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‘Cats Find Success at NCAA West Preliminary

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State track and field team enjoyed a successful trip to the NCAA West Preliminary in Fayetteville, Arkansas, as eight individuals and two relay teams advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships set for Wednesday-Saturday, June 8-11 in Eugene, Oregon.

Five women (fifth-year senior Tommi Hintnaus and wurrie njadaejuniors Cassidy Johnson and Shalysa Wray and freshman Velicia-Williams) and three men (fifth-year seniors Texaswin Shankar and Kyle Alcine and sophomore Kade McCall) posted qualifying finishes (top-12) at John McDonnell Field to advance to nationals as well as the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay teams.

All told, the Wildcats will send 10 individuals plus the two relay squads to the NCAA Championships, as freshman Emil Uhlin and junior Urte Bacianskaite qualified for the decathlon and heptathlon, respectively.

The first K-State qualifier of the event was McCall in the men’s hammer throw. Despite the intense rain, McCall threw to a mark of 64.95m/213-1 and claimed the 12th and final spot out of 46 competitors.

On the second day of competition, Williams finished the women’s long jump in 12th with a mark of 6.22m/20-5 to qualify for her first NCAA Outdoor Championship.

Later that same night, Hintnaus punched her ticket to nationals after reaching a height of 4.11m/13-5.75 and ended the event in seventh. This will be Hintnaus’ first national event for her as a Wildcat after transferring from Arizona State.

It was in the men’s high jump where the Wildcats found two of their eight national qualifiers, as Shankar and Alcine rounded out the event in the top 12, moving them to nationals. Shankar tied for first place with Oklahoma’s Vernon Turner after jumping a height of 2.18m/7-1.75, while Alcine was just one height below Shankar with a mark of 2.15m/7-0.50.

After running a time of 3:04.27 at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships, the men’s 4×400-meter relay squad ran school record time of 3:03.97 at the West Preliminary to place eighth and earn a spot at nationals. The team is made up of junior Sean Wilsonfreshmen Anthony Hansonjunior Tim Lambert Jr. and sophomore Kyle Gale.

It wasn’t until the fourth and final day of competition where K-State found the most success.

Njadoe set the school record time and ran a personal best time of 22.90 in the women’s 200-meter dash. She placed 12th overall. Njadoe also set the school record in the 100-meter run with a wind aided time of 11.16 (2.7). The Shoreline, Washington native claimed 15thjust short of qualifying.

The third school record of the event was set by Johnson in the women’s 800-meter run. After clocking in at 2:05.00 in the first round, Johnson finished sixth in the quarterfinals with a time of 2:02.94, almost a full second faster than her previous personal-best time of 2:03.93. Johnson claimed an automatic qualifying ticket after placing second in her heat and sixth overall.

Tokyo Olympians Shalysa Wray punched herself a ticket to NCAAs in the 400-meter dash after recording a time of 52.35, closing out the event in 10th place.

Rounding out the 2022 NCAA West Preliminary was the women’s 4×400-meter relay. The crew, comprised of Njadoe, junior O’Shalia JohnsonWray and senior alex fergusonran a season-best time of 3:33.83, the eighth best time in program history, to place 11th and advance to nationals.

Uhlin and Bacianskaite each earned qualifying marks to advance to the NCAA Championships in the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon at the Big 12 Championships. Uhlin placed fourth in the decathlon with 7,587 points, while Bacianskaite finished fifth in the heptathlon with a personal-best score of 5,664 points, which stands as the sixth-best score in program history.

The 2022 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will take place at Hayward Field with the first event being the 100-meters of the men’s decathlon at 12:30 pm PT/2:30 CT on Wednesday (June 8).

For the latest on K-State Track and Field follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter or Kansas State Track & Field/Cross Country on Facebook.

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