Track and Field competes in multiple meets over the weekend

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Senior Colin Echols prepares to throw during the first day of the Big 12 Track and Field Championships at R.V Christian Track on May 14, 2021. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State track and field team spread success far and wide over the weekend as it competed in three separate track meets: the Texas Relays, Bobcat Invitational and the Emporia State Relays.

In just their second weekend of the outdoor season, the Wildcats recorded seven top-five individual finishes and two top-five relay finishers. Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Cliff Rovelto said he is pleased with where the team is as they head into their weekend off.

“The good thing is that our long sprinters and distance crew got a huge number of high-quality efforts in over the weekend,” Rovelto said to K-State Athletics. “Great training for us for the long run. The week off gives us an opportunity to get some folks healthier and to train without interruption for a couple of weeks.”

Silver was a popular color for the Wildcats in Austin at the Texas Relays. The weekend started on a strong note when the women’s 4×800-meter relay team secured a second-place finish. The squad consisting of super-senior Macy Heinz, junior Sydney Burton, senior Alex Ferguson and junior Kassidy Johnson clocked in at 8:35.71.

The K-State women showed their dominance in the relay events as junior O’Shaila Johnson, junior Shalysa Wray, super-senior Wurrie Njadoe and senior Alex Ferguson earned another silver medal for the Wildcats, this time in the 4×400-meter relay. The team finished with a time of 3:36.75. Rounding out the top-five finishes in the Texas Relays was junior Hadley Splechter, recording a time of 4:07.75 in the men’s mile, earning himself a second-place finish.

Just 30 miles south in San Marcos, Texas, several athletes competed in the Bobcat Invitational at Texas State. Placing second overall in the men’s 800-meter run was super senior Travis Hodge, recording a 1:51.03 800-meter run.

For the women, junior Sydney Burton caught a ride after her relay performance in Austin to secure another top-five finish in the open 800-meter run in San Marcos. Burton placed fifth out of 46 competitors with a time of 2:12.94.

While some traveled to Texas, others on the team stayed back in Kansas and attended the Emporia State Relays.

The throwers cashed in big-time during the meet. Throwing a personal best of 16.23m/53-3, freshman Darius O’Connell took third place in the men’s shot-put event.

For the women, sophomore Grace Thompson, a native of Sedgwick, Kansas, launched the shot put 14.13m/46-4.25 and earned her spot atop the podium. Fellow teammate, sophomore Jaycee Schroeder, finished closely behind with a throw of 14.08m/46-2.50 to earn a silver medal. Finally, sophomore Emily Fuhr hurled the discus 42.88m/140-08, harvesting herself a fifth-place finish.

The Wildcats will have a week off and prepare for the Jim Click Shootout hosted by Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. The meet will span over three days beginning on Thursday, April 7, and concluding on Saturday, April 9.

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