Wildcats Crush School Record at Drake Relays

Boglarka Bozzay

April 29, 2011

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DES MOINES, Iowa. - The Kansas State Wildcats came to the 102nd Drake Relays with the intent of posting strong numbers over their three days of action and one particular school record in their crosshairs. That record fell on Friday night on the exciting Relays Under the Lights portion of the prestigious meet with the tandem of Sara Stoakes, Meghan Heuer, Ryann Krais and Boglarka Bozzay shattering the previous record in the 4x800 meter relay en route to winning the competition.

The Wildcats crossed the finish line in 8:34.81 to win the competition holding off a charge by the Minnesota Golden Gophers on the final lap to claim the win. K-State's previous best in the rarely seen 4x800 was held by the grouping of Deb Pihl, Sherry Thomas, Janell LeValley and Wanda Trent set in 1981 with a time of 8:45.10.

K-State assistant coach Michael Smith said earlier this week he and his sights set on breaking the record this week with three of his own distance runners on the relay team to go with combined events specialist Krais. That record fell with ease as Bozzay pulled away from Minnesota running the final 400 meters in 61.3 seconds to win by more than two seconds. Krais had arguably the most impressive leg of the race by far running her split in 2:07.1 to hand the baton to Bozzay with a slight lead over Minnesota, Nebraska and Baylor.

The 4x800 was not the only relay team to see success on Friday as the women's distance medley relay finished fourth while posting the fifth-best time in school history. The team of Martina Tresch, TiAra Walpool, Laura Lee Baird and Sydney Messick finished in 11:29.27 to take fourth as Minnesota leaned across the line first on the final stretch to finish third by just four-hundredths of a second.

K-State's men put a 4x400 relay team on the track Friday afternoon coming away in 12th place with their time of 3:15.27. Blaine Cash, Sam James, Grant Loescher and Ben Love combined for the third-fastest 4x400 time of the season for the Wildcats. They finished fourth in their heat that included 400-meter power Baylor with the Bears posting the fastest time of the day in the preliminaries.

One of K-State's sprinters was in action in the preliminaries of the 100 meters as Martynas Jurgilas ran the fastest time of the day at 10.81 seconds to advance to Saturday's final. Last year at the Drake Relays, Jurgilas finished third overall clocking in at 10.56 in the final.

Also competing Friday in preliminaries were Denise Baker and Krais. Baker ran 14.11 seconds in the 100 meter hurdles into a stiff headwind to finish 13th overall and miss out on Saturday's final. Krais finished right behind her at 14.    18 seconds into an even stronger wind.

Tomas Kirielius had his thoughts on defending his javelin title from a year ago but came up short finishing 12th with an impressive field competing. Five athletes ranked in the top 13 in the NCAA this season were in the field and finished ahead of Kirielius on Friday.

Also competing on Thursday night for the Wildcats was mid-distance runner Jacob Davies. He ran in the unseeded 800 meters finishing in fourth place with his time of 1:54.34.

The Wildcats will be in action again on Saturday with a full day of excitement. K-State will have its top jumpers competing with Erik Kynard in the high jump, Nina Kokot in the long jump and TiAra Walpool in the triple jump. K-State will also field a men's and women's sprint medley relay team to go with a men's distance medley squad. Krais will run in the 400 meter hurdles, and a number of mid-distance runners will compete in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters. Live results are available at godrakebulldogs.com for fans wanting to follow the action away from the track.

K-State Results
100M Preliminaries
Martynas Jurgilas, 10.81, advance

100H Preliminaries
13: Denise Baker, 14.11
14: Ryann Krais, 14.18

Women's Distance Medley Relay
4: K-State (Tresch-Walpool-Baird-Messick), 11:29.27, 5th school history

Men's 4x400
12: K-State (Cash, James, Loescher, Love) 3:15.27

Women's 4x800
1: Stoakes-Heuer-Krais-Bozzay, 8:34.81, school record

Men's Javelin
12: Tomas Kirielius, 200-03

Thursday
800M Unseeded
4: Jacob Davies, 1:54.34