Softball takes JayRock title for second-straight year

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the second time in as many years, the Kansas softball team earned bragging rights amongst the KU student-athlete community by winning the 12th annual JayRock Variety Show on Monday night. Coming in second was track and field, while the soccer and swimming and diving teams shared third place. This year’s theme was Children’s Movies for Children’s Mercy, where teams performed skits based around children’s movies of past and present.
Former volleyball student-athlete and current football staff member Catherine Carmichael, who was named Miss Kansas USA 2017, served as a host for the second-straight year and was joined by Miss Kansas Teen 2017 Malerie Moore as co-host. A three-judge panel made up of Anthony Travel Account Manager Patrick Laushman, Associate Director of Academic and Career Counseling Tamra Gibson and Senior Director of Compliance Khadian Kelly evaluated each performance to determine a winner, but a new layer to the points system was put in place this year.
 Track & Field’s take on “Toy Story” garnered second place at the 12th annual JayRock Variety Show.The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) conducted a penny wars competition in the week prior to the variety show to raise money for Children’s Mercy. Each team gained points by getting coins added to their penny jar, but lost points when dollar bills were added. The team with the most positive points at the end of the competition was awarded five points to their score at JayRock. Swimming and Diving tallied the most points in the Penny Wars competition and garnered five points to their total score, while softball earned three extra points to their JayRock total, and soccer tallied two points for finishing third in the penny wars. In total, $3,000 was raise to donate to Children’s Mercy.
Softball was last to perform in the variety show, but put on a spectacular performance based off “High School Musical.” A skit full of pageantry, the crowd fed off the softball team’s routine and became more active than it had all night, clapping along to the beats off the Disney Channel’s made-for-television movie.
Track and field wowed the crowd in the opening skit of the night, with a twist on popular Pixar picture, “Toy Story.” Opening the performance with Andy playing with all of his toys and action figures, the scene quickly switched when Andy left the room and the toys came to life. A sequence of popular hip-hop dance routines followed, starting with Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall’s “Juju On That Beat” leading into one of 2007’s biggest hits, “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy Tell’em. The performance ended when Andy came back on stage and the toys froze, before all walking off stage together to the movie’s theme song, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman.
In a tie for third, both soccer and swimming and diving teams did video tributes to popular Disney Movies. Soccer reenacted the opening to “Lion King” by matching the intro shot-for-shot. They supported their efforts by showing their creation simultaneously with the actual opening scene of the movie, with the movie’s theme “Circle of Life” playing in the background.
Swimming and diving also paid tribute to a Disney theme song, using their water skills to make a music video for “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid” from 1989. Using Robinson Natatorium as their stage, they clipped together shots from both above ground and under water to complete the tribute.
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. Softball has been one of the most successful teams in the show’s recent history, stringing together the two first-place finishes, adding a second-place finish in 2015, and sharing the title with baseball in 2013.  The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.