Softball Emerges as Victor in Hotly Contested JayRock
LAWRENCE, Kan. – It took a little less than 45 minutes for 11 acts to span more than 30 years of musical history before judges spent a relative decade to decide a winner of Monday night’s student-athlete talent show, JayRock. After 10 minutes of deliberation, KU’s softball team claimed top honors at the 11th annual event, edging women’s basketball (second) and volleyball (third). Kansas swimming and diving won “Fan Favorite” based on social media voting, as announced around noon Tuesday.
Ten different Kansas teams performed live acts in front of their peers inside Horejsi Family Athletics Center, and one performance was delivered via video, starting at 7 p.m., Monday night, shortly after a reception featuring light hors d’oeuvres. The annual event put on by KU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was a combination of hit shows So You Think You Can Dance and Lip Sync Battle with participating teams assigned to different decades.
Women’s BasketballThe softball team won with its eclectic portrayal of the 1990s, hitting different genres while featuring Garth Brooks, Celine Dion and Sir Mix A Lot.
“We love doing JayRock every year because we get the whole team involved,” junior pitcher and SAAC campus outreach chair Sophia Templin said. “This year we broke our team up by songs and had each group choreograph their own section. I think the girls really had a lot of fun getting creative and to see their hard work and crazy dance moves pay off was the cherry on top.
“This year, the entire team got involved and I think that’s why were were so excited to get first place. Everyone contributed and it was a great team-bonding event.”
The event’s highlights were abundant.
Women’s basketball received high praise from the judging panel – Carlos Ramirez (marketing and fan experience), Glenn Cain (strength and conditioning) and Kerry Benson (school of journalism and mass communications) – for its strong choreography, which featured 1980s moves like the worm and breakdancing by McKenzie Calvert.
Always a contender, volleyball fittingly entered their home court to a number proclaiming, ‘This is our house’ while former volleyball student-athlete and current football staff member Catherine Carmichael served as the show’s host.
Swimming and diving used a video intro to set up its Evolution of Dance: Justin Bieber number that featured four different Biebers from throughout the 2010s that concluded with a group dance.
Tennis’ video was also well-received and judges noted its excellent creativity, but only live performances are eligible for the team titles.
Rowing may have had one of the peak moments of the evening, when generally reserved rowing coach Rob Catloth loosely replicated Drake’s dance in recently popular hit song “Hotline Bling.” Rowing also creatively integrated its erg machines in its performance.
Since its inception in 2006, JayRock has steadily gained momentum as one of the best things about being a Jayhawk. For the first three years, the bragging rights for JayRock victory were contained within the confines of Kansas Athletics.
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