November 1, 2013
By Kelly McHugh
The past month has been an exciting one for K-State Athletics. Here are a few moments K-State Sports Extra has highlighted as October's greatest.
10. Justin Edwards wins the Madness in Manhattan dunk contest
The 6-foot-3 junior transfer from the University of Maine came out victorious at Madness Manhattan on Friday, Oct. 25, winning the dunk contest with a perfect score on his final attempt. The guard displayed his talent in front of 5,500-plus Wildcat fans and topped off the competition with a final slam dunk that began with him jumping over his teammate freshman Nigel Johnson.
"The first thing you see in Justin is his athleticism, his jumping ability is off the charts," men's basketball head coach Bruce Weber said. "I'm not sure if in all my years I've been around somebody who can do things that way."
9. K-State Equestrian defeats No. 6 Texas A&M 17-2
The No. 4 K-State Equestrian team came out victorious against a ranked opponent two weekends in a row. Following a tight match against then-No. 4 Oklahoma State on Sept. 28, the Wildcats routed Texas A&M, 17-2, on Oct. 5. K-State swept the Aggies in Equation on the Flat, Horsemanship and Reining, while Equitation Over Fences won its matchup by a close 3-2 score.
"It was a hard competition. Texas A&M has a great team, so it was great to see our girls step up across the board in all four events today," head coach Casie Maxwell said.
8. Kaitlynn Pelger's historic 15 kills in the Wildcats win over Texas Tech
The K-State volleyball senior's 15 kills in K-State's 3-0 sweep of Texas Tech on Oct. 19, put her at No. 4 all-time in Wildcat history with 1,408 career kills. Pelger's feat against Texas Tech earned her Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the week ending on Oct. 20. It was her second Big 12 Player of the Week honor this season and her seventh career weekly honor - the most in in the K-State volleyball history.
"I absolutely love playing in Ahearn," said Pelger after the win. "It is unlike any other place that I have played at because our crowd really gets us going. It is just so rewarding that we have a crowd like that."
7. K-State football records its first Big 12 Win
A perfect way to cap off K-State's week of Homecoming celebrations, the Wildcats defeated West Virginia, 35-12, on Oct. 26. It was the first Big 12 win of 2013 for K-State (3-4, 1-3 Big 12), and, despite a shaky start, the game displayed some of the best football Wildcat fans saw from the team all season. Quarterback Jake Waters threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-13 aim while quarterback Daniel Sams was a perfect 8-for-8 for 93 yards and one touchdown. In the rushing game, senior John Hubert recorded a game-high 89 yards on 19 carries and had one touchdown.
"That's the way we need to finish and that's the way we were capable of playing," Waters said. "It gives us a lot of confidence going into next week because that's how we want to play football and that's what we want to do."
6. Shane Southwell's performance in the "Fresh Prince of Manhattan"
Southwell's performance as he and the K-State men's basketball team replicated the intro of the popular 1990's TV series The Fresh Prince of Bellaire was nearly flawless. His striking resemblance to actor Will Smith and exceptional camera presence matched the original intro perfectly and left fans at Madness in Manhattan with nothing but smiles and laughs.
"I think Shane did it perfect," junior Thomas Gipson said about the Fresh Prince video. "Honestly, he looked just like (Will Smith). He was doing the whole basketball thing like him. I think it's pretty cool, especially for the fans. We all had so much fun with it."
5. Ryan Mueller's sack, strip and recovery against Baylor
Despite K-State football's 35-25 loss to Baylor on Oct. 12, the exceptional performance of junior defensive linesman Ryan Mueller was one that did not go unnoticed. An ESPN Top-10 play later that night, Mueller's wild sack, strip and recovery allowed the Wildcats to recover the ball on the Baylor 44-yard line in the third quarter and led to K-State's only lead of the game. Along with his top-10 play, Mueller also recorded five tackles and had another sack in the fourth quarter.
"He played with that greater discipline," head coach Bill Snyder said after the Baylor game. "I said this last week, nobody plays harder than Ryan Mueller, nobody. Nobody practices harder than Ryan Mueller, nobody. You can play hard, but you have to have the discipline to do the right things, and I think he did that today. I thought he played very, very well in all aspects."
4. Leti Romero opens her Wildcat career with 25 points and 12 rebounds
Though it was her first game in the USA, Leti Romero, a native of Las Palmas, Spain, had no trouble finding her groove in the Wildcats' 85-64 exhibition win over Washburn on October 28. The freshman opened her career with a double-double - 25 points and 12 rebounds - and captivated those in attendance with her athleticism on all areas of the court during her first career game.
"I liked the balance when you look at that stat line," head coach Deb Patterson said about Romero, who also accounted for four assists. "You're getting some from the floor, you're getting some from the free-throw line and then she rebounded the ball well and that's encouraging. It's never easy to put those kinds of numbers up on the board but she's capable. I'm proud of really what everybody brought. It was a great debut."
3. Tyler Lockett hauls in three touchdowns in the Wildcats' win over West Virginia
Junior wide receiver Tyler Lockett made the September top plays' list with his record breaking 237-yard receiving game against Texas. This month, he climbed the carts again after accounting for three of the Wildcats' five touchdowns on Oct. 26, in their win over West Virginia. He recorded the eighth three-touchdown game in school history, and his 111 yards - his sixth career 100-plus yard game - tied him for seventh all-time.
"It's been a long time since we have gotten a win, so it felt great to be able to celebrate it like that," Lockett said after the game.
2. K-State Rowing cuts the ribbon on the Intercollegiate Rowing Center
K-State Rowing finally has a place to call home. The new state-of-the-art Intercollegiate Rowing Center dedication took place on Oct. 25, at the new facility located just east of Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The building is over 9,000 square feet and will contain indoor practice tanks, making on-the-water training possible year round for the first time in K-State rowing history.
"When an athletic department backs a program to this degree, the sport has to show its worthy. When I first came here, there were less than 30 athletes on the team and we struggled to put a 2V out," head rowing coach Pat Sweeney said during the dedication. "We could not even put a Varsity 4 on water at all. It has taken quite a bit to change that around. Now there are almost 100 athletes on the team. They are kept in the fold and they are part of the family of athletes."
1. Ten K-State greats are inducted into the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame
The first class of inductees since 2008, 10 K-State greats made up the 2013 class inducted into the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 11. The weekend was full of events for the inductees, from the Hall of Fame dinner to a special recognition at K-State football's game against Baylor.
The 2013 class included athletes Steve Henson (men's basketball, track and field 1987-90), Roy DeWitz (men's basketball, 1956-58) Yana Dorodnova (women's tennis, 1996-98), Lauren Goehring (volleyball, 2000-03), Jamie Mendez (football, 1990-93), Tammie Romstad (women's basketball, 1978-82) and Austra Skuyte (track and field, 2001-02), former athletics director BeeBee Lee and contributors Dr. Richard Baker and Jack and Joann Goldstein.
"To be entirely honest, I read the first paragraph from (Athletics Director) John Currie and I handed it over to my wife, and I broke down crying," DeWitz said about the moment he found out he was to be inducted. "I consider this a great honor for a guy who, I wasn't the leading scorer, I wasn't the leading rebounder or leading passer, but I was a pretty good all-around player, and it's really nice to know that I'm being remembered as one of the all-time greats of K-State Basketball."