Williamson Wins High Jump Title on Final Day

Saturday Results | Final Heptathlon Results | Overall Results

– Senior Kim Williamson nabbed the Kansas State track and field team’s only title of the week in high jump, while freshman Shadae Lawrence broke a school record and hit the Olympic Standard in the women’s discus throw on the final day of competition at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field on Saturday.

The 15th-ranked women finished tied for seventh place with 29 total points in front of 12,947 fans on the final day of action, while the men finished tied for 26th place with nine points. 

“When you look at the real number of opportunities that we had to score, most of them hit the target,” head coach Cliff Rovelto said. “To be in the top-10 on the women’s side is huge. Even for the men to finish tied for 26th place is big. It is a really big deal to place that high.”

Williamson had a phenomenal day in the high jump, finishing with a mark of 1.88m/6-02 to win the first national championship of her career. The senior cleared the opening height of the competition on her first attempt. She then went on to clear the following three heights on her second attempt in each before clearing her winning height on her first attempt.

The Clarendon, Jamaica native attempted the Olympic Standard height of 1.93m/6-04 three times, but did not clear the bar. Her title is the first in the high jump by a female Wildcat since Rita Graves jumped the same mark in 1986. Her title also earned her First Team All-American status for the second-straight season after she finished in second place at last season’s meet. 

“Kim had some good jumps and she had some sloppy jumps, but she did enough to win and that was huge,” Rovelto said about his senior high jumper. “She has been pretty consistent all season. She always shows up. She is a gamer. It was really great.” 

Lawrence had an equally phenomenal day in the field, setting a new school record and hitting the Olympic Standard in the women’s discus throw with a personal best throw of 61.18m/200-09 to finish in fourth place in her first ever NCAA Championship meet.

After two strong attempts, she hit her record-setting mark on her third throw, solidifying her place in the events finals. From there, she would hold on to secure her fourth place finish, which is the highest finish at NCAAs by a female discus thrower in school history. 

The freshman’s mark also moves her ahead of the former school record holder, Pinkie Suggs, who recorded the previous school record mark of 59.17m/194-01 at the Drake Relays in 1987. Lawrence earned First Team All-American honors. 

“She just wanted to make the finals, but we both knew based off of training that she was in pretty good shape and capable of good things,” throw coach Greg Watson said. “It was just a matter of lining her technique up and produce a big throw. She has her Jamaican Olympic Trials in a few weeks so she has to stay solid there and continue to train well. There are big things ahead of her.”

Senior Akela Jones opened the day with her fourth-straight win in the heptathlon, winning the long jump with a leap of 6.37m/20-10.75. The mark was her third-farthest jump of the season, earning her 965 points, pushing her total score to 4,916 points. 

She hit a setback in the javelin throw, throwing 34.56m/113-05, four meters short of her personal best of 38.97m/127-10, to finish in 19th place in the event for 563 points to push her score to 5,479 points. However, a big mark by Georgia’s Kendell Williams in the event cut Jones’ lead over the Bulldog sophomore to just 106 points heading into the final event. 

The senior came out strong in the 800 meters, but would fall just short of the mark she needed to set with a time of 2:39.04 to earn 584 points. She would go on to finish the entire heptathlon in third place with a final score of 6,063 points. Jones would go on to earn First Team All-American honors in the event for the second straight year. 

The Wildcats’ student-athletes will now turn their attention to their home countries Olympic Trials, which will take place over the next couple of weeks. The Olympic Games, which will be held in Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil, begin on August 5 and can be seen live on NBC. 

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 Championships
Hayward Field
Eugene, Ore.

Women’s High Jump
1. Kim Williamson – 1.88m/6-02

Women’s Discus Throw
4. Shadae Lawrence – 61.18m/200-09 (PR, School Record)

Heptathlon Long Jump
1. Akela Jones – 6.37m/20-10.75 (965 pts.)

Heptathlon Javelin Throw
19. Akela Jones – 34.56m/113-05 (563 pts.)

Heptathlon 800 Meter Run
22. Akela Jones – 2:39.04 (584 pts.)

Heptathlon Final
3. Akela Jones – 6,063 pts.