Wildcats Set for Big 12 Championships

Heat Sheets | Meet Notes

AMES, Iowa
– The Kansas State track and field team nears the end of its indoor season as it travels to Ames, Iowa, to compete in the Big 12 Championships at the Lied Recreation Center on Friday and Saturday. 

Both the men’s team and women’s team will be eyeing their first conference title in 40 years after both won the then Big Eight Conference title during the 1976 season. 

The seventh-ranked women enter the meet with redemption on their minds after coming in second place to the 2015 conference champion Texas Longhorns by just six and a half points with a school-record score of 132.5 total points. 

The squad is led by defending 2015 Big 12 champions Akela Jones (long jump), Kimberly Williamson (high jump), Dani Winters (shot put) and Sara Savatovic (weight throw), who will all look to repeat last year’s successes. 

Jones is already off to an impressive 2016 season, including setting a school and Ahearn Field House record performance in pentathlon, where she fell just 35 points short of the NCAA record in the meet with a total score of 4,643 points. 

She also holds the second-best mark in the nation in long jump with her leap of 6.64m/21-09.50 at the DeLoss Dodds Invitational and is tied for second in high jump with Williamson with a mark of 1.87m/6-01.50 at the Wildcat Invitational. 

 The throws group of Savatovic, Winters and Janee’ Kassanavoid also looks for a strong outing at this year’s conference meet. The three are ranked in the top-10 in the Big 12 in the weight throw, while Winters mark of 17.29m/56-08.75 is good for the third best mark in the conference. 

The men will also be looking to improve on last season’s meet after coming in ninth place with 43 points. The Wildcats will have 26 men competing at this year’s conference meet, one of the largest groups it has ever brought. 

Defending outdoor Big 12 champion Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye will look to replicate his success indoors in long jump. He currently sits at No. 1 in the conference in the event with a mark of 7.75m/25-05.25 set at the Tyson Invitational. 

The team will also be looking for big marks from junior Brady Grunder and sophomore Christoff Bryan in this year’s competition. Grunder, a transfer from Iowa Central Community College, has a shot at the weight throw as he leads the Big 12 with a mark of 19.79m/64-11.25. 

Bryan, who finished fourth in high jump last year with a leap of 2.17m/7-01.50, currently holds the second-best mark in the conference with a leap of 2.25m/7-04.50. 

The Championship begins Friday at 10 a.m. with multi events (women’s heptathlon and men’s pentathlon) and continues throughout the day with preliminary events on the track and in the field. Saturday’s events are set to begin at 11 a.m. with multi events and field events, while events on the track begin at noon. 

The event can also be viewed here via FloSports online streaming service. Live results from the Championship will also be available via Delta Timing by clicking here

For the latest on K-State track and field, follow @kstatesports and @KStateTF on Twitter using the hashtag #KStateTF or on Facebook.