SE: K-State Sports Extra Top 10 Moments of March 2016

At the end of every month during the athletic year, K-State Sports Extra glances back at the best plays, victories and moments. March 2016 was a month to remember. It was filled with national titles, stellar individual performances and big team victories. It was an exciting month, to say the least. 

Here are the moments K-State Sports Extra recognizes as the best of March 2106: 

10. Varsity 8 wins first race of the season

K-State rowing’s Varsity 8+ boat won the team’s first race of the season as the Wildcats closed out their second competition of the season against Tulsa on the Verdigris River in Catoosa, Oklahoma, on March 19. 

“The conditions were difficult with a strong head wind,” head coach Patrick Sweeney said. “The first boat, with all of the experience in it, handled the conditions well. The other boats with the less-experienced girls in them raced hard but did not race as well as I would have hoped.” 

In the second race of the day, the Wildcats’ A boat in the V8+ race finished in first place with a time of 8:03.5, just under five seconds faster than Tulsa’s B boat, which took second in the race with a time of 8:08.1. The Wildcats’ B boat took fourth in the race with a time of 8:20.8. 

To continue reading about the Wildcat rowing team’s competition in Tulsa, please click here

9. Dean Wade leads K-State to victory in Big 12 Championship First Round

K-State freshman Dean Wade scored a career-high 20 points on Wednesday, March 9, in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, helping No. 8-seed K-State defeat No. 9-seed Oklahoma State, 75-71. 

“It was nice to have Dean really step up on the big stage in the tournament and play well tonight,” said K-State head coach Bruce Weber following the Wildcats’ win. “We knew it’s been there at times all year for Dean, and he was big time for us tonight. He gave us the chance to win.” 

Along with his game-high 20 points that featured a 6-of-9 effort from the field and a 3-of-3 performance from behind the arc, Wade grabbed six rebounds and dished out one assist in his 35 minutes on the court. 

To continue reading about Wade’s career night, please click here

8. Talley Ties for fifth at MountainView Collegiate

K-State women’s golf junior Madison Talley fired a 1-under par 71 on Saturday, March 19, to finish in the top five for the fifth time in her career and third time this season during the final round of the MountainView Collegiate at MountainView Golf Club. 

“It was a great finish by Madison in a strong field,” K-State head coach Kristi Knight said after the tournament. 

After shooting 71 in the final two rounds, Talley has recorded 10 rounds under par this season, a new career high. 

For more on Talley’s performance and the MountainView Collegiate, please click here

7. Women’s tennis sweeps UMKC

K-State women's tennis earned its fourth sweep of the season as it took down UMKC, 7-0, at the Carriage Club in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday, March 26. 

After taking the doubles point, the Wildcats (8-7) went on to defeat the Kangaroos (6-11) in every singles match, shifting the lineup for the second match in a row and freshmen in the No. 1 and 2 positions. 

Ana Garcia Navas improved to 3-1 in the No. 1 position with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Dimitra Stavrianakou. She is now 8-5 in dual singles and 14-9 overall on the year. 

Millie Stretton moved up to the No. 2 position for the first time this season, defeating Melinda Johnson 6-1, 6-2. The win gives her 11 dual match victories on the year and a team high 17th overall singles win. 

For a full recap of the win, please click here

6. Josh Rolette earns Big 12 Newcomer of the Week

Following his seven-hit weekend, K-State’s Josh Rolette was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for the period ending March 13. 

The Shawnee, Oklahoma, native led all Big 12 newcomers in batting average for the week as he hit .500 (7-for-14) with two doubles and three RBI in four games. In the three-game series against Milwaukee, Rolette was 7-for-11 (.636) with multi-hit efforts in each contest. He finished the week with a career-high three hits and two RBI on Sunday to help lead the Wildcats to a 7-0 win and clinch the series. 

For more on Rolette’s first career weekly honor, please click here

5. Men’s basketball celebrates Senior Day with win 

The K-State men’s basketball team sent its seniors out in style on Wednesday, March 2, as the team put away TCU with a 79-54 victory in Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats used a season-high tying 10 three pointers and a 76.2-percent shooting performance in the first half to secure the victory. 

Before the win, K-State celebrated the careers of seniors Justin Edwards, Stephen Hurt and Brian Rohleder on the court with a special Senior Day celebration before their final game on their home court. 

“It’s a great night for all the seniors, all those guys will be missed,” said K-State head coach Bruce Weber after the game. “We had a nice night. We talked about having great energy, and we came out with great energy. They played at a high level and made shots.” 

For the full story following the Wildcats’ senior night, please click here

4. Jake Wodtke earns Big 12 Player of the Week

K-State’s Jake Wodtke hit .727 and recorded 12 RBI in the Wildcats’ three victories over Arkansas-Pine Bluff to lead the Big 12 and earn the league’s Player of the Week award for the period ending March 6. 

A native of Shawnee, Kansas, Wodtke went 8-for-11 in the sweep of Arkansas-Pine Bluff while his dozen runs driven in were four more than the next closest Big 12 hitter. 

In addition to pacing the Big 12 in batting average and RBI, Wodtke was first in OBP (.714); second in hits, slugging (1.000) and OPS (1.714); and tied for third in stolen bases (2) and runs scored (6). 

For more on Wodtke’s player of the week honor, please click here

3. Women’s basketball beats George Washington in NCAA Tournament 

In its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2012, K-State women’s basketball overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat George Washington, 56-51, at Colonial Life Arena on Friday, March 18. 

With under 20 seconds to play, senior Bri Craig stepped to the line and drained two free throws to give K-State a 54-51 lead to seal the win for the Wildcats. 

Overall, K-State was led by senior Megan Deines with 14 points, including 11 in the second half, and two steals. All-Big 12 First Team selection Breanna Lewis registered 13 points, eight rebounds and a K-State NCAA Tournament record six blocks. 

For stats, highlights and more from the Wildcats’ victory over George Washington, please click here.

2. Dani Winters wins shot put national title

K-State track and field senior thrower Dani Winters put on a show at this year’s NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship at Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama. With a throw of 17.97m/58-11.50, Winters not only won the women’s shot put national title, but she also recorded a new personal best and broke the K-State women’s indoor shot put record. With the win, Winters made K-State track and field history as she became the first ever Wildcat National Champion in the women’s shot put. 

“I set out for every meet with the intention to win, but I knew that it was going to be a fight at this one because every one of those girls is incredible and is very competitive,” said Winters. “So I went in not really knowing what was going to happen. Physically, I was feeling really good. We went into it optimistically because warmups were going very well. Mentally, I worked very hard to put myself in a good place where I was fired up for the meet, but still calm and focused at the same time.” 

From start to finish, Winters’ performance at the NCAA Indoor Championship was nothing short of exceptional. Following the first three rounds, Winters led all competitors with a throw of 17.52m/57-05.75. She continued to improve on that mark through the fifth round where she claimed her title. 

To continue reading K-State Sports Extra’s feature on Winters’ national title, please click here.

1. Akela Jones wins national title, named Field Athlete of the Year 

After winning the NCAA Championship women’s high jump with a leap of 1.87m/6-01.50 on March 12, Akela Jones was recognized on March 18, for her outstanding 2016 indoor season as she was named Co-National Field Women’s Athlete of the Year, along with Georgia junior Kendell Williams, by the USTFCCCA. 

Along with her high jump title, Jones shined in the women’s pentathlon where she fell just one centimeter short of the indoor world record in the high jump with a personal-best mark of 1.98m/6-06.00. The mark also set a new school record, breaking the previous record of 1.96m/6-05.00 set by Gwen Wentland in 1995. Her efforts in the pentathlon high jump also set a new NCAA Indoor Championships meet record, the collegiate pentathlon high jump record and the Barbados national record, while it tied the collegiate open record in the event. 

“It was really exciting,” said Jones of her record-breaking performance in the pentathlon’s high jump. “I still had more events to go, so I didn’t want to show the excitement, but when it was finished, I was really proud of myself. I was close to the world pentathlon high jump record. I went in with no real goals, but came out with an NCAA record. I don’t go in to these events thinking about the records, but when you do get one it’s kind of fun.” 

For more information on Jones’ performance at the NCAA Indoor Championship, you can read K-State Sports Extra’s recent feature on Jones by clicking here.

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