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K-State Sports Extra | Top Moments May 2014

May 31, 2014
By Kelly McHugh

As the 2013-14 academic and athletic year comes to an end, K-State Sports Extra has highlighted the month of May's Top 10 moments. From individual performances to all around exciting team wins, K-State concluded 2013-14 in style. 

As we look back over the past 31 days, here are a few moments K-State Sports Extra has highlighted as May's best:

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Daniel Wood closes his career at the NCAA Columbia Regional

After finishing seventh at the Big 12 Championship, men's golf senior Daniel Wood closed his Wildcat career with a trip to the 2014 NCAA Columbia Regional. 

Opening the tournament's first round with a 5-over par 77, then carding a 1-over par 73 in the second round, Wood improved each day of the three-day tournament, and on the final day, he carded 3-under par 69 at the par-72, 7,141-yard Club at Old Hawthorne. His strong final performance moved him six spots up the leaderboard and he finished in a tie for 38th with a three-round score of 3-over par 219.

Baseball celebrates its four seniors with walk-off win

In the bottom of the ninth, K-State baseball was down one run to No. 19 Texas with runners on first and second, and it was up to junior Austin Fisher to bring them in. Hitting a two-run double, Fisher did just that and the Wildcats earned a 5-4 comeback win on the team's senior day.

Prior to first pitch of the exciting game, K-State baseball celebrated the careers of seniors Jared Moore, R.J. Santigate, Blair DeBord and Ross Kivett. During their Wildcat careers, the group helped K-State reach multiple NCAA Regionals, win its first conference title in 80 years and go on to the program's first ever Super Regional.

Rowing concludes its best season in program history

The 2014 spring season was perhaps the best season in K-State rowing history. The Wildcats garnered wins over ranked opponents, collected its fourth consecutive Sunflower Showdown, placed second at the Big 12 Championship and concluded the season with a K-State-best third place finish at the Conference USA Championship in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

"The team has shown the standards we need to work towards in the future," head coach Pat Sweeney said. "We've always operated the mantra, 'No Excuses for Hard Work,' and they really exemplified that this season."

Tennis' Petra Niedermayerova concludes K-State career in fourth consecutive NCAA Singles Championship

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In her fourth consecutive visit to the NCAA Singles Championship, Niedermayerova opened competition strong as she defeated No. 45 ranked Lacey Smyth of Arizona, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, in the first round. Despite a solid opening day, she was unable to overcome No. 8 Jennifer Brady of UCLA in the tournament's second round and on May 22, and her Wildcat career came to an end.  

Niedermayerova finished her final season with a singles record of 25-10 including an 8-6 mark against ITA ranked opponents. 

With her career now said and done, Niedermayerova will go down in the K-State record book as the most decorated player in program history. She holds the record for career singles wins (105 - the first time a K-State player has ever surpassed 100), career doubles wins (74), singles wins in a season (32) and doubles wins in a season (27). The Brno, Czech Republic, native is the first two-time ITA All-American in school history and was also a four-time All-Big 12 Singles selection, a two-time All-Big 12 Doubles honoree and earned both 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year and 2011 Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors.

An all-around accomplished student-athlete, Niedermayerova was a 2013 Capital One Academic All-American At-Large First Team selection, a three-time Capital One Academic All-District VII selection and a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team recipient.  

Track and Field's Devin Dick earns a Big 12 title in the decathlon

An event filled with personal bests, senior Devin Dick won the Big 12 title in the decathlon. Dick opened competition with a personal best time of 14.75 seconds and first-place honors in the 110-meter hurdles and continued his strong performances with a personal best in the pole vault (4.79m/15-08.50, tied for first) and in the 1500m with a personal best time of 4:32.07. The overall win marked the first decathlon Big 12 title of Dick's career and his final point total of 7,792 shattered his previous best of 7,425 points, which moved him into fourth all-time in K-State history. 

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Erica Twiss earns Big 12 title in the long jump

Erica Twiss continued her successful outdoor season with a first place finish in the long jump. Her final jump of 6.30m/20-08.00 secured her second conference title this year and she became only the third Wildcat women's athlete in the Big 12 era to win an outdoor conference title in the event and the first since Candice Mills in 2008.

Along with her Big 12 Title, Twiss has more excitement in store this summer. On Thursday afternoon she finished 11th overall in the triple jump at the NCAA West Regional Preliminary meet. Her jump of 6.10m/20-00.25 put her in position to compete in the NCAA Championships from June 11-14.

Devin Field earns a Big 12 Title in the triple jump

With a jump of 16.13m/52-11.00 in the triple jump, sophomore Devin Field won his first Big 12 title. It marked the first conference title by a Wildcat men's triple jumper since Stelios Kapsalis won the event in 2004, and he was the only jumper at the championship to eclipse 16 meters. 

Along with a third-place finish in the long jump, Field concluded the meet by accumulating a team-high 16 points - the most points by a Wildcat male athlete since Shadrack Kimeli tallied 20 points in 2001 and the third-best individual scoring effort for the K-State men in the Big 12 era.

Along with Twiss, Field continued success on Thursday afternoon at the NCAA West Regional Preliminary meet with a ninth-place finish in the long jump securing him a spot at the NCAA Championship.

Savatovic wins back-to-back Big 12 titles in the hammer throw

Sophomore Sara Savatovic earned her second consecutive Big 12 title in the hammer throw with a final mark of 60.80m/199-06 on her third throw of the day. She is the first K-State thrower to win back-to-back titles in the hammer throw since Renetta Seiler accomplished the feat in 1998 and 1999. She is also the first Wildcat thrower since Loren Groves in 2008 to win both indoor and outdoor conference titles in the same year. With the hammer throw titles in back-to-back outdoor seasons, as well as a weight throw title in this indoor season, the sophomore has now won three-consecutive Big 12 titles joining Groves, Ryann Krais and Erik Kynard as the only Wildcats to have won three or more consecutive conference titles in the past decade.

Men's golf welcomes Grant Robbins as new head coach

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On Monday, May 19, K-State athletics director John Currie announced Grant Robbins, a 15-year head coaching veteran whose resume includes three coach of the year honors in two conferences, guiding six teams to NCAA play and whose Memphis team captured the 2012 Conference USA Championship, as the 13th men's golf coach at Kansas State.

Coming to K-State after coaching 11 seasons at Memphis, Robbins replaces former coach Tim Norris, who announced his retirement prior to the 2013-14 season and concluded his career after 17 years leading the Wildcat men's golf program. Robbins led Memphis, his alma mater, to five NCAA Regional Appearances, including four consecutive berths.

Student-athletes receive degrees in spring commencement

Kansas State University held its spring commencement exercises on Saturday, May 17, and among those receiving degrees were 52 current or former Wildcat student-athletes. Highlighting the 52 graduates on the weekend were 15 members of the equestrian team , 10 members of the men's and women's track and field squads, nine football student-athletes, five from the rowing team, three from men's basketball, three women's tennis athletes, two each from men's golf, volleyball and baseball and one from women's golf.

K-State, which saw five of its programs record Big 12-leading APR marks, has had another outstanding academic year in 2013-14. A total of eight student-athletes were Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award winners, which were the second most among all Big 12 schools, while 260 were named to the Fall 2013 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll, the most since 2008. Also, 101 student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big 12 recognition this season.

For a complete list of this year's graduates, click here.

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K-State's Shane Southwell receives his degree during Spring Commencement at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas on May 17, 2014. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
 
 
Note: With the summer months upon us, the K-State Sports Extra will be published three times per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) for the months of June and July. We thank you for spending the 2013-14 year following the daily stories and hope you all have an enjoyable and safe summer!

 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.