Track and field breaks records at NCAA ChampionshipK-State
|Akela Jones appears at the
2015 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She became Kansas State
University's first women's athlete to win an NCAA championship since 2011
as she took the heptathlon title after scoring a K-State-record 6,371
points. (Photo: K-State Athletics
K-State track and field
closed the 2015 outdoor season in style with a number of strong finishes at this
year's NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, taking place in June at
Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Both school and national records were broken by
the Wildcats as the women's team finished in a tie for ninth overall — the first
top-10 finish for the 'Cats since 2002.
"Placing in the top 10 is
quite an accomplishment for our program," K-State
head coach Cliff
Rovelto said. "Even more so when you look at the other programs and coaching
staffs that ended up in the top 10 — it's very humbling."
time in Eugene was highlighted by Wildcat junior Akela Jones. Jones was named
Women's National Field Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA. She became K-State's
first women's athlete to win an NCAA championship since 2011 as she took the
heptathlon title after scoring a K-State-record 6,371 points. Her total broke
former Wildcat Austra Skujyte's previous school record of 6,275 points set in
"I'm always trying to break some record, create some
history," said Jones after winning the heptathlon title. "That's what I do. I
want to leave a legacy. That's all I come to do when I step on the
During the first day of the heptathlon, Jones broke a 30-year-old
NCAA record after tallying 4,023 points over the first four events. She set the
collegiate record for a day one point total, besting the previous record set by
three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee of 3,942 points in
Jones opened the heptathlon running the 100-meter hurdles in
a school-record 13.10 seconds before going six-for-six in the high jump,
finishing at 1.84m/6-00.50. She was the lone athlete not to miss a bar at a
cleared height and moved up to No. 2 in school history in the heptathlon high
jump. She had record-setting performances in six of the heptathlon's seven
events and became just the sixth Wildcat women's athlete to win an NCAA outdoor
Along with her history-making heptathlon performance, Jones
also earned All-America honors after going six-for-six in the high jump before
missing three tries at 1.87m/6-01.50. She finished the event in fourth
Kim Williamson also competed in the high jump, and, after
clearing a career-best 1.90m/6-02.75, she battled her way to a second-place
finish, just missing out on the national title in three tries at 1.93m/6-04.25.
A sophomore from Frankfield, Jamaica, Williamson transferred to K-State after
spending one season at Central Arizona College.
"Kim jumped very
well," Rovelto said. "She's been a great competitor all year and will only
continue to get better over the coming years as she comes to understand training
more and continues to learn more about the event."
Adding to the First
Team All-America honors for the Wildcats was junior Dani Winters, who finished
fourth in the shot put. The reigning indoor and outdoor Big 12 Champion finished
with a 17.64m/57-10.50 on her sixth and final throw of the day as she became the
first Wildcat women's thrower to finish in the top five in the outdoor event
Along with K-State's four All-America honors, the 'Cats
also had solid finishes from other athletes. Senior Alyx Treasure capped off her
Wildcat career with a 12th-place finish (1.77m/5-09.25) in the high jump, junior
Alyssa Kelly placed 22nd in the triple jump (12.29m/40-04w), freshman A'Keyla
Mitchell nabbed a 16th-place finish in the 200-meter dash (23.12 seconds) and
junior Tia Gamble placed 21st in the 400 Hurdles (59.29).
women's 4x400, junior Sonja Gaskin, senior Sarah Kolmer, Gamble and Mitchell
finished 17th after clocking a time of 3 minutes, 36.62 seconds.
men's side, four competitors represented K-State, led by junior Ifeanyichukwu
Otuonye, who finished 11th in the long jump after recording a leap of
7.69m/25-02.75w, while freshman Terrell Smith placed 21st in the 200-meter dash
after clocking 20.88 seconds.
The high jump duo of Nate Gipson and
Christoff Bryan placed 18th and 23rd, respectively, as Gipson jumped
2.12m/6-11.50 and Bryan finished at 6-09.75.