K-State Track and Field finds success at Steve Miller Open

Long jumper Tom Pyle, freshman in physics, takes off from the line and soars as far as he can over the sand at the DeLoss Dodds Invitational track & field meet Jan. 23, 2016, in Ahearn Fieldhouse. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

It felt like spring outside of Ahearn Fieldhouse on Friday. The warm sunshine was an indicator of the outdoor track and field season around the corner as the indoor season comes to a close.

“It was a tuneup for some,” head coach Cliff Rovelto said to K-State Sports. “We had a few kids coming off of injuries and we needed to see where they were at.”

The Steve Miller Open proved productive for K-State, as 12 athletes earned first-place finishes and 17 recorded personal bests.

The day began in the field. The Wildcat jumpers posted strong marks, with three earning the top spot in their events.

In his third high jump victory of the season, sophomore Miles Bearden notched a mark of 6-10 3/4. In women’s triple jump, freshman Shardia Lawrence hit a milestone in her K-State career on a top finish with a jump of 41-0 1/4. Sophomore Claudette Allen earned her first top finish of the season in long jump with a jump of 18-11 1/4.

On the track, the distance and mid-distance runners also had strong performances for K-State.

In the 600-yard run, junior Kevin Jantsch set a new personal best and notched a first-place finish with a time of 1 minute, 11.01 seconds. Freshman Javon Patterson was right behind Jantsch, finishing second in the event with a personal record of his own and a time of 1:12.61.

Freshman Chris Sandquist and sophomore Sam Oxandale found success in the 800-meter run, finishing first and second in the event. Sandquest recorded a time of 1:55.45 and Oxandale posted a 1:57.01. For the women in the 800, senior Paige Kochuyt finished in second place with a time of 2:22.94 for a new personal record.

In the mile run, junior Jeff Bachman was the top finisher with a time of 4:21.58, his personal best in the event. On the women’s side of the mile, three of K-State’s women recorded personal bests. Top-finishing sophomore Jenny McCarty earned a new personal record on her time of 5:08.97. Also recording personal bests were freshman Amanda Thate with a time of 5:15.11 and freshman Laina Ewoldt with a time of 5:32.83.

Shaving nearly two seconds off his previous best time, senior Blake Goodin had a strong performance in the 1,000-meter run, posting a time of 2:27.90. In the 3,000-meter run, freshman Joe Gorthy set a new personal record of his own with a time of 8:59.57.

Sophomore Keiteyana Parks dominated the 400-meter dash with a top-finishing time of 57.82 seconds. Freshman Krista Haddock earned a new personal best in the event with a mark of 1:01.27.

Freshman Tom Pyle recorded a personal best in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.20. The 60-meter hurdles were dominated by K-State, with junior Adam Deterding taking the top spot with a time of 8.22. He was followed by freshman Simone Fassina, who set a new personal best on a time of 8.47 for the second-place spot.

K-State also took the top two spots in the men’s 200-meter dash. Freshman Nick Albus secured the top spot with a time of 22.11, while freshman Devie Freeman took the second spot on a new personal best of 22.31.

“Fortunately, we found out some good things,” Rovelto said to K-State Sports. “They performed pretty well tonight, which is encouraging heading into the conference meet.”

From here, K-State will focus on the Big 12 Championships next week at the Lied Recreation Center in Ames, Iowa.