Kynard Wins Big 12 High Jump Title

May 14, 2011

Final Stats

NORMAN, Okla. – Sophomore high jumper Erik Kynard highlighted the second day of action for the Kansas State Wildcats at the Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships posting the first title of the meet for his team. Kynard flew over the bar at 7-05.25 (2.27m) besting the field by 2.25 inches.

The win marks his first outdoor conference title as he pulls the indoor-outdoor sweep this year. Kynard said he was happy with the performance, even though he would have liked to jump higher.

“I jumped 2.27, and that’s not a bad day,” he said. “I would have liked to jump 2.30, but I’m happy with the win. Now it’s time to get ready for Regionals. I’ll have more competition, and more competition helps you get better down the road.”

The day started with the second portion of the combined events where K-State saw another big day from freshman Julia Zeiner as she finished sixth in the women’s heptathlon with her total score of 5,142 points. The total was enough to put her fifth in school history and score three points toward K-State’s team score. Zeiner opened the day with a new personal record in the long jump at 18-09.00. She then came up just short of her PR in the javelin to stand in seventh heading into the final event. Zeiner then ran an impressive 2:20.86 in the 800 meters to finish fifth in the event and jump to sixth in the standings. She shaved nearly seven seconds off her PR in the 800.

Senior Moritz Cleve entered the day in fifth in the men’s decathlon and he climbed his way up the leaderboard picking off the competition little by little to claim third for the Wildcats and six points. Cleve scored 7,543 points thanks in part to his strong time of 4:29.93 to move ahead of Nebraska’s Bjorn Barrefors and Texas’ Isaac Murphy. Cleve was close to his PR in the javelin as well in the ninth event of the decathlon to help make his leap to third possible. The score ties him for 15th in the nation this season.

Nina Kokot had a big jump for the Wildcats in the women’s long jump to place fifth in a stacked field. The competition included seven athletes ranked in the top 20 in the nation, five of them top 10. Kokot leapt 21-00.50 on her first attempt of the competition to finish fifth.

Freshman thrower Ryan Hershberger advanced to the final in the men’s shot put as he stood in ninth place after his first three throws. He was not able to improve his standing, however, with his final toss of 53-07.00 moving him closer to scoring for the Wildcats but not close enough.

In was a successful day on the track for the Wildcats during preliminaries. The best performance of the day came from junior Ryann Krais as she broke the school record in the 400 meter hurdles for the third time this season. Krais clocked in at 56.51 seconds shaving .11 seconds off her own record. It was the fastest time of the day in the prelims by more than a full second.

Boglarka Bozzay also ran the fastest time of the day in her event clocking in at 2:06.65 to advance to Sunday’s final. Her fast time caused the rest of her heat to try and keep pace, pushing the qualifying time for the non-winners lower. The winners of all four heats advanced, plus the next five fastest times. Four of them came from Bozzay’s heat. Sophomore Sara Stoakes will not have a chance to defend her 2010 title as she finished 13th with a time of 2:09.93. With Bozzay, the Wildcats still have an opportunity to keep the 800 crown in Manhattan.

For the men, Sam James advanced in the 800 as well finishing in 1:50.29 as the fastest non-qualifier. He finished third in his heat as Texas A&M’s Michael Preble ran the fastest time of the day in James’ heat at 1:48.78.

Meghan Heuer made it a successful day for K-State’s distance runners clocking in at a new personal best 4:26.12 to advance to the final in the 1,500 meters.

In the sprints, Martynas Jurgilas advanced to the final in the men’s 100 meters crossing the line in 10.41 seconds to move on automatically as a top two finisher in his heat. Denise Baker will move on in the women’s 100 meter hurdles running a very fast time of 13.45 seconds. The time was nearly three-tenths faster than her PR, but will not be eligible due to a strong tail wind. Jeffrey Julmis will run in the final for K-State in the men’s 110 meter hurdles after finishing in 13.80 seconds.

Freshman Kyle Wait closed the day for the Wildcats in the pole vault finishing in a tie for 11th with his clearance of 16-04.00.

Action will get underway for the final day of the Big 12 Championships from John Jacobs Track Complex at 1 p.m. Sunday with the women’s high jump. Running events are slated to start at 5:30 p.m. with the 4x100 relay. Fans can follow the action online at deltatiming.com or by following @kstate_gameday on Twitter.