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NCAA Track Championships conclude

Kansas State finishes season with one national title and several All-Americans

Track and Field: NCAA Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track Championships are in the books.

The Kansas State women were in the spotlight on the final day of competition from Hayward Field in Oregon, and ended up with three first-team All-American spots for their efforts. Nina Schultz, who had gotten past the 6000-point margin already this season, couldn’t quite repeat the feat at the NCAA heptathlon. She tallied a total of 5778 points to finish seventh in the standings. That was good enough for a first team All-America nod, but not quite up to Schultz’s usual standards. Teammate Ariel Okorie, making her NCAA debut, totaled 5189 points and finished 20th. The event was won by Wisconsin’s Georgia Ellenwood with 6146 points.

2017 NCAA discus champ Shadae Lawrence qualified for the discus finals easily with a throw of 57.70m which put her in third place. In the finals, with all the athletes hampered by steady rain, Lawrence actually bettered that mark with a monster throw of 58.24m to move into first place. Unfortunately, she was bested by a 60.48m throw by Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen and fell to second place in the competition. This has to be something of a disappointment for Lawrence who also finished in second place at the Big 12 Championships.

In the final Kansas State action of the day, Big 12 champion Ranae McKenzie hit the track for the 400m hurdles finals. In the rain, McKenzie ran a tough race to finish fifth overall with a time of 57.67. With that, she became the first Wildcat since Ryann Krais in 2011 to earn first team All-America honors in the event.

Overall, the Wildcat women finished the event with 16 points and in 17th place, while the men finished tied for 27th place with all 10 points resulting from Tejaswin Shankar’s win in the high jump event.

With the track season now complete, we close the book on the 2017-18 season of Kansas State sports.

That just means football is right around the corner. In fact, as BracketCat’s Countdown tells us, it’s less than 85 days (Logan Long) to kickoff. Indeed, it’s actually less than 84 days (Matt Jones) days now.

There will be plenty of prognostication and speculation in the weeks ahead, but for now, the biggest question is at quarterback. Having two talented and capable players available is usually a good problem to have, and both Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton have shown themselves equal to the task. But Delton believes the job will be his, and he’s all in on the hard work and determination required to win the position (Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury).

We all know Bill Snyder is the oldest active head coach in the FBS. But who is next up? The best answer gets a free subscription to Bring on the Cats for the 2018 football season. Remember, you get what you pay for, sometimes much, much less.

Happy Sunday, #EMAW nation!