K-State looks for NCAA berths at West Regionals

By The Mercury

The Kansas State track and field team will compete in Fayetteville, Ark., this week at the NCAA West Regional Preliminary Rounds, set to start today and go through Saturday.

The Top 48 in each event in the West Region will square off over the three-day meet looking for a Top-12 finish and a trip to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.

The Wildcat men and women combine for a total of 30 entries, with the women leading K-State with 16 entries. The men have 14.

Action was set to start with the women’s javelin at noon and continue into the weekend, concluding Saturday with the 4x400-meter relays.

On the men’s side, sophomore Devin Field leads the way for K-State entering this week’s competition, holding Top-12 regional marks in both the triple jump and long jump at second and 10th, respectively.

Also ranking in the West Region Top-12 is Kyle Wait, whose height cleared of 5.44m/17-10.25 at Big 12s moved him to 12th overall. Wait will look to make it three straight outdoor seasons he has reached the NCAA Championships.

Also worth keeping an eye on this week is the men’s 4x400 squad, as well as Zack Riley, Ryan Hershberger and Ivan Hartung. The relay squad consisting of Christopher Campbell, Carlos Rodriguez, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye and Tyris Jefferson has been running well as of late, with its most recent effort at Big 12s moving the group into 25th in the region.

In the high jump, Zack Riley sits at 18th overall with a current season best of 2.15m/7-00.50m, while Ryan Hershberger in the shot put and Ivan Hartung in the javelin are 13th and 32nd, respectively.

The women boast a deep squad, including six different athletes holding Top-10 marks in the West Region. In the high jump, Alyx Treasure enters competition as the No. 1 seed with a height cleared of 1.85m/6-00.75, while Joslyn Barnes and Rachel Proteau are tied for sixth in the event.

On the throws side, Sara Savatovic is third in the hammer throw with a personal best mark of 65.19m/213-10, while freshman Danie Plank is eighth overall in the javelin. Both Wildcats are coming off scoring performances at Big 12s, including a conference title showing by Savatovic.

Rounding out the Top-10 performers is Erica Twiss, who is not only fourth in the long jump, but holds Top-15 times in both the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles. Twiss is also a part of the 32nd-ranked 4x400 squad, with Sonia Gaskin, Jordan Matthews and Tia’ Gamble, set to compete this weekend.

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Martina Tresch, who was an All-American in the event last season, enters competition with the 18th-best mark in the West Region, while Gaskin and Gamble will look to move into the Top 12 in the 800 meters and 400H, respectively. Lastly, Dani Winters in the shot put rounds out the throws group for the Wildcats.

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