Cats snag qualifying marks

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The track and field team left the Sevigne Husker Invitational with two NCAA provisional qualifiers and an event win.

Freshman Annika Schoenebeck finished fifth in the pentathlon on Friday and reached the NCAA provisional qualifying mark by totaling 3,731 points.

Coach Cliff Rovelto said Schoenebeck had a good meet, and he said he is impressed she has put up such high marks as a true freshman.

“I actually think she is going to be quite a bit better,” Rovelto said. “She’s doing a good job, and she’s going to be valuable to us.”

Senior Donniece Parrish met the NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the 400-meter dash when she finished third with a personal best time of 55.32 on Saturday. Her time is the fourth best in K-State indoor history, and it tops her previous best of 53.95.

Rovelto said Parrish ran well in the 400, though she has only ran a handful of them in her college career.

“In my opinion [the 400-meter dash] is her best race distance,” Rovelto said. “I think she is definitely a 400-meter runner, and I think she is now just starting to embrace that.”

Meeting the NCAA provisional mark does not guarantee the athletes will qualify for the NCAA championships, but Rovelto said Schoenebeck and Parrish have performed well enough to meet the NCAA automatic qualifying marks. If their provisional marks earn them a trip to the NCAA championships, they will join sophomore Loren Groves, who qualified in the weight throw, and junior Scott Sellers, who qualified in the high jump.

The only event win of the weekend came from junior Jason Collett. He won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:52.08.

The invitational provided the first opportunity of the season for the men to compete in the heptathlon. Junior Adam Fretwell placed third and finished with 5,275 points, only 25 points short of the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. Freshman Moritz Cleve finished eighth in the event, and placed first out of the heptathletes in the 1000-meter run.

Junior Emily Dittemore posted a second place finish in the 1000-meter run, finishing at 3:01.71.

The Wildcats also finished second in the women’s 4×400-meter relay. Parrish, freshman TiAra Walpool, senior Marnyka Honeycutt and senior Morgan Bonds posted a time of 3:45.87 in the event.

In the men’s 1600-meter run, the Wildcats took second and third place. Freshman Mike Sickafoose finished at 4:16.27, just ahead of sophomore Danny Schneider, who posted a time of 4:16.42.

The women were able to take first, second, third and fifth place in the consolation heat of the 200-meter dash.

The Wildcats will compete in the Don Barrett Air Force Open this Saturday.

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