Wildcats to compete at UCLA Legends Invitational

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Junior runner Lukas Koch rounds a corner in the men's mile run as junior Kain Ellis follows closely behind at the DeLoss Dodds Invitational on Jan. 23, 2016, in Ahearn Field House. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

A successful indoor track and field season is in the history books for K-State. Six Wildcats competed at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Seniors Akela Jones and Dani Winters earned titles in high jump and shot put, respectively.

Now K-State will shift its focus to the outdoor season.

“I think everyone hopes to sort of springboard out of indoor and go straight into outdoor and be successful,” Winters said. “But there is a little bit of a transitional period in there too.”

K-State began its outdoor season last weekend in San Antonio at the UTSA invitational. Over the course of two days, the Wildcats had six first-place finishes. The men and women both finished in sixth place.

This weekend, K-State will compete in the UCLA Legends Invitational at the Drake Stadium.

Moving from the indoor to the the outdoor season can be tough, as there is little time between the Indoor National Championships and outdoor competition. K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto said the athletes who competed in the Indoor National Championships left immediately from Birhmingham, Alabama, to go to San Antonio to start training and prepping for the outdoor season.

“You’re trying to get a lot done in a short period of time,” Rovelto said. “It’s really a lot more mental than anything else. They’ve got to prepare to go back and do that work. I think fortunately a majority of them seem to be adjusting very well.”

K-State will be among 13 teams competing in the track meet. The Legends Invitational will also include high school athletes and a Distance Carnival.

Senior Sonia Gaskin is representing the Wildcats in the Distance Carnival as the top seed in the women’s 800-meter run. Junior Morgan Wedekind and sophomore Kayla Doll sit side by side in the seeding for the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Junior Lukas Koch is representing the men and sits in the middle of the pack in the 1500-meter run along with junior Kain Ellis and freshman Kurt Loevenstein.

As for the rest of the field, several of K-State’s athletes are seeded in the top 10. The men’s 4-x-100 meter relay team enters the meet in the top spot with a seed time of 40.31 seconds. Senior Akela Jones also holds a strong position in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.08 seconds.

The meet kicks off today with the Distance Carnival and will finish up on Saturday.

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