The Kansas State track and field team battled the elements at two different meets this weekend, as the Wildcats split up for another weekend of action and came home with six victories.
The Wildcats traveled to the UTEP Invitational in Texas and the K.T. Woodman Classic in Wichita and high winds dominated the events.
In El Paso, a sandstorm made things more difficult for the athletes as winds of more than 50 miles per hour made for an interesting day at the track.
In El Paso, mutli-event specialist Richelle Farley ran a fast time in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at 13.86, but with a strong trail wind of 2.6 meters per second to finish third for the Wildcats. Sophomore Erica Twiss also ran fast, coming in sixth place at 14.12 seconds.
The tandem of Samantha McKnight, Farley, TiAra Walpool and Twiss finished sixth in the 4x100 relay with a time of 47 seconds, marking the second-fastest time of the season by the Wildcats in the event.
In the field events in El Paso, freshman high jumper Alyx Treasure cleared 5-09.75 (1.77m) to take first place. To keep the strong finishes coming in third in the triple jump, fifth-year senior TiAra Walpool leapt 40-09.75 (12.44m).
The poor conditions affected the men’s high jump as defending NCAA outdoor champion Erik Kynard finished first at just 7-01.75 (2.18m). It marked only the second time this outdoor season Kynard has competed.
K-State also shined in the sprints at the UTEP Invitational, despite the high winds with Martynas Juriglas winning the men’s 100 meters at 10.27 seconds. He was able to edge the hosting Miners’ runner Anthony Wright by just two-hundredths of a second.
Carlos Rodriguez finished fourth in 10.40. In another sprinting event, senior Mantas Silkauskas clocked in at 13.88 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles to take first place. His time was at a legal wind advantage to mark his fastest time of the season in the event.
Silkauskas teamed up with Rodriguez, Grant Loescher and Jurgilas to finish second in the 4x100 relay in 40.30 seconds.
“The weather was awful in El Paso,” K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto said. “Mantas ran well in the hurdles with what was for him a poor start, and Martynas is coming around in the sprints.
“Most of today was OK, considering the difficult conditions. It is very difficult to evaluate, as we were more in survival mode. I am not displeased under the circumstances we were competing in today.”
At the Woodman Classic, high winds also dominated the scene. The strong storms that hit Kansas were able to avoid Wichita and the meet was completed with high winds creating most of the problems.
Jacquelyene Leffler posted a distance of 158-09 (48.39m) in the discus to finished third with a new personal-best in the event.
Senior Chelsie Bonds took third place for the women’s squad in the hammer throw with a toss of 173-03 (52.80m).
In the sprinting events, Dane Steen clocked in at 10.84 seconds, but it was also wind-aided. He finished 19th for the meet. He also ran 21.89 seconds in the 200 meters, but also with another wind-aided time.
Freshman Chris Campbell ran hard for the Wildcats in the 400 meters, taking home a fourth-place finish. He clocked in at 48.38 seconds with a strong head wind over the last 100 meters of the race.
The 400-meter hurdles was a good event for the Wildcats at the Woodman Classic with Franciso Colomar winning the men’s race at 53.38 seconds. Luke Hibbeler also claimed sixth for the men.
Sophomore Angela Hart finished third in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:05.10.
Sophomore Kyle Wait kept going strong in the pole vault, finishing second with his clearance of 16-10.75 (5.15m). Cameron Savage also came in fifth for the Wildcats, going over the bar at 16-00.75 (4.90m).
Decathlete Devin Dick also cleared the same height as Savage, but finished sixth based on misses.
In the throwing events, the Wildcats again made a statement with sophomore Ryan Hershberger performing well in multiple events. He finished second in the shot put with his mark of 53-10.25 (16.41m). He also won the men’s discus throw later in the day with a toss of 169-02 (51.56m) to post his best throw of the season.
The Wildcats return to action next week, as one group will head to Lawrence to compete in the annual Kansas Relays. Another group will be competing in Walnut, Calif., for the also Mt. SAC Relays.