Malek Harris is gone. According to reports, he was dismissed from the team for the somewhat amorphous reason of failing to live up to team standards. That leaves just six players still on scholarship, and even their futures seem uncertain. For a time yesterday, it appeared that Wesley Iwundu was also on his way out, though he has since suggested he plans to stay (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).
The school is trying to downplay this sad state of affairs. In an open letter to alumni, athletic director John Currie suggested the departures were just a normal process of attrition mirrored across the college basketball world, but that bit of verbal sleight of hand is not reassuring, and it's fair to say that Kansas State signees like Carlbe Ervin are a bit confused right now (Kellis Robinett, Kansas City Star)
I do not want to write about this anymore, except to say these three figurative words: BURN. IT. DOWN.
For the fourth time in as many weeks, Kansas State beat a team in the Top 25. They had to come from behind, but the BatCats clawed their way to a 5-3 victory over No. 19 Texas Tech, their fifth win in the last six games and their eighth straight win over the Red Raiders. Starter Colton Kalmus gave up a three-run homer to put his team in a 3-0 hole, and through nearly five innings, the bats could get nothing going against Tech's Ryan Moseley. But then a run from Shane Conlon led to a four-run frame for the BatCats and a 4-3 lead, and an insurance run from Taylor Anderson in the eighth sealed the win for the team in purple.
Kansas State takes on Texas Tech again in the second game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 PM and Brandon Courville will get the start for the Wildcats.
The equestrian team could not sustain the level of skill they demonstrated in their last match and fell to No. 1 Georgia 10-5 in the quarterfinals of the NCEA Championships. Although the Wildcats impressed early on, winning the opening round of Reining 3-1, the Bulldogs proved to be too much on the day, taking the other disciplines.
With the loss, the team finished 9-9 on the year, a fourth consecutive season going .500 or better, with 18 consecutive home wins and two All-Americans. At one point in the season, the Wildcats were ranked No. 2 in the country, the program's highest ranking ever.
Cody Whitehair has used his aggressive nature and great work ethic to help him fill Cornelius Lucas's very big shoes, and now he hopes he's found a permanent home as left tackle and the anchor of Kansas State's offensive line (Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
Meanwhile, the football team's first preseason honor came in the form of Dante Barnett who was named a LOTT Impact Trophy candidate. The trophy is awarded to a player who “demonstrate(s) excellence in the field of athletics and recognizes college football’s Defensive Player of the Year who best exemplifies the IMPACT acronym: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity,” according to the Lott IMPACT Trophy website. Barnett is the most experienced player on the defensive side of the ball and last year, he earned all-conference honors while also being named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll and being involved in the Cats in the Classroom and Adopt-A-Family programs.
The men's golf team continues its spring season with a weekend trip to Iowa City for the Hawkeye Invitational. This is the final event before the Big 12 Championships this season. The 54-hole event is already in progress, with the Wildcats currently at +9 and in 11th place. Trent Evans is the lowest Wildcat so far, at even and tied for 22nd. Hopefully, things will improve over the course of the day and tomorrow.
The women's golf team is having a much better time a little further east in Columbus, Ohio at the Lady Buckeye Invitational. They are currently tied for 2nd place with Michigan State at nine-over par 72 and not yet done for the day. Madison Talley is at even par and tied for fourth place currently.
The Kansas State track and field squad is smoking the 88th Kansas Relays in Lawrence. At a loaded event, the Wildcats have racked up 10 first-place finishes, several personal bests and two national records.
Sara Savatovic shattered the school record in the hammer throw event on her way to a personal best mark of 65.35m and a first-place finish. The feat moved her into the top spot in all-time Kansas State history and also set a new national record in her native Serbia. Currently No. 1 in the Big 12, Savatovic is also ranked No. 3 in the country in the event.
Not to be outdone, Dani Winters set a new outdoor personal best mark of 16.64m in the shot put event, good for a first place finish in the event, while Danie Plank and Haley Pitko took first and third respectively in the javelin throw. This was Plank's third win of the season.
Akela Jones was her usual stellar self, winning the long jump and 100m hurdles events and finishing second in the 100m dash. Teammate A'Keyla Mitchell continued her winning ways, taking first in the 200m and 400m events, while Tia Gamble won the 400m hurdles race. Laura Galvan and Morgan Wedekind also won their races, the 1500m and the 3000m steeplechase respectively.
The men's team had some standout performances too. First, Christoff Brian cruised to an easy victory in his outdoor debut, clearing 2.24m to best the 10-man field. Next, Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye barely missed a first place finish in the long jump. His distance of 7.43m was a career best and set a new national record for Turks and Caicos. Finally, Manhattan's own Ivan Hartung took second place in the men's javelin throw.
Former Kansas State tight end Shad Meier is running a race today, in honor of his brother Dylan Meier, a former quarterback at Kansas State who lost his life in a tragic hiking accident in 2010. Shad now runs a foundation in Dylan's honor, Get Busy Livin' and in this SE feature, he talks about Dylan and his efforts with the foundation.