Twiss, Winters lead Wildcats in Ames

By The Mercury

After an impressive first day in Ames, Iowa, the K-State track and field team’s final day at the Iowa State Classic was highlighted by first-place finishes from Erica Twiss and Dani Winters.

The Wildcats racked up nine top-five finishes, including two runner-up efforts.

After a convincing performance against the field in the 60-meter hurdle preliminaries on Friday night, Twiss looked poised to take first in the event’s final. The senior did just that on Saturday, dominating the field of eight and finishing ahead of second-place by nearly half a second with a time of 8.27 seconds. The win marked her fourth victory in the event this season and the first since Jan. 25 at the K-State Invitational.

Winters picked up her first win in the shot put since winning four straight from Dec. 14, 2013 to Jan. 25, 2014. Her mark of 51-00.25 was her third-best chuck of the season and defeated the field of 20. It was yet another impressive showing for the sophomore, who has finished in the top-three all seven times she has competed in the event this season.

On the track, the Wildcats were busy with 17 athletes competing in 11 events. In the 400 meters, Carlos Rodriguez competed for the first time this season in the event. The junior finished second (47.39) behind Florida’s Hugh Graham, Jr. (46.60), who came into today with the 17th-best mark in Division I. Also finding his way into the top 5 for the third time this season in the 400 meters was Christopher Campbell, who placed fifth in a time of 47.81.

On the women’s side, the 4x400 ‘A’ team competed without Twiss for the first time this season, as sophomore Jordan Matthews took her place, running the third leg of the relay. Even with the lineup change, the group of Matthews, Sonia Gaskin, Tia’ Gamble and Sarah Kolmer finished a strong third with a time of 3:39.28. The third-place effort marked the seventh time this season the ‘A’ squad has finished in the top three and was nearly its second runner-up finish, as it finished .03 seconds behind second-place Iowa State.

Gaskin also placed seventh in an extremely competitive 800 meters with a time of 2:07.67.

In the field, Zack Riley competed in back-to-back meets for the first time this season, placing second in the high jump. His mark of 7-00.50 matched a season-high, as he narrowly missed taking first in the event. Riley, as well as his counterpart, Iowa State’s Cameron Ostrowski, were unable to clear the next height of 2.20 meters. 

Though both matched each other in height cleared, Ostrowski took first as he was able to clear 2.15 meters in two tries compared to Riley’s three.

Ryan Hershberger rounded out an impressive day for the Wildcat shot putters, as he placed third at 57-11.00.

With their second of three trips to Ames in the books, the Wildcats return to their home track this weekend for their final home meet of the indoor season this Friday and Saturday.

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