Track and field athletes take top placements at NCAA Championship

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Fifth-year senior Tejaswin Shankar arches over the high jump bar during the second day of the Big 12 Track and Field Championships at R.V Christian Track on May 15, 2021. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State track and field team sent 10 individuals and two relay squads to Eugene, Oregon, for the NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 8-11. The championships featured the top outdoor track and field athletes across the nation.

“I believe a majority of the athletes placed higher than they were ranked coming in, which is indicative of competing well,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Cliff Rovelto said to K-State Athletics. “For a number of them, this was their first experience at the national meet, and they will be better for it when they return.”

Fifth-year senior Tejaswin Shankar won the championship title for the men’s high jump at the event late Friday night, bringing the title back to K-State for the first time since 2018.

Shankar won in a jump-off between himself and Georgia senior Darius Carbin. After both fouled three times at the 2.24m/7-4.25 height, Shankar cleared the 2.27m/7-5.25 height while Carbin knocked the bar down, giving K-State the victory.

“It feels great to be a national champion,” Shankar said to K-State Athletics. “I wanted to give my best and go out with a title. For that to happen is just a blessing.”

According to K-State Athletics, this is Shankar’s second outdoor national title, winning his first in 2018. He was the national runner-up in 2019 and 2021 and finishes his career as an eight-time All-American in the high jump (indoor and outdoor), including a four-time First Team Outdoor All-American.

“This meet was my last meet, and I wanted to go out there and make it memorable for myself,” Shankar said to K-State Athletics. “In the last five years, the university has done so much for me. I would like to dedicate this to the athletics department and the Little Apple. K-State is High Jump U.”

Other top placements include Urte Bacianskaite’s first-place win in the women’s heptathlon shot put (13.92m/45-8) and Emil Uhlin’s second-place win in the men’s decathlon 1500-meter (4:23.85). Bacianskaite finished the heptathlon in 22nd while Uhlin finished the decathlon in 10th.

“From a year ago, Urte is a completely different athlete in a good way,” Rovelto said to K-State Athletics. “What is exciting for her is that she still has a great deal of room for improvement. She really hung in there.”

K-State concluded the 2021-2022 season with three All-American honors in the indoor season and six All-American recipients for the outdoor season, according to K-State Athletics. The full list of 2022 Track and Field Championship results is available on the official NCAA Championships page.

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I'm Carter Schaffer, the editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously I wrote for the news desk and did some photo/video work. I am a junior in journalism and hope to work in news or video production one day. I grew up in Andover, Kansas, home of the Andover Trojans, and I've been a Wildcat all my life.