Sunday morning, the Kansas State women held a healthy lead in the 2021 Big 12 outdoor track championship with what looked like a reasonable chance to hold on and win the Big 12 title.
They ended up scoring 114 points, which is pretty good... and losing to Texas by 93 points, which is not. It amounted to a runner-up finish for the women, but a disappointment nonetheless. At the close of action on Saturday, the Wildcats had already racked up 71 points, good enough for a 21.5 point lead over not Texas, but Texas Tech. The Longhorns were only a half-point behind Tech, but it only serves to illustrate just how ridiculous the Texas comeback was on Sunday; the Horns accumulated an insane point total of 158 just on Sunday.
The men, for their part, finished in fourth place with 88 points, edging Tech but trailing behind Texas by 85 points.
The final day was beset by weather, forcing the rescheduling of events and a late finish.
Scoring was in the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 format. The following Wildcat athletes earned points for the team over the weekend:
- Tejaswin Shankar: 15 points, 10 for winning the men’s high jump and 5 in the triple jump
- Taylor Latimer: 13 points, 10 for winning the women’s shot put and 3 in the hammer throw
- Cameron Lewis: 11 points, 8 in the men’s shot put and 3 in the discus
- Logan Wolfley: 10 points for winning the men’s javelin (the first Wildcat to ever do so)
- Chantoba Bright: 10 points, 5 in the women’s long jump and 5 in the triple jump
- Ashley Petr: 9 points, 5 in the women’s hammer throw and 4 in the discus
- Wurrie Njadoe: 9 points, 3 in the women’s 100m and the long jump, 2 in the 200m, and 1 for her share of the women’s 4x100 finish
- Lauren Taubert: 8.75 points, 8 in the heptathlon and .75 for her share of the women’s 4x400 finish
- Jah Strange: 8.75 points, 8 in the men’s triple jump and .75 for his share of the 4x400 finish
- Helene Ingvaldsen: 8 points in the women’s hammer throw
- Kyle Alcine: 8 points in the men’s high jump
- Matas Adamonis: 8 points, 6 in the decathlon and 2 in the men’s javelin
- Kimisha Chambers: 7.75 points, 6 in the women’s 400m hurdles, 1 for her share of the 4x100 finish, and .75 for her share of the 4x400 finish
- Kassidy Johnson: 7 points, 5 in the women’s 1500m and 2 in the 5k
- Jaybe Shufelberger: 7 points, 4 in the women’s 10k and 3 in the 5k
- Shaelyn Ward: 6 points in the women’s hammer throw
- Jullane Walker: 5.75 points, 5 in the men’s high jump and .75 for his share of the 4x100 finish
- Hannah Stewart: 5 points in the women’s 3k steeplechase
- Taishia Pryce: 5 points, 4 in the women’s long jump and 1 for her share of the 4x100 finish
- Tim Lambert: 4.5 points, 3 in the men’s 400m hurdles and .75 for his share of the 4x100 finish, and .75 for his share of the 4x400
- Ariel Okorie: 4 points in the heptathlon
- Vitoria Alves: 4 points in the women’s 100m hurdles
- Briana Lowe: 4 points in the women’s javelin
- Colin Echols: 4 points in the men’s discus
- Luke Ralston: 4 points in the men’s javelin
- Cooper Schroder: 3 points in the men’s 10k
- Kade McCall: 3 points in the men’s hammer throw
- Donovan Turner: 2 points in the men’s 110m hurdles
- Shalysa Wray: 1.75 points, 1 for her share of the women’s 4x100 finish and .75 for her share of the 4x400 finish
- Justin Davis: 1.5 points, .75 for his share of the men’s 4x100 finish and .75 for his share of the 4x400
- Alex Ferguson: 1 point in the women’s 800m
- Hadley Splechter: 1 point in the men’s 3k steeplechase
- Cara Melgares: 1 point in the women’s 3k steeplechase
- Rhianna Phipps: 1 point in the women’s triple jump
- O’Shalia Johnson: .75 points for her share of the women’s 4x400 finish
- Darian Clarke: .75 points for his share of the men’s 4x100 finish
- Sean Wilson: .75 points for his share of the men’s 4x400 finish
The true disappointment here isn’t the team effort or the depth, but rather the lack of individual titles. Only three events were won by K-State athletes, which is startling given the team’s previous record. That the team was able to pull out second- and fourth-place finishes overall in spite of this was a testament to effort, but ultimately the team’s highest flyers were mostly outclassed this weekend.
Wednesday, May 26, those Wildcats which have qualified will be in College Station for the NCAA West Preliminaries, and those that advance will travel to Eugene on June 9-12.
Lose twice to Kansas when you need a sweep, suffer the consequences.
Friday’s game turned into a doubleheader because of impending Saturday weather. The BatCats were swept by the Jayhawks, 2-0 and 10-0. Those of you good at the maths might observe that K-State failed to score a run in 18 opportunities.
There was at least one bright spot on Friday, as Jordan Wicks (5-3) struck out six Kansas batters. That pushed his season total to 102, which is now a new K-State single-season record. But the quality start by Wicks 62⁄3 innings and only two runs — was wasted as Kansas starter Cole Larsen threw eight shutout innings.
In the second game, Kasey Ford (4-2) got shelled but it didn’t matter. Eli Davis threw a seven-inning no-hitter for the Jayhawks, the first no-hitter K-State has suffered in seven years.
K-State (29-20, 8-13 Big 12) got revenge on Sunday, and coincidentally saved themselves from falling into the Big 12 basement, by posting a 6-2 victory behind six quality innings by Connor McCullough (5-3) and a pair of Dylan Phillips homers, his 12th and 13th of the year. The first homer by Phillips was K-State’s 76th on the season, breaking the school record. His second actually tied him for the team lead with Zach Kokoska, but Kokoska wasn’t having any of that. Two innings later, he put one out of the park for his 14th of the season.
Thursday night, the final regular-season series of the year begins as TCU comes to call.
K-State’s rowing team finished third among “actual” Big 12 schools, but fifth overall in the 2021 Big 12 rowing championships. It was actually a better performance than expectations would have indicated, as K-State struggled against both Oklahoma and Kansas in the regular season but soundly outpaced the Jayhawks and West Virginia on Saturday while only coming up four points short of Oklahoma.
Texas won all four races, rolling to an easy victory in the event. Both Alabama and Tennessee finished ahead of Oklahoma. Wildcat senior Taylor Hartman was named All-Big 12, while Logan Frost made the second team. The finish ends the season for the Wildcats, who won’t qualify for the NCAAs.
The NCAA Stillwater Regional begins today at Karsten Creek, and Tim Tillmans will attempt to qualify for the NCAA national tournament by being the lowest-scoring individual whose team doesn’t qualify. The tournament runs through Wednesday.
Okay, not everything is terrible. The Senior CLASS Awards were announced Thursday, and Brookelynn Entz was named a second-team All-American. But there’s a vitally important dimension to this: each team includes only five players, not eleven. So Entz is one of the top ten players in the nation... by Senior CLASS standards anyway, which are admittedly a bit different than saying “best players” without qualification.
It’s still a huge honor, so feel free to gloat. After all, nobody from North Carolina even made the second team.