Thursday was a memorable day for a pair of Kansas State track and field athletes.
Sophomore Taylor Latimer and junior Aaron Booth both earned first-team All-America honors thanks to their efforts on Day 2 of the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.
Latimer placed fourth overall in the women’s shot put in her first career appearance at the championships to clinch her All-America accolade. Booth won the recognition after placing sixth in the men’s decathlon with a career-best score of 7,680 points.
“It was a grind from the start,” Booth said in a release. “To finish and do as well as I did, I’m really proud because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish some events. I felt like I used all that I had, so I’m happy to come in at sixth.”
Latimer, who was the Big 12 outdoor champion, launched a throw of 17.28m in shot put on her second attempt, putting her in fourth place. Lattimer moved up to third with her next throw of 17.30m before the finals. In the finals, Latimer climbed from fifth place to fourth with a 17.67m throw, which was the second best of her career. Her fourth-place finish was the best by a Wildcat since Dani Winters also took fourth in 2015.
Booth entered Thursday with 3,952 points in the men’s decathlon, which was enough for 10th place. He got off to a strong start with a personal-best time of 15.32 in the decathlon 110-meter hurdles, the first event of the day.
Booth had to deal with a rain delay, but afterward he moved up in the standings by placing fourth in the men’s pole vault with a personal-best score of 4.71m, earning another 822 points.
Booth’s final competition in the decathlon was the 1,500 meters, where he had another personal best, finishing second with a time of 4:35.13. His 7,680 points bested his previous mark of 7,602 (set at the Big 12 Championship), and moved him to eighth all-time in K-State decathlon history. It marks Booth’s second consecutive All-America honor.
The K-State relay team of Taishia Pryce, Asha Cave, Ranae McKenzie and Lavaun Stephenson placed 20th in the women’s 4x100 meter relay semifinal with a 4.43 run out of Heat 1. It’s the second-fastest time recorded by a Wildcat team this season, the previous being 44.43 at the Big 12 Outdoor Championship.
Junior Helene Ingvaldsen placed 21st in the women’s hammer throw with a top throw of 60.69m on her first toss.
The NCAA Championships continue Friday with the start of the women’s heptathlon.