Jones, Bryan Shine on Day Three of NCAA Championships

Friday ResultsDay 1 Heptathlon Results  

EUGENE, Ore. – Senior
Akela Jones posted a dominant first day in the heptathlon, while sophomoreChristoff Bryan posted a scoring performance in the men’s high jump as the third day of competition came to a close in front of 12,244 fans at Hayward Field on Friday. 

The men finished the competition tied for 26th place with nine points, while the women remain tied for eighth place with eight points heading into their final day of competition. Florida won the overall men’s competition with a final score of 62 points.

Jones opened the heptathlon in impressive fashion, running her second-fastest time of the season in the 100 meter hurdles with a mark of 13.10 (1.4) to finish in second place overall in the event for 1,109 points. She then pulled within three points of the lead after tying for first place in the high jump with a mark of 1.81m/5-11.25. 

The senior then took the outright lead in the heptathlon in the third event of the day after a monster throw of 14.75m/48-04.75 in the shot put on her final attempt, earning 844 points. The mark, which was just 10 centimeters short of her personal best of 14.85m/48-08.75, pushed her to 2,944 points. 

She concluded the first day in the 200 meter dash, winning the race with a time of 23.73 (0.2) for 1,007 points. Her third-straight victory of the day in the event would give her a first day score of 3,951 points, 141 points ahead of Georgia’s Kendell Williams.

"I was pleased with the hurdles and shot put result," head coach
Cliff Rovelto said about Jones. "The 200 meter dash was not bad. We also have not really high jumped for five weeks due to the ankle so that was very rusty."

Bryan also had an outstanding day, finishing in second place in the men’s high jump with a final mark of 2.22m/7-03.25. It was the second-best jump of the season for Bryan and the best jump and finish by a Wildcat at NCAAs since Erik Kynard in 2013. His efforts earned him eight points in the meet and First Team All-American honors in the event. 

Jumping in his first NCAA Championships meet, sophomore Thilina Karunaratne finished tied for 18th place, clearing 2.09m/6-10.25 on his second attempt before missing all three jumps at 2.14m/7-00.25. He would go on to earn Honorable Mention All-American honors.

"Christoff did a nice job," Rovelto added. "He is getting closer to running the approach how we want which will lead to more consistency, particulary when the bar gets high. Thilina did fine for his first NCAA meet. He too is starting to figure things out." 

Competition resumes at 1:30 p.m. CT on Saturday when Jones competes in the final three events in the heptathlon. Senior Kim Williamson competes in the women’s high jump at 5:00 p.m. CT before freshman Shadae Lawrence concludes the meet at 5:05 p.m. CT in the women’s discus throw. 

For more information on the NCAA Championships, including results, heats sheets and the meet schedule, visit the meet home page by clicking here. Live results for the meet can be found by following @kstate_gameday on Twitter or by tuning into the live results here

For the latest on K-State track and field, follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter using the hashtag #KStateTF or on the team’s Facebook page. 

NCAA Championships
Hayward Field
Eugene, Ore.

Men’s High Jump
2. Christoff Bryan – 2.22m/7-03.25
T18. Thilina Karunaratne – 2.09m/6-10.25

Heptathlon 100 Meter Hurdles
2. Akela Jones – 13.10 (1.4) (1109 pts.)

Heptathlon High Jump

1. Akela Jones – 1.81m/5-11.75 (991 pts.)

Heptathlon Shot Put
1. Akela Jones – 14.75m/48-04.75 (844 pts.)

Heptathlon 200 Meter Dash
1. Akela Jones – 23.73 (0.2) (1007 pts.)

Heptathlon Day 1 Results
1. Akela Jones – 3,951 pts.