K-State Celebrates Graduation of 44 Student-Athletes
Eight of the Wildcats' 16 varsity athletics teams had student-athletes graduating, while football's 13 graduates were the most of all sports.
From geography to civil engineering to bakery science and management, 17 different majors were represented through this year's Wildcat graduating class.
"Earning a degree is one of the best and most fulfilling accomplishments I've ever earned," said K-State women's basketball guard Ashia Woods, who graduated with a degree in marketing. "It was a long commitment that required discipline, intelligence and hard work. It's exciting that I and the other graduates can say they made it."
Woods is coming off a basketball career where, despite facing two different season-ending injuries, she earned success and saw growth both on and off the court. In her senior season with the Wildcats (2014-15), she set career-highs in points, field goals made, free throws made, total rebounds, assists, blocks and steals.
"I do feel like I'm well equipped to take on the real world," said Woods. "It doesn't take away from the nervousness of huge transitions, but it definitely helps to know you have a good support system and professors who are willing to help you through your next step in life."
Like Woods, fellow graduating senior Erica Twiss of the Wildcat women's track and field team also overcame adversity during her Wildcat career. After a freshman indoor season littered with injuries, Twiss overcame odds in the years following by becoming one of the program's leading multi-event competitors. She finished her Wildcat career with two Big 12 titles - the 2014 indoor pentathlon and 2014 outdoor long jump - and helped the women's 4x400 team break the all-time K-State record with a 3:34.27 finish at the 2015 Tyson Invitational.
Twiss closed her Wildcat career earlier this spring with a second-place pentathlon finish at the 2015 Big 12 Indoor Championship and a 10th place finish in the pentathlon at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championship.
"Graduating, it's huge," said Twiss with a smile, who earned a degree in elementary education. "It's weird because it's all coming to an end. Track ended (after the indoor season), so I've had a little bit of time since then, and now school is ending. I think it's been an easier transition because I didn't have everything end at once, but it's still weird that it's coming to an end and that we'll all be going our separate ways so soon."
Though K-State baseball senior Max Brown was in Lawrence, Kansas, yesterday helping the Wildcats win a second-straight game in the Sunflower Showdown, graduation day was still a special one. In the days leading up to his graduation, Brown has done quite a bit of reminiscing.
"I think back to the first day I got here, not knowing anyone here in Kansas; it's been an awesome ride and I've loved it all," said Brown, who obtained a degree in social sciences. "I feel like this is my second home now. I'm definitely going to visit whenever I can. Meeting all these new people, it's been great to make life-long friends here. It's been an awesome two years."
Brown transferred to K-State before the 2014 season. Originally hailing from North Bend, Washington, Brown spent two seasons playing for Bellevue Community College. Quick to make an impact on the field, he batted .330 in his 43 games played as a junior, and has played in every contest this year.
Each and every student-athlete graduating yesterday has represented K-State both on the playing field and in the classroom. Often, juggling schoolwork, training and competitions is a balancing act, but these student-athletes, these 44 competitors, got it done.
From K-State Sports Extra, congratulations, seniors!
SPRING 2015 STUDENT-ATHLETE GRADUATES:
Taylor Anderson - Social Sciences
Max Brown - Social Sciences
Carter Yagi - Social Sciences
Kelly Bovaird - Social Sciences
Karsen Brown - Animal Science & Industry
Kelsey Conrad - Animal Science & Industry
Katlyn Delano - Agribusiness
Madison Wayda - Animal Science & Industry
Dante Barnett - Kinesiology
Marquel Bryant - Social Sciences
Jack Cantele - Civil Engineering
Valentino Coleman - Social Sciences
Travis Green - Marketing
Nathan Jackson - Social Sciences
Matt Kleinsorge - Sociology & Criminology
Evan Loomis - Management Information Systems
Dylan Schellenberg - Management
Tate Snyder - Kinesiology
Adam Weber - Kinesiology
Stanton Weber - Accounting
Steven West - Marketing
Thomas Gipson - Family Studies & Human Services
Ryan Schultz - Kinesiology
MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Ivan Hartung - Kinesiology
Zack Riley - Social Sciences
Lisa Angell - Horticulture
Emily Elliott - Bakery Science & Management
Allison Franken - Civil Engineering
Jessica Kuhlman - Kinesiology
Brittany Long - Psychology
Kara Omo - Kinesiology
Hillary Schartz - Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Biology
Lindsey Schmeidler - History
Jennifer Smisek - Management
Heidi Brown - Kinesiology
Chantay Caron - Elementary Education
Ashlynn Knoll - Marketing
Laurie Koehn - Social Sciences
Deborah Meeks - Social Sciences
Ashia Woods - Marketing
WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Angela Hart - Geography
Avery Loyd - Animal Sciences & Industry
Merryl Mbeng - Social Sciences
Erica Twiss - Elementary Education
BAT CATS COME BACK TO BEAT KU, 6-4
K-State erased a three-run deficit in the eighth inning and scored a pair of two-out runs in the ninth to complete a come-from-behind 6-4 win over Kansas on Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark to clinch the Sunflower Showdown series and a spot in the 2015 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship.
The Wildcats (26-27, 10-13 Big 12) earned their seventh trip to the Big 12 postseason tournament in the last eight years by overcoming a 4-1 disadvantage after the seventh inning. KU starting pitcher Drew Morovick limited K-State to five hits in the first seven frames, but in the eighth, the Wildcats tallied three straight hits off the senior to start the rally. Tyler Wolfe, who had three hits in the game, chased Morovick from the contest by hitting an RBI single to score Jake Wodtke and make it 4-2. The Jayhawks brought in closer Stephen Villines following Wolfe's hit, but Shane Conlon worked a nine-pitch at-bat that resulted in a double, the first extra-base hit for the Wildcats on the afternoon, and scored Carter Yagi. After a fielder's choice by Tyler Moore loaded the bases, Max Brown hit into a double play for the first two outs of the eighth, but also helped bring in Conlon to tie the game at 4-4.
"Just a couple mistakes on [Morovick's] part," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "We get lucky, get inside the baseball and it finds itself just inside the foul line. There's your momentum. And then we get that followed up with two really good at-bats [by Wolfe and Conlon]. Shane's at-bat was phenomenal."
To continue reading and to check out the box score from yesterday's game, please click here.