Wildcat track and field athletes set records at Drake Relays, Texas Tech over weekend

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

The Kansas State track and field teams had memorable performances on Thursday at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, and on Friday at the Texas Tech Corky/Crofoot Shootout in Lubbock, Texas.

Multiple individuals set new records and won several events.

“We had a number of personal bests and some really solid performances,” head coach Cliff Rovelto said to K-State Sports.

The women’s 4×1600-meter relay team won the relay race for the first time in program history at the Drake Relays. They finished with a time of 19:22.42, a few seconds shy of the program record at 19:19.48.

Assistant coach Ryun Godfrey said he was blown away by the performance.

“That was one of the most impressive performances that I have seen in coaching,” Godfrey said to K-State Sports. “It was windy, but our girls were determined and fought really hard. Each of them ran very well, and they left it all on the track.”

Senior Kayla Doll also had a good performance at the Drake Relays, setting a new personal record in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:18.76 to place third in the event.

At the Texas Tech Shootout, freshman Tejaswin Shankar set a new NCAA record in the men’s high jump with 2.29 meters to win the event. In addition to setting a new NCAA record, his jump is the sixth best in school history and the sixth best jump in the world this season.

“TJ had a [personal record], but honestly, I do not think he jumped exceptionally well,” Rovelto said to K-State Sports. “This is a big positive because when he puts it all together, he will do something special.”

Junior Brett Neelly made history in the shot put with a throw of 19.59 meters, the third-best throw in school history. Neelly came close to Andy Gilliam’s school record of 19.69 meters set in 1985.

The Wildcats won the 4×400-meter relay to finish the Texas Tech Shootout. The relay team — sophomore Lauren Taubert, senior A’Keyla Mitchell, sophomore Nina Schultz and sophomore Ariel Okorie — ran a 3:38.50.

The host team, Texas Tech, scored 218 points to win the women’s event, and the No. 13 K-State women’s team scored 119 points for third. The men’s team finished in fourth place with 98 points, and Texas Tech also won in the men’s competition with 213.5 points.

The Wildcats will now return home to host the Ward Haylett Invitational on May 5.

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