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Kansas State high jumper Tejaswin Shankar clears the bar while jumping in the NCAA Preliminary meet in Fayetteville, Ark. last week. Shankar won the event and qualified for the NCAA Championship meet in Eugene, Ore., next week.

Kansas State track and field had a successful showing at the NCAA West Preliminary meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas, last weekend.

The Wildcats qualified 10 individual athletes and two relay teams to the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet in Eugene, Oregon, next week.

Sophomore men’s hammer thrower Kade McCall was the first Wildcat athlete to qualify, fighting through pouring rain to record a mark of 64.95 meters, which was good for 12th overall out of 46 competitors on May 25th, the first day of the meet.

“It’s been a goal of his all year to make it to Eugene, so to see that through is good,” Wildcat assistant coach Greg Watson said in a statement. “The bottom line at this meet is to position yourself to advance and he did that, so although it wasn’t his best throwing, the job got done for this one. He’s in good shape so he’s got a chance to improve on his best in a couple weeks.”

Freshman Velecia Williams qualified in the long jump on the second day of competition, recording a 12th-place finish with a jump of 6.22 meters.

Senior women’s pole vaulter and Arizona State transfer Tommi Hintnaus qualified later that day, finishing seventh with a height of 4.11 meters.

“I told her in the beginning of the competition that whoever handles the weather the best is going to end up winning and I thought she did a good job of making sure that she stayed warm,” assistant coach LaMar Garrett said. “She did a really good job. Everybody from Tommi’s father to her coach at Arizona State, her high school coach, they played a role in that. I am proud of how she competed, and I think making sure that the people who played a role in helping her get here is important as well.”

Men’s high jumpers Tejaswin Shankar and Kyle Alcine both qualified on Day 3. Shankar tied for first in the event with Oklahoma’s Vernon Turner with a height of 2.18 meters.

Alcine finished one height below them at 2.15 meters, which was good for 10th.

“Kyle jumped better,” Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Cliff Rovelto said. “He performed at as good as a level as he has during the outdoor season. ... Tejaswin showed that physically, he is at a high level. It is hard to make it to nationals any time. There were some good guys today that had been to the national meet and scored and didn’t make it, so it is not easy. For Kyle and Tejaswin to get it done on their last chance, it’s great for them to go out on a good note.”

The men’s 4x400 team, which includes junior Sean Wilson, freshman Antonio Hanson, junior Tim Lambert Jr. and sophomore Kyle Gale, ran a school record time of 3:03.97 which put them in eighth place and qualified them for nationals.

“The 4x400-meter squad did a really good job,” Rovelto said. “They ran well. They competed in a heat that was pretty hot. I thought, for sure, that it was going to be four out of that heat to make it to nationals, turned out to be five. They finally got the school record.”

On the fourth and final day, senior Wurrie Njadoe set the school record and personal best time of 22.9 in the women’s 200-meter dash, which put her in 12th place.

“This is the best way to end my senior year,” Njadoe said. “Trying to make it for the third time, nationals are tough and this whole week was nerve wracking. I didn’t get into the 100 meters but ran a fast time still. All focus was on the 200 meters. This has been a great experience. Since the beginning, we trained for this meet. I have been running 400 meters and 4x400 meters to prepare me for a meet like this.”

The third school record broken during the meet came courtesy of junior women’s 800 runner Kassidy Johnson.

Johnson finished sixth in the quarterfinals with a time of 2:02.94, a full second faster than her previous personal-best time. She finished sixth overall.

“That was exciting,” assistant coach Ryun Godfrey said. “That was an extremely competitive field. It seemed like all three heats really stepped it up. Kassidy did a great job, put herself in a great spot and got into the home stretch. She did a super job.”

Junior sprinter Shalysa Wray, who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for the Cayman Islands, rounded out the individual qualifiers for K-State. Wray finished 10th in the 400 with a time of 52.35.

Freshman Emil Uhlin and junior Urte Bacianskaite also qualified in the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon, respectively. Uhlin finished fourth with 7,587 points and Bacianskaite finished fifth with a personal-best score of 5,664, the sixth-best score in program history.

The women’s 4x400 relay team of Njadoe, junior O’Shalia Johnson, Wray and senior Alex Ferguson ran a season-best time of 3:33.83, the eighth-best time in program history, to finish 11th and qualify for nationals.

The 2022 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be at Hayward Field with the first event, the 100-meters of the men’s decathlon, scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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