Kansas State track and field senior Shardia Lawrence won the NCAA women’s triple jump title on Saturday. Lawrence sealed the victory in Austin, Texas, on her final attempt with a school record 13.99m/45-10.75 toss.
“I knew that my future depended on this day. That’s why I came out here and competed hard,” Lawrence said in a release. “I knew I had that one surprise left for everybody, and I came out here to be victorious, and I was victorious.”
It marks the first title in K-State history in the women’s triple jump, and the 10th title for the Wildcats overall.
Before her final jump that sealed the victory and the conclusion of her track and field career at K-State, she was in third place. Lawrence’s jump also was the seventh-best in NCAA Championship meet history.
Lawrence already had set the K-State record on her third attempt. At that point, she took over the lead in the competition for the first time on a 13.91m/45-03.75 jump prior to her last three attempts. Lawrence lost her lead to Yanis David of Florida and Marie-Josee Ebwea-Excel of Kentucky by fouling on her fourth attempt, however. Lawrence had the final jump of the competition, edging David with her 13.99m/45-10.75 leap.
Lawrence broke K-State’s previous triple jump record on three different occasions Saturday. The previous record was 13.76m/45-01.75. That mark was set by Vanitta Kinard at the NCAA National meet in 1997.
Other Wildcats had standout showings Saturday, too.
Junior Lauren Taubert, who was competing in the women’s heptathlon, earned her first career outdoor first-team All-America honor. She and fellow Wildcat Ariel Okorie both set personal bests in the heptathlon javelin throw. Okorie threw one 39.92m/131-00 and Taubert threw one 37.73m/123-09.
Taubert set another personal best in the final event of the women’s heptathlon, running a 2:10.94 and setting a lifetime best in the overall event with 5,793 points. She placed eighth to earn a first-team All-America accolade.
“It was so special. I think it’s the best eighth place and best medal I’ve ever gotten,” Taubert said. “Coming in it was my goal to place in the top eight and make first team All-American. To be able to do that and reach my goal is just really special.”