Track and field outdoor season starts with broken record

Freshman Helene Ingvaldsen throws a weight at the K-State track meet in Ahearn Field House on Feb. 17, 2017. (File Photo by John Benfer | The Collegian)

The Kansas State track and field team attended their first of many outdoor meets at the Hurricane Collegiate Invitational in Coral Gables, Florida, on Saturday. When junior Mitch Dixon threw a record-breaking hammer throw, it went to show that the outdoor team wouldn’t have to wait long for a record-breaking weekend.

The K-State throwers began a solid day for the Wildcats, when Dixon threw his throw of 64.12 meters, breaking a one-year-old school record and claiming fourth place. Saturday was Dixon’s first meet as a Wildcat, as he came from Saddleback College as a four time All-American.

Also in the men’s hammer throw was senior Kyle Smith, who placed sixth with a throw of 61.80 meters and senior Brady Grunder who chucked his way into seventh place with a throw of 61.35 meters.

The women’s throwing team seemed to pick up where they left off from the spring season, beginning with the women’s hammer throw. Senior Janee’ Kassanavoid claimed first place in the outdoor opener, with a toss of 63.54 meters. Following Kassanavoid, freshman Helene Ingvaldsen placed second with a throw of 61.58 meters.

Women’s discus also had a first-placer, with sophomore Shadae Lawrence and her throw of 58.44 meters.

The Wildcat women continued their success in the women’s javelin, where three individuals placed in the top 10.

Women’s shot put also had a placing throw, after junior Jess St. John placed fifth with a throw of 14.98 meters.

“The performance by our female throwers was very encouraging,” head coach Cliff Rovelto said. “As a whole, we saw a number of personal bests and we got some good work in with most of the team.”

The K-State jumpers had numerous top-five placers. In high jump, senior Miles Bearden finished third with a jump of 2.05 meters. On the women’s side, junior Rhizlane Shiba finished second with a jump of 1.75 meters, followed by sophomore Shanae McKenzie in fourth with a jump of 1.70 meters.

Both men and women’s long jump had an individual that placed fourth. Senior Zanri Van Der Merwe jumped 6.01 meters and freshman Javier Lowe jumped 6.84 meters.

Sophomore Ranae McKenzie began her day with the 200-meter dash, placing fourth with a sprint of 23.61 after a hard-fought race.

In the 1,500-meter dash, there were two first-place finishers. On the men’s side, senior Kain Ellis ran a 3:50.99 and sophomore Emma Wren ran a 4:37.55 for the women’s.

For the 3,000-meter dash, there were multiple top-five finishes for both sides. Junior Lukas Koch placed first after a run of 8:26.66, followed by freshman Colton Donahue in second with a run of 8:27.82 for the men. For the women, senior Morgan Wedekind placed third with a time of 9:43.28 and junior Kayla Doll placed fourth with a time of 10:04.54.

The team ended with relays, where three relays placed in the top five.

The women’s 4×400 relay placed third with a time of 3:41.52. The women’s side also had the 4×100, which placed fourth with a run of 45.03. For the men, the 4×100 team placed fifth with a time of 41.36.

The Wildcat track team will now travel to Emporia, Kansas, on Saturday to compete in Welch Stadium.

I'm DeAundra Allen, co-editor-in-chief and sports editor at the Collegian. I'm a junior in broadcast journalism and pre-law, with a minor in philosophy. I was born in Brighton, Colorado, home of La Placita and the Bulldogs. I moved to Kansas in 2010, and fell in love with press boxes at a young age. In my spare time, I talk about my pets, sports, and work towards going to law school.