Shankar wins Big 12 title for men’s high jump for third consecutive season

Then-sophmore Tejaswin Shankar throws himself over the high bar during the 2019 Steve Miller Open in Manhattan. Now a senior, Shankar just won his third-straight Big 12 indoor title in the high jump event. (Archive photo by Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

Senior Tejaswin Shankar, who took home his third consecutive high jump title, headlined the Big 12 Conference Indoor Championships this weekend.

Shankar won the event with a jump of 2.21m/7-3.00, giving the senior a meet-high 20 points and helping him collect Co-High Point Award honors. He is the first Wildcat ever to earn the High Point Award at the Big 12 Indoor Championship.

“The guy TJ (Tejaswin Shankar) tied with for high point scorer is the best collegiate distance runner I believe I have seen in my career,” director of track and field and cross country Cliff Rovelto said in a release to K-State Athletics.

Shankar explained he was fatigued leading up to the high jump event, but powered through to take home more hardware.

“I was a little bit drained when I got to the high jump,” Shankar said. “Coming into the event, my goal was to win the competition at all costs, which I was able to do. The other athlete from Oklahoma was not at his best. At the same time, I was able to make the most of the opportunity and get 2.21 on my third try, which was pretty unlikely. But if you get the win, that is all that matters, and I think I was able to do that today.”

Before his three-peat, Shankar also took home second place in the men’s triple jump with a mark of 16.09m/52-09.50 — a new personal best for Shankar and ranks him tied for third in school history as the best jump by any Kansas State athlete.

Along with Shankar, the rest of the K-State track and field team finished well in their respected events. Freshman Kyle Gale finished second in the 400 meters (46.21), another notable men’s performance.

The men’s team finished in sixth place.

Junior Kassidy Johnson finished second in the women’s 1,000 meters (2:46.81), junior Chantoba Bright finished second in the women’s triple jump (13.60m/44-7.50) and junior thrower Taylor Latimer finished third in the women’s shot put (16.44m/53-11.25), helping the women’s team to a third-place finish.

“I thought both teams did a nice job of competing,” Rovelto said. “Our women scored more points than I had us going for into the meet. The girls scored in every event but one, which I am pretty sure we have never done before. The men were within eight points of what I had projected, so not too far off. We only brought 18 men, so we were short a few bullets. The guys did a nice job. I thought the quality of the championship was as high as I’ve ever seen in 40-plus years of Big 12 and Big Eight competition for individual and team performances.”

Other notable finishes for the Wildcats this weekend include junior Alex Ferguson finishing third in the women’s 600 yards, senior Wurrie Njadoe finishing fifth in the women’s 60 meters and sixth in the women’s 200 meters and junior Victoria Alves finishing eighth in the women’s 60-meter hurdles.

Sophomore Donovan Turner finished fourth for the men in the 60-meter hurdles and redshirt sophomore Mike Rohlinger finished seventh in the men’s 1,000 meters.

For those who qualified, K-State will now take a week off to prepare for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which will take place in Fayetteville, Arkansas, March 12-13 at the Randal Tyson Track Center.