Wildcats Head to NCAA Championships

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats send a small group of student athletes to Arkansas this weekend to compete at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Five Wildcats will make the journey and take on the nations top athletes in their respective events in hopes of bringing more accolades back to Manhattan.

K-State enters the championship meet with one of the top women's distance runners in school history Beverly Ramos looking for her first indoor All-America performance. Ramos has received outdoor All-America honors in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and took home the award for cross country this fall, but has not earned one during indoor yet. She comes to the NCAA Championship with the 13th fastest time in the nation this season after winning at Notre Dame last week. Ramos will also run in the 5,000M which will take place on the first night of action. She enters the meet with the 17th fastest time in the field.

The Wildcats also have one of the nation's top young high jumpers in Erik Kynard, Jr. Kynard is tied for sixth this season with his highest jump coming at the Big 12 Championship finishing second when he leapt 7-03.75 (2.23m). The winning jump at the Big 12 meet was the highest in the nation at 7-05.00 (2.26m).

One Wildcat is coming off the best performance in school history in her event to take a head of steam into the NCAA Championship. Nina Kokot sailed past the school record in the long jump en route to finishing second at the Big 12 Championship. Kokot jumped 20-10.00 (6.35m) to best the previous record by four inches and her previous personal record by more than six. It also was the first time Kokot competed all season as she started and finished with a bang. Kokot is ranked 14th in the nation heading into this weekend's NCAA Championship.

In the men's hurdles Jeffrey Julmis hopes to continue running faster as he improved his best time of the season at the Big 12 Championship running in 7.83 seconds to finish seventh in a deep and talented field. The time is just .03 seconds off the school record. Julmis is currently tied for 15th in the nation with his time of 7.83.

Mantas Silkauskas is prepared to make his first appearance at an NCAA Championship meet in the heptathlon as the sophomore scored a career-high 5,579 points at the Big 12 Championship to qualify for the national meet. Silkauskas is looking to reaffirm K-State's status as one of the top multi-event programs in the nation. K-State has had an All-American in the heptathlon three of the last five years with Moritz Cleve finishing fifth last year.

Last year, K-State tallied 14 points on the men's side to finish tied for 16th place with Cleve's fifth-place mark and Scott Sellers' high jump crown. The women did not score at the 2009 meet.

The meet will be held at the Randal Tyson Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Fans can follow the action live on the internet as ESPN360.com will stream the championships live beginning at 8 p.m. Friday and 6:10 p.m. on Saturday. To access the live stream, visit www.ESPN360.com. NCAA.com will stream supplemental coverage as available when ESPN360.com is not live. Additionally, ESPN2 will air a 90-minute show at 12:30 p.m. March 17. Tickets are also available for purchase through ArkansasRazorbacks.com for $25 in general admission and $35 reserved seating.

Ramos Wins Again
Kansas State senior Beverly Ramos went to the Alex Wilson Invitational with the intent of improving on her time in the 3,000 meters to help ensure her a spot in the field at the NCAA Championship next week. Ramos did just that winning the event and improving her time by nearly four seconds.

Ramos won the 3,000 with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 9:14.62 besting the field by more than 13 seconds. She was just off the automatic mark of 9:13.00. Her new time stands 13th in the nation to move her up the descending order list and all but guarantee a spot in the NCAA Championship. Her time would qualify for second in school history but is not eligible due to Notre Dame's over-sized track. It is the fastest time run on an over-sized track in K-State history.

- k-statesports.com -