Men’s and women’s track teams exceed expectations at Big 12 Championships

Senior Tejaswin Shankar celebrates clearing the winning height during the second day of the Big 12 Track and Field Championships at R.V Christian Track. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State hosted the 2021 Big 12 Track and Field Championship in Manhattan this past weekend. The men’s and women’s teams were well prepared to perform in front of home fans, as both excelled above the expectations on paper.

The women’s team notched its second-straight runner-up finish at the event while the men took home fourth place. Texas took home the women’s title with a new meet record of 207 points.

“Let’s be honest — there was no way anyone was beating Texas,” Head coach Chris Rovelto said. “I can’t even explain how good of a team that is. They were not going to get beat. I felt like there were four teams that were going to be in the competition in fourth place, and there wasn’t going to be much more than a 10-point difference. For us to end up second in the manner in which we did was a lot more points than was projected on paper.”

Along with the women, Rovelto was pleased with the men’s placement as well.

“Both teams had really great team performances,” Rovelto said. “Both teams finished higher than projected on paper. The performances under the conditions were exceptional.”

In the women’s 200 meter dash, junior Wurrie Njadoe finished in seventh place with a time of 23.52. In the women’s triple jump, sophomore Chantoba Bright took home fourth with a jump of 13.29 meters and freshman Rhianna Phipps finished behind in eighth place with a jump of 12.97.

Senior Kimisha Chambers was able to snag a third-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles at 58.60 seconds. Junior Kassidy Johnson also saw success with a fourth-place finish in 1,500-meters.

Junior Tejaswin Shankar cemented his dominance in the high jump, taking home gold with a jump of 2.28 meters. Junior Kyle Alcine placed third with a jump of 2.11 meters.

Shankar also placed fourth in the triple jump with a jump of 16 meters. Senior Jah Strange finished in second place in the triple jump with a jump of 16.21 meters.

“I think I had a decent jump in the triple jump,” Shankar said. “With a rainy day, I think it was great competition. I am really happy my teammate picked me up and got the second spot.”

With the conference season coming to a close, K-State will shift focus to the NCAA West Preliminary event in College Station, Texas, running May 27-29.

No broadcasting or overall coverage details have been released at this time.