Krais Wins Big 12 Pentathlon, Murphy Sets Irish Record

Ryann Krais

Feb. 24, 2012


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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – On the first day of the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Kansas State Wildcats tallied one title and one national record to open the meet on a strong note. Senior Ryann Krais took gold in the women’s pentathlon scoring 4,079 points over the five events while senior transfer Mairead Murphy had her best performance in the pentathlon finishing third with her score of 3,934 points. Murphy’s mark is a new national record for her native Ireland.

“All together, I think I put together an OK performance. There were no super events, and I'm slightly disappointed in how I handled some of them, and I think there's a lot left in the 800,” Krais said of her victory. “It was definitely a fun day, though, and that's the most important thing right now and then getting ready for NCAA's.”

With a smile on her face, Murphy was pleased with her record-breaking performance and personal records in the final two events of the pentathlon but knows there is still room for improvement.

“I'm so delighted. I broke my old coach's record. As all multis do, you focus on the one bad event instead of all the positives,” Murphy said. “It was a good day. If every event of the five events were all good, it would be a miracle. I'm glad I was able to come out in the long jump and 800 like I did after the high jump. If I didn't PR in those events, I wouldn't have got the national record."

K-State’s women are in fourth after six scored events with a total of 27 points. Kansas leads with 52 points overall. The Wildcat men stand in fifth place with 20 points after five events. The Texas Longhorns lead with 39.50 points.

“The big thing is we don’t have as many people to qualify for the finals on Saturday,” said K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto, “but when most of those you do enter do qualify, it’s good. We had one girl in the hurdles, and hoped she would be in the final, and she is. We had one in the 1,000, and she’s in the final.”

The Wildcats came out strong in the men’s multi-event as well with a trio in contention to make the top eight on Saturday after the first four events today. Tomas Kirielius used the top marks in the shot put and high jump to catapult up the standings into third with 2,978 points. He tied his personal best in the high jump at 2.04 meters (6-08.25). Devin Dick also had impressive numbers in the shot put and high jump to stand fourth with his Day 1 total of 2,953 points. Tony Granillo had his best marks of the season in the 60 meters, shot put and high jump to put himself in seventh with 2,837 points.

A total of 11 Wildcats competed in field events on Friday with the weight throw, pole vault and long jump contested, and eight of those Wildcats finished in the top eight to score points toward the team totals.

The Wildcats made an impact in the long jump as well for both the men and women. After finishing 10th in the pentathlon, Farley competed in the open long jump and came away in sixth with her leap of 5.72 meters (18-09.25). Twiss jumped 5.70 meters (18-08.50) on her third attempt to finish seventh overall. The two Wildcats combined to give K-State five points in the event.

Silkauskas qualified for the final in the 60 meter hurdles earlier in the day, and he nearly pulled off an upset in the long jump. On his fifth attempt, Silkauskas jumped 7.68 meters (25-02.50) to move into the lead over Marquise Goodwin of Texas by six centimeters. Goodwin won last year’s Big 12 title and finished third at the NCAA Championship with jumps over 26 feet. On his final attempt, Goodwin was able to return the favor and surpass Silkauskas by six centimeters. Goodwin won the event with a mark of 7.74 meters (25-04.75). Silkauskas’ jump was a new PR and ranks 12th in the NCAA this season.

“The heptathlon guys did a nice job. They all high jumped great, and put us in a position to score more points than we projected there,” Rovelto said. “With that said, I think the decision to not put Mantas in the heptathlon and put him in the open long jump and hurdles has paid off. I didn’t project him to finish second and score eight points. He jumped what I thought he can jump, but based on the performance list, I ranked him at eighth. We have a chance to score a lot of points tomorrow.”

The pair of Kyle Wait and Cameron Savage took on the field in the pole vault a week after they each set new PR’s. Wait cleared the second bar of the competition at 5.00 meters (16-04.75) to finish sixth and contribute three points to the team score. Savage could not clear the opening height of 15-11.00 in his first Big 12 Championship meet.

K-State took advantage of its depth in the weight throw for both the men and women, scoring multiple Wildcats in each field. Tomaz Bogovic led the way for the men finishing fourth with his throw of 18.72 meters (61-05.00). The mark was a new personal best for Bogovic and holds his spot at No. 8 on the K-State list all-time. Junior college transfer Chris Gattman took eighth place with his distance of 17.55 meters (57-07.00). Ryan Johnson came in 13th for the men.

In the women’s weight throw the tandem of Chelsie Bonds and Jessica Carter provided points for the team. Bonds finished fifth with her toss of 18.13 meters (59-06.00), and Carter claimed eighth at 17.57 meters (57-07.75). Senior Ali Pistora finished 15th in her last competition as a Wildcat.

In preliminary heats on the track, the Wildcats had five men and one woman advance to finals on Saturday. K-State’s hurdlers showed strong with Jeffrey Julmis running the fastest time of the prelims, clocking in at a season-best 7.76 seconds. Mantas Silkauskas finished third in his heat to automatically qualify with his time of 7.93 seconds. Freshman Tarique Hill did not reach the final finishing 12th in 8.37 seconds. There were not preliminary heats in the women’s hurdles with only eight entrants. That automatically puts redshirt freshman Erica Twiss in the final Saturday.

The Wildcats had newcomer Carlos Rodriguez advance to the final in his first Big 12 Championship action. He was the first time qualifier in the 60 meter dash clocking in at 6.80 seconds. Senior Martynas Jurgilas missed the final running 6.98 seconds to finish 16th overall, and freshman Dane Steen ran 7.09 to finish 18th. In the women’s sprints, Samantha McKnight finished 18th in her first Big 12 Championship action crossing the finish line in 7.69 seconds.

Making her Big 12 Championship debut, freshman Sarah Kolmer ran in the 600 yards for just the second time and improved her time by 1.52 seconds. See finished 11th overall and missed making the final by less than a second.

K-State continued its success in the mid-distance events this season going with Boglarka Bozzay running the fastest preliminary time in the 1,000 meters clocking in at 2:48.10, just off her personal best time. Kyle Hanson ran his personal best time of 2:24.80 to grab the last spot in the final. His time also ranks fifth in school history. Armando Del Valle just missed the final finishing in ninth and crossing the line in 2:25.27. Jacob Davies gave the Wildcats another finalist in the men’s 800 meters as he finished third in his heat to automatically qualify with his time of 1:52.29.

In her first Big 12 meet, freshman Laura Galvan finished eighth in the 5,000 meters to give the women’s team another point. She overcame Erin Hegarty from Baylor and Missouri’s Kinsey Farren on the last lap to move up into scoring position and make the podium.

To close the night, the men’s distance medley relay team of Del Valle, Luke Hibbeler, Hanson and Ryan Hershner finished sixth. The Wildcats clocked in at 9:49.76 to rank fourth in school history. Del Valle pushed his way into second when he handed the baton to Hibbeler, and Hibbeler was in third when Hanson received the baton to run the 800-meter leg. Hanson moved into second and was overtaken on the final 50 meters when he handed to Hershner for the mile anchor leg. Hershner dropped back to ninth to preserve energy and kick late. With 100 meters to go, Hershner turned it on and moved up into sixth on the final turn and straightaway. The Wildcats entered the championship ranked ninth in the conference.

The Big 12 Championships conclude Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. from Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. The final three events of the heptathlon will determine this year’s champion with Kirielius, Dick and Granillo fighting for position. Field events start at 3 p.m. as well with Erik Kynard and Alyx Treasure both entering their respective high jump competitions ranked No. 1 in the conference. Live video is being provided at throughout the meet.