Krais Claims Sixth at NCAA Championship
Krais Claims Sixth at NCAA Championship
March 11, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – It was a successful day all around for the Kansas State track and field team at the NCAA Championship. The first day of action saw one Wildcat earn first team All-America with an impressive performance and one take charge in his event to lead going into the final day.
Junior transfer Ryann Krais was close to her personal record in the first four events before wowing the crowd in the 800 meters and shooting her way up the standings to a sixth-place finish in the women’s pentathlon with a new personal record score of 4,115 points and earned three points for the K-State women’s team. Her mark ties her for third in school history and she becomes the Wildcats’ first All-American in the pentathlon since JaNelle Wright in 2004.
Going into the final event, Krais stood in 10th place and needed a fast time to climb the standings. The 800 meters is one of her strongest events, and she proved it. Krais crossed the finish line in 2:09.93 setting a new collegiate record for a pentathlon. She held the record for only 2:09.67, however, as Maryland’s Kiani Profit ran that time in the second heat of the pentatlon’s 800 meters. Oregon’s Brianne Theisen won the pentathlon with a new collegiate record of 4,540 points.
“Ryann’s first three events were solid and the 800 was just special,” K-State coach Cliff Rovelto said. “Overall, it was a nice PR for her. She had a good meet.”
K-State kept the impressive performances coming in the combined events on Friday. Mantas Silkauskas stands atop the leader board heading into the final three events of the men’s heptathlon tomorrow, and Moritz Cleve is in 12th and poised to make a move as well.
Silkauskas blew by the field in the 60 meters to open the competition with his time of 6.78 seconds to lead by nearly 50 points right away. Cleve crossed the line in 7.17 seconds just missing his PR in the event as well. The next event saw Silkauskas make a huge leap to further the distance between himself and the field as he went 25-01.25 in the long jump improving his PR by nearly 10 inches in the event. His jump also was nearly 10 inches farther than any other competitor. Cleve had his longest jump of the season at 22-07.75.
After an impressive shot put and high jump, Silkauskas held onto his lead by 29 points with 3,347 through the first four events. Only 26 points separate second and fourth place. The depth of the men’s heptathlon is evident in the standings through the first day of action. Two years ago, Cleve finished fifth and is currently 12th, but is within striking distance to finish in the top eight. North Carolina’s Mateo Sossah was runner-up last year and finds himself in 13th.
“Mantas had a good day all around, and Moritz did as well,” Rovelto said. “Just getting to this meet is so difficult. Making the final or scoring in the heptathlon is really quite an accomplishment.”
Advancing to the final in his event was hurdler Jeffrey Julmis. The Florida native ran 7.76 seconds in the preliminaries to nab one of the at-large spots in the final after finishing third in his heat. Julmis ran 7.72 last week to get into the meet and break the school record. It should be a tight race as the No. 3 through No. 8 spots are separated by only two-hundredths of a second after the preliminaries.
Also competing on Friday for the Wildcats was jumper Nina Kokot. The junior from Slovenia entered the meet with the sixth-best jump of the season and ended up ninth in a very close competition. Kokot jumped 20-05.75. The difference between second and third place was a quarter of an inch with small margins making the difference on down the line as well. She was just 1.25 inches short of scoring for the Wildcats.
Sprinter Martynas Jurgilas failed to make the final in the 60 meter dash with his time of 6.74 seconds. He finished fifth in his heat and 15th overall. He will be a second team All-American based on the new award standards this season. The last time K-State had an All-American in the 60 meters was Terrence Newman in 2002 when he finished fifth clocking 6.62 seconds.
Saturday will conclude the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships from College Station, Texas, with four Wildcats in action. Silkauskas and Cleve will conclude the heptathlon beginning at noon with the 60 meter hurdles followed by the pole vault and 1,000 meters. Julmis is slated to run at 5:30 p.m. and the No. 1 high jump in the NCAA, Erik Kynard takes on the field at 4:15 p.m. Fans can continue to follow the action live at ncaa.com and at espn3.com. Live results are at available at flashresults.com.