Wildcats compete, medal at IAAF World Championships

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Track and field attendees watch the K-State track meet in Ahearn Field House on Feb. 17, 2017. (File photo by John Benfer | The Collegian)

On Aug. 4 to Aug. 13, track and field athletes from across the world competed in London for the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships. Seven former and current Wildcats competed in multiple preliminary and qualification rounds at the Championships.

The first to compete were hurdlers and K-State alumni Balazs Baji and Jeffrey Julmis. On day three of the Championships, they competed in the 110-meter hurdle heats. Julmis placed sixth in his heat, but did not qualify for the semi-finals. Baji fared better, making it all the way to the finals, where he ran a time of 13.28 seconds to acquire a bronze medal.

Baji was the only medal winner for K-State, and he also received the first individual medal for Hungary, his home country.

“After I finished that race, I just sat down and watched around,” Baji said to K-State Sports. “This is a perfect atmosphere and this is a perfect moment.”

On day four, senior Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye represented the Turks and Caicos Islands in the 200-meter dash. Otuonye placed seventh in his heat with a time of 0:21.91.

Two high jumpers, K-State alumni Kim Williamson of Jamaica and Alyx Treasure of Canada, competed on the seventh day of the Championships, but neither qualified for the finals. Williamson cleared 6 feet, 2.25 inches to place eighth in her group. The greatest height Treasure cleared was 6 feet, 0.75 inches.

During the eighth and final day of competition for the Wildcats, sophomore Shadae Lawrence threw in the discus qualifier. Lawrence scratched on her first throw, but went on to throw her best of the morning, with a distance of 194 feet, 4 inches. Despite this, it was not enough to get her into the finals.

One of the most successful track and field Wildcats, K-State alumnus Erik Kynard, also competed in the high jump. Kynard’s most notable achievement is a silver medal in the high jump at the 2012 Olympics in London, but London didn’t treat him as well this time. Kynard was only able to attempt one jump at 7 feet, 1.5 inches before he had to withdraw because of an injury.

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