Wildcats collect nine victories at Jim Click Shootout

Then-sophmore Tejaswin Shankar throws himself over the high bar during the Steve Miller Open in 2019. (Archive photo by Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State track and field team had a successful weekend in Tucson, Arizona, after combining for nine event titles and several personal and school records at the Jim Click Shootout.

The meet started off on a hot note for the Wildcats on Friday when senior Lauren Taubert won the heptathlon with a personal-best score of 5,831 points. The three-time All-American’s performance was the best by a Wildcat in a heptathlon since a 6,133-point performance by Nina Schultz in 2018.

Senior Jah Strange and freshman Rhianna Philipps both swept in the the men’s and women’s triple jumps respectively and set top-10 all-time marks. Strange’s 16.26m/53-4.25 leap and Phillip’s jump of 13.18m/43-3 were both the seventh-best in men’s and women’s program history.

“I don’t know the actual number, but there were quite a few personal bests,” director of track and field and cross country Cliff Rovelto said in a press release to K-State Athletics. “There were also a number of marks that bode well for us as we move towards the conference championships.”

One of these personal bests Rovelto mentioned was sophomore Hadley Spletcher in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Coming in at 9:19:31, Spletcher’s time brought the Wildcats another event victory and personal best on the day.

Junior Vitoria Alves and senior Jullane Walker brought home two more victories for the Wildcats in the women’s 100-meter hurdles and men’s 100 meters, respectively. Walker’s time of 10.45 slightly edged Arizona State’s Austin Kratz for first, while Strange and freshman Darian Clarke joined him in the top-8.

Alves’ time was the fourth-best in school history, continuing the history-making day.

Junior Chantoba Bright brought home first in both the women’s long jump and as part of the women’s 4×100-meter relay team. The women’s relay team continued its winning ways in the 4×400 relay as it took first in both events, thanks to impressive performances from the whole relay team.

Senior Tejaswin Shankar continued his dominance on the year, picking up a win in the men’s high jump. Senior Kyle Alcine and sophomore Devon Richardson joined Shankar in the top-4 to help the Wildcats rule the leaderboard in the high jump.

Other impressive performances from the Wildcats included senior Helene Ingvaldsen in the hammer throw. Her 66.89 m/219-5 throw garnered her second in the event and a place in the record books as the second-longest throw in school history.

Senior Shaelyn Ward also registered a personal best in the hammer throw with a toss of 62.60 m/205.4 on her last attempt.

Senior Cameron Lewis also had an impressive day throwing, placing fourth in the discus and setting a personal best and sixth in the shotput.

Senior Sprinter Justin Davis’s time of 46.75 in the 400 meters was the best by a Wildcat since 1998 and earned him a fourth-place finish.

The Wildcats return to action next weekend in the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas, on April 16-17.