Wildcats dominate at track and field winter invitational

K-State Sports Information
K-State's Tia Gamble and Angela Hart compete in the women's 60 meter hurdles during the K-State Winter Invitational at Ahearn K-State Athletics)

K-State track and field closed out the weekend of Dec. 13 with a dominating performance at the K-State Winter Invitational in Ahearn Field House. For the day, the Wildcats set one international record, two school records and four meet records.

Sophomore Sara Savatovic started the day’s field events by breaking her previous Serbian National Record (18.37m/60-03.25) twice in the weight throw. She broke the record with her first throw of the event, a mark of 19.07m (62-06.00), then bested that mark in the final round with a throw of 19.58m (64-03.00). The effort was a personal best as well as good for 5th all-time in school history. 

Coach Cliff Rovelto said he was impressed by Savatovic’s ability to capitalize even after her initial throw being her best yet.   

“For her first meet, I thought that was very good,” Rovelto said. “You could tell she was trying too hard after her first throw, but the thing I was really impressed with was she came back with her fifth and sixth throws, got back it under control and broke [her personal best] again.”

Adding to Savatovic’s record-breaking performances were Carlos Rodriguez, Tia Gamble and Sonia Gaskin in the meet’s running events. 

Rodriguez, for the second-straight year, broke the school record in the 300 meters with a time of 33.60 seconds. The time bested his previous school and meet record of 33.64 seconds. He also took top honors in the 60m, finishing in 6.72 seconds – good for sixth in school history.  

For the women, Gamble took the school and meet records in the women’s 300m with a time of 39.44 – beating the entire field by more than a full second. Gaskin continued the trend by setting the meet record and besting the 600 yard run-field by more than three seconds in a time of 1:22.32. The sophomore’s personal best effort is ranked 7th all-time in school history. Both athletes, along with Erica Twiss and Sarah Kolmer, then combined to set the meet record in the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:46.71. 

Rovelto, said both athletes had overall impressive performances.

“I thought Tia had a really nice meet,” Rovelto said. “She ran very well in the [300m] and thought she ran a solid leg on the relay so she had a good meet.

“Sonia ran really well in the [600 yard run] especially because she didn’t start out that hard, but finished with a solid run and her relay was good.”

Savatovic, Gamble, Gaskin and Rodriguez were only a few of the long list of Wildcats who had successful days. Senior Ryan Hershberger took first in the men’s weight throw (16.60m/54-05.50) and shot put (17.73m/58-02.00), while Dani Winters took top honors in the women’s shot put. For Winters, her mark of 15.17m (49-09.25), was a personal best as well as 9th-best in school history. 

Junior Alyx Treasure, in her first action in over a year finished first in the high jump (1.80m/5-10.75), while Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye took first in the men’s long jump (7.27m/23-00.25). The trio of Kyle Wait (4.90m/16-00.75), Cameron Savage (4.75m/15-07.00) and Tommy Brady (J4.60m/15-01.00) swept the men’s pole vault and Devin Field won the triple jump with a mark of 14.50m (47-07.00). Junior Logan Smith rounded the Wildcats’ strong performances with a personal best and first-place finish in the men’s 1000 meter in a time of 2:28.93. 

Other Wildcats that set personal bests included Dane Steen in the 60m (6.88), Christopher Campbell in the 300m (34.56 – 4th in school history) and Alyssa Kelly in the long jump (5.71m/18-09.00). 

Rovelto said the meet and the weekend was a good start to the season. 

“We do this to give people an idea of where the athletes are at,” Rovelto said. “I think most people see that they have been working hard and training hard. The coaching staff makes pretty significant demands of them and they showed the work is paying off.

“There is very little to really be disappointed in and, for the most part, it was very, very positive.”

With this weekend in the books, the Wildcats won’t get back into action until 2014. K-State will travel to Lawrence, Kan., for the Bill Easton Classic on Jan. 10 before returning for home meets on Jan. 18 and Jan. 25. For more information visit http://www.kstatesports.com/sports/c-track/ksu-c-track-body.html

For complete invitational results, click here

K-State Alumni Association
100 Alumni Center, 1720 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66506-1001  |  800-600-ALUM (2586) | 785-532-6260 
Alumni@K-State.com  |  http://www.k-state.com/s/1173/start.aspx  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram