The school year is officially over in Manhattan, but the Wildcats are still out on the diamond and on the track.
Track and Field
The big news is of course the Kansas State women’s team winning the Big 12 outdoor track championships for the first time since 2002. That the victory came in Lawrence, Kansas just made it that much more special.
We covered the win in detail yesterday, but these highlights are worth mentioning:
— Nina Schultz did not compete in the heptathlon this time around, but still ended up as the High Points Scorer for the meet. She contributed 25 points, including her first Big 12 outdoor title in the high jump, and podium finishes in javelin, long jump, the 100m hurdles and the 4x400 relay.
— The other big winner of the day was Shadae Lawrence who shattered the 60m mark in the discus, and was the only one to throw that distance at the meet. She set a new meet, venue, and conference record in the process and now has her eye trained on international marks as well. Afterwards, reflecting on the sacrifices her mother made to ensure opportunities for Shadae and her sister Shardia, Lawrence broke down and cried a bit (Matt Galloway, Topeka Capital-Journal).
— Cliff Rovelto was as surprised by the win as anyone. He said he thought the team was “a year away because this is an extremely young team.”
Highlights for the men’s team were few and far between, however. With 52.5 points, the Wildcat men finished ninth...out of nine teams. Nonetheless, there were a couple of bright spots on the final day of competition.
— Brett Neelly won the shot put title on Saturday, Kansas State’s first in over two decades.
— Terrell Smith took home bronze in the 200m event, and also scored in the 100m dash.
— Kain Ellis placed fourth in the 800m event.
Next up, the men and women head to Austin for the 2017 NCAA Division West Preliminary.
The baseball team was also in Lawrence this weekend. Although the Sunflower Showdown series had already been decided in Kansas’ favor, the Wildcats were determined to get one back. Thanks to seven scoreless innings tossed by starter Kasey Ford, the BatCats stormed to a 10-3 victory.
Ford, who pitched his longest game this season, only gave up one base hit over seven frames and did not allow a single walk. This is Ford’s third win this season.
The bats also came alive yesterday, with the Wildcats getting 15 hits and scoring in seven different innings. Jake Wodtke led the team with three runs, while Josh Rolette and Josh Ethier each had two RBIs.
The victory was important, because it kept alive Kansas State’s hopes of securing the final berth in the Big 12 Championships in two weeks. The BatCats are currently a half-game behind Oklahoma State for the eighth spot in the conference standings.