Wildcats hope to make strides in first heptathlon this season


Only 30 athletes from the 75-person K-State track team will travel to Lincoln, Neb., this weekend for the 33rd-annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational.

Freshman Moritz Cleve and junior Adam Fretwell are competing in their first heptathlons of the season. Fretwell said the invitational will provide good competition because of the minimum requirements to compete in the heptathlon.

He said the Wildcats will face strong heptathletes from Nebraska as well as last year’s national champion, Jake Arnold, who is competing unattached from any college.

“I hope to do well,” Fretwell said. “For multi-eventers, it’s always exciting to do their first multi-event of the season.”

Coach Cliff Rovelto said the Big 12 Conference is strong in the heptathlon and as many as six or seven heptathletes from the conference could qualify for the NCAA championships. He said this meet will be a good measure of how the Wildcats measure up to good competition.

“The Nebraska guys will be in the meet this weekend, so we’ll get a little bit better idea of what kind of shape people are in,” Rovelto said. “Based on what I’ve seen from individual results, I think that that will be an extremely strong event.”

In the running events, senior Morgan Bonds is a favorite in the 800-meter race. She has won the 600-yard race the last three years at this meet and won the 600-yard race in last weekend’s Conference Challenge, which was also in Lincoln.

The invitational should provide a good opportunity to run an 800-meter race on a 200-meter track, which is the same-size track used at NCAA indoor championships. Bonds said she likes running the 800-meter after competing well in the 600-yard race.

“The 600 is a good stimulus to run a fast 800,” Bonds said. “It will be interesting to see if I can go out and get the provisional standards for nationals this weekend. That’s my goal.”

Sophomore Loren Groves is another Wildcat who has a chance to perform well. She qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the weight throw when she broke the school record with a 69-11.50 toss on Jan. 19.

“Loren is clearly the best girl in the conference,” Rovelto said. “She is certainly capable of winning.”

Rovelto also said junior Scott Sellers has a good chance to win the high jump this weekend, but he will be facing the best competition in the Big 12.

“He’d have to jump well; he couldn’t have an off day and still win,” Rovelto said.