasses her previous personal season-best of 200-00, which came on April 29 at the Nebraska Open in the same hammer circle. This is the third straight year she has thrown beyond 200 feet in a meet.

During the Big 12 Championships, Heller recorded a mark of 199-08 for a runner-up finish. She has finished among the top-3 in the Big 12 hammer throw in all three years of competition, including a title in 2006. 

Heller has won eight career hammer throw titles, while competing in 31 events. She has surpassed the regional standard in 23 of those efforts. She has a career-best of 202-01 during the 2006 Texas Relays, which ranks second in school history behind Renetta Seiler’s mark of 209-04 during the 1998 Big 12 Championships.

Ramos Resets Own School Record in Steeplechase
Freshman Beverly Ramos continued to lower her own school record in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase during the NCAA Midwest Regional in Des Moines. Ramos finished fourth with a K-State record of 10:21.71. This is 15 seconds faster than her previous record of 10:36.05, which she set May 13 at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in Lincoln, Neb., where she finished third.

Ramos originally broke the record on April 7 at the Pepsi Invitational in Eugene, Ore., while winning her second event title of the season. The Trujillo, Puerto Rico product won with a time of 10:41.48. The previous school record was 10:49.65 by Amanda Crouse-Behnke during the 2001 Big 12 Championships.

Ramos won her first event crown in a K-State uniform during the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz., with a time of 10:59.31.

Reider Resets Career-Best to Qualify for NCAA Meet
Ashley Reider raised her career-best in the women’s javelin to 165-00 for a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional and her first apperance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The distance ranks third in school history and she is now the first K-State female to reach the NCAA meet in the javelin since Kendra Wecker in 2002.

Reider registered a new career-best finish at the Big 12 Championships on May 13. The sophomore from Lansing, Kan., registered a third-place distance of 150-05. In 2006, Reider secured a sixth-place effort in Waco, Texas.

Reider has won twice in 2007, opening the season at the Mike’s Sporting Goods Spring Twilight at Emporia State on March 15 with a winning toss of 145-09. She followed that effort with a winning toss of 159-03 during the Jim Click Shootout on March 24.

Staab Qualifies for Second NCAA Championship
TJ Staab is making the most out of his final outdoor season in a K-State uniform, as he qualified for his second NCAA Outdoor Championship with a fifth-place toss of 56-09.25 during the Midwest Regional in Des Moines, Iowa.

In his final appearance in a Big 12 Outdoor Championship, Staab registered a career-best finish in the shot put. The senior from Plainville, Kan., finished third with a distance of 56-09.25. At the 2005 Big 12 Championships, Staab finished sixth with a mark of 58-04.00. 

Staab recorded his personal season-best and team-leading mark of 57-05.00 for his second win in Emporia this season. His first came during the Mike’s Sporting Goods Spring Twilight at Emporia State with a distance of 55-08.50. He then improved by a half-inch on March 24 at the Jim Click Shootout with a regional mark of 55-09.00.

Strong Bonds
Morgan Bonds advanced to her second NCAA Outdoor Championship with a career-best time of 2:06.07 during the NCAA Midwest Regional. The time ranks third in school history.

Bonds qualified for her second career NCAA Midwest regional meet during the Pepsi Invitational on April 7. Bonds recorded the mark in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:07.51. The junior from Hutchinson, Kan., has finished below the regional qualifying mark eight times in her career.

Fretwell Secures New Career-Best in Decathlon
Adam Fretwell scored a new career-best point total in the decathlon with 7,197 points for a sixth place finish at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. The sophomore from Houston, Texas, registered an NCAA provisional qualifying mark with the effort and carded the 10th highest point total in school history.

During the two-day event, Fretwell recorded two new personal-bests in the long jump (23-04.75) and in the pole vault (14-07.25) and a new season-best in the javelin (182-01).

Schlachter Extends Career-Best in Triple Jump
Marianne Schlachter continued to dazzle in the women’s triple jump during the Drake Relays last weekend. Schlachter recorded a second-place finish to go along with a new career-best distance of 42-05.25. This was her fourth straight top-two finish in the discipline this season. The product of Albbruck, Germany now ranks fourth in school history with the effort.

During the Kansas Relays on April 21, Schlachter tallied a wind-aided distance of 42-11.75 to win the triple jump.  This was her second win in the event this season. She has a wind legal season-best and regional qualifying mark of 41-10.50 during the UTEP Invitational on April 14.

Also during the Kansas Relays, she carded a new personal-best point total in the heptathlon with 4,789, which ranks 10th in K-State history. During the competition, Schlachter surpassed the NCAA Midwest regional mark for the first time in the high jump with a career-best clearance of 5-09.25.

K-State Places 18 on Academic All-Big 12 Team
Kansas State placed 18 student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 first and second teams, announced by the Big 12 Conference on Tuesday. This was the highest number of recipients for the Wildcats since the 2003 season when the teams placed 26 athletes on the list.

Leading the way was senior Ashleigh Rogers (dietetics) with her fourth career citation. Earning their third career first team honor was junior Laci Heller (feed science management) and senior Wally Walstrom (nutrition science). Heller was the only Wildcat to make the first team with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and is the second straight year she has earned the honor with a 4.0 GPA.

On the list for the second time in their career was junior Morgan Bonds (biology), junior Thomaida Polydorou (architectural engineering), junior Marianne Schlachter (English), sophomore Loren Groves (elementary education) and senior Hiral Bhakta (management).

Newcomers to the Academic All-Big 12 first team were: junior Jenny Glodowski (family studies), senior Kaylene Wagner (kinesiology), senior Bryce Bergman (mechanical engineering), sophomore Jason Collett (economics), sophomore Adam Fretwell (industrial engineering), senior Joe Moore (mass communication), junior Danny Schneider (food science) and sophomore Scott Sellers (pre-physical therapy).

On the Academic All-Big 12 second team for the first time were sophomore Emily Dittemore (family studies) and junior Brittany Moroney (marketing).