K-State secures five first-place finishes in Emporia

Sophomore distance runner Colton Donahue dashes toward the line to take the victory in the men's mile run at the K-State Open track & field meet February 20, 2015, at Ahearn Fieldhouse. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

After a strong performance at the TCU Invitational just a week before, the K-State track and field teams managed to see solid improvements just a short drive away in Emporia, Kansas at the Emporia State Spring Open on Saturday.

K-State managed to earn three individual medals on the track while also winning the women’s 4×400 event. The Wildcats relay team won in a noticeable fashion, defeating the next-best finishers by over 10 seconds.

Junior sprinter Sonia Gaskin won her first 400-meter dash since the Beach Invitational last outdoor season, while also breaking the Emporia State Spring Open’s event record.

Also on the track, sophomore runner Morgan Wedekind won her second-career 3,000-meter steeple chase event while also breaking the meet’s record in the process. Wedekind has performed well in the Emporia State Spring Open, with her only other career victory in the event in last years’ meet.

K-State also received a solid performance from sophomore javelin thrower Danie Plank, whose first-place throw bested the next-best competitor by almost six feet. With her second victory in as many meets, Plank has managed to tie her season total from a year ago already this outdoor season.

On the men’s side, the Wildcats lone first-place finisher was sophomore distance runner Kain Ellis, who earned his first gold medal in the 1,500-meter event. In the race, Ellis bested Minnesota State’s Austin Pasch by just 1.91 seconds, and fellow Wildcats sophomore distance runner Colton Donahue by 2.36 seconds.

Up next for the Wildcats is a long trip to Waco, Texas for the one-day Baylor Invitational on Friday.