Women lead team, Big 12 to victory over Mountain West Conference


K-State’s track and field team helped lead the Big 12 Conference to a victory over the Mountain West Conference in the Conference Challenge on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

The Wildcats were joined by Missouri and Nebraska to represent the Big 12 against Air Force, Brigham Young and Colorado State of the Mountain West. The Big 12 outscored the Mountain West 224-145 in the dual meet. The Wildcat women led all schools, scoring 53 points.

“On the women’s side, there were a lot of good performances,” said track and field coach Cliff Rovelto. “There were a significant number of personal bests. Across the board in general the girls competed really well.”

The women notched seven event victories, as well as three one-two finishes. In the weight throw, junior Loren Groves and senior Laci Heller had throws of 67-00.50 and 65-01.25, respectively, to place first and second.

In both the 60-meter and the 200-meter races, sophomore Donniece Parrish edged out senior Marnyka Honeycutt to give the Wildcats and the Big 12 one-two finishes. Parrish and Honeycutt posted times of 7.61 and 7.67 in the 60-meter race and 24.24 and 24.86 in the 200-meter race, respectively.

Parrish and Honeycutt also were on winning the 4×400-meter-relay team, along with senior Morgan Bonds and freshman Tiara Walpool. Bonds also won the 600-yard run with a time of 1:22.46. Junior Lauren Fisher posted a time of 57.71 to win the 400-meter. Senior Thomaida Polydorou’s triple jump of 12.35 meters gave the Wildcats another victory.

The men were not as successful in the meet, only scoring nine points. The lone victory came from sophomore Sam James in the 800-meter, with a time of 1:51.81.

Rovelto said several of the men’s performances would not show because they are decathletes and do not specialize in one event. There were athletes, however, who impressed him.

“There were a few guys that had great meets,” Rovelto said. “Mike Myer ran really well in the 200. The 60 was also a solid race for him. Sam [James], in the 800, ran very well. Colin [Swaney], in the mile, ran well.”

Myer placed second in the 200-meter and third in the 60-meter. Swaney came in fourth in the mile.

The men also had several athletes who did not compete in their best event. Scott Sellers, 2007 NCAA outdoor high jump champion, competed in the long jump and triple jump, placing third in both.

Rovelto said he performed well considering that he was not competing in his best event.