The main story on everyone’s radar today is, of course, Austin Trice’s announcement that he’s coming to K-State. The JUCO rebounding phenom tweeted out his decision yesterday afternoon. Tim Bisel of the Capital-Journal and Kellis Robinett of the Star have the details.
(Speaking of both Trice and Robinett, Trice’s announcement appears to have been a surprise in terms of the timing, as during Robinett’s K-State Q&A this week, Kellis expected Trice to announce on Wednesday.)
As great as this news is, and as much commenter ink was spilled on it last night and will continue to be in the comments to this post, it was not in fact the most significant K-State story of the day.
Track and Field
At the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson this weekend, the 10th-ranked K-State women built up a huge lead in the field events and then held their own during the footrace portion of the festivities to score a huge meet win even with their star multi-event threat Nina Schultz sitting out the weekend.
The Wildcat women finished the meet with 154 points, a whopping 29 points ahead of second-place Arizona and 33 ahead of Auburn. Cincinnati, Illinois, and Ohio State rounded out the top six in a field which also included athletes from Notre Dame, Air Force, Grand Canyon, Oregon State, Texas Tech, and some small colleges.
That performance will likely see K-State’s ranking rise heading into this coming weekend’s Texas Invitational.
The Cats were led on Saturday by a school record and event win in the women’s hammer by All-American Janee’ Kassanavoid, who hurled that weight 221 feet. Teammates Helene Ingvaldsen and Shaelyn Ward took second and fourth, putting 23 points in K-State’s pocket from one event. The Wildcats repeated that feat in the women’s discus, as Shadae Lawrence took the event with a throw of 189’11”, beating teammate Ashley Petr’s 163’6”; Taylor Latimer was fourth.
Kayla Doll and Cara Melgares also snagged a 1-2 finish in the 3,000m steeplechase, and the 4x100m relay team of Wurrie Njadoe, A’Keyla Mitchell, Ranae McKenzie, and Claudette Allen captured first place. McKenzie also won the women’s 400m, while Mitchell took second in the 200m and Allen third in the long jump.
Other podium finishes included Shardia Lawrence and Konstantina Romaiou finishing 2-3 in the triple jump, Ariel Okorie second in the 100m hurdles, Morgan Wedekind in the 1500, and Latimer third in the shot put. All that, combined with the 3-4 finish by Okorie and Lauren Taubert in the heptathlon Thursday and Friday, added up to a huge win.
As for the men, things were not quite as rosy, but they never are. They did manage to reach the 100-point plateau and took fourth place overall. In addition to Aaron Booth’s victory in the decathlon, Mitch Dixon won the hammer throw. Other top-three results included the 4x100m team of Nick Albus, Terrell Smith, Max Estill,and Jullane Walker finishing second, as did Smith in the 200m, Lukas Koch in the 1500m, and Brett Neelly in the shot put. Neelly added a podium finish by taking third in the discus.
A couple of big Cowboy innings and an inability to get runners home from scoring position doomed the BatCats (15-15, 2-5 Big 12) to a 6-3 setback in the series opener at Tointon yesterday afternoon. Oklahoma State (16-11-1, 5-2 Big 12) scored three runs in an inning twice, and that’s all they needed. Game two is this afternoon at 2:00pm; catch it on ESPN3.
Saturday was a struggle for K-State’s rowing team, as they faced Tennessee and Alabama in the Big 12 Double Dual at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City. The Cats faced each opponent in five races, but only took one win from each set. (Naturally, the headline from the department makes it look like a big success.) Next up: the SIRA Regatta April 21-22 in Oak Ridge, Tenn., where they’ll probably face both of these squads again as well as a bunch of other top competition.