K-State track and field leads Big 12 in Battle on the Bayou

Freshmen runners Emma Wren (2) and Amanda Thate (3) round a corner in the mile run at the DeLoss Dodds Invitational track and field meet on Jan. 23, 2016, in Ahearn Field House. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The Battle on the Bayou in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, proved to be another successful meet for the K-State track and field team. The Wildcats were explosive from the opening event on Friday to the end of the day Saturday.

Scoring was based on conference affiliation. The Battle on the Bayou grouped K-State and Oklahoma together to represent the Big 12. Other conferences in the competition included the SEC and the Big 10.

The SEC, which consisted of LSU, Alabama and Mississippi State, took the top spot in both the men and women’s competition with a total of 164 and 165 points, respectively. The Big 12 followed in second, with the men scoring 122 points and the women earning 145.

The K-State men contributed 70.5 points to the final score of 122, and the women had 76 of the Big 12’s 145.

Junior Jeff Bachman had a hot start on Friday for K-State in the men’s 10,000-meter run. His final time of 31 minutes, 22.66 seconds not only notched a first-place finish, but it also bested the previous meet record by 3.58 seconds.

The track stayed hot for the K-State distance runners going into competition on Saturday. Junior Morgan Wedekind had a record-setting performance of her own in the 5,000-meter run. She set a new personal best and finished first with a time of 17:28.79. Her time also became the new record for the Battle of the Bayou.

For the sprinters, sophomore A’Keyla Mitchell broke a school record in the 200-meter dash and took first with a time of 22.94. Before Saturday, Mitchell had set the school record in the NCAA West Preliminary with a time of 22.96.

K-State’s throwers shined in the field. In hammer throw, senior Sara Savatovic took first on a mark of 212-05. In shot put, senior Dani Winters continued her dominance as she won her first shot put competition since taking the national title in the event with a throw of 56-11 1/2.

Freshmen Shardia Lawrence and Shadae Lawrence also found success in the field. The twins both had first-place finishes. Shardia took triple jump on a mark of 42-6 3/4 while Shadae topped the competition in discus on a throw of 182-2.

The Wildcats return to action April 15-16 in Wichita, Kansas, at the KT Woodman Invitational.

But first, senior Akela Jones will head to Azusa, California, to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays. The meet will take place April 13-14.