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Farabi selected to enter Pitt State Hall of Fame

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Former Pitt State running back Caleb Farabi will enter the Pitt State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.

“I’m super excited. It’s something I’ve been waiting for and something I had hoped for when I was a child,” Farabi says, “Finally, just one more dream came true.”

Farabi was a 2X All-American for the Gorillas, playing for Pitt State from 2005-2008.

He rushed for 3,292 yards in his college career, which is 7th most all-time for Pitt State football. He also racked up 46 total touchdowns, and was the MIAA’s Ken B. Jones Award winner for the 2008-2009 academic year.

“With an individual award comes sacrifice from other guys. I think of all the friends I made and the coaches and mentors that were there for me,” Farabi adds on playing at Pitt State, “My linemen Travis Greer, Shane McGinnis, Martin Burke, Marcus Nelson and our quarterback Mark Smith, who we all know… They could have thrown the ball a lot more, and they were asked to do different things sometimes. I’m just fortunate to have those guys on my team.”

Entering the Pitt State Hall of Fame means a little more to Farabi – who is a Pittsburg product – playing his high school ball at St. Mary’s Colgan.

“I was just so happy to have the opportunity to do it in my hometown. I’m happy for my parents and my family,” Farabi says, “I think I would speak for all of the guys on the team that it’s a grind every day. I’m just proud that I was able to make it through it, and in the end, I was able to meet my wife here, too.”

Farabi is one of eight individuals who will enter the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.

Pittsburg State’s 35th class of inductees will be honored at a special Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on Friday evening, Sept. 30. The group also will be honored at halftime of the Gorillas’ football game against Missouri Southern the next day (Oct. 1).

FULL RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

Pittsburg State University is pleased to announce its 2022 induction class into the Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. The diverse group – comprised of eight individuals – will be formally inducted during ceremonies on campus the weekend of Oct. 1.

PSU’s Class of 2022 is headlined by a cast of decorated athletes and coaches:  Caleb Farabi (2005-08), a two-time NCAA Division II All-American running back in football; Chris Grantham (1981-84), an All-America offensive lineman in football; Steve High, the Gorillas women’s basketball coach from 1990 to 2007 and the winningest coach in program history; Kiara Jones (2008-12), an eight-time All-America performer in the horizontal jumps for the Gorillas in track & field; Tommy Myers (1996-98), an NCAA-II All-Region and record setting outfielder in baseball; and Sammie Williams (2005-08), the first two-time All-America performer in the history of the Pitt State volleyball program.

Ed Nealy (1956-57), a first-team All-CIC men’s basketball performer who helped lead Pitt State to a 27-2 record and a third-place finish at the 1956 NAIA National Tournament, and Dennis Watson (1963-66), an All-America offensive lineman in football for the Gorillas, will be inducted in the Hall of Fame’s “Legacy” category.

The Legacy category, created in 2005, focuses solely on individuals who completed their athletic eligibility 50 years from the current calendar year in an attempt to bolster the school’s rich heritage from earlier years.

“Once again PSU Athletics is blessed with the opportunity to pay tribute to a handful of elite individuals representing the proud history and tradition of Gorilla intercollegiate athletics,” said Dan Wilkes, associate athletic director/communications and chair of the PSU Athletics Hall of Fame Committee. “We are tremendously proud of this group that comprises the Class of 2022 and we are excited to honor and celebrate their stories and accomplishments on campus this fall.”

2022 Hall of Fame Inductee Profiles

Caleb Farabi, Football, 2005-08
~ NCAA-II All-American, 2007-08 (3rd, AP, FB Gazette, ’08; HM, RB, FB Gazette, ’07)
~ MIAA All-Conference, 2007-08 (1st, RB, ’07-08)
~ Rushed for 3,292 yards & 43 TDs – 7th highest rushing total in PSU history;
   also caught 101 passes for 945 yards & 3 TDs
~ A two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America selection (2007-08)
~ 2008-09 MIAA Ken B. Jones Award Winner (Male Student-Athlete of the Year)

Chris Grantham, Football, 1981-84
~ NAIA All-American, 1984 (1st, OL)
~ CSIC All-Conference, 1982-84 (1st, OL, ’82-84)
~ Member of 1981 NAIA National Runner-up Team
~ Joined the U.S. Navy in May 1985, retired Petty Officer First Class, 1991

Steve High, Women’s Basketball Coach, 1990-2007
~ Served for 18 years as the Gorillas head coach, compiling a 296-201 (.596) overall record
~ Led PSU to the school’s first MIAA title in 1992 – won MIAA titles in 1992 & 1996
~ Led the Gorillas to the school’s first NCAA National Tournament appearance in 1992,
   and five overall berths in the national tournament
~ The longest-tenured and winningest women’s basketball coach in PSU history

Kiara Jones, Track & Field, 2008-12
~ Seven-time NCAA-II All-American in the triple jump:
   3rd, 51-7.25 (O), 2012; 6th, 48-6.25 (I), 2011; 2nd, 51-8.5 (I), 2010; 5th, 49-11 (O), 2010;
   3rd, 50-1.75 (I), 2009; 3rd, 50-4.5 (O), 2009; 7th, 49-3.25 (O), 2008
~ NCAA-II All-American in the long jump (4th, 23-6.75 indoor, 2011)
~ 10-time All-MIAA performer; two-time MIAA Champ, triple jump
~ Set PSU record in the indoor triple jump (51-11.25), currently 2nd
~ Set PSU record in the outdoor triple jump (52-2), currently 2nd

Tommy Myers, Baseball, 1996-98
~ NCAA-II All-Region, 1998 (1st team, OF, ABCA, ’98)
~ MIAA All-Conference, 1997-98 (H.M., OF, ’97; 1st, OF, 98)
~ .340 career batting avg. with 21 HRs and 121 RBIs in 126 games
~ .405 BA with 72 runs scored, 14 HRs and 59 RBIs in 1998
~ Set PSU record for career runs scored (142), single-season runs scored (72, ’98),
   single-season HRs (21, ’98); ranked 2nd in career HRs, 21 (now 7th); ranked 2nd
   in career stolen bases, 42 (now 3rd); ranked 2nd in career walks, 85 (now 2nd);
   ranked third in career RBIs, 121 (now 6th)
~ Served as PSU head coach, 2017-18

Sammie Williams, Volleyball, 2005-08
~ Two-time NCAA-II All-America:  2007, HM, AVCA; 2008, 3rd, AVCA
~ PSU program’s first two-time All-America performer
~ Four-time All-MIAA selection (2005-08)
~ 2005 MIAA Freshman of the Year
~ Set PSU career record for kills (1825), currently 2nd

Legacy Category

Ed Nealy, Men’s Basketball, 1956-57
~ CIC All-Conference, first-team, 1956-57
~ Scored 663 points in 53 career games (12.5 ppg)
~ Scored 375 points in 24 games his senior year (15.6 ppg)
~ Helped PSU to a 27-2 record and a third-place finish in the NAIA Nat’l Tourn. in 1956
~ Also a member of PSU’s 1957 NAIA National Champion football team

Dennis Watson, Football, 1963-66
~ NAIA All-American, 1966 (H.M., end)
~ CIC All-Conference, 1966 (1st, end)
~ Baseball squad member, 1964-67
~ Long-time high school teacher & coach at Pittsburg HS (1968-98), Frontenac and Girard

2022 Hall of Fame Ceremonies
Pittsburg State’s 35th class of inductees will be honored at a special Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on Friday evening, Sept. 30. The group also will be honored at halftime of the Gorillas’ football game against Missouri Southern the next day (Oct. 1).

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Pitt State’s Winn, Caldwell shine at USATF U20 outdoor championships

EUGENE, Ore. – A pair of Pittsburg State freshmen shined at the USATF U20 outdoor championship on Friday in Eugene, Oregon.

On the women’s side, Blakelee Winn finished in 1st place in the heptathlon, scoring 5,473 points.

Winn finished 1st in the 100m hurdles, 5th in high jump, 2nd in shot put, 1st in the 200m, 1st in long jump, 1st in javelin and 4th in the 800m to bring home the heptathlon title.

On the men’s side, TJ Caldwell finished in 2nd place in the 110m hurdles, posting a time of 13.34 seconds.

“It’s kind of mixed emotions right now,” Caldwell said to KVAL’s Hayden Herrera following his 2nd-place finish, “I’m getting to represent today, but now I also get to see what I need to work on and what I need to do better as an athlete.”

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Pitt State football names 2022 captains

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State football has named its captains for the 2022 season.

The Gorillas have picked eight players as captains for the fall, including five who played at local high schools.

WR Elijah Harris (Pittsburg HS)

OL Kory Woodruff (Sioux City West HS)

WR Bryce Murphy (Neosho HS)

LB PJ Sarwinski (Galena HS)

LB Morgan Selemaea (Harrisonville HS)

S Brandon Mlekus (Frontenac HS)

DL Zeke Wall (Carl Junction HS)

OL Trase Jeffries (Broken Arrow HS)

The Gorillas are scheduled to open the regular season on September 1st, at home against the University of Central Missouri.

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Pitt State women’s camp to bring 150+ teams to Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Pitt State women’s basketball high school team cam brings in teams from all around the region – with teams from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado and more coming to Pittsburg in the past.

“This week we’ll have 71 teams and then we’ll have 84 next week,” says PSU women’s basketball head coach Amanda Davied, “It’s a lot of teams, a lot of talent and a lot of great coaches that we’ve been able to build great relationships with.”

The camp is split into two sessions, with the first running from this Wednesday to Friday. The second session will be next Wednesday to Friday.

In those six days, more than 150 teams will play around 600 games in six different locations in the Pittsburg area as part of the camp. Games are held at Pitt State’s Weede Gymnasium, Pitt State’s rec center, Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg Community Middle School, St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic High School and Frontenac High School.

For local teams it’s a chance to push themselves against new and tough competition.

“We get to see a lot of different competition for our kids. We put our kids in the toughest division every year,” says Carl Junction girls head coach Brad Shorter, “We see a lot of great basketball. It’s not really about wins and losses, but it’s about improving. We give our kids the opportunity to kind of expand their game and progress and maybe put some more tools in their bag before the season.”

For Pitt State it gives the coaching staff a chance to see potential recruits – with multiple campers being signed to play for the Gorillas over the years.

“Typically, we would possibly get a commitment from this camp, or right before or right after,” Davied says, “We get them here on campus and get them to meet our players and our staff and get involved in the community. They’re going places in the community and they get to see, even before they’re a Pitt State athlete, that Pittsburg is really appreciative of new people coming into town. We’re always dealing with that with the college with incoming freshman and things like that. The college is welcoming and the town is welcoming, so it’s really their first taste of that.”

It gives the current PSU players – who help *run* the camp – a chance to work together in the off-season and build a little team chemistry.

“It’s awesome to have our incoming freshmen and new players join us and see what Pitt State is all about, and kind of get a feel for who we are as individuals, both on and off the court,” says Pitt State sophomore guard and former camp attendee Grace Pyle.

“All the way around, it’s just a phenomenal experience for everybody,” Davied finishes, “We’re happy to host. We love that we have this. I told somebody that I ran out of dorms, and they said well that’s a good problem to have. Some of these things…it’s truly a beautiful mess. We love it.”

Click HERE for more information on Pitt State women’s basketball camps.

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Pitt State’s Kiner named Central Region Field Athlete of the Year

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State men’s track and field has earned three awards from the USTFCCCA

Junior LJ Kiner is the Central Region Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.

Kiner finished 3rd in the long jump at outdoor nationals, with a best leap of 25 feet, 4 inches. He took 2nd in the triple jump at nationals with a jump of 52 feet.

“He’s a special talent, not only as a person but…my gosh, that guy is a freak athlete. He really is talented,” says Pitt State head coach Kyle Rutledge about Kiner, “What he did at nationals in the long jump, and then in the 4X100m during the triple jump…he’s always just competing and staying focused and doing what he has to do for the team. He’s going to USA competitions here in a couple weeks and he’s going to perform well there. He’s going to get that experience and know what he has to do to go to that next level.”

In addition to Kiner earning the honor, Rutledge has been named Central Region Outdoor Coach of the Year – and his assistant, Jason Crow, has been named the Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

Those two helped lead the Gorilla men to their first ever outdoor national championship, which included two individual national champions and 13 All-Americans.

“It means a great deal that your peers actually respect what you do,” Rutledge says, “It means a lot to our kids. They’re doing a great job and they’re being respected by other coaches. Coach Crow has done a phenomenal job. For him to get that accolade, it just means a lot. We’re doing things the right way here and our peers respect us.”

FULL RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

Pittsburg State University head track & field coach Kyle Rutledge was named the NCAA Division II Central Region Coach of the Year for men’s oudoor track & field Monday (June 6), while assistant coach Jason Crow received Central Regional Assistant Coach of the Year for men’s outdoor track & field. Junior L.J. Kiner also was selected the Central Region Field Athlete of the Year for men’s outdoor track & field.

Rutledge, in his 10th year at Pittsburg State (his first year as head coach), led the Gorillas to their first outdoor national title in program history at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships with 70 points. Under Rutledge’s direction, the Gorillas had national champions in the 110-meter hurdles (Louis Rollins) and the 400 meters (Braylen Brewer), while 13 different athletes earned first-team All-America honors. Pittsburg State also won the MIAA Outdoor Championships with 169 points and posted 14 All-MIAA finishes. Rutledge’s athletes broke seven school records during the outdoor season.

Crow, in his second year as assistant coach at Pittsburg State, coached the Gorillas sprint/hurdle group to score 38 of the team’s 70 points in winning the team title at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships. His athletes won titles in the 400 (Brewer) and 110 hurdles (Rollins) and added a second in the 4×400 relay, third in the 110 hurdles (T.J. Caldwell) and fifth in the 4×100 relay. His sprint crew scored 55 points at the MIAA Outdoor Championships, helping Pittsburg State to the team title.

Kiner, who hails from Humble, Texas, finished top-3 at the NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships in both the triple jump (second) and long jump (third). He won the triple jump at the MIAA Outdoor Championships and placed fourth in the long jump. Kiner entered the NCAA postseason as the nation’s top-ranked athlete in the triple jump with an effort of 16.36m (53-8¼).

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Pitt State outfielder Griffith named Academic All-American

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State outfielder Keelah Griffith is an Academic All-American.

The junior from Bentonville, Arkansas, has a perfect 4.0 GPA as a recreation services, sport and hospitality management major at PSU. She is the first Pitt State softball player since 2015 to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, and the 8th in program history.

This season for the Gorillas, Griffith hit for a .333 average, with 14 home runs and 8 doubles. She finished the season with 44 RBI, helping the Gorillas finish with a 25-26 overall record.

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

Pittsburg State University outfielder Keelah Griffith garnered first-team Co-SIDA Academic All-America® today (June 7).

Griffith, a junior from Bentonville, Ark., has a perfect 4.00 grade-point-average as a recreation services, sport and hospitality management major.

Griffith batted .333 for the season, helping the Gorillas to a 25-26 overall record. She scored 39 runs, hit eight doubles and 14 home runs while driving in 44 runs. She earned honorable mention All-MIAA recognition.

Griffith is the eighth Pitt State softball player to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America® honors, the first since McKenzie Rynard received back-to-back honors in 2014 and 2015.

Pitt State Softball CoSIDA Academic All-America® Recipients
Kim Erickson, 1992
Lisa Litzen, 1993
Kelly Gustafson, 1996
Mandy Frasco, 2002
Emily Gastineau, 2005
Jessica Jones, 2010
McKenzie Rynard, 2014-15
Keelah Griffith, 2022

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Pitt State’s McGowan named NCBWA All-American

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pitt State senior first baseman Garrett McGowan has added to his already long list of post-season awards.

McGowan was named an All-American by the NCBWA on Thursday afternoon. McGowan is a 3rd team All-America selection – and is the 9th All-American in Pitt State program history.

This season, McGowan led the team in both batting average (.399) and RBI (79). He finished the season with 18 doubles and 20 home runs, while also posting a perfect fielding percentage at first base for the Gorillas.

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

Pittsburg State University senior first baseman Garrett McGowan garnered NCAA Division II All-America honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA) today (June 2).

McGowan was named to the third-team All-America squad.

The Blue Springs, Mo., native becomes the ninth player in Pitt State history to earn All-America honors – the second player in as many seasons to receive All-America recognition under head coach Bob Fornelli and his staff. Dawson Pomeroy received honorable mention All-America recognition as a utility player in 2021.

McGowan batted a team-leading .399 with 61 runs scored, 20 doubles, 18 home runs and 79 RBI while starting all 52 games played for the Gorillas in 2022. He ranked fifth in Division II in RBI per game (1.52 pg). McGowan garnered first-team All-MIAA honors and was named to the MIAA Gold Glove Team after posting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 385 total chances on the season.

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Gorillas, Lions prepare for DII outdoor national championships

The Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships begin on Thursday in Allendale, Michigan.

Pitt State has 30 athletes qualified to compete at nationals, while Missouri Southern is taking 20.

Click HERE for the full meet schedule.

PITT STATE PREVIEW, VIA PITT STATE ATHLETICS:

The Pittsburg State University men’s and women’s outdoor track & field teams will open competition in the 2022 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships Thursday (May 26). The meet, which is being hosted by Grand Valley State University, runs Thursday through Saturday (May 28).

The Pitt State men enter the meet ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division II in the most recent USTFCCCA national poll, while the Pitt State women are ranked No. 10.

Thirty Pitt State athletes – 15 men and 15 women – qualified for the national championships.

Several Gorillas will be in action on day one Thursday at the GVSU Track & Field Stadium.

Redshirt junior Trey Mooney will compete in the men’s decathlon at 9:30 a.m. (CDT). Mooney qualified 4th in the multi events with 7,195 points.

Freshman Blakelee Winn, senior Trace Mosby and freshman Mattie Flanagan will compete in the women’s heptathlon at 10 a.m. Winn enters the national meet ranked No. 2 (5518 pts).

Junior Konner Swenson will compete in the men’s hammer throw (13th, 61.31m) at 11:30 a.m.

On the track, both the men’s and women’s 400m relays will race in prelims Thursday with the men’s relay beginning at 3:50 p.m. and the women’s relay to follow at 4 p.m. The men’s relay of L.J. Kiner, Louis Rollins, Tevin Wright-Rose and Braylen Brewer is seed fifth (39.97).

Junior Mason Strader (8th, 3:42.55) and senior Connar Southard (16th, 3:44.57) will race in the prelims of the men’s 1,500 meters at 4:25 p.m., while Brewer will race in the prelims of the men’s 400 meters (3rd, 46.48) at 4:40 p.m. and Wright-Rose will race in the prelims of the men’s 100 meters (15th, 10.35) at 5:10 p.m.

Senior Bryce Grahn will run in the prelims of the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase (11th, 8:54.57) at 5:40 p.m. and senior Madison Burt will race in the prelims of the women’s 400 meter hurdles (11th, 1:00.00) at 6:55 p.m. to close out the Gorillas’ day one action.

Links to Live Results and Live Web Stream are available.

Day Two Action • Friday, May 27
8:30 a.m. – Mooney, men’s decathlon
9:30 a.m. – Winn, Mosby (7th, 5114 pts), Flanagan (11th, 5006 pts), women’s heptathlon
1 p.m. – Swenson (19th, 53.03m), men’s discus
3:45 p.m. – Auna Childress (17th, 12.43m), women’s triple jump
4:45 p.m. – Christine Williams (2nd 23.33), women’s 200m, prelims
5:35 p.m. – Louis Rollins (2nd, 13.43), T.J. Caldwell (3rd, 13.84), men’s 110m hurdles, prelims
6:15 p.m. – Men’s Steeplechase, Finals
6:50 p.m. – Men’s 4x400m Relay, Prelims (Sam Tudor, Bailey Stone, Nizar Alarahshun, Brewer, 3rd, 3:09.48)
7:10 p.m. – Women’s 4x400m Relay, Prelims (Matti Price, Olivia Lowery, Burt, Williams, 14th, 3:45.09)

Day Three Action • Saturday, May 28
9:30 a.m. – Caleb Calvin (6th, 66.94m), men’s javelin
11:30 a.m. – Isabelle Peters (7th, 4.13m), Kyla Davis (9th, 4.10m), Kinsey Laird 919th, 4.03m), women’s pole vault
11:45 a.m. – L.J. Kiner (1st, 16.36m), men’s triple jump
12:30 p.m. – Madison Reese (12th, 46.32m), women’s javelin
1 p.m. – Men’s 4x100m Relay, Finals
1:05 p.m. – Erica Schamel (6th, 1.73m), women’s high jump
1:10 p.m. – Women’s 4x100m Relay, Finals
1:25 p.m. – Men’s 1,500 Meters, Finals
1:45 p.m. – Men’s 110m Hurdles, Finals
2 p.m. – Swenson (15th, 17.95m), men’s shot put
2:05 p.m. – Men’s 400 Meters, Finals
2:25 p.m. – Men’s 100 Meters, Finals
3:20 p.m. – Women’s 400m Hurdles, Finals
3:50 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters, Finals
4:50 p.m. – Men’s 4x400m Relay, Finals
5 p.m. – Women’s 4x400m Relay, Finals
5:15 p.m. – Team Awards

MISSOURI SOUTHERN PREVIEW, VIA MSSU ATHLETICS:

The nationally-ranked Missouri Southern men’s and women’s track and field programs will open upt he 2022 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships tomorrow afternoon as the meet gets underway at the Grand Valley State Track and Field Stadium.

The Lions have qualified 16 individuals for the championships. The 10th-ranked men have qualified 11 individuals, while the 21st ranked women have sent five.

Starting the meet off for the Green and Gold will be Peyton Barton and Josh Fulmer at 12:30 pm (ET) in the men’s hammer throw. Barton is seeded fifth in the hammer, while Fulmer is seeded eighth in the event.

Jonathan Watts will then compete in the men’s long jump at 2:30 pm (ET). Watts is seeded 19th in the event. Claire Luallen will then compete in the finals of the women’s long jump as she is seeded 12th. That event will start at 5:30 pm (ET). Chardae Overstreet runs in the prelims for the women’s 400m at 5:55 pm (ET). Overstreet is seeded 20th in the event. JP Rutledge then finishes off the opening day for the Lions as he competes in the men’s 10k at 8:10 pm (ET). Rutledge is seeded 19th in the event.

Day two starts with Barton and Fulmer again as the pair competes in the men’s discus at 2 pm (ET). Barton is seeded fourth in the event, while Fulmer is seeded 20th. Brendan Jewell will compete in the men’s high jump at 3:30 pm (ET) as he is seeded tenth in the event. Luallen, Kiara Smith and Precious Olatunji will finish off the day for the Lions as the trio competes in the prelims of the women’s 100m hurdles. Smith is seeded fourth in the event, while Luallen is 15th and Olatunji is 19th.

Day three starts bright and early for Southern as Rajheim CarbyNathan Kovis and Brendan Rozier open the day’s action in the men’s javelin at 10:30 am (ET). Carby is seeded third in that event, while Rozier is 14th and Kovis is 15th. Adrain Broadus and Taris Jackson compete in the men’s triple jump at 12:45 pm (ET). Broadus is eighth and Jackson is 13th. Elizabeth Pomatto will compete in the finals of the women’s javelin at 1:30 pm (ET). Pomatto is seeded second in the event.

The finals of the women’s 100m will be run at 2:55 pm (ET), while the finals for the women’s 400m will be run at 3:15 pm (ET). Ryan Riddle concludes the action for the Lions as he runs in the men’s 5k at 5 pm (ET). Riddle comes into the event seeded eighth.

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Rollins leaves his mark for Pitt State track and field

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pitt State’s Louis Rollins arrived in Pittsburg in 2015 to begin his college track and field career.

In just a week, his time in a Gorilla uniform will be over.

“By no means has it flown by,” Rollins says with a laugh, “I’m not saying I’m ready to go…but we’re looking at seven years, almost a decade here at Pitt State. I’ve met a lot of people and I’m glad I’ve had the chance to experience this. I’m grateful for my time here.”

Between injuries and COVID, it has taken Rollins seven years to complete his eligibility for the Pittsburg State track and field program.

In those seven years, he’s become a 2X All-American in long jump, won multiple MIAA conference championships – and has been a key to the Pittsburg State men’s track and field program consistently being one of the best in the country.

“He’s the reason our men are where they are, because of his leadership. You can’t replicate what he does for this program and you cannot replace it,” says PSU head coach Kyle Rutledge, “He’s a phenomenal person and a phenomenal young man. He’s an outstanding leader and his accolades speak for themselves. He’s an outstanding person and he’s going to be sorely missed.”

“It’s been a long time coming for me here at Pitt State,” Rollins adds, “This one means a lot. Finishing on top is the plan for us as a team, and for me as an individual as well.”

Rollins and the Gorillas will compete in the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships next week in Allendale, Michigan.

The Pitt State men are ranked #4 in the nation heading into nationals.

Rollins will compete with the Pitt State 4X100m relay team that is ranked 5th in the nation, and he’s currently #2 in the country in the 110m hurdles.

His time of 13.43 in the 110m hurdles is just .08 off the Division II all-time record, which was set by West Texas A&M’s Jahmaal Wilson just five days ago.

“We’re getting really close to this all-time Division II record. That’s something I have my eye one and it’s something I want to achieve,” Rollins says, “We’re getting closer and closer. Being able to cap off my career with a national title and a national record is the goal.”

“Just to know where he came from, how far he has come and what he’s had to do to get to this point – it would truly be a blessing,” Rutledge says on the possibility of Rollins claiming a national title in his final college competition, “I’m just honored to be a part of it. Hopefully I can help him along the way, but he’s done more for me and this program than I could ever do for him.”

The NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships will begin on May 26th in Allendale, Michigan. Pitt State has 29 qualified to compete in the national meet.

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Galena’s Sarwinski signs to Pitt State baseball

GALENA, Kan. – Galena High School standout Brett Sarwinski signed on Wednesday afternoon to continue his baseball career with Pittsburg State.

“Getting the opportunity to go play baseball for them is going to be a great experience for me,” Sarwinski says, “They really care about their players. They want them to succeed and they want the best for them. I feel like I’ll fit right in there when the time comes.”

It’s a familiar place for Sarwinski – whose two older brothers, PJ and Nick – currently play for the Pitt State football team.

“Growing up, I was always around Pitt State with my brothers playing there,” Sarwinski adds, “It’s awesome. It’s something I’ve thought about it a lot. Being a Gorilla is something I think I’ve really wanted to do for a long time now. I’ve always been there and it’s just a great atmosphere to go to. When you go there and visit with everyone, it just feels like you’re part of the family.”

Sarwinski will play on the infield for the Gorillas.

He’s an All-State baseball player for Galena High School, but he can do it all.

Sarwinski is a four-sport All-State athlete for the Bulldogs.

On the basketball court, Sarwinski is the 2X defending 3A Player of the Year. He’s also an All-State football player for Galena and was selected to play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl this summer.

Now, he’ll focus exclusively on baseball for coach Fornelli and the Gorillas.

“It was hard to choose. I love playing all sports,” he says on the decision to play college baseball, “When you get into one, you just start liking it the more you go. Now just focusing on one, it will be a different experience but I think I can handle it.”