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Football gears up for spring showcase

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Also, combined event track athletes are in competition this weekend.

Lauren Taubert is now the NCAA heptathlon leader. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. There is no joy in Mudville after Kansas State was stomped by former Big 12 foe Missouri.

The BatCats will continue with their mid-season non-conference slate with a three-game series against Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM and Griffin Hassal will get the start for the Wildcats. Although Kansas State holds an all-time series lead against the BlueJays, it’s not clear this series will bring the BatCats a reprieve. Creighton has won seven of its last eight games.

Basketball

There may be a game or two of basketball left in the season, and I hear there’s something happening in Minneapolis this weekend?

For Kansas State, the actual season has ended, which means the silly season—of speculation and griping—is upon us. Bruce Weber is thankfully remaining above the fray these days. He had a couple of sleepless nights following the Wildcats’ unceremonious departure from the NCAA Tournament, but Weber is optimistic about the future. He should have Xavier Sneed, Cartier Diarra, Makol Mawien, and Mike McGuirl back next season, and he hopes to add some fresh blood to the roster via new players and maybe transfers.

At least one scholarship was freed up by the departure of Goodnews Kepegeol, who has entered the transfer portal after just one semester in Manhattan.

Football

We come to it at last. The spring game—this year, a spring showcase—is right around the corner. The athletic department announced a series of activities for fans of all ages on April 12-13.

The actual spring showcase on April 13th will involve a series of drills followed by a 30-minute scrimmage. Bonus: Head coach Chris Klieman will be mic’d up during the scrimmage!

Klieman took time this week to speak to the Kansas State student senate. He stressed the importance of accountability, and of course, he told the assembled student leaders to win the dang day. Because of course he did.

Rowing

The rowing team is back in action this weekend, competing at the Sunshine State Invitational in Sarasota, Florida. The Wildcats did well in their first spring regatta, winning nine of 11 races, and all boats being faster than a season ago.

Still, it’s been a trying winter for the rowers. An unusually long winter meant Tuttle Creek Lake, the team’s on-water practice facility, was frozen and unavailable. When the lake thawed out, snow melt and ice raised water levels too high and made it unfit for rowing practice. But the Wildcats took all that in stride, worked even harder in the weight room, ran stairs at Bramlage, and put the ERG room at the rowing facility to good use.

Now the rowers are bigger, faster, and most significantly, older and more experienced than a year ago. They’re working harder, aiming higher, and mostly, they’re fighting for teammate Samantha Scott.

Track and Field

At the Jim Click Combined Events in Tuscon, Arizona, three Wildcats—Lauren Taubert, Ariel Okorie (both in the women’s heptathlon) and Simone Fassina (in the men’s decathlon)—had terrific first day performances, and have placed themselves in good position for a strong finish.

Taubert is currently in second place with 3,381 points, but is actually the top college athlete in contention. Okorie is just behind Taubert with 3,308 points and in third place. Meanwhile, Fassina set a number of personal best marks on his way to 3,791 points after one day of competition in the decathlon. That’s good for fifth place, and he’s currently trailing the first place by just 200 points.

Like the rowing team, the track athletes are struggling in various outdoor field events because the weather has kept them from being able to practice well. But “not competing well” in the high jump isn’t a real handicap for High Jump U, because Taubert, Okorie, and teammate Morgan Coffman went 1-2-3 in the event.

The event concludes today with the long jump, javelin, and 800m events for the women, and the 110H, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500m events for the men.

Have a good weekend, all!