Feb. 14, 2014
ResultsAMES, Iowa - K-State Track and Field kicked off the Iowa State Classic with several noteworthy performances by both the men's and squads. It was an impressive effort for the Wildcats, who were perhaps facing their most difficult competition as a whole to date. With several teams ranking in the national top-25, including six in the national top-10, K-State came away with a total three first-place finishes, eight top-three finishes and two school top-10 performances in the first day's action.
Rodriguez and Gamble with Historic Performances
Despite a second-place finish, Carlos Rodriguez's performance in the 200 meter dash was one for the K-State record books. The All-American senior posted a blazing time of 21.33 seconds on the Lied Recreation Center's track, winning his heat easily and narrowly missing out on winning the entire event. Just how close? Rodriguez held the 200 meter lead after the first heat until Western Kentucky's Elvyonn Bailey, in the fourth heat of the event, finished with a time of 21.32 seconds to take the event lead and first-place.
Even with it being his first 200m loss this season, Rodriguez's final time was the best ever by a K-State athlete competing on an oversized track. The record performance broke the previous mark held by Pat Agwu, who posted a time of 21.41 seconds in 2007.
Tia' Gamble also found herself competing in a close race, as she was able to win by a narrow margin in the 600 yard run. The sophomore finished with a time of 1:20.07, beating the second-place finisher, Erica Moore, who placed in a time of 1:20.10. It was yet another winning performance for Gamble, who now is 3-0 on the season in the 600 yard run, including 2-0 on the Lied Recreation Center track.
For the Desoto, Texas native, it bested her previous oversized time of 1:21.38 set at this season's Bill Bergan Invitational. Gamble now holds the second-best oversized track mark in K-State history.
Men's Long Jumpers Win Again
Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye kept an impressive winning streak alive for the K-State men's long jumpers, as he took first with a mark of 7.31m/23-11.75. For Otuonye, it was his second win in the event this season, as well as a season-best mark. The Wildcat men have now won three-straight in the event and, as a team, have yet to finish below third-place.
Also putting in a solid performance was Devin Dick, who put up a season-best mark of 7.14m/23-05.25 to finish third in the event.
Mbeng Beginning to Heat Up
After sitting out the first three meets of the season to heal her leg, Merryl Mbeng has quietly been returning to form in the last three meets. The All-American in the pentathlon last season, Mbeng finished second in today's long jump with a mark of 5.85m/19-02.50. The jump was easily a season-best and was her best finish in any individual event this season.
Mbeng also competed in the 60 meter hurdles for the third time this season, but did not record an official time after being called for a hook during her heat. A hook, which earns a disqualification, is when the hurdler swings his or her trailing leg around the outside of the hurdle instead of over it.
Despite the tough call, head coach Cliff Rovelto praised the senior's recent effort.
"Merryl is coming around and feeling more confident about her leg," Rovelto said. "She competed well in the long jump and ran better in the hurdles."
Odds n' Ends
• Erica Twiss advanced to the women's 60 meter hurdle final with an overall best time of 8.24 seconds. It matched a season-best for her and beat the field by a half of second. The final is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow.
• Sara Savatovic suffered her first loss of the season in the women's weight throw. After starting out a perfect 6-0, the sophomore placed third with a throw of 19.83m/65-00.75. Even with the loss, Savatovic's latest throw was her third best effort to date this season.
• Kyle Wait got the men's pole vault back into the top-three, as the senior All-American placed third in the event with a mark of 5.15m/16-10.75. For Wait, it's his fourth top-three finish this season.
The final day of the Iowa State Classic is set to begin at 9 a.m., with K-State's Martina Tresch competing in the women's 3000 meter run. Heat sheets, as well as live results, can be found by visiting the K-State Track and Field schedule page and clicking on the meet's tab.
Iowa State Classic
Lied Recreation Center
11: Dane Steen, 7.03
21: Magnus Scott, Jr.: 7.20
22: Zanri van der Merwe, 8.29
60m Hurdles Prelims
11: Devin Dick, 8.36
17: Adam Deterding, 8.58
1: Erica Twiss, 8.24q
12: Angela Hart, 8.85
26: Sarah Kolmer, 9.32
--: Merryl Mbeng, DQ
2: Carlos Rodriguez, 21.33 - 1st in school history on an oversized track
--: Dane Steen, DQ
4: Christopher Campbell, 1:11.45
1: Tia' Gamble, 1:20.07 - 2nd-best in school history on oversized track
8: Jordan Matthews, 1:23.31
10: Goodin-Harrison-Jantsch-Donahue, 10:08.39
6: Wedekind-Hart-Taylor-Donnelly, 11:57.99
1: Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, 7.31m/23-11.75
3: Devin Dick, 7.14m/23-05.25
2: Merryl Mbeng, 5.85m/19-02.50
10: Sarah Kolmer, 5.39m/17-08.25
11: Zanri van der Merwe, 5.38m/17-08.00
8: Rachel Proteau, 1.65m/5-05.00
3: Kyle Wait, 5.15m/16-10.75
12: Tommy Brady, 4.55m/14-11.00
--: Cameron Savage, NH
7: Alex Roe, 17.79m/58-04.50
3: Sara Savatovic, 19.83m/65-00.75
10: Dani Winters, 17.29m/56-08.75