BracketCat made up for being unable to give you a Friday countdown post by covering day 85 early yesterday with a profile of DE/TE Spencer Misko, and then got back on track with #84, tight end Matt Jones.
Meanwhile, your March Through Time also continues, covering the Mike Ahearn’s 1904-05 takeover of the football program, and his 1905-06 consolidation of power by taking the basketball job, too. You’re not going to want to miss the next three days (six posts) in this series, because it turns out that in his day Mike Ahearn was easily as beloved on campus as Bill Snyder is now.
Track and Field
Justice, truth be ours forever, Jamaica, land we love. K-State took home two individual title from this weekend’s NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., and both of them were courtesy of Jamaican internationals. You already knew about Christoff Bryan’s high jump win, of course. In the women’s discus, Shadae Lawrence scored a big 10 points for the Wildcats, crushing her final throw at 61.37m (201’4”) to overtake Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen.
The scoring day started with the women’s 4x100 relay team of Akia Guerrier, A’Keyla Mitchell, Ranae McKenzie, and Claudette Allen picking up a single point after finishing eighth in the final. Freshman Nina Schultz followed by finishing second in the heptathlon, 307 points back of champion Kendell Williams of Georgia and 164 points ahead of third-place finisher Taliyah Brooks of Arkansas.
The triple jump duo of Shardia Lawrence and Konstantina Romaiou, however, had a day they’d both like to forget. Romaiou fouled on all three preliminary attempts, and Lawrence fouled on her first two before recording a valid jump which only served to put her in next-to-last place. The disastrous result probably didn’t mean much in the end for the team, as Lawrence and Romaiou would have needed to combined for eight points to move into seventh place. However, the collapse did cost both second-team All-American honors. First-team honors, however, did accrue to everyone else we mentioned above.
We should also congratulate Mizzou’s Karissa Schweizer, who will head to the USA Track and Field Championships in three weeks with an impressive resume: by winning the 5k in Eugene, she swept the indoor and outdoor 5k events and the cross country title for the 2016-17 year. That’s pretty damned impressive, and Mizzou or no, she should represent the USA well.
The finale of the meet has to be documented here, as it was charged with excitement and ended in controversy. Georgia finished with 62.2 points, all of which were earned in field events. Going into the 5k, with two events to go, Oregon trailed by 9.2 points; all of Oregon’s 53 had been earned on the track.. The Ducks had two runners in the 5k, and with a lap to go it looked like they might actually be able to win the women’s championship right then and there as Samantha Nadel and Lilli Burdon were running 3rd and 5th, which would have been good for 10 points. But both faded, finishing 8th and 9th, and leaving Oregon 8.2 points behind.
An interesting situation from earlier in the meet now reared its ugly head. Deajah Stevens had fallen in the women’s 200, and had not finished the race. Had she gotten up and run out the distance, Oregon would have earned a point. Had she done so, Oregon would have only needed to finish second in the 4x400 relay; because she didn’t, the Ducks had to win.
In the final race, USC’s runners took the lead in the early legs, and still had it at the 1100m mark. But Oregon’s Elexis Guster made a heroic push in her final 100m and passed Deanna Hill, giving the Ducks the lead as she passed to Raevyn Rodgers. USC’s Kendall Ellis slipped past Rodgers coming out of the first turn; it looked like it might have been shady, but was probably a clean pass and in any event was not challenged.
It was when Rodgers returned the favor a few dozen meters later that things got dicey. The pass appeared clean, and in the end would be ruled so. Rodgers hit the finish line with an Oregon win, in which both the Ducks and Trojans broke the previous NCAA record for the event; it was arguably one of the greatest 4x400 events ever.
But after the initial celebration died down, it turned out that both USC and Georgia filed protests — the Trojans for the event, and Georgia trying to win the women’s title.
After the protest on the pass was denied, Georgia attempted another protest, claiming that Stevens was ineligible to run the relay because she’d failed to finish the 200m. That protest was also denied after several minutes of tension, and Oregon was finally able to officially claim their trophy, outscoring the Dawgs 64-62.2.
And with that, K-State’s 2016-17 athletic season officially came to a close.
But that means there’s next year and beyond. Julie Boudwin of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that De La Salle safety Lance Robinson, a 6-1 185 three-star, visited K-State last week, and on Saturday announced his commitment to the 2018 recruiting class. Gabe Brooks of Scout has more also.