Saturday, May 23, 2015



Wildcats break records in opener



It was a successful start to the track and field season for the K-State Wildcats as they broke three school records while hosting the KSU All-Comers on Saturday afternoon.

K-State saw its newcomers shine on the women’s team and prove why this recruiting class was ranked No. 6 in the nation by Track & Field News.

Freshman Jasmine Gibbs opened her day with a win in the women’s long jump. She leapt 18-06.00 (5.64 meters) for the win on her second attempt of the competition.

Perhaps most impressive of her showing in the long jump was she did it on a shortened approach for training purposes.

Gibbs backed that victory with another in the 60 meter dash to open the running events with a school record. Gibbs crossed the line in 7.41 seconds winning the race by three-tenths of a second over K-State’s Samantha McKnight.

With that time Gibbs breaks the previous record time of 7.46 seconds held by Karissa Stewart and set in 1997.

The next record to fall was the women’s 300 meter dash. This time it was another freshman setting the new standard at K-State.

Ashley Williams finished in 39.65 seconds, dominating the race by nearly half a second. She breaks the record set last year by Sophia Alonso.

After the meet, K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto said he was more than happy with his entire team’s performance but did highlight Gibbs and Williams.

“Any girl that runs 11.40 in high school is really, really good. And that’s what Jasmine is. There is no question she is really good,” Rovelto said. “Ashley was kind of hidden (in recruiting) because she didn’t have any open event times.

“She was basically only running relays, so she didn’t have a time for people to look at. Certainly what Jasmine did in the 60 was nice, and Ashley in the 300 was very, very good.”

Yet another freshman for the women’s team tallied a victory as Tia Gamble took first in the 600 yard run with her time of 1:22.76. That time would rank ninth in school history. Gamble just edged out freshman Sonia Gaskin with Gaskin finishing second in 1:23.19.

The victories and impressive performances were not limited to the women’s team, however. Carlos Rodriguez sped to a win in the 60 meter dash with his time of 6.78 seconds. He also took home a victory in the 300 meters, where he set a new school record in 33.64 seconds.

In second place was freshman Jay-J Parks with his time of 34.77, which ranks second in school history as well. Sophomore Chris Campbell was third, improving his personal record in the event to 35.09 and ranking third in school history.

“In general, the freshmen and other indoor newcomers, like Tia, Ashley, Jay-J and Merryl Mbeng yesterday in the pentathlon, all those people weren’t here last year and they had significant marks,” Rovelto said. “And all of them had marks that typically score at the Big 12 meet.”

The Wildcats also saw success in the field events on Saturday taking home a total of four wins, including Gibbs’ victory in the long jump.

Junior Brooke Sharp opened the day with K-State’s first win in the high jump. Sharp cleared 5-03.75 (1.62 meters) to get the win. The Wildcat women swept the jumping events with freshman Alyssa Kelly taking first in the triple jump. Kelly jumped 38-07.00 (11.76 meters) for the victory.

Ryan Hershberger claimed the fourth win in a field event in the men’s shot put. Hershberger led with a top mark of 54-01.75 (16.50 meters) as he won by more than 1.5 meters.

Two more of K-State’s throwers were in action and both posted new PRs. Redshirt Dani Winters finished third in the women’s shot put at 45-10.75 (13.99 m) and took second in the women’s weight throw at 56-08.75 as she fell to Oklahoma State’s Caitlin Way by just one centimeter.

Alex Roe finished second in the men’s weight throw with his toss of 55-09.25 (17.00 m).

The Wildcats closed the day with wins in both the men’s and women’s 4x400 relays. The women fielded two teams and took the top two spots in the race.

The men also had two teams competing with the K-State A squad taking first with a time of 3:19.46 with Grant Loescher outstretching the competition at the finish line to win by just .04 of a second.

Former Wildcat and Olympian Jeffrey Julmis was in action as well on Saturday. The hurdler broke away from his normal indoor event to run the 60 meter dash and made his debut in the 300 meter dash. Julmis took fourth in both events.

K-State will be back in action on January 11 when the Wildcats travel to compete at the KU Invitational.

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