Cleve Battles for Bronze at NCAAs

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. The decathletes competed into the wee hours of the night, but it was worth it for sophomore Kansas State’s Moritz Cleve. The sophomore battled along side two of the nation’s best in Oregon’s Ashton Eaton and North Carolina’s Mateo Sossah to finish third at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship with 7,937 points in the decathlon.

Cleve maintained his momentum from the first day of the decathlon with the second-fastest time in the 110 meter hurdles. Many competitors in the field posted personal best times, but it was not enough to pass Cleve. He ran in 14.44 seconds approximately two-tenths off his best time, but the finish moved him into second in the overall standings.

After dropping in the overall standings with a throw of just 127-03 in the discus, Cleve rebounded with a personal best in the pole vault. Cleve vaulted 15-09 to beat his previous best by eight inches and finished fourth in the stanza and move back into second overall. He gained ground on leader Ashton Eaton from Oregon outscoring him by more than 100 points in the pole vault.

The battle tightened after the javelin with Cleve dropping to third overall behind Eaton and Sossah, but the gap with Eaton had narrowed. Sossah cut the gap to 199 points, and Cleve was behind Eaton by 245 points cutting into his deficit by 10 points heading into the final event the 1,500 meters.

Cleve needed to defeat Sossah by eight seconds in the final event to claim the silver medal but could not move up the standings. Cleve coasted to a fifth-place finish in the event to score 747 points and finish third overall and earn the Wildcats their first points of the meet with six. Eaton claimed the title just missing the NCAA meet record with 8,241 points, and Sossah surpassed the prestigious 8,000-point mark as well at 8,044.

A pair of Wildcats started the day for K-State in the discus but could not advance to the finals as the fields for both the men and women struggled with a strong crosswind in the ring. Loren Groves finished 24th in the women’s competition with a throw of 153-03, and Eric Thomas had a throw of 166-06.

Jason Collett kept his season alive running in the fastest semifinal heat of the 800 meters. Collett finished sixth in his heat with a new personal best time of 1:47.36, which was nearly a full second faster than his previous best. The top three finishers automatically earned their way to the final followed by the next three fastest times. No at-large bids to the final came out of the other semifinal heat with Collett getting the final spot in Saturday’s final.

Mike Myer hoped to continue his impressive senior season for the Wildcats by advancing to the semifinals of the 200 meters. His time of 21.32 seconds was not enough to move on ending his season. Myer entered the championship after tying the school record at the Midwest Regional two weeks ago.

Beverly Ramos ran her way to 18th place in the 10,000 meters facing a strong field. Ramos kept pace in a secondary pack throughout much of the race but the leaders pulled away in the closing laps. She finished in 35:24.14.

K-State will have three Wildcats in action on Saturday as Groves participates in the women’s hammer throw finals to open the day, and TiAra Walpool jumps in the qualifying round of the triple jump. Scott Sellers will look to become the school’s first eight-time All-American in one event jumping in the high jump final to close K-
State’s evening at John McDonnell Field.

Fans can follow the action online at ncaa.com or catch a live telecast on CBS College Sports from 6-9 p.m.

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