Groves highlights strong showing at Wildcat Invitational


The K-State track and field team has enjoyed plenty of success this season in the friendly confines of Ahearn Field House.

The Wildcats continued that trend over the weekend, tallying eight first-place finishes in the Wildcat Invitational, Heptathlon and Pentathlon.

Senior thrower Loren Groves, a 2007-08 All-American, stole the show when she earned K-State’s first NCAA automatic qualifying mark of the 2008-09 campaign. Her first-place throw of 69-08 – a season-high – guaranteed her a spot in the NCAA Championships in June.

In addition to Groves, Sophomore Moritz Cleve captured the men’s heptathlon title with a score of 5,606 points and earned a provisional qualifying mark.

The Wildcats dominated the women’s pole vault, as they swept the top-four spots. Junior Alexandra Gonzalez won the event with a vault of 12-01½. Sophomore TiAra Walpool recorded a personal-best as she captured the women’s triple jump title with a leap of 40-11¾.

K-State was equally as strong in the running portion of the meet, tallying four top finishes – including three individual wins and one team win.

Sophomore Denise Baker won the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.73 seconds; senior Mike Myer topped the charts in the men’s 60-meter, completing the race in 6.85 seconds; and freshman Gustavo Vazquez-Milan captured the men’s 400-meter with a time of 50.61 seconds.

In team competition, the women’s 4×400 relay team completed the race in 3:23.28 to top the field.

The Wildcats will return to action this weekend when they travel to Lincoln, Neb., for the Sevigne Husker Invitational. Events are set to begin Friday and conclude Saturday.