Husker Invitational on Slate for Wildcats

Denise Baker

Feb. 3, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State Wildcats head north this weekend to take on another strong field of competition at the 36th Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. The meet will again feature two days full of action with a pentathlon and heptathlon to go with preliminary heats in the sprints to open the meet along with some of the field events on Friday. Saturday will see the conclusion of the heptathlon along with finals in the running events and the remainder of field events. The meet will also have a number of special invitation events that will have some of the nation’s top talent competing in those respective events.

K-State will take 35 athletes to the competition and take on teams from across the region with Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin among the teams from major conferences coming to Lincoln as well. Athletes from a number of junior colleges will be competing along with other NCAA Division I schools from mid-major conferences.

Last year at this meet, K-State saw the mid-distance runners for both the men and women perform well. The Wildcats did not post any victories at the meet, but Boglarka Bozzay finished third in a special invitation 800 meters race, and Jack Sachse finished second in the men’s 800M special invite. The women’s distance medley relay team also finished second at the meet.

This weekend’s meet will be the first chance for the Wildcats this season to get experience on the track that will host the Big 12 Indoor Track & Field Championships at the end of the month. Nebraska is hosting the Big 12 Championship in its final season as a member of the conference. The Bob Devaney Sports Center has hosted the conference meet eight times since the inception of the Big 12, including a stretch of six straight.

Results will be posted online at kstatesports.com upon completion of each day’s action. Live results will be available at huskers.com and also at kstatesports.com. Fans can keep up with the action by following @kstatesports on Twitter as well.

Kynard Soars to School Record
Sophomore high jumper Erik Kynard ended up head-to-head with Ricky Robertson from Ole Miss at the Big 12-SEC Challenge and came away the winner in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2. Robertson surpassed Kynard for the top spot on the NCAA list a week prior to the two meeting up in College Station, Texas, and were the pair were the final two competitors standing. Kynard cleared 7-06.00 on his final attempt to win the event and reclaim the No. 1 spot while also tying the K-State school record. Kynard’s mark of 7-06.00 also tied him for sixth in the world to date this season.

Wildcats Help Big 12 Down SEC
The Kansas State track and field teams joined forces with three fellow members of the Big 12 Conference to take on four teams from the SEC in a conference vs. conference meet in College Station, Texas, with the Big 12 coming away the victor. The Big 12 women dominated the meet for a 441.50-257-50 win over the SEC. The men’s competition was considerably closer with the Big 12 edging out the win 363-312.

During the two days of action, K-State had a handful of impressive performances in a number of different events. Ryann Krais won the women’s pentathlon with a point total of 4,021 points. The mark ranks fifth in school history and was just 20 points off her personal best set during her two years at UCLA. She shattered her personal record in the 800 meters by four seconds to help boost her score. In distance events, the women’s team saw strong showings from Martina Tresch finishing fourth in the 3,000M with a personal best and Sydney Messick dominating the field by more than 40 seconds to win the 5,000M. Boglarka Bozzay won the women’s mile as well with a personal best that ranks sixth in school history.

K-State Men Ranked Among Nation’s Elite
The Kansas State men remain ranked in the latest USTFCCCA Rankings falling two spots to No. 22 this week. The Wildcat men opened the season at No. 20 in the preseason rankings and last week. The men’s team has five athletes contributing to the ranking with Erik Kynard currently the No. 1 high jumper in the nation. Mantas Silkauskas is ranked 13th in the hurdles. He also is ranked 16th in the heptathlon based on last season’s performance. Also ranked based on preseason data are Jeffrey Julmis in the hurdles and Moritz Cleve in the heptathlon.

The women’s squad is currently No. 43 in the rankings falling five spots this week. Four Wildcats are receiving points based on the USTFCCCA formula, led by pentathlete Ryann Krais at No. 8. Nina Kokot is ranked 10th in the long jump, and TiAra Walpool is 12th in the triple jump. Krais also is ranked in the hurdles.

The Big 12 Conference remains one of the nation’s top leagues for track and field with
seven men’s teams in the Top 25, Baylor is just outside at No. 26. Texas A&M leads the way at No. 3 followed by Texas Tech at No. 4. Oklahoma (13), Nebraska (15) and Texas (16) are the only other Big 12 teams ranked ahead of K-State. Oklahoma State drops to No. 24 this week.

On the women’s side it is much the same story. Five Big 12 teams are in the Top 25 with Texas A&M standing at No. 2. Texas (8) gives the conference two teams in the Top 10. Oklahoma (16), Texas Tech (17) and Nebraska (18) complete the rankings for the league. Oklahoma State also is just outside the list at No. 27 with Baylor at No. 29.