The school year is wrapping up, and so is the outdoor season for K-State track and field. This weekend’s Ward Haylett Invitational marks the last regular season meet before the Big 12 Championships start on May 13.
So far, the outdoor season has proven successful for K-State. In week five of competition, the K-State women are currently ranked ninth with 195.26 points. They are just 1.62 points behind No. 8 ranked Stanford. The only women’s team ranked higher in the Big 12 is No. 4 Texas with 242.24 points.
Overall, 14 K-State athletes rank in the top 50 in their respective events for both men and women. That includes six events where a K-State student-athlete is ranked in the top 10 or higher.
The men are represented by sophomore Terrell Smith, ranked No. 5 in the 200-meter. At the John McDonnell invitational, Smith recorded a time of 20.44 seconds to earn a spot in the top 5 rankings.
The John McDonnell invitational was also where senior Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye had his best long jump performance of the season. Otuonye’s mark of 25-5 1/2 puts him at the No. 21 ranking in men’s long jump.
Senior Akela Jones is ranked in five events. She currently holds the top rank in women’s heptathlon after earning 6,371 points. She is also ranked first in high jump with a mark of 6-4 3/4 inches. Her other ranked events include 38th in the 200-meter, sixth in the 100-meter hurdles and fifth in long jump.
In women’s high jump, junior Kim Williamson is not far behind Jones. She currently sits in fourth on a jump of 6-1 1/4 inches recorded at the John McDonnell Invitational.
The women throwers also hold a strong representation. NCAA Indoor Shot Put National Champion senior Dani Winters is currently ranked sixth with a throw of 56-11 1/2 recorded at the LSU Battle on the Bayou. Freshman Shadae Lawrence holds the No. 9 ranking in discuss after her performance last weekend in the Rock Chalk Classic. Lawrence recorded a throw of 185-6 inches.
K-State’s women hammer throwers will face some tough competition this weekend. Senior Sara Savatovic is ranked No. 8 in women’s hammer throw on a mark of 213-3. Savatovic will go up against the Big 12 Athlete of the Week, University of Kansas senior Daina Levy. Levy hit her season-best mark last weekend at the Rock Chalk Classic on a throw of 224-3. She is no stranger to the Big 12 Athlete of the Week title either, having earned it in the indoor season as well.
Saturday’s Ward Haylett Invitational will begin with field events at 10 a.m. at the R.V. Christian track.