Kynard Advances to final at Olympic Trials

Erik Kynard

June 23, 2012

EUGENE, Ore. – NCAA high jump champion Erik Kynard advanced to the final of the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials with ease on Saturday evening at Hayward Field. With the top 12 jumpers slated to advance to Monday’s final, Kynard was one of only four jumpers to clear all three bars cleanly with no misses.

Kynard cleared bars at 6-10.75 (2.10 meters), 7-00.50 (2.15m) and 7-01.75 (2.21m) on his first attempt each time. He will compete for the chance to wear the Red, White and Blue on Monday night at 7:50 p.m. Central, 5:50 p.m. Pacific time.

The field battled poor weather as heavy rains came and went throughout the competition during the second day of the Olympic Trials from TrackTown USA.

K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto also had three professional jumpers who train with him in the competition. They along with Kynard represent the only four jumpers to clear all three bars cleanly on Saturday evening.

Reigning world champion Jesse Williams was perfect on Saturday as well as 2004 Olympian Jamie Nieto and former NCAA Division II champion Jim Dilling. They will all be in the field of 13 jumpers in the field on Monday as there was a tie at 11th place.

One future Wildcat also made the final in the high jump. Zack Riley grabbed one of the final spots as he and two others tied for 11th. He advanced despite not clearing the third bar in the poor conditions with the top 12 originally set to move to the final. Riley signed a National Letter of Intent in February out of Renn Lake Community College in Illinois and has a personal best jump of 7-05.00 (2.26m) and is an NJCAA champion.

Rovelto said Kynard did a good job of jumping in the wet conditions after doing so in winning his first NCAA title last year.

“I thought Erik looked very good,” Rovelto said.”Jesse, Jim and Jamie also jumped well, particularly under the rainy conditions. It was also nice to see Zack Riley make the final.”

Monday’s final can be followed with live results provided by Fans can also keep up with the action via Twitter by following the handle @kstate_gameday. NBC Sports Network will have two hours of coverage airing from 8-10 p.m. CT as well.

In earlier action at the U.S. Trials on Friday, former K-Sate track star Christian Smith competed in the first round of the 800 meters. Smith finished sixth in his heat, crossing the finish line in 1:49.21. He finished 25th overall to miss his bid at repeating as a member of Team USA at the Olympic Games. Smith qualified for the 2008 Beijing Games in the 800 meters.