Things may have happened elsewhere in the world of sports. But we’re focused only on ourselves.
After a breakout performance on the tennis courts, the Wildcats have collected more accolades. Coach Danielle Steinberg was named Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Coach of the Year in the Central Region, while Maria Linares earned Rookie of the Year honors.
K-State reached the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2003, where the squad upset Kentucky in a stunning 4-3 comeback before falling to No. 14 seed Northwestern in the round of 32. K-State’s 15 wins were the second most in a Spring season in school history, and they finished the year ranked 42nd in the nation.
Linares figured prominently in the Kentucky win, clinching the last point in a three-set thriller. The Venezuelan freshman posted a 14-7 record, playing mostly No. 2 singles.
With six of eight players (including 4 freshmen) returning, the future appears bright. Ignore those pesky rumors of Coach Steinberg being courted for the head coaching job at Arizona, which happens to be her alma mater.
Corbin McGuire’s K-State Sports Extra column today features team captain Marissa Butrum, who was one of two winners of the College or Education’s Outstanding Future Teacher award at graduation ceremonies. Butrum plans to take her K-State experiences to the classroom as an English teacher, and to the boathouse as a rowing coach.
K-State has had only two individual winners of league golf titles in its history. The most recent was Jeremy Gandon, who finished in a four-way tie for the title this season. The other is 85-year old Graham Hunt, who won the title in 1951 and had to raise his own funds for the trip to the NCAA championship. The two champions met at Colbert Hills this week to talk about the opportunities they have realized through playing golf. Among Hunt’s memories is meeting Ronald Reagan on the train ride to Columbus, Ohio for the championship appearance. When he encountered Reagan again on a flight several years later, the future president remembered him and asked how he had fared in the tournament. Politicians, man.
A K-State student is one of two survivors of a tragic boating accident that claimed three other lives at Lake of the Ozarks this weekend. Ashley Lamb is in critical condition and will need multiple surgeries, according to her sister. The family has established a GoFundMe account to offset the costs of medical care.