For the K-State track and field team, chances to compete at home don’t come very often. But this weekend, the Wildcats will get a rare opportunity to showcase their abilities in front of their own audience.
K-State will host the KSU Open on Saturday at Ahearn Field House. The one-day meet marks just the second home action of the season for the Wildcats, which head coach Cliff Rovelto said is greatly welcomed by many of those involved.
“I don’t care where you’re located,” Rovelto said. “Whether you have a great indoor facility or if you have great weather outdoors or whatever, kids look forward to being able to compete at home or close to home so that their friends and family can see them.”
In an attempt to rest the team for the upcoming Big 12 championship meet in Ames, Iowa, the Wildcats will have a limited number of athletes in competition this weekend, including throwers, sprinters and hurdlers. There isn’t expected to be a lot of stiff competition, but Rovelto said there will be a wide variety of schools making the trip to Manhattan.
“There’s a number of Division II schools from the state and from Oklahoma,” he said. “It’s actually a pretty sizable meet. It’s a little bit bigger, really, than what we would like for the purposes of what we’re wanting to do, but good people want to come.”
The Wildcat head coach added that athletes who aren’t participating in the meet are working diligently to lower their times and lengthen their jumps and throws as postseason competition draws closer. He also mentioned that doing so while still getting enough rest can be more difficult than it seems.
“The big thing is just rest, more than anything,” he said. “You’ve got some kids who you know are going to be at the NCAA meet, so you can’t back off too much now or they’re going to be flat by the time you get to nationals.”
This weekend’s action will begin with the weight throw, as well as the men’s and women’s shot put, at 11 a.m.