Several track and field athletes make K-State record books at Arkansas Qualifier

Kansas State's University, High Jumpers, at the Track & Field Steve Miller Open indoor Ahearn Field House on Feb. 22, 2020. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Freshman Kyle Gale, freshman Rhianna Phipps, sophomore Jaybe Shufelberger and many others found their way into the record books as the women’s and men’s track and field teams both finished top three at the Arkansas Qualifier.

Gale ran a 46.26 to cement himself at the top of the Kansas State record books as the fastest 400-meter time in school history.

“Honestly I thought I went out there and executed like I should have,” Gale said to K-State Sports. “My game plan was to get out of the first 200 meters and then use my strength to finish the last 200 meters of the race. I am very thankful for my execution today.”

Junior triple-jumper Anigbata Grace Chinonyelum broke the Arkansas Qualifier record in the triple jump with a mark of 13.71m/44-8.00 while also putting herself at third all-time in school history at the event. Chinonyelum’s jump ranks her at fifth in NCAA nationally this season.

Phipps also found her way into the record books with her mark of 13.11m/43-0.25 in the women’s triple jump. Her mark puts her at fifth all-time in school history.

Shufelberger took first place in the women’s 3,000 meters with a time of 9:43.18 while also putting herself at 10th in school history in the event.

In the men’s 3,000 meters, junior Cooper Schroeder finished fifth with a time of 8:13.15 a personal best and fifth-best in school history at the event.

The senior duo of Wurrie Njadoe and Taishia Pryce also made history at the 200-meter race. Njadoe finished seventh with a time of 24.02, and Pryce finished in ninth with a time of 24.23. Both times are top ten in school history for the event, putting Njadoe at 4th best all-time and Pryce at sixth best all-time for the event.

Pryce then went on to capture first place in the long jump with a mark of 6.37m/20-10.75 putting her at ninth best in the country in NCAA jumps this season.

Junior Alex Ferguson posted a time of 2:09.97 in the women’s 800 meters to clinch the top spot and another first place win for the Wildcats.

“I thought our team did a very good job of competing,” director of track and field and cross country Cliff Rovelto said to K-State Sports. “We had a number of quality performances but just as impressive to me was the fact that they competed. We had a lot of our best marks in the finals and the sixth round of field events. That speaks well of them as competitors.”

The Wildcats also took home three throwing event victories on Friday. Senior Colin Echols threw 20.23m/66-4.50 and senior Shaelyn Ward threw 20.01m/65-7.75 in the weight throw, and junior Taylor Latimer made a shot put throw of 15.70m/51-6.25.

Overall the Wildcat women’s team finished second with 84 points, and the men’s team finished in third with 49.

The track and field team will head to Lubbock, Texas, next week for the Texas Tech Shootout on Friday, Feb. 12, through Saturday, Feb. 13.