In recent weeks, head track coach Cliff Rovelto has said it is the time of year when athletes start to focus on improving their individual performances. This weekend, the Wildcats will have the chance to do just that.
K-State has sent a group of 26 athletes to the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, as well as 19 to the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., for a pair of two-day meets, which begin today. Rovelto, who is in his 21st season with the Wildcats, said the multiple venues give his athletes a better opportunity to improve in their respective events.
“Iowa State, given their 300-meter track, is a better place for the long sprinters, middle-distance and distance runners to get quality times. That’s the reason they’re going there. The group that’s going to Arkansas, for the most part, are guys and gals who are capable of qualifying for the NCAA championship.”
The indoor national championship will take place at that same venue — the Randal Tyson Track Center — March 12-13. It is not the first championship meet hosted by Arkansas and, as to Rovelto said, its for good reason.
“In recent years, it’s hosted the majority of the indoor national championships,” he said.
The Wildcats competing this weekend will do so in a championship-caliber venue. Iowa State’s Lied Recreational Center will host the Big 12 Championship on Feb. 26-27.
That could arguably work to K-State’s advantage down the stretch, as the Wildcats will have already competed in Ames twice before the league meet. The men and women both earned third-place finishes at the Bill Bergen Invitational Jan. 30.
Locations aside, the Wildcats’ head coach believes all participants will see top-notch competition from all corners of the nation.
“The quality of the meets in both places is very high. It wasn’t like there was going to be better competition at one place or the other. Wherever they’re going, it’s going to be good.”
Following this weekend’s split-squad action, K-State will come home for the KSU Open — just the second meet of the season in Ahearn Field House for one final tune-up before the conference championship.