High jumper clears 7-8.00 against field of Olympians
Wildcat shining in heptathlon at K-State
K-State Track & Field performs well in heptathlon, decathlon in Arizona
Wildcats posting good marks in heptathlon, decathlon
Throwers shine at ESU Spring Open
The K-State Track & Field and Cross Country teams recognize their partnership with the 299th Brigade Support Battalion.
Under the direction of Cliff Rovelto, the Kansas State track and field program has established itself as a force in America's heartland and regularly challenges some of the more established collegiate programs in the nation.
In 2011-12, Rovelto begins his 20th season as the head coach at Kansas State and his 24th at the school overall.
The steady progression of the K-State program culminated in 2001 with Rovelto being honored by his peers as the women's outdoor National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track Coaches Association.
During his tenure, he has led Kansas State to back-to-back Big 12 Conference women's outdoor team championships in 2001 and 2002, has earned consecutive Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors, giving him five such honors in his 19 seasons as the Wildcats' head coach. Prior to the start of the 2005 season, Rovelto earned the United States Women's Track and Field College Coaches Award for Service at the USA Track and Field Convention. Rovelto was nominated by his peers and selected by the officers of USA Track and Field as the 2007 recipient of the John Bennett Decathlon Award.
K-State earned its best finish ever at the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships, placing fifth. Kansas State's pair of Big 12 Conference women's outdoor team championships was the second and third team titles won by any Wildcat athletic team since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1996. The other was a women's cross country team title in 1998.
In 1999-2000, the Kansas State women had one of the best combined seasons in all of collegiate track and cross country. The cross country team placed a school-best fifth at the NCAA Championship, while the indoor team was seventh nationally and the outdoor squad was 11th in the team standings at the NCAA Championships. In 2010-11, the women's programs again had an impressive showing. The cross country team finished 25th while the team finished 45th indoors and 13th outdoors. The Wildcats were one of a handful of programs to score at all three NCAA Championship meets to rank them 11th in the Terry Crawford Program of the Year standings.
Since becoming the head coach in November of 1992, the men's and women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field programs have earned 180 All-American certificates and 114 individual conference championships. Over his 23 seasons at K-State, Rovelto has personally directed 51 individuals to 122 NCAA All-America certificates, as well as 51 individuals to 73 conference event championships.
The success Rovelto has cultivated at Kansas State has propelled him onto the international coaching stage with the United States Track and Field Association eight times.
An internationally recognized authority in combined events who helped write and teach the curriculum for the U.S. combined events coaching education program, Rovelto is a Level II combined event instructor, and is one of two coaches in the U.S. to coach multiple combined event athletes to over 8,000 points in the decathlon and 6,000 points in the heptathlon.
In 2005, Rovelto's international assignment was as an assistant for the Team USA at the 2005 World Track & Field Championships. He served as the women's jumps and combined events coach at the games in Helsinki, Finland. He most recently served as the men's head coach for Team USA at the Pan America Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October 2011.
He has also served as head coach of the U.S. Decathlon Team in dual meets with Germany in 1997 and 2003. He also was named to the U.S. coaching staff for the 2002 World Cup and the 2003 World Outdoor Championships in Paris.
Under Rovelto's tutelage, combined-events athletes have earned 17 All-America certificates and won 13 conference titles. He has coached several internationally known multi-event athletes, including current Wildcat assistant coaches Steve Fritz, who was fourth in the decathlon at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and Tom Pappas, the bronze medalist at the 2004 World Indoor. Rovelto also directed former Wildcat assistant Austra Skujyte, who claimed the 2001 and 2002 NCAA heptathlon championships and set a collegiate record in the pentathlon while at K-State.
Skujyte is a three-time Olympic representative (2000, 2004 and 2008) for her native Lithuania. Skujyte notched her highest finish in international competition with a silver medal performance in the heptathlon at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In the spring of 2005, Skujyte set the IAAF world record in the first female decathlon competition on North American soil with a point total of 8,366.
Rovelto has also coached some of the nation's top jumpers and helped establish K-State as one of the elite high jumping schools in the nation with five NCAA Champions in his tenure as head coach. While at Kansas State, he has coached 44 All-Americans and 25 conference champion high jumpers, while leading 21 All-Americans and 17 conference champs in the long and triple jump. In the pole vault, he has coached a two-time NCAA runner-up and a two-time NCAA third-place finisher.
He has been involved in the U.S. high jump development program for both junior and senior competitors and is a Level III jumps instructor.
A successful coach of sprint and hurdles athletes as well, Rovelto has directed 20 individual All-America sprinters and hurdlers while at Kansas State, including 1995 NCAA 400-meter champion Nicole Green and two-time World Championship participant Jared MacLeod. In addition to combined events, sprints and hurdles, Rovelto has coached NCAA All-Americans in the shot put, javelin and discus. Among the All-Americans, Rovelto has coached 10 NCAA chamions, 17 NCAA runners-up and 15 NCAA third-place finishers.
A native of Ancon, Panama, Rovelto spent seven years coaching at his alma mater, the University of Kansas. He was a graduate assistant on the men's team from 1981 to 1983 before becoming a full-time women's assistant and cross country coach in 1983.
He became the interim head coach for women at Kansas in 1987. While with the Jayhawks, he coached eight All-Americans and seven Big Eight champions in five different events. His women's team broke 24 school records during his tenure.
Rovelto began his full-time coaching career at McLouth (Kan.) High School in 1979. While there, he coached one high school All-American, six state champions and five state record-holders.