Track and Field finishes high at John Jacobs Invitational

Pole vaulter Brian Siman goes over the bar at the Ward Haylett Invitational in Manhattan on May 7, 2021. (Archive photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State track and field team enjoyed its visit to neighboring Oklahoma this past weekend, securing several top-three finishes.

Friday and Saturday, the team competed in Norman, Oklahoma, at the John Jacobs Invitational. Friday’s efforts were highlighted by juniors Cailan Steward and Katie Kasunic, who finished top two in the women’s 5,000-meters. Saturday was spotlighted by four first-place finishes.

Steward picked up the first of the gold medals in Friday’s 5,000-meters, finishing first of 13 competitors with a time of 18:14.31. Kasunic, just ten ticks behind her, secured second place for the Wildcats.

On the men’s side of the 5,000 meters, junior Jack Moore clocked in at 15:16.63 to earn a silver medal.

Rounding out Friday’s top finishes, sophomore Kade McCall earned a bronze medal. In his final attempt in the hammer throw, he launched the weight 65.19m/213-10.

Saturday was a busier day at the track for the Wildcats. Thirteen individuals placed in the top three of their respective events, and K-State secured two top-three finishes in the 4×400 relay.

Hawaii native and senior Tommi Hintnaus started things on a high note for the Wildcats with a vault of 4.00m/13-1.50 in the women’s pole vault. She earned second place.

Sophomore Jesse Pinkley followed suit on the men’s side, also earning a silver medal. He cleared the bar at 5.00m/16-4.75. Fellow teammate and classmate Brian Simon placed third in the event with a vault of 4.85m/15-11.

From one mat to another, the Wildcats picked up hardware in the women’s high jump. Freshman Madelyn McCabe cleared 1.65m/5-5 to earn a third-place finish. For the men, fellow freshman Kamyren Garrett also earned a top finish in the high jump as he leaped over the bar at 2.11m/6-11. Garrett secured a second-place finish.

From the mat to sand, junior Devon Richardson found himself reaching a new personal best and marking up a first-place win in the men’s triple jump. Richardson bounded 15.72m/51-7.

As the field events rounded out, K-State wasted no time warming up for the running events. Clocking in with a 3:50.22 in the men’s 1,500-meter run was junior Hadley Splechter. That time locked up the victory for Splechter. Senior Stephen Kielhofner didn’t finish far behind, recording a 3:54.47 1,500-meter run and checking out in third place.

The distances shortened and K-State continued its success. In the men’s 110-meter hurdles, junior Donovan Turner finished with a time of 14.26 and a bronze medal.

Another bronze was earned in the men’s 400-meter dash as freshman Antonio Hanson clocked in at 46.72.

Rounding out the individual placings for the men was senior Travis Hodge, who celebrated a first-place finish in the 800-meter. Hodge secured the victory with a time of 1:51.73.

For the ladies, another top finish was recorded for junior Kassidy Johnson. Johnson walked away with a silver medal after clocking in at 2:06.72 in the women’s 800-meter.

Senior Lavaun Stephenson earned the Wildcats some final points as she finished third in the 400-meter hurdles. Stephenson recorded a 1:00.84 time.

Finally, the Kansas State women’s 4×400 team made up of juniors O’Shalia Johnson and Shalysa Wray, senior Alex Ferguson and super-senior Macy Heinz finished atop all teams. The group finished with a 3:37.92.

The men’s relay team also competed well, as junior Sean Wilson, sophomore Kyle Gale, super-senior Tejaswin Shankar and freshman Antonio Hanson came in second with a time of 3:08.11.

The Wildcats will split up next weekend as they head to two separate meets. On April 27-30, the team will compete in the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. The rest of the team will make the jaunt to Lubbock, Texas, April 29-30, for the Corky/Crofoot Shootout.