Combined-Athletes Shine on Day 1 at Big 12's

Ryann Krais

Feb. 25, 2011


LINCOLN, Neb. – The first day of the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championships was a strong one for the Kansas State Wildcats at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Ryann Krais finished second in the pentathlon to give the women’s team an early eight points. A trio of Wildcats shined in the men’s combined events with Mantas Silkauskas leading the way after the first four events, and a handful of ‘Cats advanced to finals in running events.

Silkauskas put together one of the more impressive first days of a men’s heptathlon in school history on Friday. He blazed past the field in the 60 meter dash to open the competition crossing the line in 6.74 seconds for a new personal record and the fastest time in school history in a heptathlon. He followed that with the best long jump in a heptathlon in K-State history with his leap of 24-03.50. He ended the day in the lead with 3,301 points with the final three events on Saturday.

He was not the only Wildcat to shine in the heptathlon, however. Moritz Cleve and Tomas Kirielius both competed strong to give K-State three athletes threatening to make the podium on Saturday. Kirielius posted PRs in all four events to find himself in fourth after the opening day with 3,097 points. Cleve posted a new PR in the high jump leaping 6-06.75 and stands in sixth with 3,061 points.

Krais hovered in the top five of the pentathlon throughout the competition as she ran 8.73 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles to open. She found herself in fourth place heading into the final event, one of her strongest, needing to make a move on the track to move up the leader board. Krais blew the field away winning the 800 meters by nearly 10 full seconds to shoot all the way up to second place with her final score 4,009 points. She scored 934 points in the 800 meters with her new personal best time of 2:12.13, the fastest time in school history in a pentathlon.

In the field events, Nina Kokot led the way for the Wildcats on Friday finishing third in the women’s long jump with her leap of 20-09.00. Kokot struggled early and was able to grab the final spot in the final at eighth place after three jumps. She then made her jump of 20-09.00 on her fifth attempt to stand in second. On the final jump of the competition, Chantel Malone from Texas tied Nebraska’s Mara Griva at 20-10.00 with Griva winning based on second-best jump.

K-State had a large group competing in the men’s and women’s weight throw events and again earned points. Tomaz Bogovic finished eighth for the men’s squad with his throw of 58-01.00. The women were led by Ali Pistora finishing sixth with her throw of 59-04.25 for a new personal record and ninth in school history. It marks the fifth time this season she has tied or improved her PR. Chelsie Bonds also scored in the top eight for the Wildcats finishing in seventh with her throw of 58-08.75.

On the track, Meghan Heuer was the first Wildcat to advance through preliminaries winning her heat in the mile run with a new personal record of 4:48.78. Her time also ranks ninth in school history. K-State then advanced both hurdlers entered in the competition with Denise Baker finishing second in her heat at 8.33 seconds, and Jeffrey Julmis running 7.81 to win his heat and move on. Completing the trend in the sprints for K-State, Martynas Jurgilas ran 6.66 seconds in the 60 meter dash to move to the final for the men.

In mid-distance events, K-State continued its trend of running well at the Big 12 Championship. In addition to Heuer’s run in the mile, K-State had two of its three remaining mid-distance runners advance. Boglarka Bozzay relived her magic from the Husker Invitational when she set a new Devaney Center facility record winning her heat of the 1,000 meters to advance with her time of 2:51.24. Sam James finished second in his heat of the 800 meters in an exciting race to the finish line. He crossed the line in 1:51.01 for a new PR moving his closer to sixth on the all-time list at K-State.

K-State closed the day with a dramatic in the men’s distance medley relay with a dramatic finish. The Wildcats led the throughout the race until Baylor’s Gavyn Nero was able to catch K-State’s Adam Porter on the final turn and just beat him to the finish line in one of the day’s most exciting races. K-State’s time of 9:49.23 is third in school history and marks the first time the Wildcats have placed a time in the top 10 since 2001. The tandem of Kyle Hanson, Ben Love, Jacob Davies and Porter made up the team earning eight points toward K-State’s team total. Baylor just edged K-State clocking 9:48.67.

The Wildcats return to action for the completion of the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday beginning with the final three events in the men’s heptathlon. Silkauskas, Kirielius and Cleve take to the track for the 60 meter hurdles at 11 a.m. Finals in the track events are slated to start at 3:05 p.m. with six Wildcats running in finals, and K-State will have four Wildcats competing in field events as well. Three more Wildcats are scheduled to run in the finals in the 3,000 meters in addition to the 4x400 relays. Fans can follow the action with live results available at and by following @kstatesports on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Team Scores
Men (5 events scored)
1: Oklahoma, 40
2: Nebraska, 20
3: Texas A&M, 23.50
4: Texas, 22
5: Missouri, 16
6: Texas Tech, 15
7: Iowa State, 11
8: Baylor, 10
8: Colorado, 10
10: K-State, 9
10: Oklahoma State, 9
12: Kansas, 4.50

Women (5 events scored)
1: Nebraska, 38
2: Texas Tech, 36
3: Iowa State, 33
4: K-State, 19
4: Texas, 19
6: Oklahoma, 13
7: Missouri, 11
8: Colorado, 10
9: Kansas, 9
10: Texas A&M, 7

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