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BatCats are up for Sunflower Showdown

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Cliff Rovelto gets well-deserved Big 12 honors.

K-State baseball
K-State baseball
Anon_the_younger

Baseball

One is the number.

This is Kansas State baseball’s mantra this weekend as they get ready to take on archrival Kansas in the final series of the regular season. Thanks to a mid-week loss by Texas though, there’s much more on the line for the BatCats than just the chance to beat the Jayhawks. If Kansas State wins one game this weekend, or Texas loses again, the team will make it to the Big 12 Championships in OKC next week.

The players never lack for motivation against Kansas, of course. But this time, with few players and even fewer coaches having been in a Sunflower Showdown before, the BatCats are focused on just getting the job done. As Will Brennan put it, “[w]e know what we have to do.”

Track

After a record-setting performance by the Kansas State women’s team at the Big 12 Championships last week, the conference named Cliff Rovelto Big 12 Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year.

This is the third consecutive Coach of the Year title for Rovelto, and the fifth of his career. He’s now won the honor more than any other active coach in the conference, and is second-most all-time, with only Texas’ Beverly Kearney winning more (7).

Rovelto is an absolutely world class mentor and we’re just lucky he plies his trade in Manhattan, Kansas. Congratulations, Coach!

Several athletes from Rovelto’s teams will be back in action next weekend at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Sacramento, California. 25 Kansas State athletes will take part in the event and hopefully get their tickets punched to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas.

Multi-event athletes Lauren Taubert and Ariel Okorie (heptathlon) and Simone Fassina and Aaron Booth (decathlon) have already qualified for the NCAA Championships. Okorie will still appear at the NCAA West Preliminaries though, as she’s also hoping to qualify in the 100H event.

A number of Wildcats currently hold top five marks in the country in their events, including Taylor Latimer (shot put, 4th), Shardia Lawrence (triple jump, 3rd), Taishia Pryce (long jump, 1st), Ranae McKenzie (400H, 1st), Tejaswin Shankar (high jump, 3rd), and Brett Neelly (shot put, #5).

Football

Changes, they are a comin’.

(The byline here is Austin Trice writing for the K-State Collegian. Presumably that Austin Trice?).

After more than two decades of being helmed by the legendary Bill Snyder (with a short interlude we no longer speak of), Kansas State’s football program is headed into uncharted waters this summer. New head coach Chris Klieman has a different style to the game and to mentoring players. He’s a hands-on coach and his enthusiasm for football has rubbed off on his assistants and on the team.

His new approach may be reaping rewards on the recruiting trail too, especially considering how quickly Klieman and his staff addressed a pressing need at running back.

And oh, he’s changing the uniforms too.