Wait, what's going on? Where am I? Oh my god, they've pulled me back in again. Help? Someone? HELP ME
(Seriously, thanks to the double zero for covering for me the last two weeks while I was busy trying to cough myself to death.)
Last week, Mark Janssen at K-State Sports Extra declared Veryl Switzer K-State's greatest athlete. Thursday, Janssen posted part two of his piece, describing Switzer's arrival at K-State and his career in Manhattan.
Thursday and Friday were wonderful, but Saturday not so much as the BatCats took two of three from Baylor. On the bright side over the weekend: Ross Kivett was 6-12 with a homer and three RBI, Tyler Stover was 5-12 with an RBI, and the Cats got good starts from Levi MaVorhis and, albeit in a losing effort Sunday, Nate Griep. Tonight and tomorrow, the Cats (22-18, 4-8) host Cal-State Bakersfield (15-22, 8-7 WAC) in non-conference action.
Fifteen top-three finishes for the Cats over a busy three-day weekend involving three different meets in California plus a contingent in Lawrence for the Kansas Relays.
On Thursday night in Los Angeles at the Cal State-Los Angeles Twilight Open, the Cats took three first-place finishes as Carlos Rodriguez and Christopher Campbell finished 1-3 in the men's 200m and Kain Ellis and Marija Stambolic swept the 800m events. Other top-three placements: Dane Steen took third in the men's 100m, Tia Gamble was second in the women's 400m, Angela Hart was third in the women's 100m hurdles (Erica Twiss didn't compete), Tyris Jefferson was second in the men's long jump, and Alyssa Kelly was second in the women's triple jump.
At the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California on Friday, Twiss took third in the 100m hurdles, the women's 4x400 relay of Sonia Gaskin, Twiss, Jordan Matthews, and Gamble won for the second meet in a row, and Zack Riley tied for third in the high jump. Sunday in Norwalk at the Beach Track and Field Invitational, Gaskin added another win in the 400m, and Twiss won the 400m hurdles; those were the only top three finishes on the day... in California. Danie Plank added a third, taking the bronze in the women's javelin at the Kansas Relays.
Petra Niedermayerova went out with a bang, scoring singles and doubles wins to lead the Cats (9-12, 3-6) to a 6-1 rout over the Jayhawks (11-11, 2-7) on Senior Day in the Sunflower Showdown at the Goss. With the Big 12 tournament looming, Petra improved to 23-9 on the year and 103-42 for her career. Kelly McHugh sat down with the future Hall of Famer, video included.
The Big 12 Championships start Thursday in Fort Worth. K-State is the seventh seed, and they'll take on West Virginia to start off.
K-State ended the season Friday, getting trounced 13-3 by fourth-seeded Auburn in the NCEA national quarterfinals. Auburn then fell to South Carolina on Saturday while Georgia took out Oklahoma State; Sunday, Georgia claimed the national championship.
We saved the best for last today. In a field which included opponents such as Vanderbilt, Washington, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, Tulane, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Georgia, the Wildcat rowers went to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and absolutely crushed the SIRA Regatta. The Cats entered six boats in five events (two crews rowing in the Novice 8 class), and won all six, racking up a 13-1 race record on the day. The only loss? K-State's 2nd Novice 8 finished third in the grand final, with 1st Novice 8 taking the win.
It was an absolutely brilliant day on Melton Hill Lake for the Wildcat women, and for all the griping that was done about the new rowing center, well... I think we can say it's paying off. In two weeks, the Big 12 championship; two weeks later, it's the Conference USA championship.
Which brings up a strange musing. After Tulsa leaves for the American this summer, there will be 10 schools in Conference USA for rowing. Five of them are Big 12 schools, along with SEC members Alabama and Tennessee and west coast schools San Diego State and Sacramento State. Only one -- Old Dominion -- is an actual CUSA member.
So why doesn't the Big 12 just invite the rest as affiliates?
Liverpool are five points clear of Chelsea with only three games to go! I'm hyperventilating!