The field at the Jim Click invitational is nothing to sneeze at. Indeed, the top five finishers in the women’s heptathlon posted scores that would leave them all within the top eight nationally at day’s end.
The top of that list: Kansas State senior Lauren Taubert, who set a personal best with 5,831 points to claim the victory on Friday. Taubert’s performance places her atop the NCAA competition list, and was 38 points better than her performance in the 2019 NCAA Championships.
Ariel Okorie, with 5,474 points, was the aforementioned fifth-place finisher and now sits eighth in Division I on the season.
Taubert already led the competition at the close of business on Thursday, and immediately came out strong Friday by tying Okorie for third in the long jump; it was Okorie’s season-best mark in the discipline. Both athletes also finished in the top five in the javelin, although Taubert’s lead was narrowed to 86 points. But Taubert ripped through the 800m in 2:16.21 to take third place and secure the victory.
No Wildcats were on the start list for the men’s decathlon, which is weird.
The main event portion of the Click begins at 1:00 this afternoon and will continue into the wee hours since they’re in Pacific Time.
And now for what you really want to talk about today despite the above excellence: Texas being a bunch of crybabies, even though the game report from K-State Sports makes no mention of the incident.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the second after Zach Kokoska’s RBI single in the opening frame, with a runner on base the Longhorns’ Mike Antico ripped a drive over the head of Wildcat center fielder Caleb Littlejim. It looked like Antico was going to manage an inside-the-park home run, but Littlejim recovered quickly and the relay beat him to the plate by about ten feet.
Antico ran full bore into the standing Chris Ceballos, who braced himself and applied what was by necessity a hard tag. Ceballos immediately placed his palm on the bent-over Antico, in what absolutely looked like an effort to make sure Antico was okay…
…and the Texas bench cleared.
There was no actual brawl per se, but three Longhorns were ejected, and Wildcat second baseman Kamron Willman was also sent to the showers for reasons passing explanation. That would have repercussions later in the game, but not how you’re expecting. As for the other two Wildcats mentioned in the above tweet… ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Wescott Eberts at Burnt Orange Nation doesn’t know who they were either.
The Longhorns extended their lead to 4-1 by the sixth when Kokoska hit his conference-leading 11th home run. Ivan Melendez answered with a homer of his own in the bottom of the inning, but a bases loaded walk to Cameron Thompson and a Nick Goodwin sacrifice fly brought K-State to within 5-4 in the seventh.
In the eighth, light-hitting Daniel Carinci — who replaced Willman at second base and hadn’t had a hit in 20 at-bats — ripped a two-run triple, and suddenly K-State had a 6-5 lead.
But then Texas came to the plate.
Tyler Eckberg, who’s been the one dependable piece of the Wildcat bullpen so far, was destroyed. The Longhorns sent 12 men to the plate and eight of them made a full circuit of the bases, giving Texas a 13-6 lead which would stand as the final score.
Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball notes that the expectation for last night was a huge pitching duel between Jordan Wicks and Ty Madden, but that didn’t happen. ($)
The two teams will take the field again at 2:30, again on the LHN.
Kansas State’s Aliyah Carter is your 2020-21 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and a unanimous first-team all-conference selection. And that wasn’t all for the Cats: Shelby Martin was named second-team all-conference and Jayden Nembhard joined Carter on the all-rookie team, for which Carter was obviously also a unanimous choice.
The races are supposed to already be over this morning at the Tulsa Triangular in Catoosa, Okla., with the last race starting at 10:30, but even the K-State Rowing Twitter account hasn’t divulged any results yet.
Luckily for you, Tulsa Rowing’s account has. It was a bad day for the Varsity Eights, as the 1v8+ finished third and the 2v8+ finished second in what ended up being a two-boat race. Central Oklahoma won the 1v8+ while Tulsa beat the Cats in the 2v8+.
The Varsity Fours, on the other hand, had an entirely different result. Both the 1v4+ and 2v4+ boats won their races by over 20 seconds.
Due to weather, yesterday’s match again ninth-ranked Baylor was moved to today at 11:30. After that, the team will host second-ranked Texas tomorrow at 11:00.
The women will be in Albuquerque tomorrow and Monday for the final regular season tournament of the 2021 campaign, the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational hosted by New Mexico.
As for the men, they’re off this week ahead of next weekend’s Git-R-Done Husker Invitational. But they haven’t been forgotten; after his phenomenal opening-round 64 in Columbia last weekend helped him to a third-place finish and the Cats to a silver medal, Will Hopkins was the subject of yesterday’s Sports Extra from Austin Siegel.
After an attention-getting performance in K-State’s open practice last weekend, redshirt freshman Malachi Mitchell is facing a different sort of attention from Chris Klieman. Ryan Black at the Mercury reports that Mitchell was arrested for DUI Friday morning.
Enjoying K-State football’s social media presence the last couple of years? The Collegian’s Drew Galloway introduces you to the party responsible: Coordinator of Football Creative Emily Starkey, a 2019 Wildcat graduate and Wamego native.
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