By Mark Janssen
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State track and field coach Cliff Rovelto said his Wildcats "... did a little bit better on both sides than what we had written down heading into the meet."
K-State placed eighth (35 points) in the women's division and ninth (42.5) in the men's portion of the Big 12 Indoor Championships that were staged Friday and Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.
The Wildcats had one gold medalist in Erik Kynard, who sailed over the bar at 7-4.25 in the high jump.
"That was his first conference win, so it was exciting for him in a competition that had two or three other very quality jumpers," said Rovelto. "He handled the environment very well and was very much under control."
K-State had automatic NCAA qualifiers in the heptathlon, as Mantas Silkauskas was third and Moritz Cleve fourth with respective totals of 5,751 and 5,698. Silkauskas' total ranks third-highest in school history.
"That was a couple hundred point PR and he had a strong meet throughout highlighted by a 14-1 pole vault," said Rovelto. "Mo was sub-par in the long jump, but battled back and high jumped 6-6.75, which was a really, really big improvement for him.
"All said and done, both were automatic qualifiers," said Rovelto.
In addition, Tomas Mirielius was 10th with a personal record by nearly 300 points at 5,127.
Another highlight came in the distance medley where the Wildcats ran second in 9:49.23 with Kyle Hanson (1200), Ben Love (400), Jacob Davies (800) and Adam Porter (1600).
"That type of finish wasn't expected," said Rovelto. "All four guys ran well. It was certainly the surprise of the meet for us."
Other high finishes on the track had Jeffrey Julmis third in the 60-hurdles in a PR clocking of 7.78, and Sam James third in the 800 with a PR of 1:50.16, which is the fourth fastest time in school history.
Julmis was sidelined with summer surgery, followed by a blood clot in December making his finish, in Rovelto's words, "A borderline miracle."
With James, Rovelto said, "I'm not surprised by his time, but somewhat surprised he finished that high. He did a great job."
Eighth-place finishes came from Tomaz Bogovic in the weight throw (58-1) and Michael Healey in the high jump (6-9).
Ryann Krais was the highest female placer with a second in the pentathlon at 4,009, while Nina Kokot long jumped 20-9 for a third-place finish.
"Ryann was solid. That's one of her top three scores," said Rovelto. "Her long jump was subpar, but she came back and won the 800 by nearly 10 seconds."
A third on the track came from Boglarka Bozzay in the 1,000 (2:47.81), and a fifth from Martina Tresch in the 3,000 (9:24.91) in a 10-second PR and the fourth fastest time in school history.
"That was really a significant improvement and a great run for Martina," said Rovelto.
Running sixth in the hurdles was Denise Baker with a time of 8.46 after breezing through the distance in the prelims in 8.33.
"She was dead last out of her start, but finished well," said Rovelto. "She's had a phenomenal season. Had you told me you could have three points in the event at the beginning of the year, I would have taken it in a heartbeat."
Rounding out the placers were Meghan Heuer sixth in the mile (4:54.20), plus Ali Pistora sixth in the weight (59-4 ¼) and Chelsie Bonds (58-8 ¾) seventh in the weight.
Five Wildcats are automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championships in two weeks at Texas A&M. That's Kynard in the high jump, Kokot in the long jump, plus multi-eventers Krais, Cleve and Silkauskas.
Thomas Still Slowed
Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas continues to fight a nagging hamstring injury and did not run at this past weekend's NFL Combine. The injury also forced Thomas to miss the Senior Bowl last month.
Thomas said he hoped to be able to run for NFL scouts on K-State's "Pro Day" on March 15.
ESPN's draft gurus have Thomas as the No. 2 running back on the draft board, only behind 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram of Alabama.
While listed at 6-foot-2, 228 pounds at K-State, Thomas measured only 6-0 ¼ inch and 230 pounds at the Combine.
All Sorts of Season Football Ticket Availabilities
Kansas State has announced a variety of ticket packages for the seven-game 2011 home Wildcat schedule, which includes a pair of preseason Top 10 teams in Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
"I sincerely appreciate our fans and what they have meant to our program and Kansas State University," said head coach Bill Snyder. "Their loyal and caring support has been the foundation upon which this program was built, and their relationship with Kansas State football will continue to enhance our overall development."
The 2011 per-game cost of season tickets is $2 to $5 less than last season, depending on location. Public season bench seating in Bill Snyder Family Stadium is priced at $320, which is $4 less per game than last year, while chairback seating is $355 or $51 per game. Prices for K-State faculty/staff are $255 for bench and $285 for chairback - a $4 per-game savings from 2010.
"A significant element of our commitment to the best fan experience in the Big 12 is to provide our fans with different price levels and options and allow for early planning and budgeting for the upcoming season," said Currie. "Coming off our appearance in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl and record attendance figures in 2010, the anticipation is high for the 2011 football season as we move forward with a new and exciting Big 12 Conference."
• Fans renewing their season tickets before April 1 can split the cost into five equal payments. If received after April 1, four equal payments.
• A Young Alumni ticket is available for $195 for K-State undergraduates.
• A four-pack season-ticket option is available in the north end zone for $599 if purchased prior to April 29. This opportunity was sold out last year.
• East-side View Level four-packs, which included reserved seats in Sections 420 or 430 can be purchased for $599 prior to April 29. From May 1-31 the cost will be $699.
• Single season tickets in the north end zone or View Level Sections 420 and 430 are available for $210.
• Returning in 2011 are several mini-packages of $85 which includes one ticket for the Iowa State game, plus one from either the Missouri, Oklahoma or Texas A&M games.
Single-game tickets will go on sale to the general public online at k-statesports.com beginning June 6 and will feature numerous options and price levels, beginning with the third-annual K-State Family Reunion against Eastern Kentucky. Bowl/sideline level seating will be priced at $35 for the Eastern Kentucky and Kent State contests, while View Level seats are $20.
Tickets for the Baylor and Iowa State games are priced at $55 (bowl/sideline) and $35 (View Level), while the Missouri and Texas A&M games will be $65 (bowl/sideline) and $50 (View Level). All seats for the Oklahoma game are priced at $65. Alumni Association members can purchase a ticket to the Oklahoma game for just $40 if ordered prior to September 1.
Other single-game four-pack options and group discounts are also available for the Eastern Kentucky, Kent State, Baylor, Missouri, Texas A&M and Iowa State matchups.
Also, the 2011 Purple/White spring game is set for April 30 with tickets going on sale April 1. All seats are $5 and may be purchased online or at the K-State Athletics Ticket Office.
For more information regarding tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS or visit www.k-statesports.com. A copy of the 2011 ticket brochure is also available online at k-statesports.com.