EUGENE, Ore. – On the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, redshirt junior Martina Tresch was the only Wildcat in action as she was seeking to become the first woman to finish in the top eight in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and score points for the team. She ran strong but was unable to achieve that goal and finished in 10th place while the men’s team awaited their fate with no entries on the final day to see if they could make K-State history.
The Big 12 champion, Tresch was looking to improve on her 10th-place finish in the steeplechase from two years ago. An improvement by two spots would make her the first woman to ever score points for the Wildcats in the event, but she came just shy of that again finishing in 10th place.
Tresch was in 10th place through the first two laps and then fell back into 12th place for much of the race. Then, on the final lap on the back stretch she overtook West Virginia’s Jordan Hamric, who she battled with down the final 200 meters at the Big 12 Championship. Following the final water jump of the steeplechase, Tresch moved by Shelby Greany of Providence but could not move up to ninth on the final 100 meters and again took 10th place with a time of 10:09.07.
“Martina had a fine season,” K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto said. “Winning the conference championship and making the final at NCAA’s after working through some injuries earlier in the year was special.”
The Wildcat men had no entries on Saturday and had to sit and wait while the action ensued to see if they could stay in the top 25. K-State entered the final day of competition with 10.75 points and in 15th place, and was seeking a third straight Top 25 finish at the NCAA Championship.
As the day went on eight teams would leap frog the Wildcats for K-State to finish in 23rd place. It marked the first time since 1939 the men finished in the Top 25 for a third consecutive year. The only other time K-State has accomplished that feat was the first three years the NCAA held a track and field championship beginning in 1921.
“This meet is so good. There are a number of kids here who will make the world championships this summer,” Rovelto said. “As an institution to consistently place high is good stuff.”
The Big 12 Conference was well-represented at the meet. The Kansas women won their first national title. Iowa State (13), Texas (15), Oklahoma State (t-25) and TCU (t-25) joined the Jayhawks in the Top 25.
On the men’s side, Texas A&M and Florida tied for the team title while Texas finished sixth to give the Big 12 one team in the top 10. TCU (t-12) and Texas Tech (t-24) joined K-State in the Top 25.