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SLATE: Erik Kynard is still the man

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BatCats on life support.

Better this than baseball.
Better this than baseball.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend’s Ward Haylett Invitational at R.V. Christian Track Complex was supposedly a double-dual meet with Kansas State facing BYU and Kansas. If anyone can figure out exactly what the criteria was for scoring the meet, however, they’re cordially invited to explain it because we sure can’t.

For example, on Friday K-State’s Kyle Alcine and Devon Richardson took the top two spots in the men’s high jump, yet the official scoring for the meet shows BYU in first place with ten points, Kansas in second with eight, and K-State in last with six. Setting aside the fact that this isn’t how a double-dual meet works, it looks like the only men’s event which was officially counted for the men was either the long jump or the 200m hurdles, both of which finished in that order.

By our calculations — and understand, this is rudimentary and quite likely wrong, but it is what it is — counting events in which all three schools had equal competitors (or ignoring the results of excess competitors), K-State would have won a three-way event 36-30-24, with BYU in second. But, again, it was supposed to be a double-dual; K-State should then have beaten BYU 52-35 and Kansas 87-71.

Meanwhile, the official score for the K-State women was 24 points with nothing on the board at all for BYU or Kansas. But in events involving all three schools, the women did not fare so well. A three-way score should have had BYU winning 36-32-28 with K-State in last; dual scores should have had K-State losing 92-69 to BYU while squeaking out a 46-44 win over the Jayhawks.

On top of all that, there were multiple events for both the men and women in which the only competitors were Wildcats, and for once we’re going to have to credit the athletic department for not boosting the “Cats finish 1-2-3” signal in their report on the event’s final day (which also wisely ignores the whole team score confusion).

But the one piece of news from the event which will bring a wry smile to your faces was that the men’s high jump was won by one Erik Kynard, Jr., competing unattached as a member of Jordan Brand.

Saturday also saw Senior Day festivities. Some of these folks might return next year as last year’s season was of course cancelled, but 17 Wildcats were honored: Kimisha Chambers, Justin Davis, Colin Echols, Akia Guerrier, Travis Hodge, Cayli Hume, Helene Ingvaldsen, Cameron Lewis, Ariel Okorie, Kyle Parr, Ashley Petr, Konstantina Romaiou, Jah Strange, Lauren Taubert, Jullane Walker, Shaelyn Ward and Logan Wolfley.

Next up: the team stays home as the Big 12 Outdoor Championships will be held at R.V. Christian this Friday through Sunday. Tickets are on sale, although only the west grandstand and south standing room areas will be open. Face covering is required, but attendees will be allowed to scan out and back into the facility if they need a break from the mask.

Baseball

Friday, Baylor kicked K-State silly in a 17-2 rout. Saturday, K-State rallied in the ninth to score seven runs, breaking a 3-3 tie to even the series 10-3. But on Sunday, K-State allowed Baylor to score 17 runs in the fifth inning alone on the way to a 20-3 defeat, and that’s why we’re just too depressed to recap.

K-State is now 28-18 (7-11 Big 12) and has slipped to seventh place, a game back of Oklahoma. On the bright side, the Sooners host Texas Tech this week, so they’re definitely primed to be swept or at least drop the series, which would let K-State catch up to them again. But even a sweep of Kansas this weekend can only push the Cats back up to fifth, and even that would require Oklahoma State to sweep Baylor (29-14, 9-9 Big 12); sweeps by Baylor and K-State would put the Cats in a tie with the Cowboys, but without the benefit of the tiebreaker. However, a sweep of the Jayhawks would also secure no worse than a seventh-place finish, as it would put the Cats three games ahead of West Virginia — who gets a non-conference series this week — with three to play.

Regardless of conference positioning, any chance K-State had to get to the regionals without the autobid is now on oxygen. Sweeping Kansas is a requirement now, and then somehow winning the series against TCU to get to .500 in-conference is almost a necessity.