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Know your Track Star: Janee’ Kassanavoid

The Big 12 hammer throw champion will be in action today

Track and Field: USA Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The story goes something like this: Janeé Kassanavoid was boarding a flight to Texas when she overheard a passenger comment “Oh, Joseph Kassanavoid’s sister goes to K-State.”

Joseph was a backup quarterback for Kansas State back in 2009, but suffice to say that his sister has far outdone his exploits in a purple jersey. A native of Lawson, Missouri, and a member of the Comanche Nation, Kassanavoid arrived in Manhattan after a season at Johnson Community College where she was the NJCAA Outdoor champion in hammer throw.

Since then, she’s been showing steady improvement. In the 2015-16 season, her first at Kansas State, she made it to sixth on the all-time indoor hammer throw rankings for the Wildcats, and also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor championships by finishing in tenth place during the West Preliminaries. At nationals, she finished ninth and was named a second team All-American for her efforts.

This season, Kassanavoid has been lights out nearly every week. She began the season with a bang, taking first place in five consecutive meets and then setting a new school indoor record with a throw of 21.81m. Ultimately, she took the Big 12 indoor title in the event and finished ninth at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Not content with just the indoor season, Kassanavoid also had four straight first place finishes in the outdoor season, and set a new school record again, this time with a throw of 66.97m. Predictably, she also won the Big 12 outdoor hammer throw title.

At the West Preliminaries this year though, she had a bit of a lapse and nearly didn’t qualify, finishing 11th in a field where she was the clear favorite. But it was an emotional day for Kassanavoid, as it was the anniversary of her father’s passing and she had trouble keeping it together.

Kassanavoid will compete tomorrow in the women’s hammer throw event where she is currently ranked 15th.

The NCAA Outdoor Championships will continue today in Eugene, Oregon and run through June 10th. You can follow the action live via the NCAA and by tracking the #KStateTFXC tag on Twitter.