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Cats run strong at Iowa State

By The Mercury

AMES, Iowa — The Kansas State track and field team followed up an impressive second day at the Bill Bergan Invitational with a balanced closing effort from both the men’s and women’s squads on Saturday.

The Wildcat men finished first overall and the women second, while combining for three first-place finishes, seven runner-up efforts and broke one meet record.

Highlighting the team’s balanced effort were several performances in the track events, led by Tia Gamble in the 600-yard run.

The sophomore defeated reigning Big 12 Indoor Champion Ese Okoro, from Iowa State, by more than a second with a time of 1:21.38.

Freshmen Kain Ellis and Colton Donahue starred on the track for the Wildcat men, as they finished 1-2, respectively, in the unseeded mile run.

In the relays, the Wildcats continued to impress as both the men’s and women’s squads posted quality marks against their best competition all year.

For the women, the A-Team of Sonia Gaskin, Erica Twiss, Gamble and Sarah Kolmer ran to a second-place finish behind Minnesota.

Despite the group’s first defeat of the year, their time of 3:39.20 was good enough to break the Bill Bergan event record.

On the men’s side, Christopher Campbell, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye, Tyris Jefferson and Carlos Rodriguez won against a deep pool of talent in the first heat, and their winning time of 3:10.67 put the group at 25th-best in Division I.

K-State had several top three performances on the track as well. Freshman Marija Stambolic, ran 2:52.60 to place second in the 1,000 meters, while junior Logan Smith finished third in the seeded 800-meters with a time of 1:51.82.

In the shorter distance events, Rodriguez ran 6.78 to finish second in the 60-meters and Angela Hart and Merryl Mbeng finished 2-3, respectively, in the 60-meter hurdles.

Switching to the field events, Alyx Treasure placed second behind South Dakota’s Megan Glisar in the high jump. The junior finished with a mark of 5-10.50, after missing on three attempts at a career-tying best 6-00.50. 

In the shot put, Dani Winters and Ryan Hershberger finished second and third in their respective events.

Rounding the notable field performances for the Wildcats was Alyssa Kelly, who placed third in the triple jump with a season-best mark of 38-02.25.

The Wildcats return home to Manhattan for the week before hitting the road for their first split group meets of the season.

Both running next Friday and Saturday, K-State will send one group to Lincoln, Neb., for the Sevigne Husker Invitational and the other to Albuquerque, N.M., for the New Mexico Classic.

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