K-State Track and Field Announces 2020 Signing Class

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State track and field team announced the signing of 31 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent (NLI) for the upcoming 2020-21 campaign, Director of Track and Field Cliff Rovelto announced today (June 30).
 
“Our signing class is a rather large one,” said Rovelto. “We feel as though we filled a few holes but even more importantly, we have added quality athletes who will contribute significantly at the conference level and potentially at the national level as well.”
 
The class is broken down by 14 men and 17 women. Eleven individuals arrive from the Sunflower State while four more hail from Missouri and another five arrive to campus internationally from the Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica and Nigeria. A total of 10 other states (California, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington) are also represented in this class.
 
Several high-profile transfers highlight the class including UTEP transfer and 2020 Conference USA Indoor Long Jump champion Chantoba Bright (Wismar Linden, Guyana), multiple NJCAA triple jump national champion Anigbata Grace Chinonyelum (Omor, Nigeria), NAIA All-American sprinters O’Shalia Johnson (Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica) and Shalysa Wray (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands), MIT transfer and six-time NCAA Division II All-American high jumper Alec Reduker (Buryport, Mass.) and Purdue transfer and 2018 Big Sky Indoor Triple Jump champion Jah Strange (Indio, Calif).
 
The prep signees are highlighted by multiple All-Americans India Turk (jumps/Macon, Ga.), Jackson Gibbon (throws/Buckley, Wash.) and Kade McCall (throws/Boise, Idaho), 2018-19 South Dakota Gatorade Track and Field Player of the Year Jasmine Greer (throws/Sioux Falls, S.D.), Top-10 national high school girls weight thrower Lacey Pavlak (Centralia, Mo.) and Oklahoma High School 800 meters state champion Jack Vincent (Claremore, Okla.).
 
The Sunflower State is also well represented in the class with two-time throws state champions Emily Fuhr (Shawnee, Kan.) and Grace Thompson (Sedgwick, Kan.), three-time state cross country champion Aiden Higgerson (Prairie Village, Kan.), Class 1A shot put state champion Krysten Bartlett (Hutchinson, Kan.) and 800-meter state champion Ryan Derry (Bel Aire, Kan.).
 
Below are full profiles of each of the 31 student-athletes set to join K-State for the 2020-21 season:

Krysten Bartlett | Freshman | Hutchinson, Kan. (Central Christian HS) | Throws

  • Kansas 1A Shot Put State Champion
  • Personal Bests: Shot Put (41-3.00), Discus (121-10.00)

 
Christian Buehler | Freshman | Olathe, Kan. (Blue Valley Southwest HS) | Distance

  • Eight-time letter winner, All-State in the 4×800 meters, All-State 800 meters, Two-time All-League in Cross Country
  • Personal Bests: 800m (1:57.75)
  • Why did you choose K-State: “I really liked the team and the coaching staff when I took my visit to Manhattan. The atmosphere of the school was amazing as well and I really enjoyed the campus and business school.”

Chantoba Bright | Junior | Wismar Linden, Guyana (Transfer from UTEP) | Jumps

  • Three-time CARIFTA Games (Caribbean Free Trade Association) Long Jump Champion, 2020 Conference USA Long Jump Champion, 2017 Guyana Long Jump National Champion
  • Personal Bests: Long Jump (6.27m/20-7.00), Triple Jump (13.28m/43-7.00)

 
Jessica Caraway | Freshman | Urbandale, Iowa (Waukee HS) | Distance

  • Academic All-State Cross Country, Two-time state champion in 4×800 meters, team captain in cross country and track and field, 4×400 state champion, National Honors Society
  • Personal Bests: 800m (2:14.41)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I loved how close everyone is on the team. Everyone I met on campus was so nice and genuine. It felt like the right place.”

 
William Carroll | Freshman | Lake Wanebago, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West HS) | Distance

  • Eight-time letter winner, All-State Cross Country, All-State in the 4×800 meters, All-State in the 1600 meters, four-time All-Conference in cross country, two-time varsity team captain, National Honors Society
  • Personal Bests: Mile Run (4:22.95)

 
Anigbata Grace Chinonyelum | Junior | Omor, Nigeria (Transfer from Cloud County Community College) | Jumps

  • 2018 African Championships Triple Jump Champion, 2019 NJCAA Indoor Triple Jump National Champion, 2019 NJCAA Outdoor Triple Jump National Champion, 2019 All-African Games Triple Jump Champion
  • Personal Bests: Triple Jump (14.02m/46-0.00), Long Jump (6.01m/19-8.75)

 
Ryan Derry | Freshman | Bel Aire, Kan. (Circle HS) | Distance

  • 2019 Kansas High School State Champion in the 800 meters, three-time state medalist in the 800 meters, three-time state medalist in the 4×800 meters, Kansas Honors Scholar, National Honors Society
  • Personal Bests: 800m (1:57.51)

 
Emily Fuhr | Freshman | Shawnee, Kan. (De Soto HS) | Throws

  • Two-time Kansas 5A State Champion in the shot put and discus, school-record holder for the shot put, two-time varsity team captain, Kansas State Scholar
  • Personal Bests: Discus (133-2.00), Shot Put (41-1.00)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I had visited a couple schools before K-State and I thought they were fine but once I got to know the campus and the team, I knew it was what I was looking for.”

 
Jackson Gibbon | Freshman | Buckley, Wash. (White River HS) | Throws

  • Four-time first team All-District, eight-time letter winner, three-time All-American, first-team All-State powerlifting, seven-time All-League first team
  • Personal Bests: Weight Throw (64-7.25), Shot Put (12lb-55m/1.00), Discus (1.6k/167-6.00)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “Top 40 business school and my visit was the best weekend of my life.”

 
Jasmine Greer | Freshman | Sioux Falls, S.D. (Roosevelt HS) | Throws

  • Two-time South Dakota AA State Champion (shot put), conference champion, 2018-19 Gatorade Player of the Year (South Dakota Track and Field), current shot put record holder at Roosevelt High School, 2018-19 Female Athlete of the Year at Roosevelt High School, 2019 National High School Powerlifter Champion, NAPF Powerlifting Champion, varsity letter winner in volleyball
  • Personal Bests: Shot Put (47-0.75)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I had visited a couple of schools before my visit to K-State but once I got on campus, I felt it was exactly what I was looking for. The athletics department had a reputation that aligned with my goals.”

 
Aiden Higgerson | Freshman | Prairie Village, Kan. (St. Thomas Aquinas HS) | Distance

  • Two-time All-State Cross Country, All-State in the 3200 meters, All-State in the 1600 meters, three-time cross country state champion, two-time all-league cross country
  • Personal Bests: 3200m (9:24.91)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I loved K-State on my visits and I think it will be a place that allows me to achieve my goals.”

 
Reagan Hukill | Freshman | Southlake, Texas (Carroll Senior HS) | Pole Vault

  • Personal Bests: Pole Vault (3.81m/12-6.00)

 
O’Shalia Johnson | Sophomore | Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica (Transfer from Southern University at New Orleans) | Sprints

  • NAIA All-American in the 400 meters, 2018-20 Honor Roll recipient at Southern University at New Orleans
  • Personal Bests: 400m (56.07)

 
Kate Kasunic | Sophomore | Overland Park, Kan. (Transfer from Kansas City) | Distance

  • Scholar athlete, 4×800 meters and 3200 meters high school record holder, two-time Sunflower League Champion, three-time all-state cross country, three-time all-state in the 4×800, two-time all-state in the 3200 meters, all-state in the 1600 meters
  • Personal Bests: 3200m (11:02.18)

 
Stephen Kielhofner | Springfield, Mo. (Transfer from Saint Louis) | Distance

  • Personal Bests: 5000m (15:18.94)

 
Kade McCall | Freshman | Boise, Idaho (Timberline HS) | Throws

  • Two-time All-State in the discus and shot put, two-time varsity captain, Idaho Hammer Record Holder, three-time school record, two-time All-American, 2018 Discus District Champion, four-time academic all-state
  • Personal Bests: Hammer Throw (202.00′), Weight Throw (63m/9.75), Discus (1.6k-168.10)

 
Lacey Pavlak | Freshman | Centralia, Mo. (Centralia HS) | Throws

  • Top-10 national high school girls weight thrower, all-state shot put in 2018-19, 2018-19 conference champion in the shot put, 2019 Discus Conference Champion, 2018-19 Shot Put District Champion, 2019 All-District in the discus, National Honors Society
  • Personal Bests: Weight Throw (54-2.00), Shot Put (40-3.00)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I loved the hardworking atmosphere the athletic department has! The team and the coaches were super welcoming, and it felt like this is the school for me!”

 
Rhianna Phipps | Freshman | Saint Thomas, Jamaica (Hydel HS) | Jumps

  • 2019 ISSA Boys & Girls Championship triple jump silver medalist, long jump bronze medalist and high jump bronze medalist
  • Personal Bests: Triple Jump (13.37m/43-10.50), Long Jump (6.02m/19-9.00)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I like the challenges and the togetherness of the team.”

 
Joe Placek | Freshman | Olathe, Kan. (Olathe West HS) | Throws

  • Two-time All-State, two-time varsity team captain, 2019 league champ, National Honors Society
  • Personal Bests: Javelin Throw (191-0.00)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “Both of my parents were collegiate athletes at Kansas State and I love the environment the athletic department creates for the student-athletes.”

 
McKenna Polus | Freshman | Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley Southwest HS) | Distance

  • Three-time All-State in the 4×800 meters and 800 meters, Principal’s Honor Roll and Pythagoras Award
  • Personal Bests: 5k (18:58.50)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I felt that it was the best fit for me to further my education and athletic career. I also fell in love with the team and the coaching staff.”

 
Luke Ralston | Freshman | Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley West HS) | Throws

  • Seven varsity letters, league champion in the javelin competition, regional champion in the javelin event, second team all-state in football, league champion in the triple jump
  • Personal Bests: Javelin Throw (196-3.00)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “Really loved my visit to Manhattan and loved the environment created there for the athletes. Everyone was extremely welcoming and made me feel at home.”

 
Alec Reduker | Graduate Transfer | Buryport, Mass. (Transfer from MIT) | Jumps

  • Six-time NCAA DII All-American, New Balance All-American, NEDIII Field Athlete of the Year
  • Personal Bests: High Jump (2.17m/7-1.50), Long Jump (7.37m/24-2.25), Triple Jump (14.89m/48-10.25)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “K-State has a reputation as one of the best jump programs in the country. Also, everybody I have talked to has been incredibly nice and helpful.”

 
Devon Richardson | Sophomore | Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Transfer from Pittsburg State) | Jumps

  • 2018 Missouri High Jump State Champion, 2018 USATF Junior Olympics High Jump/Triple Jump participant, 2019 Missouri High Jump and Triple Jump State Champion, Pitt State indoor high jump record holder
  • Personal Bests: High Jump (2.15m/7-0.5), Triple Jump (14.94m/49-0.25)

 
Jaycee Schroeder | Freshman | Dandridge, Tenn. (Jefferson County HS) | Throws

  • Two-time All-State in the shot put, All-State in the discus event, school record holder in the shot put, varsity team captain, Jefferson County Field MVP, National Honors Society, Beta Club
  • Personal Bests: Shot Put (46-0.00), Discus (128-6.00)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I loved the atmosphere of the track program and the general academic approach, as both were a good fit for me.”

 
Brian Simon | Freshman | Wichita, Kan. (Bishop Carroll Catholic HS) | Pole Vault

  • 2019 Top Pole Vaulter in Kansas, National Honors Society
  • Personal Bests: Pole Vault (4.98m/16-4.00)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I chose K-State because of the people and Manhattan as a whole. With the fact I can continue my education, I believe K-State is a family and I want to be a part of that family.”

 
Jah Strange | Graduate Transfer | Indio, Calif. (Transfer from Purdue) | Jumps

  • 2018 Big Sky Indoor Triple Jump Champion (Sacramento State University)
  • Personal Bests: Triple Jump (16.03m/52-7.25), Long Jump (7.41m/24-3.75), 100m (10.79)

 
Grace Thompson | Freshman | Sedgwick, Kan. (Sedgwick HS) | Throws

  • 2019 KWCH Girl’s Track and Field Athlete of the Year, 2019 Shot Put and Discus 2A State Champion, All-State in the 100 meters, All-Metro in the discus event, four-time All-League in volleyball, three-time all-league in basketball, two-time All-State in volleyball, All-State in basketball, nine state medals in track and field, seven school records between volleyball, basketball and track
  • Personal Bests: Discus (137-8.00), Shot Put (42-11.00), 100m (12.41)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I really appreciated the welcoming environment and the support that the athletes get. I loved the facilities and that they have my major.”

 
India Turk | Freshman | Macon, Ga. (Houston County HS) | Jumps

  • 2018 Georgia High School Triple Jump State Champion, two-time NBNI All-American, two-time NBNO All-American, Project Triple Jump Athlete
  • Personal Bests: Long Jump (5.98m/19-7.50), Triple Jump (13.37m/41-0.75)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I really enjoyed the realness and family-oriented vibes with the team and athletic department. I also fell in love with the facilities and amazing support the school provides for the student-athletes.”

 
Jack Vincent | Freshman | Claremore, Okla. (Claremore HS) | Sprints

  • Oklahoma High School 800 Meters State Champion, 2018 & 2019 Great Southwest Classic 800m Champion, 2018 USATF Junior Olympic 15-16 Boys 800m and 1500m National Champion
  • Personal Bests: 800m (1:53.80)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I really liked the atmosphere in the city of Manhattan and the campus. The area around Manhattan is beautiful and I really felt like I clicked with the team and the coaches.”

 
Dy’Mond Wiley | Freshman | Duncanville, Texas (Duncanville HS) | Sprints

  • Personal Bests: 200m (24.19), 400m (55.84)

 
Shalysa Wray | Junior | Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (Transfer from Xavier) | Sprints

  • Carifta Finalist (2018), 2018 ISSA Boys & Girls Championship Finalist, IAAF World Junior 2018 Semi-Finalist, NAIA All-American in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 4×100 meters and 4×400 meters, school record holder for the 200 meters and 400 meters, national record holder in the Cayman Islands for the 400 meters, 2019-20 Honor Roll recipient
  • Personal Bests: 100m (11.77), 200m (24.11), 400m (54.21)
  • Why Did You Choose K-State: “I strongly believe that K-State is the best fit for me to further my athletic career and education.”

 
For the latest on K-State Track and Field follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter or Kansas State Track & Field/Cross Country on Facebook.

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Source: Kansas State Sports