Podium finishes in multiple events highlights day two of the Ward Haylett Invitational for track and field

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The Kansas State track and field team competed on day two of the Ward Haylett Invitational at the RV Christian Track and Field Complex on Friday evening. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Day two of the Ward Haylett Invitational saw plenty of success for the Kansas State track team in Manhattan at the RV Christian Track and Field Complex on Friday.

The day started with the women’s hammer throw, which the Wildcats dominated as all seven competitors were from K-State. Top placements went to seniors Helene Ingvaldsen (61.94m), Shaelyn Ward (61.50m) and Ashley Petr (57.67m).

Men’s hammer throw also saw K-State taking home top marks, with freshman Kade McCall winning the event with a toss of 59.73m and senior Colin Echols taking second with a toss of 54.30m.

Junior Jessica Williams and freshman Reagan Hukill tied for first in women’s pole vault with a height of 3.60m, beating out Kansas junior Khristen Bryant who vaulted the same height, due to attempts. On the men’s side, K-State took second through fourth, with sophomore Jesse Pinkley vaulted 4.90m to take silver.

The women’s 400 meters replicated women’s hammer throw, with K-State racing the only seven women in the event. The fastest time went to senior Wurrie Njadoe (53.67 seconds), with second place going to sophomore Shalysa Wray (54.11 seconds) and third place going to senior Kimisha Chambers (54.39 seconds).

“Wurrie (Njadoe) ran very well in the 400,” Cliff Rovelto, director of track and field and cross country, said in an interview with K-State Athletics. “Our next three gals didn’t run what they are capable of for various reasons.”

In the first heat of the men’s 400 meters, seniors Travis Hodge and Jullane Walker battled the entire race, with Hodge sneaking past at the end with a time of 49.63 seconds compared to Walker’s 49.65 seconds, granting them fourth and fifth place. The real hardware went to senior Justin Davis (47.27 seconds), sophomore Sean Wilson (47.81 seconds) and sophomore Tim Lambert (48.13 seconds).

“The men’s 400 was OK with our first three guys, as they had differentials,” Rovelto said. “Just a little too conservative getting out.”

Women’s 1500 meter winner Kassidy Johnson, a K-State sophomore, ran away from her competition, recording a time of 4:26.64, with the next best time being K-State sophomore Sydney Burton with a time of 4:40.05. Hadley Splechter, another K-State sophomore, ran a personal best 3:47.61 in the men’s 1500 meters.

“The winners in the 1500’s were very solid efforts as they were having to take the lead themselves,” Rovelto said.

Sophomore Helen Giefer won the women’s 5000 meters with a time of 18:19.01, with sophomore Katie Kasunic coming in second with a time of 18:43.49. Sophomore Jack Moore took home gold in the men’s 5000 meters with a time of 14:58.39, and sophomore Jack Thomas took second with a time of 15:28.25.

The three-day event wraps up Saturday at RV Christian Track and Field Complex, which will include a Senior Day celebration. Next week, K-State will host the Big 12 Outdoor Championship.

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