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K-State strong in first home meet

By The Mercury

The Kansas State track and field team put in a strong performance at its first home meet of the outdoor season, the Ward Haylett Invitational, coming away with several notable individual performances.

Facing off against Kansas, Wichita State and Air Force in a team scored meet, the Wildcats registered a total of 15 personal best marks, five top-10 school marks, as well as 13 first-place finishes.

For the women, Erica Twiss headlined the K-State effort, finishing first in both the 100-meter and 400 hurdles, as well as helping the 4x100 relay team to a first-place finish.

In the 100 meter hurdles, Twiss finished in13.37 seconds. The win was her third victory in the event this season, as well as a new personal best. Shifting to the relays, Twiss, along with Tia’ Gamble, Jordan Matthews and Angela Hart, took first in the 4x100 in a time of 45.58 seconds. It was both the first victory of the season for the K-State women in the event, as well as a season-best time.

Twiss closed out a busy Saturday with a dominant showing in the 400 hurdles, winning the event by well over a second in a meet record time of 58.32 seconds.

In the high jump, Alyx Treasure matched a career-best mark of 1.85m/6-00.75 feet to take first in the event. Also putting in strong efforts were Rachel Proteau and Joslyn Barnes, who finished third and fifth, respectively.

In the throws, Sara Savatovic and Danie Plank both put in winning performances. Savatovic picked up her second straight and third overall victory in the hammer throw, defeating a field of five with a chuck of 61.93m/203-02. Plank took first in the javelin, winning the event handedly with a final mark of 49.02m/160-10. Rounding out the notable performers in the javelin was Haley Pitko, who had a season-best throw of 40.45m/132-08 to finish fifth.

Lastly for the throws, Dani Winters finished second in the shot put with a personal best mark of 15.90m/52-02.00.

On the track, Sonia Gaskin had a strong day in multiple events. In the 400, she went toe-to-toe with Olympian Diamond Dixon, finishing second in a time of 52.81 seconds. In the 4x400, Gaskin, along with Gamble, Matthews and Sarah Kolmer, took first in a time of 3:40.28.

Merryl Mbeng had two personal best efforts. In the 100 hurdles, Mbeng finished second behind Twiss in 13.70 seconds, besting a previous PR of 14.02. The senior finished the day with a second-place finish in the long jump.

Also in the women’s long jump, Alyssa Kelly placed third with a personal best leap of 5.83m/19-01.50.

For the men, senior Ryan Hershberger dominated the field of eight with a final mark of 18.86m/61-10.50, earning his first outdoor victory this season. Devin Dick also registered a notable performance in the event, setting a personal outdoor best mark 14.73m/48-04.00 to finish fifth.

Along with Hershberger, the K-State men had considerable success in all the throws events. Reinis Kregers had a PR performance in the discus to finish third with a mark of 49.01m/160-09, while Ivan Hartung picked up his first victory of the season in the javelin.

On the track, the K-State men had multiple first-place finishes, as well as several personal best performances.

Carlos Rodriguez took first in the 400 in a season-best time of 46.80 seconds, while Christopher Campbell took third in a personal best time of 47.53 seconds. Rodriguez, along with Campbell, Magnus Scott, Jr., and Dane Steen, also took first in the men’s 4x100 in a season-best time of 40.41 seconds. In the 800, senior Kyle Hanson placed third, finishing in 1:50.24. Steen finished with a career-best time of 10.72 seconds in the 100 dash, taking second.

Rounding out the winning performances for the men were Kyle Wait in the pole vault and Zack Riley in the high jump. Wait came away with his first victory in the event this outdoor season, finishing with a height cleared of 5.25m/17-02.75.

In the high jump, Riley picked up his first victory of the outdoor season, staving off fellow teammate Miles Bearden. Both Riley and Bearden finished with heights cleared of 2.10m/6-10.75, but like Wait, Riley earned first-place due to having only three failed attempts to Bearden’s five. 

With one home meet in the books, K-State will finish its back-to-back home swing with Wildcat Open on May 10. This will be the final meet for the Wildcats before the Big 12 Championships take place the following week in Lubbock, Texas.

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