Wildcats receive multiple Big 12 Indoor Track and Field
|K-State track and field head
coach Cliff Rovelto was named Women's Coach of the Year, while Akela Jones
earned Women's Performer of the Year and freshmen A'Keyla
Mitchell and Nate Gipson were each awarded Outstanding
Freshman. (Graphic: K-State
K-State track and field head coach Cliff Rovelto along with multiple Wildcat
athletes were honored by the Big 12 for an impressive 2014-15 indoor campaign.
Rovelto was named Women's Coach of the Year, while Akela Jones earned Women's
Performer of the Year and freshmen A'Keyla Mitchell and Nate Gipson were each
awarded Outstanding Freshman.
The four conference honors mark an
unprecedented indoor awards haul for the K-State track and field program in the
Big 12 era.
Rovelto was named indoor coach of the year for the first time
ever. In his 23rd season as head coach of the track program, Rovelto led the
women to program bests in both points (132.50) and finish (second) at the recent
Big 12 Indoor Championships in Ames, Iowa. The accolade adds to a long list of
coaching awards for Rovelto, as he is already a two-time Big 12 Outdoor Women's
Coach of the Year (2001 and 2002), five-time Midwest Region Coach of the Year
and the 2001 USTCA Women's Outdoor National Coach of the Year.
meanwhile, became only the second women's Wildcat, and fourth athlete overall in
program history, to earn Indoor Women's Performer of the Year. Already joining
former K-State All-American and Olympian Austra Skujyte as the only women's
athletes to earn high point scorer of the conference championships with her 24
points scored across three events in the Big 12 Indoor Championships - long jump
(1st), high jump (2nd), 60-meter hurdles (3rd) - Jones also is the first women's
athlete since Skujyte in 2002 to earn the yearly accolade. She, along with
Texas' Courtney Okolo and Baylor's Rachel Johnson, were all honored, marking the
first time in indoor women's conference history the award has been given to
A junior transfer from Oklahoma Baptist, Jones has
dominated in her first year with the Wildcats. Along with her latest conference
honor, Jones has nabbed a Big 12 title in the long jump, earned conference
Athlete of the Week twice and broken school records in the 60-meter hurdles and
long jump. Before beginning her outdoor campaign, Jones will compete in the NCAA
Championships next weekend, as she has qualified in three events - 60H, high
jump and long jump.
For the freshmen Mitchell and Gipson, they are the
first set of teammates to both be named Outstanding Freshman since Texas Tech's
Bryce Lamb and Shade Weygandt swept the award in 2010.
qualified for NCAAs in both the 200-meter and as part of the 4x400, was only the
second Wildcat women's athlete - Amy Mortimer won in 2000 - to be named
Outstanding Freshman. She, along with Hannah Cunliffe from Oklahoma, were
awarded this season's honor. A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Mitchell's
accolade came thanks to an impressive showing at Big 12s that saw her rack up 12
points over three events - 60-meter (5th), 200-meter (3rd) and 4x400 (2nd).
Prior to the conference meet, Mitchell also set school records in the 60m, 200m
and as part of the NCAA-qualifying 4x400-meter relay squad.
Gipson was the first Wildcat men's athlete to be named Indoor Outstanding
Freshman. The high jump runner-up at last weekend's conference championships,
Gipson cleared a season-best 2.22m/7-03.25 to lead a talented group K-State high
jumpers that combined to score a total of 18 points in the
event.2015 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Outstanding Performer
of the Year
Men: Edward Kemboi, Iowa State
Women: Rachel Johnson,
Baylor | Akela Jones, K-State | Courtney Okolo, Texas2015 Big 12
Indoor Track & Field Outstanding Freshman of the Year
Women: A'Keyla Mitchell, K-State | Hannah Cunliffe,
2015 Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Coach of the
Men: Mario Sategna, Texas
Women: Cliff Rovelto,
To read about the Wildcats' performances at the 2015 NCAA Indoor
Championship, click here