Shockers impress during Wichita State Open


Kaylee Stout / The Sunflower

Wichita State junior, Margaux Thompson takes off during a pole vault event at a track meet at Cessna Stadium on March 27.

For the second time this spring, the Track and Field program hosted an outdoor event with the Wichita State Open taking place at Cessna Stadium on Saturday.

Director of Track and Field Steve Rainbolt said he was impressed with the performance on Saturday.

“I was really happy with the run from Tanner Brown in the 100 meters,” Rainbolt said. “We had some really good 800-meter races. I was pleased with the women’s sprinters. Dowdy Elazarig had a really nice long jump. All around the track we had good things happen. I feel like we had a nice, solid track meet.”

Michael Bryan broke the school record in the hammer throw on Saturday for the third consecutive week. Bryan’s throw of 70.15m/230-2 earned him the victory in the event.

Bryan now sits at No. 5 in the country after Saturday’s performance. Bryan’s latest mark is tops in the American Athletic Conference and second-best in the West Region.

“I’m obviously really excited about Michael Bryan,” Rainbolt said. “He just keeps getting better and better. He’s having a special season. They’re even more special because he has worked so hard and come so far. He’s improved so much since he got here.”

In other performances, Tanner Brown ran a time of 10.47 in the 100 meters. That time is sixth best in the conference and No. 70 in the nation. Brown ultimately pulled his hamstring in the long jump later on Saturday.

Dowdy Elazarig collected a personal best with a distance of 7.38m/24-2.50. Elazarig is now tied for 68th in the NCAA and second in the conference.

In the 800 meters, the Shockers performed well on both the men’s and women’s side. For the men’s, Zack Penrod, Jed Helker, Josh Cable and Adam Moore all finished in the top-six. Cable set a personal best with a time of 1:53.68

Yazmine Wright won the 800 meters on the women’s side with a time of 2:10.85. Sharon Kiprop also finished in the top-10 in the event with a time of 2:17.49.

“Track and Field is always some good and some not so good, it’s just the nature of track and field,” Rainbolt said. “Throughout the season, we compete in the occasional team scored track meet but generally, we’re preparing for a championship event.”

Rainbolt said this event served as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the AAC Outdoor Championships next month.

“All of these track meets are meaningful and they all count, they’re all important. For us coaches, we’ve been doing this long enough to know that it’s what you might think of a dress rehearsal. This is a dress rehearsal for the championship event. We’re trying to get them ready for the championship meet.”

Rainbolt said these races can be especially important for athletes hoping to earn a spot on the conference roster or qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

“These are important races,” Rainbolt said. “They’re important because maybe an athlete can get a qualifier for the NCAA. Maybe athletes are trying to compete for spots on the conference roster, we can only take 30 to the conference championships and we probably got 40 men and 40 women competing for those 30 spots on each side.”

Next up, the Shockers will have three different events taking place at Cessna Stadium next week. The KT Woodman Multis will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, the Shocker Pre-State Challenge on Thursday and Friday, and the KT Woodman Classic will wrap up the week on Saturday.