Wildcats Finish 8th, 11th at Big 12 Championships

Ryann Krais

May 15, 2011

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NORMAN, Okla. - The Kansas State Wildcats came away from the Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships with two individual titles and two new school records. Ryann Krais won the women's 400 meter hurdles on Sunday night, and Erik Kynard won the men's high jump Saturday afternoon for the two K-State titles.

The field was loaded in every event for the championship meet with eight men's teams and nine women's teams ranked in the top 25. K-State's women came away in eighth place scoring 48 points over the three days of action from John Jacobs Track Complex. The men finished 11th with 33 points. Both of K-State's teams were the eighth Big 12 team listed in the USTFCCCA Top 25 Rankings heading into the weekend.

K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto said he was pleased with how his athletes performed over the weekend. The result was approximately where he expected to finish based on performances coming into the meet. He said he was proud of his athletes that won their events and praised a number of others for posting better marks than earlier in the season at the Big 12 Championship.

"I don't always feel the ones that win are the ones that had the best performances for us, but that was the case at this meet," Rovelto said. "I think Erik winning the high jump and Ryann winning the 400 hurdles were both very good performances. I think we had a number of impressive performances on the women's side, and unfortunately not as many for the men."

Krais dominated the 400 meter hurdles again as she broke the school record for the fourth time this season. Krais made up the stagger on most of the field on the back stretch and with about 150 meters to go she took the lead and did not look back. Krais crossed the finish line in 56.06 seconds to move closer to No. 4 on the NCAA list this season as she climbed into fifth during Saturday's preliminaries. Krais said she was happy with the win although she wanted to break 56 seconds.

"I can't complain. The last three hurdles could have been a little better. I lost focus a little bit over the hurdles and was more thinking to catch the other girls," Krais said. "It still wasn't a perfect race, but it's getting closer. I didn't do the heptathlon this week so I could focus on the 400 hurdles, and winning was the goal. More than anything I've been focused on times than anything lately."

School records in the hurdles were in danger all weekend, and Jeffrey Julmis ran his way to another record in the 110 meter hurdles clocking in at 13.53 seconds to finish second behind second-ranked Omo Osaghae of Texas Tech. Julmis broke his own school record of 13.59 set last year at the NCAA West Regional. Julmis held off a charge by Keiron Stewart of Texas over the last few hurdles in an exciting race that saw Osaghae break the Big 12 Championship record in 13.23 seconds.

The hurdles were a strong area for the Wildcats with Denise Baker finishing sixth in the women's 100 meter hurdles. Baker clocked in at 13.54 just edging Texas Tech's Kelsey Lloyd over the last hurdle and holding her off on the sprint to the finish line. Baker improved her place by one spot from a year ago after finishing seventh in 2010 at Missouri.

The running events started well for the Wildcats with the women's 4x100 relay team running its fastest time of the season winning its heat in 46.11 seconds to finish seventh overall. The men put together another solid race clocking in at 39.96 seconds to finish fifth in a highly competitive field.

Martina Tresch kept the good finishes coming in the next event as she claimed third for the second straight year in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Tresch was in second through most of the race but was overtaken by Rebeka Stowe from Kansas on the final lap. The top three finishers were exactly the same as last season with Colorado's Emma Coburn getting the win. Tresch clocked in at 10:18.30 just off the pace of her best time this season.

The women's jumps were an area the Wildcats had success at the Big 12 meet on Sunday with Ryann Krais and TiAra Walpool each posting big numbers in their respective events. Krais came into the championship ranked 11th in the high jump with her best mark of the season 5-07.00. She cleared 5-09.25 to finish fifth and score four points for the team total.

Walpool posted a new personal record in the triple jump in a loaded field. Walpool leapt 43-09.75 to surpass her previous PR by more than six inches and finish fourth overall. A testament to the strength of the field this year came from Nebraska's Tara Korshoj, who finished ninth with a mark that would have been good enough for second at last year's Big 12 Championship.

"I think TiAra had a great day for us," Rovelto said. "She got better throughout the competition with each jump, and she ran two really good legs on the relays for us. I felt like she did a great job and I was proud of her."

Also competing in field events on Sunday for K-State, Jessica Carter finished 15th with her toss of 152-01 in the discus.

In the men's 100 meter dash, Martynas Jurgilas finished seventh with his time of 10.64 seconds. Earlier in the evening he helped K-State finish fifth in the 4x100 running the anchor leg. That 4x100 squad clocked in at 39.96 seconds with Grant Loescher running the first leg in place of Mantas Silkauskas who has usually run that leg this season. Loescher handed to Julmis and then Jason Coniglio ran the third leg.

The women's 4x100 relay ran its fastest time of the season with the tandem of Cenarda Jackson, TiAra Walpool, Kim Haberman and Baker crossing the line in 46.11 seconds to win their heat and finish seventh overall.

K-State had runners in the 800 meter finals again this year with Boglarka Bozzay finishing fourth with her time of 2:07.73 after Oklahoma State's Natalja Piliusina pulled away from the field over the last 250 meters. Sam James ran his way to a sixth-place finish in the men's race finishing in 1:49.24 for a new personal record.

Meghan Heuer finished ninth in the women's 1,500 meters for the Wildcats on Sunday afternoon. Heuer crossed the line in 4:31.28. In other distance events, Adam Porter ran his way to an 18th-place finish in the men's 5,000 meters with his time of 14:51.26.

To close the night the group of Walpool, Krais, Heuer and Bozzay ran their fastest 4x400 relay time of the season clocking in at 3:41.98. They finished third in their heat and ninth overall. The men sent Blaine Cash, Ben Love, Franciso Colomar and Gus Vazquez-Milan to run the 4x400 posting a time of 3:14.48 to finish 11th.

The Wildcats will now begin preparations for the NCAA West Regional in Eugene, Ore., in two weeks. Action is set to go from Track Town USA on May 26-28. Athletes ranked in the top 48 within the region are eligible for the competition with the top 12 finishers at the meet advancing to the NCAA Championship on June 8-11.

Big 12 Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships Standings
1: Texas A&M, 146
2: Nebraska, 119
3: Oklahoma, 117
4: Texas, 90.50
5: Baylor, 77
6: Iowa State, 60
7: Kansas, 51.50
8: K-State, 48
8: Texas Tech, 48
10: Colorado, 38
11: Oklahoma State, 12
11: Missouri, 12

1: Texas A&M, 175
2: Texas, 103.50
3: Oklahoma, 90
4: Nebraska, 84.50
5: Texas Tech, 74
6: Kansas, 64
7: Baylor, 57.50
8: Colorado, 52
9: Missouri, 35
10: Iowa State, 34
11: K-State, 33
12: Oklahoma State, 15.50