Cats open with home track meet

By The Mercury

The Kansas State track and field team opened up its 2013-14 indoor campaign today at Ahearn Field House with the Carol Robinson Winter Pentathlon, followed by the K-State Winter Invitational on Saturday.

Saturday’s meet features a full slate of events with field events beginning at 11 a.m., followed by running events at 2 p.m. The K-State men go up against Big 12 foe Oklahoma State in a Division-I Dual, while the women will compete in a scored meet against Oklahoma State and Nebraska-Omaha.

Fort Hays State and Emporia State will also be competing in Division-II action.

The Wildcats dominated the Winter Invitational last season, formerly known as the KSU All-Comers meet, as three school records were broken in the opening weekend.

Returning senior All-American Carlos Rodriguez was responsible for one of the three records with his time of 33.64 in the 300 meters.

In all, K-State has six of its eight All-Americans from this past year returning to action this season.

Senior pole vaulter Kyle Wait, senior long jumper Jharyl Bowry and Big 12 outdoor steeplechase champion Martina Tresch round out a strong group of All-Americans for the Wildcats. 

Wait is a back-to-back Big 12 champion and K-State’s first All-American in pole vault since 1982, while Bowry was last year’s Big 12 indoor long jump champ.

Also returning, after redshirting this past season, is junior Alyx Treasure. The Canadian was an All-American in 2012, as well as a Big 12 indoor champion in the high jump.

The Wildcats will look to build upon a strong year that included the men placing 23rd at the NCAA Championships. It was the first time since 1939 that the K-State men have finished in the Top 25 for the third straight year.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have several freshmen to keep an eye on as well for the upcoming season.

Sprinter Charday Crawford — from Springfield, Ill. — comes to Manhattan as a national Top-10 recruit, while Rachel Proteau — from Albany, Ore. — is a state record-holder in the high jump and the 2013 USA Junior National High Jump Champion.

The Wildcat men added Jaelen Spencer from Hesperia, Calif., who was rated as the No. 1 sophomore triple jumper in the history of California, as well as Miles Bearden, of Cartersville, Ga., who, along with being a school record holder, was the 2013 New Balance Nationals Outdoor Champion in the high jump.

Admission to Saturday’s meet is free. Fans are asked to enter at the east doors of Ahearn Field House and use the balcony seating.

Following this weekend’s action, the Wildcats won’t return to competition until the New Year with a date in Lawrence on Jan. 10 at the Bill Easton Classic.

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