Yes, we’re going crazy here at BotC this week. Yesterday, your fearless leader covered 1899-1900, then 1900-01, and finally 1901-02 in the March Through Time looking back at K-State athletics. wildcat00 introduced you to track standouts Janee’ Kassanavoid and the women’s 4x100 relay team, BracketCat brought you 88 in the Countdown, tight end Trace Kochevar, and Greg Woods returns with some news we’ll get to in a bit.
The most important news of the day, although perhaps not the most interesting to most of you, comes from Eugene, Ore. and the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. K-State met or exceeded expectations at every step yesterday, although the scoreboard doesn’t jump out at the observer.
The women’s hammer throw duo of Kassanavoid and Helene Ingvaldsen competed yesterday. Ingvaldsen, who entered the NCAA Preliminaries with the 27th-best distance in Division I, left Eugene as a second-team All-American after finishing 15th in the championship event with a best throw of 204’ 5”. Kassanavoid came in ranked 4th, and exited the same way; she threw 218’ 5” to earn first-team All-America honors and squirrel away five important points for the Wildcats.
In the 400m hurdles, Ranae McKenzie, who came in the preliminaries ranked 28th, managed a 14th-place finish in yesterday’s semifinals. No points, but it earns McKenzie recognition as a second-team All-American.
Wurrie Njadoe also nabbed first-team honors in the long jump. She entered the Preliminaries with the ninth-best jump in Division I, and — just as we’d hoped — improved enough to get on the scoreboard, finishing eighth with a jump of 20’ 101⁄2 “. That was good for another Wildcat point, and K-State ended the day with six total. After six events, K-State is tied for 14th overall; Georgia, which had a huge 1-2 bombshell performance in the long jump, leads the way with 24.2 points.
But K-State still has plenty of opportunities. Those start today as top-ranked Nina Schultz begins her quest for the heptathlon title, but the cause also got a big boost yesterday from another quarter. Aided by handoff mishaps from some big-time relay teams, the K-State 4x100 relay team of McKenzie, Akia Guerrier, A’Keyla Mitchell, and Claudette Allen did something no K-State 4x100 team has ever done: they qualified for the final, which will be run on Saturday. That means K-State is guaranteed some points in that event, which is an amazing outcome for a team that wasn’t even expected to qualify for the national meet.
Today will be a quiet day for K-State in Eugene, as only two Wildcats will hit the cinders. Schultz, of course, will handle the first four events of the heptathlon: the 100m hurdles at 2:30pm CT, the high jump at 3:30, shot put at 5:30, and the 200m at 9:13 in the evening. At 7pm, Christoff Bryan will attempt to salvage some semblance of dignity for the Wildcat men (scoreless thus far) as he competes in the high jump.
ESPN2 is airing the championships, but they’ve solely focused on the track events thus far. That means you can probably see Schultz on TV in the 100m hurdles and 200m, but for the rest of the action you’ll need to get on over to ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.
The Bob Stoops story continues. Per Kellis Robinett at the Eagle, Bill Snyder had plenty of kind words for his former assistant, noting that he would personally be nominating Stoops for the College Football Hall of Fame during the next cycle.
At the Capital-Journal, Ken Corbitt checks in on Jesse Ertz and his recovery from shoulder surgery, and the Associated Press reports that Jordan Willis, the last Cincinnati Bengals draftee to remain unsigned, isn’t any longer. Willis signed a four-year deal yesterday.
As we noted above, Greg Woods tuned us in to some news: K-State has acquired the services of former Basehor-Linwood forward Patrick Muldoon. The 6’7” junior transfers over from Eastern Illinois as a walk-on, and will of course sit out 2017-18 as a result.
The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame class of 2017 has been announced (press release via the Joplin Globe). The big names in the class, which will be inducted on October 1 in Wichita, are Kansas City Royals legend George Brett and former Pittsburg State (and TCU and Alabama) head coach Dennis Franchione.
But never fear, a Wildcat is here. Former hoopster Priscilla Gary-Sweeney, the first woman inducted into K-State’s own sports hall of fame, will join the parade in October. Also being inducted are former Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners manager and Wichita State All-American Eric Wedge, longtime NFL assistant and former Gorilla John Levra, former Harlem Globetrotter “Goose” Doughty of Wichita, and a bunch of Jayhawks.
Rick Peterson at the Cap-Journal reports on a Kansas summer league game last night between the Topeka Golden Giants and the Rossville Rattlers. Of course, there’s a reason we care about this: Wildcat signee Brett Owen had himself a day for Topeka. Owen jacked a three-run homer and two doubles to help lead Topeka to a 17-6 win.
Meanwhile, up in Alaska, brand-new freshman All-Conference and All-America teammates Will Brennan and Cam Thompson are sticking together for the summer. Last night, in their season opener, the pair -- hitting in their usual 1 and 3 holes, just like they do at Tointon — helped spark the Anchorage Glacier Pilots to a 9-run first inning on the way to a 12-4 win over the Anchorage Bucs. Chris Lawrence of the Alaska Dispatch News profiles the Wildcat duo.