Wildcats Split for Exciting Weekend Action

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats will head to two different meets this weekend to take on highly competitive fields at facilities they will see again later in the season. K-State will send 26 Wildcats north to Ames, Iowa, for the ISU Classic and another group of 19 will head to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational.

Iowa State will host the Big 12 Indoor Championship in two weeks so the ISU Classic will serve as another opportunity to the Wildcats to become familiar with the Leid Recreational Center and its unorthodox 300 meter track. Arkansas will also be a hot spot for postseason action hosting the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.

The coaching staff spoke strongly about the fields competing at both meets with large numbers coming to both events. The Tyson Invitational will also be holding special invitationals in a number of events with the nation's top athletes going head-to-head. Three Wildcats will be participating in those select fields with TiAra Walpool competing in the triple jump, Sam James running in a special 800 meters invitational and high jumper Erik Kynard, Jr., joining a field of the top jumpers.

K-State will bring its top throwers on both the men's and women's sides to compete in the weight throw. Two athletes who competed at last year's NCAA meet will be in the men's field, and six of the nation's top 30 marks will be represented in the field as well. Six of the top throwers for the women will be in Arkansas as well.

Hurdler Jeffrey Julmis currently holds the ninth fastest time in the NCAA this season in the 60 meter hurdles. This weekend's field will include 13 of the top 30 times and include a number of professional runners to make it one of the most competitive hurdle races to date this year. Julmis will be joined by Balazs Baji in the hurdles, and the pair will also run the 200 meters.

The men's high jump invitational will be a strong field as well with seven of the top 30 marks this season competing in the field of 16 in addition to former Wildcat Scott Sellers competing professionally for Nike.

Walpool will be facing nine of the top 30 jumpers in a field of 19 in the invitational triple jump. She currently ranks 34th in the event.

A group of K-State multi-event athletes will be competing in a number of different disciplines to prep for the heptathlon at the Big 12 Championship. Moritz Cleve and Mantas Silkauskas will be in the hurdles and long jump, and Silkauskas will add the 200 meters to his slate.

At the ISU Classic, K-State will take a number of distance runners to compete in addition to a small group of sprinters and mutli athletes. The meet will feature a men's heptathlon and women's pentathlon, but K-State will not be participating in either electing to focus on a select few events for the multi athletes competing. The Wildcats will also field a women's distance medley relay team and a 4x400. The men will run in the 4x400 as well.

A total of nine men's teams ranked among the top 50 will be in Ames along with six women's teams to make up the deep and competitive fields.

- k-statesports.com -