Wildcats Run into Season Opener

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State Wildcats begin their track and field indoor season with back-to-back home events this weekend. Friday the Wildcats will host the annual Carol Robinson Winter Pentathlon in Ahearn Field House followed by the KSU All-Comers on Saturday.

The annual combined events pentathlon on Friday will feature two young Wildcats on the men’s team looking to build off successful freshmen campaigns. Rok Derzanic and Moritz Cleve both performed well for K-State last year and will look to begin the season with a strong showing in the Carol Robinson Winter Pentathlon.

Saturday will draw athletes to compete in a full schedule of events in the KSU All-Comers beginning at 10 a.m. Field events will be held first on Saturday with the running events beginning at 3:15 p.m.

Results will be posted on www.k-statesports.com following each day’s action.

Returners Provide Strength for K-State

The Wildcats return a number of athletes on the men’s and women’s side who contributed strongly to their teams’ success last year. The men return three who qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in their respective events -- two of which earned All-America honors.

Senior high jumper Scott Sellers placed second in the NCAA Championships narrowly missing his second national title after claiming the Big 12 title. This year he is also expected to increase his contribution to the Wildcats participating in multi-events as well.

Sophomore combined events specialist Rok Derzanic earned All-America honors after finishing eighth at the NCAA’s in the pentathlon. Derzanic also proved to be one of the top in the conference in his event finishing third at the Big 12 Championships. Another sophomore -- Moritz Cleve -- came on strong for the Wildcats in his first year. He finished second in the Big 12 in the heptathlon and came in 12th at the NCAA’s. Senior Adam Fretwell adds to the depth in the combined events for the Wildcats as he finished eighth in the Big 12 last year.

On the women’s side, senior thrower Loren Groves looks to add to her illustrious career with another Big 12 title. Groves has won two consecutive weight throw conference titles and earned All-America honors again last year with a sixth place finish at the NCAA’s.

She is not alone as a strong competitor for the women. Junior Beverly Ramos brings experience in the distance events and looks to build off her most successful cross country season of her career. Ramos won three races this fall and finished fourth at the Big 12 Championship. Ramos was joined by senior Liliani Mendez on the All-Big 12 Cross Country Team after Mendez finished 15th to round out the honorees. Mendez also will bring experience to the distance events for the women’s team. The women’s team will also have depth in the distance events to create opportunities to score points for the Wildcats.

The women will look to be strong in the jumps this year with Tiara Walpool looking to build off her freshman campaign. She will also compete in sprints. Nina Kokot will participate in her first indoor season after redshirting last year and making a strong showing in outdoor.

Combined events should be strength for the women’s team along with the men. Stephanie Hejde finished 10th at the Big 12 Championship last year in the pentathlon as a sophomore. Annika Schoenebeck came in just ahead of Hejde in eighth place for the Wildcats last year.

Bringing It Inside

K-State’s men’s and women’s teams both hope to build off their success in the outdoor season and keep coming strong this indoor season. Groves and Sellers also earn All-America status during the outdoor season and Groves added to her trophy case with another Big 12 title in the hammer throw.

The women’s team finished fifth at the outdoor Big 12 Championships while the men came in at 10th. In their last action indoors, the Wildcats posted strong performances to finish 27th on the men’s side with nine points and three points on the women’s side.

Record Breaking Wildcats

This year’s edition of the Wildcats have some high marks to reach after four school records were broken during the indoor season last year -- all four marks came at the Big 12 Championship. Donniece Parrish set a new school record in the 400 meters clocking in at 53.15. Parrish is the only student-athlete to set a school record last year not returning for 2009.

Loren Groves posted a new school record in the weight throw with a distance of 70-03.00 to claim the conference title. For the men Mike Myer ran the 200 meters in 21.16 seconds en route to finishing fourth in the conference. Scott Sellers claimed the title with a school-record high jump of 7-06.