Our apologies for the lack of a Slate all weekend, although with the early game in New York you probably didn’t mind on Saturday. Unfortunately, wildcat00 was indisposed and none of us were free to cover.
Of course, that means you get the whole weekend in one lump this morning. Counterpoint: it was a slow weekend all around, so this still won’t be a terribly long one.
Tejaswin Shankar is the reigning NCAA men’s outdoor high jump champion. That’s mostly all we know him for, although he’s tested the waters in other events; he even competed in the Carol Robinson Pentathlon just a little over a year ago at Ahearn, finishing behind fellow Wildcat and All-American Aaron Booth.
Friday night, in the same event at the same location, Shankar destroyed Booth’s 3973 point mark from last year. Competing essentially by himself — Oscar Smith bowed out after the opening 60m hurdles — Shankar racked up a score of 4137, setting a new K-State record for the men’s indoor pentathlon.
K-State has been known for having first-class high jumpers who also excelled in combined events, although mostly on the women’s side. It will be interesting to see whether Shankar opts to try and medal against quality competition in both combined and high jump this season, or whether he’ll remain primarily focused on the jumps.
The Wildcat women failed to win their side of the event despite having six of the seven competitors. Former Texas A&M star Shaina Burns, competing as an unattached individual, topped the women’s standings with 4039 points. That was enough to hold off All-American Lauren Taubert, who finished with 3975. Don’t be too concerned, though; it was a bad day for Taubert, who had scored 4129 points at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships.
At the Wildcat Invitational on Saturday, the highlight was another broken record as Travis Hodge set a meet best in the indoor mile at 4:11.54. K-State swept the podium in the women’s weight throw with Ashley Petr, Helene Ingvaldsen, and Shaelyn Ward; other top finishes were Taylor Latimer in the women’s shot, Janique Burgher in the women’s high jump, Kyle Alcine in the men’s high jump (Shankar did not compete), Smith in the men’s 60m hurdles, Alex Ferguson in the women’s 600m, Jullane Walker in the men’s 300m, Emma Lucas in the women’s mile, and both 4x400 relay teams.
The tracksters will take the rest of 2019 off before heading to Lexington, Ky., for the Kentucky-hosted Jim Greene Invitational the weekend of January 10.
The Wildcat women have been struggling this season, and on Saturday they found themselves trailing UMKC by six points with six minutes left. Then, suddenly, they got their act together. The Kangaroos would not score again, while Ayoka Lee and Angela Harris went off over the final stretch. The pair combined for 11 points during a 13-0 run which salvaged a 74-67 win at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. Lee led the Wildcats (5-4) with 24 points and 14 boards, her fifth double-double of the season. Harris finished with 22, while Peyton Williams added her sixth double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds. (More from Greg Woods at the Mercury.)
Their next game will be, um, a little more difficult. The Wildcats conclude their road stretch with a visit this coming Saturday to third-ranked Oregon. Gulp.
As for the men, by now you’re well aware that they fell 67-61 to Mississippi State on Saturday. Luke Sobba had the recap for you here, while Ryan Black at the Mercury, Kellis Robinett at the Eagle, and Collin Wilmes at our sister site For Whom the Cowbell Tolls have more on the game.
Robinett also recorded some strong words from Kansas State junior Mike McGuirl, who said the team lacked toughness and heart. What this team needs — besides someone who can play in the post — is a leader. Unfortunately, McGuirl was quiet in the locker room before sounding off to the media; it was Cartier Diarra making the noise behind closed doors.
Nothing earthshaking today, just some human interest. In today’s Sports Extra, Corbin McGuire catches up with former Wildcat punter Nick Walsh, who’s trying to make it in Nashville as a singer-songwriter. Meanwhile, forty percent of the Chicago Bears starting offensive line now consists of former Wildcats. At the Bears’ official site, Nathan Smith reports on the partnership between Cody Whitehair and Cornelius Lucas and the path that brought them back together at Grant Park.
Finally today, a bunch of Wildcats now have brand-new degrees. They include Mason Barta, Eric Gallon, Nick Kaltmayer, Jordan Mittie, and Jasauen Beard; James Gilbert and Kayla Goth now hold Master’s degrees from K-State as well. Congrats!