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Rovelto Hoping for Top 10 Finish

By Mark Janssen    

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It hasn't been since 1993 that Kansas State's track and field team last placed in the Top 10 at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

With a "solid meet" today and Saturday, Wildcat coach Cliff Rovelto says, "We could be in the Top 10."

Normally, 20 points gets a team in the Top 10, which Rovelto says, "That takes two guys placing high ... in the top three, and then a couple of other guys picking up a few points."

K-State was 11th in 2006 with 17 points and eighth in 1993 with 16 points for the most recent elite finishes.

K-Sate will have a cast of five men and two women in this year's competition that will take place at Texas A&M University.

"The competition will be unbelievably difficult," said Rovelto. "I would guess nearly half of the athletes come from the SEC and the Big 12, and I know that not more than 25 or so schools have as many as five athletes in the meet.

"You're talking about guys having to run 6.65 in the 60, 20.96 in the 200, 46.39 in the 400 and 3:59.03 in the mile just to get into the meet," said Rovelto. "There are 16 high jumpers in the field who have all cleared 7-2.25. You have great, great international athletes at the meet, so it truly is the best of the best from the world."

WILDCATS OFF TO NCAAS: (Comments from Cliff Rovelto)
ERIK KYNARD, Toledo, Ohio - High jump: 7-7.75 ... 1st in NCAA, 2nd in USA, 3rd in world, has not lost a meet this year, 11th at 2010 NCAA Indoor
"Erik's training has been great and he's physically prepared, but even though he's ranked No. 1, he has to go to his meet and prove it. There are two guys (Derek Drouin of Indiana and Ricky Robertson of Ole Miss) who have consistently jumped high, and there are five or six other guys who have jumped 7-4.50, which means they are also capable of winning it."

NINA KOKOT, Slovenia - Long jump: 21-1.25 ... 6th in NCAA, holds school record, 12th at 2010 NCAA Indoor
"Nina has jumped very consistently from meet to meet, but has been somewhat inconsistent within meets. She can score, but the key for her is getting off a good jump early and not have several fouls."

MANTAS SILKAUSKAS, Lithuania - Heptathlon: 5,751 points ... 6th in NCAA, 3rd at Big 12, 3rd in school history, 14th at 2010 NCAA Indoor

MORITZ CLEVE, Germany - Heptathlon: 5,695 points ... 10th in NCAA, 4th at Big 12, 5th at 2009 NCAA Indoor
"The field is the best it has ever been in the heptathlon. It took 5,671 to get in and I can't remember a recent competition that a score like that wouldn't have scored. Maybe at the top end it isn't the strongest, but the depth is the best it has ever been. There's a guy in the meet that has been a runner-up before, but is ranked just 15th this year. There is literally just 145 points between second and 16th, and that's not much."

RYANN KRAIS, Pennsylvania - Pentathlon: 4,021 points ... 8th in NCAA, 2nd at Big 12 Indoor, 10th at 2010 NCAA Indoor while at UCLA
"Ryann can be in a mix of five or six girls who could easily flip-flop anywhere from third to sixth or seventh. I think she's ready to score higher than she has this year."

JEFFREY JULMIS, Florida - 60 meter hurdles: 7.72 ... 5th in NCAA, school record holder
"It's a race where most of the guys in the field could be in the finals, or be close to last. It's that balanced. The slowest time to get in the meet was 7.75 and there are eight of those. One of those guys could be last and another make the finals."

MARTYNAS JURGILAS, Lithuania - 60 meters: 6.65 ... 15th in NCAA, 2nd in school history
"It's the same in the 60 where it took a 6.65 to get in. Two or three guys may be clearly better, but there are 14 others all with the ability to score on that given day."



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