WILDCAT TRACKSTERS TOURING KANSAS
"It's always nice to have your program thought of as the best in the state, but on the national scene with what our goals are, they will be meets that we work through," said K-State coach Cliff Rovelto. "I honestly don't know what it means to recruiting, but we always want to demonstrate that we are the best program within the state." The Wildcats are coming off the Texas Relays last weekend, will compete in the Kansas Relays next week, followed by the Drake Relays on April 28-30. At one time, it made for a prestigious triple-crown of track and field. "Texas and Drake are still great meets, but unfortunately KU (Relays) is not what it used to be so the triple-crown has kind of gone by the wayside. It is what it is, and not many teams go to KU anymore. We still support the meet, and Nebraska does, but regional schools like Missouri and Wichita State no longer attend." While Rovelto calls them "good quality meets," he says because of how the NCAA now qualifies athletes for nationals via only an east-west First Round Regional at the end of the season "... from a national prospective, these mid-season meets don't mean anything other than preparing for the one meet that does matter at the end of the season." For K-State, that will mean the West Regionals in Eugene, Ore., on May 26-28. To qualify for that meet, athletes must be in the top 48 of their respective event, with the top 12 then advancing from each of the two regionals to the NCAA Championships on June 8-11 in Des Moines, Iowa. "Honestly, what you do during the year in these meets makes no difference at all," said Rovelto. "In terms of Division I competition, they will probably be the least competitive meets that we will go to during the year." The goal with K-State's program is to have as complete of a team as possible in terms of dual meet, conference meet, and NCAAs, but Rovelto admits, "That's tough, and the reality is that most people on the outside who don't understand track and field are going to be more impressed that we were 13th or 15th at nationals than seventh or eighth at the Big 12 meet. So for us, we're trying to get that national caliber of athlete, and if we have that, then we're going to do relatively well at the conference meet." K-STATE SHINES AT EMPORIA STATE: The Wildcats had a strong showing at the Emporia State Relays last week winning 10 titles. K-State shined in the mid-distance events as Boglarka Bozzay, Meghan Heuer and Laura Lee Baird finished 1-2-3 in the 800 meters. Sara Stoakes won the 1,500, and Sam James won the men's 800. Freshman Erica Twiss won the women's 100-hurdles. Franciso Colomar won the men's 400-hurdles. In the field events, Kim Haberman and Cenarda Jackson went 1-2 in the long jump, and Isaac Mallory won the pole vault. In the throws, Jessica Carter won the hammer throw, Ali Pistora took top honors in the javelin, and Levi Kindel won the hammer throw. Pistora's launch in the javelin ranks seventh in the NCAA so far this season. MT. SAC RELAYS: Kansas State will send a pair of distance runners, plus another pair of former Wildcat distance aces, to the Mt. SAC Relays this weekend in Walnut, Calif. Martina Tresch, who is ranked 28th in the nation, will run the Women's 3,000 Meter Steeplechase Invitational Elite race, while Sydney Messick will be entered in the 10,000m Olympic Developmental Elite race. Former K-Staters Beverly Ramos and Amy Mortimer will also be in the 5,000 Elite Invitational. RANKED NATIONALLY: K-State's men's team is ranked No. 24 in the nation, while the women's outdoor team is ranked No. 33. The Big 12 is again one of the top conferences with eight men's teams ranked in the Top 25 and seven on the women's side. Texas A&M (2), Texas Tech (3), Texas (9) and Nebraska (10) give the men four teams in the Top 10. Kansas (14) dropped two spots this week, and the big mover was Baylor climbing from No. 31 to No. 19. Oklahoma (17) held steady to round out the list. Texas A&M was the preseason favorite on the women's side and is holding steady at No. 1 with Texas (6) and Oklahoma (7) also in the Top 10. Baylor (12), Texas Tech (14) Colorado (17) and Kansas (25) complete the Big 12 schools on the list. Individually, high jumper Erik Kynard cleared 7-5.75 last week at the Texas Relays with that effort ranking No. 1 in the nation for collegians in 2011. Others on the national honor rolls are Ryann Krais, who is second in the heptathlon at 5,848, which also ranks second in school history, and, Ali Pistora, whose 166-8 javelin toss at last week's Emporia State Invitational ranks third in school history and seventh in the nation. WARD HAYLETT MEET: Circle May 7 on your calendar for the Ward Haylett Invitational that will take place at R.V. Christian Track. Competing teams for the event have not been announced. We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at email@example.com. For those who would like to share Sports Extra with a friend or family member, or change your current email address, click here.