K-State Track Heads to Arizona State Invitational

Jeffrey Julmis

March 23, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats continue their western swing this week as the track and field team travels from San Diego to Tempe, Ariz., to compete in the Arizona State Invitational. K-State finishes off a 10-day trip over spring break to open the outdoor season with the ASU Invitational after competing at the Aztec Invitational hosted by San Diego State last weekend.

The ASU Invitational will feature a number of the nation’s top programs including Big 12 Conference foes Texas A&M and Baylor. Arizona State has had recent success on the national level as well winning both the men’s and women’s NCAA Indoor titles in 2008. Last season, the ASU men finished fourth outdoors.

Competition at the ASU Invitational gets underway on Thursday with the hammer throw and pole vault. K-State will have some Wildcats in action in those events after Tomaz Bogovic posted the third best mark in the men’s hammer throw in school history last week at the Aztec Invitational.

The remainder of events will be held Saturday from Sun Angel Stadium and some well-known track stars will be in action as well. Olympians Jeremy Wariner and Wallace Spearmon are among the impressive list of names competing at the ASU Invitational both collegiate and professional.

Wildcats Open Outdoor Strong
K-State travelled to the West Coast to open the 2011 outdoor season and the Wildcats came out with a number of impressive performances tallying 10 wins over the two days of action at the Aztec Invitational hosted by San Diego State. K-State swept the top three spots in the women’s 1,500 meters and men’s 800 meters during the open competition on Friday to again demonstrate the depth and strength of the mid-distance runners.

Boglarka Bozzay led the way for the women with her time of 4:32.24 and was followed by Martina Tresch and Sara Stoakes. Tresch would go on to win the 3,000 meter steeplechase in the invitational competition Saturday with Stoakes earning the victory in the invitational 800 meters as well. The trio of Sam James, Jacob Davies and Kyle Hanson finished 1-2-3 in the men’s open 800 meters. James would go on to win the invitational 800m as well with a new personal best time of 1:50.25.

Continuing the mid-distance success, Meghan Heuer won the open 800 meters, and Laura Lee Baird was close behind in third. Franciso Colomar won the 400 meter hurdles with Luke Hibbeler in second, the men’s 4x100 won as well. Martynas Jurgilas claimed the men’s 100 meters with his time of 10.55 seconds into a strong headwind.

Sophomore high jumper Erik Kynard started the outdoor season with a bang leaping 7-05.75 to dominate the competition by more than eight inches. His mark also ranks No. 1 in the NCAA early in the outdoor season.

Also impressing in his first outdoor action as a Wildcat was transfer Tomaz Bogovic. He finished second in the hammer throw with his throw of 192-11 which also ranks third in school history.

K-State Men Ranked in Outdoor Preseason
The Kansas State men are ranked in the USTFCCCA Preseason Rankings for the outdoor season debuting at No. 19 after finishing the indoor season tied for 18th at the NCAA Championship. The Wildcats welcome back seven of the nation’s elite athletes in their respective events and welcome one newcomer on the list. The rankings place student-athletes according to their best marks from last season and the first week of this season awarding points for those performances to come up with the rankings formula.

High jumper Erik Kynard is No. 1 in his event with his jump of 7-05.75 last week while three more Wildcats are in the Top 10 in their events. Mantas Silkauskas is ranked third in the decathlon with Moritz Cleve joining him at No. 10. Hurdler Jeffrey Julmis is sixth in the 110 meter hurdles.

Transfer Tomaz Bogovic is 21st in the men’s hammer throw after his strong numbers while at Arizona the last two seasons. Martynas Jurgilas (100m), Michael Healey (high jump) and Dezso Szabo (pole vault) round out the Wildcats contributing to the ranking for the men.

K-State’s women are ranked No. 39 in the preseason with six athletes ranked in a total of seven events. Martina Tresch and TiAra Walpool lead the women’s squad as each is ranked ninth in the respective event. Tresch broke the school record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase last season, and Walpool has reached the NCAA Championship in both of her outdoor seasons in the triple jump. Nina Kokot is ranked 11th in the long jump, and Ryann Krais is 14th in the heptathlon from her All-America performance at UCLA last season. Krais is also ranked in the 400 meter hurdles.

Ali Pistora (javelin) and Sara Stoakes (800m) complete the list of Wildcat women ranked in their events and receiving points for the ranking formula.

The Big 12 is again one of the top conferences with six men’s teams ranked in the Top 25 and seven on the women’s side. Texas A&M (2), Texas Tech (3) and Nebraska (9) give the men three teams in the Top 10. All six of the teams are ranked higher than No. 20 with Oklahoma (15) and Texas (17) joining K-State on the list.

Texas A&M are the preseason favorites on the women’s side with Oklahoma (4) and Texas (7) also in the Top 10. Texas Tech (12), Kansas (14), Colorado (21) and Baylor (24) complete the Big 12 schools on the list.