Sellers Completes NCAA Sweep

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Kansas State high jumper Scott Sellers entered the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship with a series of goals and accomplished every one of them including sweeping this season’s NCAA titles.

Sellers led a strong group of high jumpers in the field and was the only competitor to clear the first six heights on his first attempt, another one of his goals. He won the event as the only athlete to clear 7-05.00.

“It means a lot to get the sweep. It’s been a really up and down year,” Sellers said. “Coach’s philosophy, which is mine now, too, is it doesn’t matter losing the small meets if you can come up big in the big ones. I’m happy with the performance. I would have liked to jump a little bit higher, but I’ll take it.”

Still awaiting the announcements of the All-America team by the USTFCCCA, Sellers will become the first eight-time All-American in one event in K-State history.

The high jump had its own dramatic and confusing moment for fans unfamiliar with track and field as Auburn’s Ryan Fleck elected to pass his final attempt at 7-05.00, and Manjula Wijesekara of Southern California elected to pass his final two attempts. The each then missed the next height of 7-06.00 where Sellers passed his final attempt and had the bar set at 7-07.00 already crowned the champion looking to improve his mark.

Sellers, a senior, will now turn his attention to jumping professionally with sights set on the USA Championship in two weeks.

“Practice has been going really well. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been,” he said. “Physically, I’m ready to jump high. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. There’s a lot of talent in the U.S. in the high jump. We’ve got the two highest jumps in the world this year so it’s going to be a battle at nationals.”

The 10 points scored by Sellers give the Wildcats a total of 16 heading into the final day of action with one more chance to score as Jason Collett will run in the 800 meter final.

Another Wildcat closed her illustrious career at K-State with a successful NCAA performance. Loren Groves battled another weather delay to finish seventh in the hammer throw after coming in fifth a year ago.

The hammer throw was halted after each finalist had completed two attempts before the heavy rains came. All athletes, coaches and staff then were asked to go inside Bud Walton Arena to wait out a thunderstorm for approximately three-and-a-half hours.

Following the delay, the athletes had one more throw before narrowing the field from 12 to nine competitors when the final nine made three more throws. Groves did not improve her standing following the break but her throw of 199-11 was enough to hold off part of the field and earn K-State’s only two points in the women’s standings.

TiAra Walpool failed to reach the finals in the women’s triple jump competing in the NCAA Championship for a second straight year. Walpool leapt 40-11.50 in her second jump of the competition and was six inches short of qualifying for the final.

The finals day of the championship meet is set for Saturday with CBS broadcasting live from noon to 2 p.m. Collett will run in the men’s 800 meters final to help the Wildcats close the 2009 season as one of the top teams in the nation. The men’s team currently has 16 points in the team competition and stood fifth place through 10 completed events out of 19.