For the third consecutive time this season, members of the track and field team faced off against stiff competition from Big 12 opponent Nebraska. Also for the third consecutive time this season, several Wildcats had some success.
Five participants broke personal records and three posted top-three finishes at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational on Saturday.
After the meet, which took place at the Devaney Center Indoor Track in Lincoln, Neb., head coach Cliff Rovelto said he was pleased with K-State’s overall performance despite some disadvantages the Wildcats faced due to outside factors.
“I think what we saw is kind of what we expected to see,” Rovelto said. “There was some fatigue from training and, in some cases, some of the younger kids weren’t as sure of themselves as they probably could be. But, in general, I thought they did very well as a group.”
A pair of K-State women enjoyed a strong showing in the mile, as senior Emily Dittemore and true freshman Martina Tresch finished second and fourth, respectively. Dittemore clocked in with a time of 5:00.14 and Tresch set a new personal record, crossing the finish line in 5:02.31.
Senior Lekesha Pointer-Allen eclipsed her own record in the 600-yard run, earning a third-place finish with a time of 1:22.92.
The women’s squad also enjoyed some middle-distance success as sophomore Boglarka Bozzay posted a third-place finish in the 800-meter special invitation race. Her time of 2:09 missed an NCAA provisional qualifying mark by just .19 seconds.
“I think Boglarka ran a better race than she had run previously,” Rovelto said of Bozzay’s performance. “I think it was significantly better.”
In men’s competition, junior Jack Sachse set a personal best in the 800-meter special invitation, finishing second in 1:50.98. Like Bozzay, Sachse was just shy of a provisional mark, missing the cutoff by .48 seconds. Fellow junior Sam James finished just behind his teammate, earning third with a time of 1:51.13.
K-State also showcased a pair of relay teams – a women’s distance medley team and a men’s 4×400 relay team – and grabbed top-three finishes on both sides. The women finished in 12:04.38, which was good for second place, and the men earned a third-place finish with a time of 3:16.51. Rovelto, who is in his 21st season with the Wildcats, acknowledged both teams showed improvement, but said there’s still work to be done.
“The guys ran fast, they ran better, but I would hope we’re still capable of doing more than that,” he said. “And the women, most kids ran about like they were expected to at this point, but we would hope that over the next two or three weeks, everybody could run faster. We weren’t disappointed at all, but we know we could continue to run faster.”
For the first time this season, the Wildcats will participate in concurrent meets when they send split squads to the ISU Invitational in Ames, Iowa, and the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Both meets will take place on Friday and Saturday.