Wildcats Split for Weekend of Tough Competition

Sophia Alonso

Feb. 2, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State track and field teams will be send Wildcats to two different meets this weekend and see strong competition at both locations. A group of sprinters and jumpers are headed for the New Mexico Collegiate Classic, while throwers, vaulters and distance runners take on the field at the Sevigne Husker Invitational. Both meets will have two days of action.

The 37th Sevigne Husker Invitational will be one of the larger meets of the weekend with the Huskers playing host to 12 other teams for the meet. It will serve as an opportunity for K-State’s throwers and pole vaulters to test themselves against quality competition as the two event areas have traditionally been strengths of the Nebraska program. Tickets for the Husker Invitational are available at huskers.com or at the Nebraska Ticket Office.

At the New Mexico Collegiate Classic, the athletes will get their first taste of competing on a Mondo track surface this season, which is the surface at Texas A&M and Boise State where the Big 12 and NCAA Championships will be held this season, respectively. The Albuquerque Convention Center also is the annual host of USA Indoor Championships, and head coach Cliff Rovelto said the surface should provide the athletes with the opportunity to post fast times. High jumper Erik Kynard also will be in a field that will include professional jumper Jamie Nieto to provide some excitement to the event.

Both meets will have live results available at the respective hosts’ website. Fans can keep track of the Wildcats’ success at the Husker Invitational at huskers.com and the New Mexico Classic at golobos.com. Updates will also be posted to the Twitter handle @kstate_gameday.

Wildcats Show Strength at Iowa State
A day after the Kansas State Wildcats put their talents on display in the multi-events at the Bill Bergan Invitational, the men’s and women’s track and field teams showed they can be major players this season each finishing second in the team scored meet and turning in some of the top performances in school history. The men scored 51.50 points on the day to trail only No. 18 Minnesota by 10.50. K-State’s women finished second with 63.50 points and fell to Wisconsin by 7.50.

The Wildcats again displayed they have a group of throwers capable of scoring at the Big 12 Championship as Tomaz Bogovic opened the day with his third straight win in the weight throw with his mark of 18.57m (60-11.25). It was his best throw as a Wildcat after transferring to K-State last season. For the women, Chelsie Bonds finished fourth with her best throw of the season at 18.22m (59-09.50). Ryan Hershberger put together another shining performance for K-State in the as well as he posted a personal best mark of 17.64m (57-10.00) to finish third for the Wildcats. It also puts him 10th all-time in K-State history.

K-State won a total of nine events at the meet with five on the women’s side and four for the men. One Wildcat tallied two of those wins as senior mid-distance runner Boglarka Bozzay took the double for the second straight week. This time around Bozzay won the mile and 800 meters. Bozzay won by more than two seconds in the mile with a time that would rank third all-time at K-State if not for Iowa State’s oversized track. She then went on to win the 800 in a tight race.

Freshmen high jumpers Alyx Treasure and Joslyn Barnes continued to show the Wildcats will be a force in the women’s high jump this year as Treasure won her fourth meet of the year clearing 1.80m (5-10.75). Barnes took third with her leap of 1.75m (5-08.75). Richelle Farley also blew by the field in the women’s long jump with a new personal best distance of 5.74m (18-10.00).  Samantha McKnight ran another PR in the 60 meters to tally a win for K-State.

Cameron Savage won the men’s pole vault based on attempts after a three-way tie. Jeffrey Julmis claimed the men’s 60 meter hurdles, and Erik Kynard jumped higher than the competition again to complete K-State’s wins.

Wildcats Sweep Multis at Bill Bergan
The Kansas State Wildcats made a statement on Friday at the Bill Bergan Invitational with the conclusion of the multi-events at the Lied Recreation Center. Senior Mantas Silkauskas dominated the men’s heptathlon for the Wildcats while senior Ryann Krais did the same for the women in the pentathlon. K-State not only took first place in both events, but the men claimed the top three spots and the women the top four.

Silkauskas completed the two days worth of action and seven events with a score of 5,780 to win the heptathlon by 340 points over junior transfer Devin Dick.

Krais was in command throughout much of the five events to win the pentathlon with 4,073 points. She was followed by newcomer Mairead Murphy as she scored 3,898 points to rank seventh in school history. It was her first combined events competition in some time after focusing on the hurdles over the last few years in her native Ireland.

Wildcats Ranked No. 16 in USTFCCCA
After a successful 2011 campaign, the 2012 Wildcats are ready for another strong showing and the men’s team is already among the favorites to do well come the NCAA Championships in March. The K-State men opened the season at No. 11 in the USTFCCCA Preseason Rankings thanks to a group of All-Americans returning this season. This week the men’s team stands at No. 16 in the latest rankings.

The USTFCCCA rankings formula takes into account performances from athletes in each event and awards points based on their ranking in the event and on the strength of the performance. The Wildcats have four athletes ranked in six events to open the year led by high jumper Erik Kynard. His jump of 7-07.75 (2.33m) last season ties. Mantas Silkauskas ranks third in the heptathlon after finishing seventh at the NCAA meet last year. A number of athletes who finished ahead of him at the championship were seniors, opening the door for a new champion this year. Silkauskas also is ranked in the 60 meter hurdles and long jump. Jeffrey Julmis stands eighth in the 60 meter hurdles, and Martynas Jurgilas is 15th in the 60 meter dash.

On the women’s side, combined events specialist Ryann Krais is one of two Wildcats currently ranked in an event as she is fifth in the pentathlon with her score of 4,115 points at last year’s NCAA meet. She is joined by freshman high jumper Alyx Treasure at 11th in the high jump. Treasure leapt 5-11.50 (1.82m) in her second meet as a Wildcat. She ranks fifth in jumps from this season only.

Krais, Kynard Among Track & Field Elite
Ryann Krais and Erik Kynard each claimed their first NCAA title during outdoor season last year winning the heptathlon and high jump, respectively. Krais also finished third in the 400 meter hurdles, to complete a rare double All-American campaign in two of the sports most grueling events. For their efforts and anticipated success in 2012, Krais and Kynard are being recognized as some of the top collegiate track and field athletes to watch this season.

Both are listed among the others receiving mention on the latest 2012 Bowerman Watch List released by the USTFCCCA. The women’s list of 10 athletes on the Watch List is dominated by Pac-12 and SEC competitors. Five athletes from Pac-12 schools and two SEC members highlight the list. Oklahoma thrower Tia Brooks is the lone Big 12 member in the top 10.

The men’s list has four distance runners on the list of 10 and a group of sprinters. Kynard joins a group of five total Big 12 athletes listed as also receiving mention. Texas long jumper and sprinter Marquise Goodwin is the only Big 12 male athlete among the 10 on the official Watch List for the 2012 award at this time.

The Bowerman is awarded annually by the USTFCCCA to the top male and female collegiate track and field athletes in the nation. The award was created in 2009 and is named for legendary Oregon track and field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman. It is considered the Heisman Trophy of track and field.

Big 12 Presence Felt in Top 25
The Big 12 Conference has long been a force in track and field, and again the league is among the best when examining the USTFCCCA Rankings. A total of four men’s teams and six women’s teams are in the USTFCCCA Top 25 Rankings. The six women’s teams are the most of any conference, and Kansas (27) is just outside the list.

Texas is the top team in the Big 12 at this point with the men standing at No. 4 this week. The Longhorn women also stand at No. 6 dropping one spot. Texas A&M and Oklahoma are the other two teams with both their men and women ranked in the Top 25 to start the season. The Aggies are No. 9 in the men’s rankings and No. 11 in the women’s. OU’s men are No. 12 and the women stand at No. 20. Also ranked among the women are No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 12 Iowa State and No. 16 Baylor. K-State’s men dropped two spots to No. 16 this week. Baylor’s men are also right outside the Top 25 at No. 26.