Track and Field claims four event titles at KU-KSU-WSU Triangular


Mia Hennen/ The Sunflower

Sophomore Anna Zimmer builds up momentum before releasing her weight in the weight throwing compeitition during the track and field meet on Jan. 13.

The Wichita State track and field program competed in two meets in the KU-KSU-WSU Triangular over the weekend, the first scored meet of the indoor season. 

Freshman Faith Turner raced to a third-place finish in the 60 meters with a time of 7.51 to record the third-fastest time in WSU track and field history Friday at the Triangular.

 Turner is now just 0.13 away from the program record, sitting behind Nikki Larch-Miller (7.38; 2017) and Audacia Moore (7.44; 2011) on the WSU all-time list. Her time also ranks second in the American Athletic Conference.

“This is a marvelous athlete. This is a special girl and a really wonderful athlete,” Director of Track and Field Steve Rainbolt said. “We were having a celebration around here when she signed as a senior in high school. Last year she had a good freshman year but I would not put it in a category of a great freshman year. 

“This year she’s been a different person, mainly with this leg speed improvement that’s going to translate to long jump and triple jump success.”

WSU claimed four event titles on the men’s side with senior Michael Bryan throwing within a meter of his own school record to win the weight throw with a toss of 20.25m/66-05.25. Joakim Genereux led the way in the sprints with a victory in the 200m (22.01) and a second-place finish in the 60m (6.93). Genereux’s 200-meter time currently leads the AAC.

On the distance side, Adam Moore battled with KU’s Michael Melgares to claim a hard-fought mile win and then came back to take second in the 1,000 meters later in the meet. 

It’s always great to see a guy like that win a premier event like that at a nice, strong, tough Triangular like that,” Rainbolt said of Moore. “It just looked like he was able to execute a race strategy that was really effective and strong at the end and was able to finish strong that way.”

In the final individual event of the day, the Shockers swept the top three spots in the 3,000 meters with Clayton Duchatschek snagging the win in 8:28.62, followed by Trey Rios (8:32.40) and Jackson Caldwell (8:35.31).

 Brady Palen placed third in the high jump with a conference-leading mark of 2.09m/6-10.25 and Dowdy Elazarig jumped 15.03m/49-3.75 to finish second in the triple jump. Dae’Trell Gordon also earned another second-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 15.74m/51-7.75.

 For the women, Yazmine Wright came off her AAC Championship win to earn two top-three finishes, placing third in both the mile (5:03.79) and the 1,000 meters (2:54.96). Paula Garcia joined Wright and Turner in the top three with her second-place performance in the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 56.30.

 In the 60-meter hurdles, Destiny Masters and Brianna Utecht went two-three with times of 8.78 and 8.92 (PB), respectively. Masters also placed second in high jump with a mark of 1.73m/5-8. In the long jump, Summer Stevenson made her Shocker debut with a third-place performance and a leap of 5.47m/17-11.5.

“She did a nice job but there’s a lot more in the tank,” Rainbolt said. “Her performance wasn’t startling or unbelievable but it was solid. Kind of at a season opener, that’s what you’re hoping for.”

 Wichita State took third as a combined men’s and women’s team in the Triangular team competition.

“Both those teams competed the previous weekend, that makes a difference,” Rainbolt said. “Every week that goes by, we’re five weeks now from the conference championships, and every week that goes by we build toward that. I feel like it was a good start for lots of our athletes.”

​​Rainbolt said that this meet serves as a season opener for the team, which also helps give the program a starting point.

“The Triangular serves as a season opener where we can see where we’re at,” Rainbolt said. “That helps us figure out where we’re going, to see where we’re starting from. It helps us to establish a team mindset and how to go to a meet and sort through a track meet as a team. Obviously, that’s a skill at a conference championship that we’ve been successful at.”

The Shockers will now travel to a pair of meets in the coming weeks, as they continue to ramp up the indoor season. This weekend the program will participate in the All-Kansas Invite in Topeka, Kansas, followed by the Adidas Classic the following weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“Both of these weekends are really good in giving our athletes opportunities to compete in their individual events and continue working towards where they know they need to be to make the conference team, to go to the conference meet and compete for a spot in the final,” Rainbolt said.