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SLATE: Track, baseball, tennis all give Kansas State some relief

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Your belated weekend wrapup, designed to make you feel happy.

Shankar’s first event of the spring lands him second on the NCAA leaderboard.
Shankar’s first event of the spring lands him second on the NCAA leaderboard.
Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

After so many depressing and painful weekends, it’s finally happened. K-State had a good weekend. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good.

It started on Friday, as K-State Tennis finally got a conference win after a non-conference season which was good enough to land the Cats in the top 25 before Big 12 play began. It was not a close win, either, as the Wildcats (11-9, 1-6) posted a 7-0 sweep of West Virginia (10-7, 0-6).

This afternoon at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium, the Cats take on Iowa State in their home finale. A win could vault K-State all the way up to seventh place in the league, which is pretty nice considering they woke up Friday morning in dead last.

Track and Field

Also on Friday, Lauren Taubert and Ariel Okorie posted the two best collegiate heptathlon scores at the Jim Click Combined Events in Tucson. Taubert’s score of 5,669 stands as the fifth-best performance all-time for a Wildcat, which is impressive considering the list of heptathletes that have called Manhattan home. Taubert’s mark also moves her into the top three in the NCAA thus far this season.

Saturday at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Tejaswin Shankar participated in his first event of the spring season, and promptly placed himself second on the NCAA leaderboard in the men’s high jump. Shankar cleared 2.25m (7’414“) to capture first place in the event.

Kassidy Johnson continued to excel in the women’s 800m, posting the fifth-best time in the NCAA this year and the third-best time in K-State history with a 2:04:45 in the Premiere event (which included non-collegiate runners). It was, however, only the third-best collegiate time in that race, — that’s right, three of the five best times in the NCAA were on the same track Saturday. In the open 800m, Cayli Hume won with a 2:08.63, and Alex Ferguson took third.

Ranae McKenzie also posted an All American-level performance, posting the sixth-best time in the NCAA this year in the women’s 400m hurdles with an event-winning 57.58.

In the women’s high jump, Clare Gibson and Shanae McKenzie finished third and fourth respectively; Antoni Hoyte-Small took third in the men’s 400m, Asha Cave was second in the women’s 100m, and the women’s 4x400 relay took bronze.

From the Tyler (Tex.) Morning Telegraph, Brandon Ogden reports on Jordan Tauscher, who signed a letter of intent to come to Manhattan on a track scholarship. Tauscher is a thrower who took second in Texas in the shot put and third in the discus, and her decision was an easy one: her parents are both Wildcats and her brother and sister are already on campus as undergrads.

Baseball

Baseball did not have a great Friday, as they were shut out 4-0 by Creighton in Omaha. But Saturday was a different story, as a Zach Kokoska homer and a four-hit game by Terrence Spurlin supported a nine-strikeout effort by Jordan Wicks to lead K-State to a 9-2 win to even the series.

Alas, at this writing it’s 7-0 Creighton in the bottom of the fourth inning in the rubber game.

Rowing

It wasn’t a bad weekend for the crew, either, as all five K-State boats reached the grand final of their respective competitions at the Sunshine State Invitational in Sarasota, Fla., and although none of them were gold, four brought home medals. The 2v8, 3v8, and 2v4 crews all placed second (to Big 12 rival Alabama in all three cases), while the 1v4 finished third behind Central Florida and Alabama.

Golf

Jacob Eklund took month-long family vacation to the Middle East and South Asia during the winter break, and in today’s Sports Extra Corbin McGuire asserts that hiatus from golf is a big part of the reason for Eklund’s recent surge in performance.

Basketball

In the 2019 Reese’s College All-Star Game, the West fell to the East 110-105 despite the efforts of one Barry Brown Jr. Brown had 11 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, joining five other West players in double figures.