Wildcats Open Postseason Strong in Texas

Jharyl Bowry

May 23, 2013

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AUSTIN, Texas – Kansas State track and field sent 30 athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds this week in Texas and eight of them were in action on the first day Thursday. No other team had as many women running in the 400 meter hurdles to highlight the day for the Wildcats, and senior high jumper Erik Kynard advanced to the NCAA Championship with ease.

The top 48 athletes in the West Region qualified for the preliminary rounds meet this week with the top 12 finishers advancing to next month’s NCAA Championship in Oregon. Kynard will look to defend his back-to-back titles in the high jump as he cleared 2.16 meters (7-01.00) and qualify with the field electing to stop jumping once 12 jumpers remained.

K-State started off the running events with three Wildcats in action in the women’s 400 meter hurdles. Erica Twiss was in the fastest heat of the day and finished fourth with a time of 58.95 seconds. Her time was a new PR, shaving .02 off her previous best time, and it was enough to grab the second of six at-large bids to Friday’s quarterfinals. The top three finishers in each heat received automatic bids to the next round.

Freshman Tia Gamble ran a time of 1:01.51 to take 39th overall and Angela Hart cross the line in 1:02.68 to take 45th in her first appearance in the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds.

The Wildcats got their first advancement to the NCAA Championships of the meet with Jharyl Bowry finishing eighth in the men’s long jump. Bowry popped a jump of 7.70 meters (25-03.25) on his third attempt to put himself in seventh place heading into the final. One jumper moved ahead of him during the final three attempts, but he still advanced to the NCAA Championship by placing at least 12th. His jump is a season best that was not wind-aided and

Freshman Jasmine Gibbs was competing in two events on Thursday, starting her day in the long jump. She leapt 5.96 meters (19-06.75) but it was not enough to advance, finishing 26th. She then went on to run 11.60 in her heat of the 100 meters. Gibbs took third in her heat to grab an automatic spot in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Big 12 champion Sara Savatovic was unable to advance through the West Preliminaries in the women’s hammer throw finishing in 17th place. The freshman had a toss of 58.95 meters (193-05) to miss making the final on Thursday by just 5 centimeters. If she had qualified for the final, she would have had three more attempts to move up into the top 12 and advance to the NCAA Championship.

Freshman Sonia Gaskin closed the night for the Wildcats in the 800 meters. The Barbadian ran a time of 2:08.64 to finish fourth in her heat. Her time also was fast enough to grab the final spot in Friday’s quarterfinals.

The Wildcats will be back in action for day two of the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds on Friday. K-State has 10 athletes set to compete with action starting at noon in the women’s disucs. Live results can be found online at kstatesports.com and texassports.com. Live video also is available for free with links provided at both websites as well. Fans can keep up with the Wildcats on Twitter on the @kstate_gameday account or the entire meet on the @TexasMTF and @TexasWTandF accounts. The official hashtags fans can follow are #KStateTF and #NCAATF.