Kansas Student Athletes Showcase Talents at JayRock Competition

Jan. 22, 2010


Crowded into the Kansas Union Ballroom, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) put on another memorable night of JayRock performances in its fifth year of existence and largest participation yet.

Assistant Athletics Director Mike Harrity, who serves as the SAAC advisor, said that more than 500 student athletes and administrators were in attendance for the 2010 JayRock talent competition Thursday evening.

Track and field athlete Keith Hayes said that because JayRock keeps getting bigger, the team tries to do something “bigger and better” each year to top the previous year’s skit.

“The sports here at a Division I college consume your whole day, so to get everyone together, have fun, kick back, dance and act crazy, it’s real fun,” Hayes said.

Hayes also said even though the competition is just for fun, he could see everyone’s competitiveness at its best.

“Everybody is hungry to win,” Hayes said. “You do it for fun, but deep down everybody wants to win.”

Women’s golfer Alyssa Rainbolt and football player Brad Thorson, emcees for the SAAC event, introduced the guest judges, the skits and kept the crowd entertained between the unique performances.

The guest judges for the night included Associate Athletics Director Lori Williams, former SAAC Executive Board member and member of the Swimming and Diving “Best Overall Skit” of 2009, Hannah McMacken, and former SAAC Executive Board member and current linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, Mike Rivera.

After 10 entertaining skits, some of which were performed live and some of which were filmed, the guest judges had the courage, heart and the brains to crown a new JayRock champion for best overall performance. The Kansas softball team’s rendition of the Wizard of Oz, “There’s No Place Like Arrocha,” named after their home ballpark, claimed the first place prize and bragging rights for the year. “There’s No Place Like Arrocha” was performed live on stage with a blend of acting, Wizard of Oz film clips and choreographed dancing.

Track and Field’s live “Glee” performance earned it the second place trophy and finishing out the top three was Baseball, which undoubtedly provided laughter and a guarantee that its “Party in the U.S.A.” video would make its way to YouTube.

Athletics Director Lew Perkins presented the awards and said if he had his way, everyone would have won first place.

“We compete at the highest level in all of our sports, we compete academically at the highest level, but tonight out of all the things that we do, it [JayRock] is my most favorite,” Perkins said. “I want to thank you all for being Jayhawks and I thank you for being part of my life.”

Witnessing her second JayRock competition, track and field athlete Claire Christie, said she loved being able to get together and joke around in competition with the athletes from other competing sports.

“Everyone here is super supportive of everyone else,” said Christie. “The athletics department makes everything happen for us athletes. Everyone is really intense on the field and on the court and then coming out here, I absolutely love it.”

As a newcomer to the JayRock experience, softball player Alex Jones said it was awesome to see an event like this and the preparation after softball practices was worth it.

“It was another team bonding experience,” Jones said. “I don’t remember a [JayRock] practice that we probably weren’t falling on the ground laughing.”

The night celebrating hard work, athletics, talent and the camaraderie between sports came to an end with teams looking forward to next year’s competition and another night of humorous skits.