Kynard, Krais Shine at USA Championships

June 26, 2011

EUGENE, Ore. – A small group of Wildcats headed to the West Coast this week to take on the nation’s best at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field. One Wildcat will trade his Purple and White in for Red, White and Blue later this summer as Erik Kynard qualified for Team USA at the IAAF World Championships.

High jumper Erik Kynard was eyeing a national title after winning his first NCAA title just a few weeks ago and he came away in third place after clearing 7-05.75 on Sunday. With his third-place finish and his clearance of the A Standard of 7-07.00 earlier in the season, he qualified for Team USA and will wear Red, White and Blue in Korea later this summer at the IAAF World Championships.

“I thought Erik did a good job,” K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto said. “To go from third at the junior meet to third at USA’s and making the world championship team is a huge leap in one year.”

Heptathlon Ryann Krais again put together a complete performance as she stormed her way up the leader board all the way to a second-place finish with her score of 6,030 points. Krais found herself in fifth place after the first day of competition and stood in sixth heading into the final event of a tightly contested heptathlon. Krais blew by the field in the 800 meters to close the heptathlon strong with a new personal best time of 2:08.96. The time was nearly eight seconds faster than the entire field as she scored 980 points in the event to catapult her way to second place behind Sharon Day with 6,058 points overall.

During the heptathlon, Krais also posted a personal best in the shot put. Her score of 6,030 points also is a personal record surpassing her score of 5,961 when she won the NCAA Championship earlier this month.

“Ryann had nice PR’s in some events and was right at some others,” Rovelto said. “For her to come back after NCAA’s and PR here is quite a feat.”

Krais’ status for the world championship meet in Korea is as an alternate at this point. Team USA is allowed to only take one athlete with a B Standard mark in events. Day’s score did not meet the A Standard and she has not scored the standard of 6,150 points this season, so she would be the lone B Standard qualifier allowed per Team USA’s selection process. Hyleas Fountain finished sixth with 5,861 points but has posted a score higher than the A Standard this season.

K-State triple jumper TiAra Walpool came away in 12th place with her leap of 42-01.25. The mark tied her second-best jump of the season with her best leap coming at the Big 12 Championship where she finished fourth.

The USA Junior Championships were held at the same time in Oregon with two Wildcats competing. Freshman pole vaulter Kyle Wait tied for 11th with his clearance of 15-07.00. Freshman Erica Twiss also competed in the junior heptathlon and had to withdraw from the competition after the first four events. Twiss did manage to post a new personal best mark in the shot put during the first day of the heptathlon.

K-State volunteer assistant coaches Bettie Wade and Kasey Hill also competed in the women’s heptathlon with Wade just missing the 6,000-point threshold finishing in fourth at 5,949. Hill finished 10th with her score of 5,507 points over the two days of competition.

In addition to Kynard finishing third in the high jump, the event was won by a professional athlete who trains with Rovelto. Jesse Williams won his third USA outdoor title and fifth overall with his clearance of 7-09.25. He failed all three of his attempts to set the new American record at 7-10.75. With the win Rovelto has now coached high jumpers to a total of 15 USA championships.

K-State Results
Men’s High Jump
3rd: Erik Kynard, 7-05.75

Women’s Heptathlon
2nd: Ryann Krais, 6030 points PR, 2nd second school history
100m Hurdles: 13.70
HJ: 5-08.75 (1.75m)
SP: 40-00.75 (12.21m) PR
200m: 24.69
LJ: 19-08.00 (5.99m)
JV: 132-11 (40.53m)
800m: 2:08.96 PR

Women’s Triple Jump
12th: TiAra Walpool, 42-01.25 (12.83m)

Junior Pole Vault
11th: Kyle Wait, 15-07.00 (4.75m)

Junior Heptathlon
Erica Twiss, Withdrew after four events