Pappas Wins Thorpe Cup

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State assistant track and field coach Tom Pappas won the annual Thorpe Cup decathlon this weekend in Marburg, Germany. Pappas dominated the field scoring 8,569 points, which also is the second-highest point total in the world this year.


Pappas was not the only K-State representative at the annual Germany vs. USA event. He was joined by team manager Dani McNaney and volunteer coach Julie Pickler who both competed in the women’s heptathlon.


Pappas bested the field by 677 points with strong marks in every event to post the No. 2 score in the world. He scored at least 900 points in five of the events with his highest score coming in the long jump at 7.63 meters worth 967 points. His score of 8,569 points was just more than 200 points shy of his career high and bested his score at the Olympic Trials last summer. K-State head coach and personal coach of Pappas said his win was a complete performance.


“Tom’s performance was outstanding,” Rovelto said. “He performed at a high level in every discipline save for the 1,500 meters where he battled some cramping.”


McNaney finished sixth in the heptathlon with a score of 5,469 points. She posted her highest score in the100 meter hurdles to open the event at 14.19 seconds for 952 points. Her total was just off her mark from the USA Championships earlier this summer, which ranks 10th in the nation.


Pickler’s total of 5,549 was just six points off her high for the year, which she also posted at the LSU Combined Event in April. She currently ranks 18th on the USA Track and Field performance list in the heptathlon. Pickler’s twin sister Diana will be joining her sister as a volunteer coach in the fall and also trains with Rovelto and participated in three events to prepare for the IAAF World Championships in Berlin this weekend where she will represent USA in the heptathlon after winning the USA Championship.


K-State junior Moritz Cleve also competed in two events at the Thorpe Cup in preparation for the IAAF World Championships. Cleve has been selected to compete for his native Germany at the championships in the decathlon after a successful sophomore year for the Wildcats. Cleve finished third at the NCAA Outdoor Championship this season and won the Big 12 Conference Championship in the decathlon with 8,004 points setting a conference record.


Head coach Cliff Rovelto said having Cleve compete in such a prestigious event at his age and in the most grueling event in track and field speaks volumes to his talent and dedication to being the best athlete he can be.


“It is rare that someone so young competes at this level particularly in the decathlon,” Rovelto said of Cleve. “He is somewhat of a surprise selection, which speaks to his phenomenal improvements over the past two years.”


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