Fall 2017

Sports Briefs

Shockers Cheer on the Navy Mids in Golden Hurricane Country

A busload of Shockers traveled to Tulsa for the Golden Hurricane vs. Navy Midshipmen football game on Sept. 30, when Navy came away with the American Athletic Conference contest win, 31-21. “We heard such great things about the WSU support of Navy at the Tulsa game,” reports Kristen Pironis, vice president, Enterprise Communication, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation. “We loved the connection — and the win!”

Hosted by the WSU Alumni Association, the day-trip was the result of an invitation from Navy for Wichita State to become fans of Navy football, since Navy is a football-only and WSU a basketball-only member of The American conference. “As the newest member of The American, Wichita State responded to an invitiation from Navy and has ‘adopted’ the Navy Midshipmen as our football team,” explains Courtney M. Marshall, president and CEO of the WSUAA. “And we had a blast in Tulsa cheering on the Mids. On the bus to the game, we had many Navy veterans travel with us, as well as two young men who have recently enlisted. John Doswell also joined us. He’s a Navy veteran and the state of Kansas recruiter for the Naval Academy. It was John who taught us the Navy fight songs on the bus!”

At the game, Shocker travelers sat in the Navy fan section at Skelly Field-H.A. Chapman Stadium. Prior to kick-off, they attended a tailgate party hosted by the Oklahoma Naval Academy Parents’ Club at the Reynolds Center, located adjacent to the stadium. “At the pregame rally,” Marshall reports, “we newcomer Navy fans were really overwhelmed with the welcome and acceptance we received — that really cemented our support for Navy football.

“Go, Navy!

Men’s Golfer Ihrig Earns KGA Honor

Gage Ihrig, a senior on Wichita State’s men’s golf team, was named the 2017 Kansas Golf Association Golfer of the Year after his unprecedented performance in summer tournaments across the state.

Ihrig, from Goodland, Kan., became the first golfer to win the KGA’s annual stroke-play and match-play championships. In June, Ihrig came from behind to win The Railer, a 54-hole tournament at Newton’s Sand Creek Station Golf Course. He then won the 107th Kansas Amateur in July at Kansas City Country Club, defeating Oklahoma State golfer Sam Stevens in the match-play final. With the victory, Ihrig joined a list of champions that includes WSU men’s coach Grier Jones.

New Practice Facility Benefits WSU Golfers

Wichita State’s golf teams unveiled a new 3,400-square-foot indoor practice facility Oct. 25 at Willowbend Golf Club, home to Shocker men’s and women’s golf since the closure of Braeburn Golf Course in 2014.

The structure features an indoor putting green that allows both long and sloped putts, and a hitting bay onto the driving range that allows for year-round practice. Cameras inside the facility will let coaches view and analyze golfers’ swings. A team lounge provides space for student-athletes to relax, and another area is dedicated to school work. The facility was a joint venture between WSU athletics, Willowbend owner and professional golfer Woody Austin and his family, and club members.

—WSU Sports Information

Shockers in Top 15 At NYC Marathon

Former Wichita State cross country and track and field athletes Kellyn Taylor, shown above, and Aliphine Tuliamuk placed in the top 15 of the women’s division in the New York City Marathon in early November.

Taylor completed the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 56 seconds to finish eighth overall and was the third American woman to cross the line. Tuliamak posted a time of 2:33:18 to finish 13th and was the fifth American. U.S. runner Shalane Flanagan won the race in 2:26:53.

Taylor competed at WSU from 2004-09, winning Missouri Valley indoor and outdoor track titles in each of her last three seasons. She was a 2009 NCAA indoor All-American in the mile. Tuliamak won the 2011 MVC cross country championship and earned All-America honors at the 2011 and 2012 NCAA meet. After winning the NCAA Midwest Regional in 2011, Tuliamak was named the Midwest Region Women’s Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association.

– WSU Sports Information

Basketball Exhibition Nets $45K for Relief

Wichita State’s final men’s basketball exhibition game against Newman University on Nov. 6 raised $45,000 for the American Red Cross to go toward recent hurricane and other disaster relief efforts.

The two Wichita schools joined others across the country in donating proceeds from exhibitions after a series of hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate — battered areas of the southern United States, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean during the 2017 storm season.

“The generosity of Wichitans never ceases to amaze me,” Shocker athletic director Darron Boatright says. “We’re grateful to the 5,300-plus fans who showed up, on short notice, to cheer on the Shockers and Jets and support a very worthy cause.”


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