MANHATTAN — The 2014 KCAC Indoor Track & Field Championships return Friday and Saturday to the flat, 200-meter Ward Haylett Track located in Ahearn Field House on the campus of Kansas State University.
Highlighting the field of athletes for the third edition of the KCAC Indoor Track & Field Championships will be 11 individuals eligible to return and defend their championships in 14 events from last year's meet.
Championship finals will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the men's and women's pole vault, long jump and weight throw along with track finals in the 4 x 800 relay and 5,000-meter run beginning at 7 p.m.
Saturday's competition will begin at 11 a.m., with the finals in women's and men's high jump, triple jump and shot put. The first competition on the track Saturday will be the distance medley relay, scheduled to begin at approximately 1:45 p.m. Presentation of team championships, Athlete of the Meet and Coach of the Year awards will conclude the Championships around 6 p.m..
• The following is a meet outlook by Carol Swenson, who will serve as the meet announcer:
• Sprints/Hurdles •
Perry Joseph (McPherson-JR) and Dexter Davis (Friends-FR) are the top returners from the 2013 60-meter Dash finals, having finished second and third, but Antonio Bray (Sterling-SO) tops the on the 2014 KCAC list, just 0.05 second ahead of Davis and four others within one-tenth of second. In the 200 meters, Alex Grier (Tabor-SR) is back to defend his 2013 KCAC Indoor title. Grier leads the KCAC annual list with Anthony Perry (Ottawa-JR) and Akim Muhammad (McPherson-SO) ranked second and third, respectively, and ready to challenge. Hunter Cline (Southwestern-JR) is eligible to defend his 400-meter title from last season, but it is Muhammad (McPherson-SO) who tops the KCAC 400-meter chart along with the 2013 conference runner-up Brandyn Willard (Southwestern-SR). Cory Waites (U of St. Mary-SO), defending KCAC Outdoor champion at 400m comes in ranked #3.
The 60-meter high hurdles will have a different look this year with the departure of eventual NAIA Outdoor 110m Hurdles champion Cedrique Smith, Sterling's first national track & field champion, and multiple KCAC runner-up Johannes Riemann (Bethany). Lewis Taylor (Friends-SR) is the top KCAC meet returner, having finished third both indoors and outdoors and he tops the 2014 KCAC list with Aaron Vaughan (McPherson-SO) lurking right behind.
60m Dash – NAIA "A 6.92/NAIA "B" 6.95; 2013 KCAC Champion – Carlos Cox (Friends) 6.92
200m Dash – NAIA "A" 22.21/NAIA "B" 22.36; 2013 KCAC Champion – Alex Grier (Tabor) 22.60
400m Dash – NAIA "A" 49.50/NAIA "B" 49.90; 2013 KCAC Champion – Hunter Cline (Southwestern) 51.29
60m Hurdles – NAIA "A" 8.25/NAIA "B" 8.40; 2013 KCAC Champion – Cedrique Smith (Sterling) 8.09 MR
• Middle Distance •
Two-time defending champion Nathan Vogel (Tabor-JR) tops the KCAC 600-meter list where Tabor sits 1-2 with Vogel and teammate Phillip Magos (Tabor-SR), the 2013 runner-up. The Swedes' James Farris (Bethany-SO) ranks third in the 600 and is the defending champion in the 800 meters, but he has yet to contest that distance this winter. Maxwell Burley (Friends-FR) is the KCAC 800 leader and along with No. 2 Magos (Tabor-SR), they are the only conference runners to have dipped below two minutes for 800 meters this winter.
Garrett Daugherty (Tabor-JR) tops the KCAC 1,000-meter chart with a provisional national indoor qualifying mark (2:32.75/ No. 14 NAIA) and returns to defend his indoor title for that distance. He leads the conference in 2014 by almost four and one-half seconds. Daugherty followed up outdoors grabbing the KCAC 1,500m crown so don't be surprised to see him challenge at the 1-mile distance too.
Senior teammates Sam McDaniel (Southwestern-SR) and Colton McNinch (Southwestern-SR) lead the KCAC 1- Mile list with Mitch Heller (Friends-JR), Daugherty (Tabor-JR), Jeremiah Gerardy (Bethany-JR) and Josh Whittaker (U of St. Mary-JR) right behind and not to be counted out of the 800 and mile or at the longer distances.
600m Run – NAIA "A" 1:21.44/NAIA "B" 1:22.80; 2013 KCAC Champion – Nathan Vogel (Tabor) 1:23.90
800m Run – NAIA "A" 1:56.00/NAIA "B" 1:57.25; 2013 KCAC Champion – James Farris (Bethany) 1:57.30 MR
1,000m Run – NAIA "A" 2:31.90/NAIA "B" 2:33.80; 2013 KCAC Champion – Garrett Daugherty (Tabor) 2:32.98 MR
1-Mile Run – NAIA "A" 4:20.00/NAIA "B" 4:22.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Frank Adelman (Southwestern) 4:23.38 MR
• Distance •
Brooks Ballou (U of St. Mary-SR) won the 2013 individual KCAC Cross Country title. He has the KCAC's best time at the 3,000 meter distance and is closing in on an NAIA National qualifying mark. He is followed on the yearly list by the cross-country runner-up Colton McNinch (Southwestern-SR) who returns is the top returning finisher from last year's KCAC indoor 5,000. The 5,000 meters as the only "real" distance event contested Friday evening. McNinch (Southwestern-SR) and Trey Bruton (Southwestern-SR) top the KCAC chart, but we'll likely see most of the top finishers returning from the past fall's KCAC Cross Country and the 2013 Outdoor track 5k and 10k events go to the starting line for these event.
3,000m Run – NAIA "A" 8:42.00/NAIA "B" 8:45.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Caeser Castillo (U of St. Mary) 8:55.87
5,000m Run – NAIA"A" 15:05.12/NAIA "B" 15:19.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Frank Adelman (Southwestern) 15:24.18
• Jumps •
Dylan Biedron (Friends-JR) enters this weekend's championships having finished as the KCAC High Jump runner-up both indoors and outdoors last season as well as leading the 2014 performance list. McPherson has won both previous KCAC indoor high jump titles and Chandler Dohe (McPherson-FR), who ranks No. 2 on the KCAC list, will carry the banner for the Bulldogs. The pole vault appears to be a wide-open event. Only Hunter Hope (Sterling-SO) and Zachary Griffiths (Friends-FR) have cleared 12-feet to date this winter and appear to be the favorites. Griffiths and Bierdon both have qualifying marks for the NAIA National Indoor Championships in the heptathlon where they rank No. 18 and No. 19, respectively.
The horizontal jumps too appear to be wide-open events. Lyle Buckner (McPherson-FR), Tayler Stull (Bethany-SO) and Dylan Biedron (Friends-JR) lead the conference performers in the long jump. Buckner and Dylan Bierdron (Friends-JR) also pace the conference this winter in the Triple Jump.
High Jump – NAIA "A" 2.05m(6-8.75)/NAIA "B" 2.01m(6-7); 2013 KCAC Champion – Derrick Toney (McPherson) 2.11m(6-11) =MR
Pole Vault – NAIA "A" 4.75m(15-7)/NAIA "B" 4.70m(15-5); 2013 KCAC Champion – Ryin Brandt (Ottawa) 4.40m(14-5.25) MR
Long Jump – NAIA "A" 7.10m(23-3.5)/NAIA "B" 7.01m(23-0); 2013 KCAC Champion – Derrick Toney (McPherson) 6.70m(21-11.75)
Triple Jump – NAIA "A" 14.30m(46-11)/NAIA "B" 14.00m(45-11.25); 2013 KCAC Champion – Aziz Spellman-Smith (Tabor) 13.70m(44-11.5)
• Throws •
With an absence of defending champions in the throws, Paul Rotering (McPherson-SR), winner of two KCAC Outdoor Javelin titles, appears to be the favorite in the shot put as he leads the KCAC by five feet this winter after placing second at last year's KCAC Indoor Championships. Teammate Josh Dunback (McPherson-SR) was third in the KCAC Indoor Shot Put last year and returns and should battle for a medal with Chris Paddock (Southwestern-SR) and Nathan Thompson (Friends-SR). John Burba (Friends-JR) leads the weight throw list by a foot and appears to be the pre-meet favorite over Paddock (Southwestern-SR) with four others grouped within 10 inches.
Shot Put – NAIA "A" 15.60m(51-2.25)/NAIA "B" 15.25m(50-0.5); 2013 KCAC Champion – Sam Blecha (Ottawa) 13.99m(45-10.75)
Weight Throw – NAIA "A" 17.60m(57-9)/NAIA "B" 16.50m(54-1.75); 2013 KCAC Champion – Michael Klaassen (Tabor) 16.10m(52-10)
• Relays •
The relays are always interesting at a conference championship as teams juggle lineups and run events they haven't earlier in the season in an attempt to pick up points in the team championship race. McPherson tops the pre-KCAC times this winter in the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 Relay, just edging Tabor in the 4x400, while Southwestern and Tabor top the distance medley Relay chart.
4x400m Relay – NAIA "A" 3:21.10/NAIA "B" 3:22.42; 2013 KCAC Champion – Tabor 3:26.88 MR
4x800m Relay – NAIA "A" 7:56.96/NAIA "B" 7:59.99; 2013 KCAC Champion – Southwestern 7:58.58 MR
Distance Medley – NAIA "A" 10:23.50/NAIA "B" 10:26.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Southwestern 10:51.59
• Team Race •
Friends and Southwestern have split the KCAC men's team title the first two years the conference has contested an indoor championship. Who takes home their second KCAC indoor title, or who surprises the "Big Two" will likely be determined by a couple of key events.
• Sprints/Hurdles •
The women's sprint events return several familiar faces from 2013. Christine Sheppard (Southwestern-SR) is the two-time KCAC defending champion in the indoor 60 and 200 meters and she completed a sweep of the indoor dashes by adding a 400-meter title last year. Outdoors, Sheppard finished second to Rea Samuels (McPherson-SO) in both the 100 and 200 outdoors, but surprisingly, neither leads the KCAC lists at 60 meters this winter. KCAC newcomer Angeline Vailas (Friends-FR) tops the 60-meter chart with a provisional national qualifying mark (7.80/#14 NAIA) and ranks second to Samuels in the 200 meters. Also look out for Abby Simon (Friends-FR) in the shorter sprints. Bulldog freshman Kaley Kinnamon (McPherson-FR) ranks No. 2 in the 60 and leads the KCAC at 400 meters just ahead of the defending KCAC outdoor 400-meter champion, Taylor Sisneros (Southwestern-SR) and Sheppard. Two others to watch for in the sprints are Sharica Pleasant (McPherson-SR) and Ashlee Wenrick (Southwestern-SO).
2013 outdoor KCAC 100 high hurdle champion Sharica Pleasant (McPherson –SR) leads the conference in the 60-meter Hurdles for 2014 with a provisional national qualifying time (9.30/ No. 26 NAIA) while indoor and outdoor KCAC second-place finisher Maddie Behny (Friends-JR) ranks No. 2 on the KCAC list. Don't be surprised though if they are challenged by 2013 place winners Kaitlyn Keck (Friends-SO) and Kimberly Garrett (Sterling-JR).
The all-around talents of Kaitlyn Keck (Friends-SO), Sharica Pleasant (McPherson-SR), Kimberly Garrett (Sterling- JR) and Maddie Behny (Friends-JR) could come into play in several events as they all have national qualifying marks in the pentathlon, ranking No. 11, No. 15, No. 24 and No. 28, respectively.
60m Dash – NAIA "A" 7.64/NAIA "B" 7.85; 2013 KCAC Champion – Christine Sheppard (Southwestern) 7.99
200m Dash – NAIA "A" 25.60/NAIA "B" 26.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Christine Sheppard (Southwestern) 26.51 MR
400m Dash – NAIA "A" 58.90/NAIA "B" 59.90; 2013 KCAC Champion – Christine Sheppard (Southwestern) 1:01.02 MR
60m Hurdles – NAIA "A" 9.10/NAIA "B" 9.30; 2013 KCAC Champion – Rhea Rollins (Southwestern) 9.15
• Middle Distance •
Like the sprints, the middle distance events will have a familiar look in 2013. Sarah Dains (Ottawa-SO) is the defending champion in the 600 meters where she set a KCAC meet record, but last year's third-place finisher Kristen Harris (Tabor-SR) is the 2014 KCAC leader by almost four seconds. Leading the conference in the 800 meters are Amber Burgess (Sterling-JR) and Ashley Schoenhofer (Southwestern-SO). Cassie Hollenback (Southwestern-JR) won the 2013 KCAC indoor 800-meter and 1-Mile titles, and while she leads the KCAC in the 1-Mile Run by 18 seconds with a provisional national qualifying time (5:13.81/#18 NAIA), but she hasn't competed at the shorter distance to date this winter. Veterans of multiple KCAC Championship events and perennial title contenders are Rachel Renken (Friends-SR) and Brielle Lund (Tabor-SR). Lund won the KCAC cross-country crown last fall and the duo tops the conference 1,000-meter chart, making it an intriguing event to speculate.
600m Run – NAIA "A" 1:37.90/NAIA "B" 1:38.90; 2013 KCAC Champion – Sarah Dains (Ottawa) 1:43.10 MR
800m Run – NAIA "A" 2:19.00/NAIA "B" 2:20.50; 2013 KCAC Champion – Cassie Hollenback (Southwestern) 2:21.71 MR
1,000m Run – NAIA "A" 3:02.00/NAIA "B" 3:04.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Kristie Adams (Friends) 3:14.94
1-Mile Run – NAIA "A" 5:12.00/NAIA "B" 5:14.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Cassie Hollenback (Southwestern) 5:17.70
• Distance •
The 5,000 and 3,000-meter runs are contested on Friday and Saturday, respectively, so the conference's top distance runners will likely go for the double. Both events will look a lot like the conference cross country championships of last fall since as many as eight of the top 10 harriers are eligible to compete. Rachel Renken (Friends-SR) is the defending champion at 3,000 meters while Brielle Lund (Tabor-SR) tops this winter's KCAC 3k list. Kelsey Buffum (Southwestern-SO) and Chelsea Fullerton (Ottawa-JR) top the KCAC 5,000 meter chart. With the 5k as the concluding event, and only distance event on Friday other than the 4x800m relay, it will be interesting to see how the coaches attempt to distribute their strength in the distance events.
3,000m Run – NAIA "A" 10:30.00/NAIA "B" 10:35.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Rachel Renken (Friends) 10:58.83
5,000m Run – NAIA "A" 18:25.00/NAIA "B" 18:35.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Aspen Frey (McPherson) 19.14.82
• Jumps •
The vertical jumps will have a different look this winter as multiple KCAC champions Emily Post and Tina Clausen have exhausted their eligibility. Kaitlyn Davis (Bethany-SO) recorded an automatic NAIA qualifier (5'4.5"/1.64m/#14 NAIA) last weekend and tops the KCAC high jump list for 2014. She is the favorite, being the top KCAC returner from last season after placing third indoors and second outdoors. Kristen Harris (Tabor-SR) leads the KCAC in the pole vault and is joined by Brooke Doerksen (Friends-SO) as the top returnees in that event.
Leading the KCAC long jump is Kayla Wilson (Southwestern-FR), who already has a provisional national qualifier (17'11.75"/5.48m/#12 NAIA). She could be challenged by Abby Simon (Friends-FR) and/or Ashley Stanford (Sterling- SO) and Arryana Barton (McPherson-SR).
Arryana Barton (McPherson-SR) returns to defend her KCAC triple jump crown, having already posted an automatic NAIA National Indoor qualifying mark (37'5"/11.40m) and ranks No. 6 nationally. Ashley Stanford (Sterling- SO) has nailed a provisional qualifier (36'0"/10.97m/No. 17 NAIA) in the hop-step-jump and ranks among the KCAC's top three in both horizontal jumps.
High Jump – NAIA "A" 1.64m(5-4.5)/NAIA "B" 1.62m(5-3.75); 2013 KCAC Champion – Emily Post (Tabor) 1.62m(5-3.75)
Pole Vault – NAIA "A" 3.48m(11-5)/NAIA "B" 3.43m(11-3); 2013 KCAC Champion – Tina Clausen (Friends) 3.28m(10-9)
Long Jump – NAIA "A" 5.50m(18-0.5)/NAIA "B" 5.35m(17-6.05); 2013 KCAC Champion – Emily Post (Tabor) 5.21m(17-1)
Triple Jump – NAIA "A" 11.10m(36-5)/NAIA "B" 10.90m(35-9.25); 2013 KCAC Champion – Arryana Barton (McPherson) 11.55m(37-10.75) MR
• Throws •
Arryana Barton (McPherson-SR) — yes, the triple jumper — tops the KCAC in the shot put by more than two feet with a provisional national qualifier (42'9.5"/13.04m/#18 NAIA) over teammate Brooke Bush (McPherson-FR). Another Bulldog, Megan Pohlmann (McPherson-SR) returns to lead the weight throw so the throws could be key if McPherson is to make a run at the team title.
Shot Put – NAIA "A" 13.10m(42-11.75)/NAIA "B" 12.70m(41-8); 2013 KCAC Champion – Ashley Lyons (Friends) 12.40m(40-8.25)
Weight Throw – NAIA "A" 16.50m(54-1.75)/NAIA "B" 16.00m(52-6); 2013 KCAC Champion – Allyssa Zentner (SWn) 13.56m(44-06)
• Relays •
Southwestern, Friends and Tabor split the three relay titles last winter. This year it is Southwestern, Sterling and Ottawa topping the KCAC charts in the three relays entering the Indoor Championships. At least half of the teams usually toe the start line in each of the three baton events so it will be interesting to see how coaches use their athletes in running multiple races.
4x400m Relay – NAIA "A" 4:02.00/NAIA "B" 4:05.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Southwestern 4:09.10 MR
4x800m Relay – NAIA "A" 9:47.00/NAIA "B" 9:55.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Friends 10:01.08 MR
Distance Medley – NAIA "A" 12:36.00/NAIA "B" 12:40.00; 2013 KCAC Champion – Tabor 13:21.39
• Team Race •
Friends and Southwestern split the first two KCAC Women's Indoor team titles. Is it possible that McPherson's depth in the sprints, throws and horizontal jumps could be enough to counter depth and long-standing tradition of Friends and Southwestern as they have held a stranglehold on the KCAC team championships. Or, will someone else pull the surprise and sneak in. It should be fun to watch the team title chase play itself out over the two days of competition.
• Note — The spectator entrance to Ahearn Field House is located on the east side of the facility, directly to the west of the Student Union off of 17th Street and Anderson Avenue. Covered parking is available in the parking garage at the south edge of the campus, east of old Memorial Stadium, while free parking is available to the southwest of Ahearn and west of Memorial Stadium.
Daily admission pricing is: Adults id="mce_marker"0; Seniors (55 & up) $6; KCAC Faculty & Staff (w/ ID) $6; Students (ages 6-18/college students with ID) $3