MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State track and field will continue a 30-year tradition and look for the comforts of home to help sort out its postseason squad as the team returns home for the final time this indoor season. After three-straight road meets, K-State will host the Steve Miller Open on February 17 in Ahearn Field House. Track events will begin at 4 p.m., while running events are slated for a 6 p.m. start.
Friday’s meet, which is free and open to the public, marks the 30th-straight season that the Wildcats have hosted a home meet before the conference championship, dating back to 1987 when K-State hosted the KSU Open on Feb. 21. The most recent edition, as in years prior, will offer a final opportunity to prepare for the Big 12 Championship, set for Feb. 24-25 at Iowa State’s Lied Recreation Center.
“It is a bit of a mixed bag this weekend,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Cliff Rovelto said. “We have some who are attempting to cement their spot on the conference championship team next week, some who are looking to improve on marks attempting to qualify for the NCAA Championships and some who are just competing to remain sharp.”
Previously the K-State Open, the Steve Miller Open – named for the former Wildcat athletics director and head track coach – will also allow the opportunity to watch the 13th-ranked women’s team and the Wildcat men another tune-up prior to the NCAA Championship, which will be held in College Station, Texas, on March 10 and 11.
At the 2016 Steve Miller Open, K-State recorded 12 first-place finishes, six of which came from the distance and middle-distance crew, and saw 17 total athletes record personal bests. The performance provided a spring board for the team, as both the men and women recorded third-place finishes at the Big 12 Championship the next weekend in Ames, Iowa, including five athletes bringing home a total of seven individual Big 12 Championship trophies.
The Wildcats are coming off a weekend of split competition, with athletes competing at the Iowa State Classic, and the Tyson Invitational, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The highlight of the weekend came in Arkansas, as sophomore Shardia Lawrence shattered a 13-year-old school record in the triple jump on the third of three personal-best attempts with a final mark of 13.75m/45-01.50.Chaytan Hill was the previous record holder after leaping to a record mark in 2004.
Junior Christoff Bryan recorded the Wildcats’ lone individual title of the weekend in Ames, winning the men’s high jump with a final clearance of 2.20m/7-02.50, one centimeter shy of his season-best clearance. Over the course of the action-packed weekend, K-State witnessed a total of 12 athletes record personal bests in the same facility they will compete for Big 12 indoor glory next week.
More information on Friday’s meet, including heats sheets, a complete schedule and final results, can be found on the Kansas State track home meet information page by clicking here. Live results for all of Friday’s action will be provided by Heartland Timing and can be accessed here.
For the latest on K-State track and field follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter or Kansas State Track & Field/Cross Country on Facebook.
Graduate Assistant | Athletics Communications