Cessna Stadium is the site for the American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championship this weekend and we talk to Wichita State sprinter Paula Garcia and multi-athlete Maria Romero about home-court advantage and the best events to watch. We also talk about the pipeline from Spain to Wichita that has produced several standouts, the differences between athletics in Europe and the United States and their advice for young athletes. We discuss their majors, Romero’s participation in the Widener Global Leaders Program and Garcia’s book recommendations.
Ryan Horn is the new strength and conditioning coach at Wichita State. He will oversee the department and work with men’s basketball. We discuss his path from football fullback to his profession, one that includes a chat at a Kentucky football camp, a talk with his dad and injuries. He discusses his love language with athletes, how he plans to coach them with relentless positivity and high expectations and how building relationships is the most important part of his job. He reveals his favorite movie and the importance of selecting the musical playlist for workouts.
ESPN+ broadcaster Steve Strain previews this weekend’s UCF-Wichita State softball clash at Wilkins Stadium. We talk about how the Knights use their speed and pitching, how the Shockers counter with power hitting and what this series means to the big picture. We also discuss the improvement in the Shockers pitching staff and how hitters such as Neleigh Herring. Zoe Jones and Lauren Lucas are crucial to the success. Steve talks about his impressions of Wichita State’s dynamic top-of-the-order hitters Sydney McKinney and Addison Barnard.
Coach Chris Lamb joins the podcast to wrap up spring practices. He discusses what the Shockers learned from scrimmages against schools such as Kansas, Colorado State, Kansas State and Oklahoma. He talks about experimenting with middle Natalie Foster, Sophie Childs’ progress and Brylee Kelly’s growth in the back row. We wrap up by talking about the hungry attitude he wants to see from the Shockers in the fall.
Hammer thrower Michael Bryan, a two-time NCAA All-American, joins the podcast to talk about his path from lightly recruited high school football player to Wichita State record-holder. He discusses how his love for the hammer grew into a research project and why a school-closing snow storm won’t keep him from throwing outdoors in January. He breaks down the “jar of pennies” philosophy that guides his school and training and the music of Sam Cooke helps him during practices.
The topic is spring volleyball, in which the Shockers are doing their typical experimenting and polishing. Associate head coach Sean Carter updates the goal of growing into the best defensive team in the American Athletic Conference, Brylee Kelly’s work as a six-rotation player and Natalie Foster’s changing roles. We talk about the chemistry that helped last season’s success and the mindset that coaches want to see from the Shockers in the fall. On Aprll 9, the Shockers play at Koch Arena with Air Force, Missouri State, Oklahoma and Tulsa scheduled to participate.
Wichita State softball coach Kristi Bredbenner joins us after win No. 300 brings her within 11 wins of passing Jim Maynard as the program’s winningest coach. We get nostalgic over the 2014 team that won the team’s first MVC title, weird injuries and first baseman Cacy Williams’ influence on those early years. Bredbenner tells us how former Wichita State senior associate athletic director Becky Endicott sent a secret emissary to gauge her interest in the job in 2011. We also talk about how advice from her father helped during tough times and detail her biggest wins and two regrets.
Junior infielder Sawyre Thornhill joins the podcast to talk about how the Shockers stayed together and rallied after a tough start to the season. He talks about his one superstition during a hitting streak, how COVID-19 changed his college plans and how he ended up starting in left field. He discusses his love for deer hunting, which Shocker teammate is the best basketball player and why shortstop Carlos Correa is his favorite baseball player.
Wichita State competes in the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships this weekend in Birmingham, Ala. John Wise, assistant director of track and field and cross country, talks about Wichita State’s Destiny Masters (pentathlon), Adam Moore (mile), Michael Bryan (weight throw) and Amanda Kakoulias (shot put) and how they stack up in the conference meet. We discuss the best opportunities for the Shockers to grab unexpected points and the quirky habits of throwers. Also on the schedule is a look at how the American’s changing membership affects track and field recruiting and a look at Wise’s YouTube series “Travel with a Wise Guy,” highlighted by a discussion of Joyland’s place in Wichita pop culture.
Wichita State pitchers Spencer Hynes and Connor Holden talk about upcoming season with topics ranging from uniform choices to Major League role models to advice for their freshmen selves. Hynes discusses his love for rodeo and Holden talks about his time as a middle blocker in volleyball. They reveal some of the newcomers fans should watch as the Shockers get started this weekend and their thoughts on pitcher Jace Kaminska following up his strong freshman season.