Five More Qualify on Final Day of NCAA West Preliminary

Final Results | Saturday Results

– The Kansas State track and field team saw five more tickets punched to the NCAA Championships on the final day of the NCAA West Preliminary at Rock Chalk Park on Saturday. Over the course of the entire competition, the Wildcats had 13 qualifications for NCAAs. 

“The kids did a really nice job today,” head coach Cliff Rovelto said. “We had quite a group that qualified today to move on. Our athletes and staff continue to do a great job of preparing for the most important competitions.”

Freshman Shadae Lawrence started the day off strong for the Wildcats, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the women’s discus throw with a mark of 57.44m/188-05 to finish in third place in the competition. Throwing in the third flight, Lawrence was forced to wait until Saturday morning to throw. 

She recorded a mark of 56.07m/183-11 on her first attempt before throwing her clinching mark on the second attempt. The freshman then fouled on her final throw of the meet, but not before setting herself up for qualification. 

On the track, sophomore sprinter Terrell Smith solidified his spot at the NCAA Championships with a season-best time of 20.63 in the 200 meter dash to take third place in the final heat and eighth place overall. His previous season best in the event was 20.80, which he ran at Rock Chalk Park in the Rock Chalk Classic earlier this season on April 30. 

Senior Dani Winters punched her ticket to NCAAs for the second straight year, finishing in ninth place in the women’s shot put with a throw of 16.75m/54-11.50 on her first attempt. Winters recorded a scoring effort at last season’s NCAA Championship, finishing in fourth place with a throw of 17.64m/57-10.50. 

In the women’s triple jump, freshman Shardia Lawrence missed qualification for NCAAs by just one centimeter after her top mark of 12.84m/42-01.50 tied with 12th-place finisher Keyasia Tibbs of Arizona State. The tiebreaker, which looks at the second-best mark in the series, went to Tibbs, who jumped 12.56m/41-02.50 as opposed to Lawrence’s 12.55m/41-02.25. 

The women’s 4x400 meter relay team, consisting of Sonia Gaskin, Akela Jones, Tia' Gamble and A'keyla Mitchell, punched a ticket to Eugene with a season best time of 3:32.16 to finish in eighth place. The time is the second-fastest in school history, behind the mark of 3:31.20 that the same four set at last season’s NCAA West Preliminary. 

In the final event of the day, freshman Brett Neelly had a big day in the men’s shot put, using a personal best throw of 18.73m/61-05.50 to finish in ninth place in the event and qualify for his first ever NCAA Championships. The thrower recorded his mark on the first attempt of the series.

Despite not competing in the event at this weekend’s Preliminary, Jones will look to defend her Heptathlon National Title at this year’s NCAA meet. The senior has competed in just one heptathlon this season, winning the event at the Mt. SAC Relays with a total score 6,307 points. 

The mark gave her a share of the sixth-best score in collegiate history in the heptathlon and is tied for the best score in the world this year in the event. Her effort also marked the seventh 6,300+ point effort in college history and just the third 6,300+ point effort recorded before the NCAA Championships. 

K-State’s final competition will be the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon at Hayward Field on June 8-11. More information on the meet, including ticket information, can be found at the meet’s homepage here. 

For the latest on K-State track and field, follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter using the hashtag #KStateTF or on the team’s Facebook page. 

NCAA West Preliminary
Rock Chalk Park
Lawrence, Kan.

Women’s 200 Meter Dash
20. A’Keyla Mitchell – 23.43 (0.7)

Men’s 200 Meter Dash
8. Terrell Smith – 20.63q (0.8)

Women’s 4x400 Meter Relay
8. Gaskin-Jones-Gamble-Mitchell – 3:32.16Q

Women’s Triple Jump
13. Shardia Lawrence – 12.84m/42-01.50  

Women’s Shot Put
9. Dani Winters – 16.75m/54-11.50q

Men’s Shot Put
9. Brett Neelly – 18.73m/61-05.50q (PR)

Women’s Discus Throw
3. Shadae Lawrence – 57.44m/188-05q

Kansas State NCAA Championship Qualifiers
Brady Grunder – Hammer Throw
Tyler Merkley – Hammer Throw
Ranae McKenzie – 400 Meter Hurdles
Kimberly Williamson – High Jump
Christoff Bryan – High Jump
Thilina Karunaratne – High Jump
Sara Savatovic – Hammer Throw
Janee’ Kassanavoid – Hammer Throw
Shadae Lawrence – Discus Throw
Terrell Smith – 200 Meter Dash
Dani Winters – Shot Put
Gaskin-Jones-Gamble-Mitchell – 4x400 Meter Relay
Brett Neelly – Shot Put 
Akela Jones - Heptathlon