K-State track and field set for two weekend meets

Senior Zanri Van Der Merwe jumps in the long jump event at the K-State track and field meet in Ahearn Field House on Feb. 17, 2017. (File Photo by John Benfer | The Collegian)

The Kansas State track and field team will travel to Arizona for two meets this weekend at the Jim Click Combined Events Meet in Tucson and at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe.

“In Tucson, we have four freshmen competing, so it should be a lot of fun,” director of track and field and cross country Cliff Rovelto said to K-State Sports. “We also have a large group competing in Tempe. The majority will be facing very good competition, as this is always a quality meet.”

The Wildcats started on Thursday in the meet in Tucson as freshman Simone Fassina made his debut in the decathlon. Freshmen Nina Schultz, Ariel Okorie and Lauren Taubert will also make their debuts in the heptathlon.

“(Fassina) has been training well lately, and I am looking forward to watching him in his first decathlon at K-State,” Rovelto noted about his only male multi-athlete. “The girls have also been working really hard and are really looking forward to competing. There are 22 women in the field, and the quality is good.”

There has not been a K-State track and field athlete to compete in the Tucson meet since 2015 when Akela Jones finished second in the heptathlon with a score of 6,049. Jones’ score is second on the all-time list in school history in an event that she went on to win that year at nationals.

The meet in Tempe begins today as senior Kain Ellis participates in the event for the first time since 2015.

During the last meet, the distance team won the two top spots in both the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase and 800-meter.

The meet in Tucson begins at 11 a.m. central time today, while the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe starts at 1 p.m. and will resume at 11 a.m. on Saturday.