The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Several K-State track and field athletes train for Olympics

Wildcat throwers and sprinters prepare for the chance to represent their countries in the Olympics
Cole Deutschendorf
Twins Eugene and Jaimie Omalla warm up prior to practice. The brothers, who hail from Uganda, make up part of K-State’s record breaking 4×400 relay team.

Every four years, the Summer Olympics return to television sets around the world, with over 200 countries represented. The world comes together to watch athletes compete at the highest level, yearning to bring home hardware in events ranging from table tennis to water polo.

As the outdoor track and field season begins in Manhattan, some athletes on Kansas State’s track and field team look beyond collegiate competition.

“I would like to maybe make a world team or maybe an Olympic team a couple of years down the road,” thrower Kade McCall said.

McCall established himself as one of the best throwers in K-State history, with school records in the weight throw and the hammer throw. In his junior season, he earned second-team All-American honors for the second time in his career at the NCAA championships.

McCall’s dominance stems from his professional mindset in practices. 

“I think that coach Watson makes it so we’re training like pro athletes,” McCall said. “And if you train like a pro, you can become a pro.”

Tamaiah Koonce, a sophomore hailing from Miami, is a fellow thrower with hopes of representing the U.S. in the Olympics. In a return to her hometown at the Hurricane Invitational, Koonce set a personal best en route to a 4th place finish.

Koonce has a similar mindset to McCall when it comes to training goals.

“I definitely train hard, and train with the intention every day knowing that I want to be on the next level,” Koonce said. “If I want to be with the best, I have to train like the best.” 

Outside of the throwers, twin brother sprinters Jaimie and Eugene Omalla turned eyes with their blazing speed, both individually and as a part of the 4×400 team. The Ugandan brothers have competed together for the entirety of their collegiate careers, both with goals to represent their home country.

“We have the Olympics coming up this year, so that’s kind of my number one goal, just looking at making it to the Olympics, running there,” Eugene Omalla said.

The twins contributed to the 4×400 team who set an indoor school record at the DeLoss Dodds Invitational with a 3:04.84 time. They both earned second-team All-American honors at this year’s indoor NCAA Championship, placing 10th.

Eugene has high confidence heading into the outdoor season. 

“I’m not going to put a time on it … but there are some special things waiting for outdoors,” Eugene Omalla said.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Cole Deutschendorf
Cole Deutschendorf, page design chief
Page design chief for 2023-24.
More to Discover
Donate to Kansas State Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Kansas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to Kansas State Collegian

Comments (0)

All Kansas State Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *