Track and field takes home four individual wins in Jayhawk Classic

Then-sophomore Cooper Schroeder holds onto first place during the men's mile run at the Steve Miller Open in 2019. (Archive photo by Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State track and field team competed in the Jayhawk Classic in the first two-day meet of the season on Friday and Saturday. The Wildcats took home four individual wins while posting multiple top-ten finishes over the two days.

In the Friday competitions, the women’s weight throw highlighted the day, with five throwers finishing in the top ten, including a podium sweep. Senior Shaelyn Ward recorded a first-place finish with a 19.20-meter throw.

Sophomore Sean Wilson sealed the lone day one victory for the Wildcats with a 50.75-second first-place finish in the 400-meter dash.

“We are certainly getting to be more consistent in terms of performance in the weight,” director of track and field and cross country Cliff Rovelto said in a K-State Athletics press release. “We can continue to make progress as well, which is a good thing. As far as track stuff, folks will begin racing faster in the coming weeks as they get more time on the track.”

The Wildcats earned podium finishes in the men’s weight throw with a second-place finish by senior Colin Echols. Junior Stephen Kielhofner led a trio of Wildcats in the top seven of the men’s mile run with a 4:18.99 second-place finish.

Sophomore Cailan Steward took a bronze medal with a 5:20.27 personal record in the women’s mile run. Junior Alex Ferguson took a third-place finish in the women’s 400-meter run with a time of 57.03 seconds.

On day two of the Jayhawk Classic, the Wildcats posted two first-place finishes, including a men’s high jump win by sophomore Devon Richardson. He sealed the victory with a 2.10-meter jump on his fifth attempt.

Junior Kassidy Johnson took the top spot in the women’s 600-yard race. It was the first time she had competed in the event all season.

“My goal today was to get a good, speed workout in and see what I could do while I was at it,” Johnson said in a K-State Athletics press release. “Speed is not my strong suit, so I was in the back from the start. I just tried to hold on to the pack as much as I could and not allow the gap to get too big. Around the last 100 meters, the gap really started to close, so I just tried to use my endurance strength and give it everything I had to the finish.”

She held off her fellow competitors by less than one second to take gold.

Sophomore Maddie Righter finished third in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Righter also took second in the women’s long jump.

Sophomore Tim Lambert Jr. recorded a personal best in the men’s 200 meters with a second-place 22.09 pace. Sophomore Gabriel Louw followed suit with a second-place finish in the men’s 600-yard race, boasting a 1:16.47 time.

K-State had success in both 800-meter races with three top-eight finishes apiece, including bronze medals for freshman Will Carroll and sophomore Sydney Burton.

Led by a second-place finish by junior Taylor Latimer, the Wildcats had a trio of throwers finish in the top eight of the event.

K-State will return to Ahern Field House for the Austra Skujyte Pentathlon and Steve Fritz Heptathlon on Friday, followed by the DeLoss Dodds Invitational, which will take place on Saturday before the back-to-back road meets. The Wildcats will have to finalize the travel roster and the home meets will be the last chance to seal the team’s spot on the roster, Rovelto said.