Wildcats Ready for Road Tests

Jeffrey Julmis

Feb. 7, 2012

Live Results: Iowa State Classic -- Tyson Invitational

Complete K-State Meet Notes Get Acrobat Reader

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State track and field teams will again be split for a weekend week full of action with the Wildcats set to compete at to two different meets against some top athletes at both locations to prepare for the Big 12 Championship in two weeks. K-State will send a large group north to battle at the Iowa State Classic beginning with the women’s pentathlon on Thursday, and a smaller group will head to the Tyson Invitational at Arkansas, which traditionally brings in some of the best talent in the nation for the meet.

The Iowa State Classic will have three days of action from the Lied Recreation Center and the Wildcats are sending three athletes to compete in the pentathlon Thursday before a large group heads there for a busy two days. With the conference championship meet in two weeks, K-State’s distance runners will be in action looking to run fast times with their sights set on College Station, Texas. The mid-distance and long distance runners will all take on strong competition as Iowa State has some of the top ranked athletes in those events. A trio of men’s multi-events athletes will compete in a handful of events in preparation for the heptathlon at Big 12’s, and the women’s multis will compete in open events after the pentathlon as well.

At the Tyson Invitational, K-State looks to see more fast times from the men’s sprinters and hurdlers with the Wildcats sending their top runners to Arkansas. After sending his top men’s high jumper to this meet on a regular basis, this season K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto is taking his top female jumper in freshman Alyx Treasure to compete in a deep field. Treasure currently is tied for ninth on the NCAA list and will see some jumpers ranked higher, including South Carolina’s Jeannelle Scheper, Wisconsin’s Monika Jakuyte and the Texas 1-2-3 punch of Shanay Briscoe, Victoria Lucas and Beverly Owoyele. The trio of Longhorns took the top three spots at last year’s outdoor Big 12 Championship.

Also competing at the Tyson Invitational, will be a trio of the women’s multis looking to maintain their strong performances in a number of events. K-State’s top two pole vaulters will take on a strong field for the men, and the women’s 4x400 will look to push the school record again after a dominant performance at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic last week.

Admission to both the Tyson Invitational and the Iowa State Classic is free. Fans can follow the action online as both meets will provide live results. Iowa State Classic results can be found at cyclones.com and the Tyson Invitational at flashresults.com. Track and field blog site FloTrack.org will be at the Iowa State Classic as well providing coverage. Fans can also follow the Twitter handle @kstate_gameday for updates from both meets as well.

Kynard Flying High
Junior high jumper Erik Kynard is the defending NCAA outdoor champion and is looking for his first indoor title this season, and he is making the case to be the one everyone else will be chasing. Kynard most recently cleared 2.31 meters (7-07.00) for the second time this season in winning the New Mexico Collegiate Classic. He bested professional jumper Jamie Nieto got the win as he cleared the bar on his first attempt at the height. Kynard’s closest competition in the NCAA so far is 1.75 inches below him, and his current jump of 2.31 meters ranks No. 5 in the world this season.

Wildcats Clutch at New Mexico Classic
K-State sent its top hurdlers and jumpers to the Mexico Collegiate Classic and came away with four victories along with some impressive numbers. In addition to Erik Kynard’s NCAA leading jump, the Wildcats saw the women’s multis dominate the 60 meter hurdles and the women’s 4x400 win by nearly three seconds.

Mairead Murphy led the group of multis as K-State took the top three spots, all from athletes training for the pentathlon. Erica Twiss followed in second and Richelle Farley took third. Defending NCAA outdoor champion in the heptathlon, Ryann Krais finished seventh. Murphy’s time of 8.44 seconds would rank third in school history but is ineligible due to the at altitude rule for competition. The women’s 4x400 relay team of three freshmen and Krais ran 3:42.75 for a commanding win, and that time also would have been third in school history. Jeffrey Julmis also won the men’s hurdles for K-State with his time of 7.76 seconds.

Bozzay Blasts Field at Husker Invitational
For the second straight year mid-distance runner Boglarka Bozzay put on a show at the Sevigne Husker Invitational. This time around instead of setting a facility record, however, she nearly broke a K-State school record. Bozzay ran in the special invitational 800 meters and clocked in at 2:06.00. The time was more than three seconds faster than second place and was less than a second off the K-State school record. It also was less than a second off the Devaney Center facility record. In 2011, Bozzay set the facility record in the 1,000 meters during the Husker Invitational.

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 for the third straight week.

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. Mantas Silkauskas ranks sixth 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 17th in the 60 meter dash. Newcomer Devin Dick is 27th in the heptathlon as well.

On the women’s side, combined events specialist Ryann Krais is one of five 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 14th in the high jump. Treasure leapt 5-11.50 (1.82m) in her second meet as a Wildcat. She ranks ninth in jumps from this season only. Boglarka Bozzay ranks 19th in the 800 meters after her win at the Husker Invitational, and the pair of Mairead Murphy and Erica Twiss join Krais in the pentathlon rankings.

High Jump U
K-State high jumper Erik Kynard has made a name for himself in the track and field world winning his first NCAA title last year and qualifying for Team USA at the IAAF World Championships as well. This season, the Wildcats have a female high jumper that is already jumping among the best in the collegiate ranks to further plead K-State’s case to be known as High Jump U.

Freshman Alyx Treasure opened the season with a leap of 1.78 meters in December. She followed that performance with a clearing of 1.82m to rank seventh in school history and tie for fourth on the NCAA performance list so far this season. She currently is tied for ninth on the list and cleared 1.82m again in her last competition.

With Kynard’s clearing of 2.31m and Treasure’s jump of 1.82m, K-State is one of only three schools with a male and female high jumper ranked in the top 10 on the NCAA list this season. Arizona is the other school challenging K-State for the High Jump U name this season with defending NCAA champion Brigetta Barrett atop the list women’s at 1.97m. The Arizona Wildcats also have a pair of jumpers on the men’s list with Nick Ross tied for second and Edgar Morales-Rivera tied for ninth. Florida’s Dwight Barbiasz is tied for sixth while Taylor Burke is ninth.

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 seven women’s teams are in the USTFCCCA Top 25 Rankings. The seven women’s teams are the most of any conference.

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. Texas A&M and Oklahoma are the other two teams with both their men and women ranked in the Top 25. The Aggies are No. 8 in the men’s rankings and No. 9 in the women’s. OU’s men are No. 11 and the women stand at No. 19. Also ranked among the women are No. 8 Texas Tech, No. 14 Iowa State and No. 15 Baylor. The Kansas women crack the Top 25 for the first time this week at No. 24. Texas Tech’s (26) and Baylor’s (28) men are just outside the Top 25.