Wildcats Face Top 10 Teams at Jim Click Shootout

April 3, 2013

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Kansas State track and field is going west again this week for its third meet of the outdoor season in the state of Arizona. This week, the Wildcats will take on more top teams at the Jim Click Shootout hosted by the Arizona Wildcats. The Jim Click Shootout will be a team scored meet and open with a combined events meet Thursday and Friday with K-State sending its multis group to Arizona to compete in their first heptathlon and decathlon of the season.

All four of the men’s decathletes will be in action with seniors Devin Dick, Tomas Kirielius and Tony Granillo looking to post strong marks in their first decathlons of the season. Freshman Reinis Kregers also has his eyes set on making an immediate impact for the group. Sophomores Joslyn Barnes and Sarah Kolmer will be in action with junior Erica Twiss in the heptathlon as the Wildcats will display their depth on both the men’s and women’s sides of the combined events.

Saturday will be a full day of action for the Wildcats with members of K-State’s team entered in nearly every event on the schedule. It will be a busy meet for K-State’s throwers and sprinters with many of the athletes entered in multiple events on Saturday.

K-State will be up against some of the best teams in the nation as well with hosting Arizona ranked No. 21 on the men’s side and No. 5 for the women. The Arizona Wildcats boast a strong men’s distance program and the women have the No. 1 ranked high jumper and 400 meter hurdler as well as three women ranked in the top 10 in the shot put.

Other teams competing at the Jim Click Shootout will be Iowa, Ohio State and Stanford. Texas will be sending only its men’s team to the meet. Stanford’s women are ranked No. 9 this week by the USTFCCCA. Ohio State’s men come in at No. 24 with Texas the highest ranked men’s team at the meet at No. 5. Four of the six men’s teams competing are ranked in the Top 25, making the Jim Click Shootout one of the most competitive team scored meets of the weekend.

Fans can follow the action with live results online. A link can be found on kstatesports.com as well as arizonawildcats.com. Updates will also be posted on Twitter with K-State’s live event account @kstate_gameday and @ArizonaTrack.

Events to Watch
•  Heptathlon/Decathlon
K-State will have three in action in the decathlon where three athletes in the field rank No. 21 or higher.  A number of schools are entered in only the multi-events with Colorado and Oklahoma sending their top women to take on a strong field that includes five of the top 30. Former Wildcat Ryann Krais and volunteer assistant coach Bettie Wade will also be in action.
•  Men’s 1500m
Three of the Top 10 runners in this event could be in the field with Texas’ Kyle Merber (No. 1), Arizona’s Lawi Lalang (No. 2) and Stanford’s Tyler Stutzman (No. 9). K-State will enter Ryan Hershner in the event.
•  4x100 Relays
Both the men’s and women’s 4x100 relays should be highly competitive. Six of the seven men’s teams at the meet are currently are listed in the USTFCCCA Rankings on the men’s side, and
•  Shot Put
The field for the men and women will be loaded in this event. Texas boasts two of the top three with another in the top 20. K-State’s Ryan Hershberger is ranked No. 37. Arizona’s women have three of the top 10.K-State’s Jacquelyene Leffler ranks No. 30, and redshirt freshman Dani Winters has posted a PR two weeks in a row.
•  Women’s Hammer Throw
Three of the top 11 women could be in the field to make this one of the closest competitions of the meet. K-State’s Sara Savatovic will take on Ohio State’s Alexis Thomas and Arizona’s Taylor Bush.  
•  Women’s 800m
This field could have two of the top 15 runners with Stanford’s Justine Fedronic and Joy O’Hare. K-State freshman Sonia Gaskin is ready to run strong after winning a silver medal at the CARIFTA Games on Monday.

Wait Battles in Deep Pole Vault Field in Texas
Big 12 champion pole vaulter Kyle Wait took on one of the best collegiate pole vault fields assembled  at the Texas Relays and came away with a new personal best and sixth-place finish. Wait cleared the bar at 5.51 meters (18-01.00) in a field that included the entire NCAA Indoor Championship field, minus the champion, plus a few other strong competitors. Wait finished sixth based on clearing 5.51 on his first attempt with places seventh through nine also clearing the height. It was the highest sixth place mark in men’s pole vault in NCAA Division I history, making the Texas Relays pole vault the deepest pole vault competition fielded.

Kynard Edged by Drouin at Texas Relays
An event that was circled on any track fan’s calendar at the Texas Relays was the men’s high jump. Four of the top six finishers from the NCAA Indoor Championship were in the field, and one of the best rivalries in the sport would be on display again. Erik Kynard and Indiana’s Derek Drouin were set to face for the 12th time in their careers. Drouin got the victory this time with a jump of 2.30 meters (7-06.50) while Kynard cleared 2.27 meters (7-05.25). Drouin has won both meets he and Kynard have both been entered this season to take the lead head-to-head 7-5.

Meet Records Fall at ESU spring Open
The Wildcats sent a mixed group of athletes to compete at the ESU Spring Open and K-State came away with four victories that included three new meet records. Sophomore pole vaulter Tommy Brady posted a new PR and improved his own meet record from his freshman year to 4.85 meters (15-11.00). Ryan Hershberger continued his steady improvement through the outdoor season with a new meet record in the shot put. Sophomore Avery Loyd ran a PR in the 400 meter hurdles to set a new meet record as well at 1:05.74.

K-State’s other victory came in the men’s 100 meters with freshman Jordan Oakry running 10.79 seconds for his best time of the season thus far. The Wildcats also saw redshirt freshman Dani Winters post PRs in the shot put and discus. Her shot put of 14.88 meters (48-10.00) ranks ninth in school history. Newcomer Olivia Housholder made her debut in the javelin and finished fourth with a throw of 41.53 meters (136-03) to rank 10th in school history.

Men’s Track & Field Ranked No. 20
Outdoor track and field season is a few weeks in and the K-State men are ranked in the Top 25 by the USTFCCCA in its first rankings of the outdoor season following its preseason rankings. The Wildcats climbed three spots this week up to No. 20 as three men are currently ranked in the top 10 in their respective events. The women slipped two spots to No. 48 this week.

Senior high jumper Erik Kynard leads the way with the No. 1 ranking in his event as the rankings formula is still taking top marks from last season into account. He is the back-to-back defending champion in the high jump and broke the school record and facility record at historic Drake Stadium last year in one of the most exciting and dramatic high jump finals in some time at the NCAA Championship last year.

Joining Kynard among the top in the high jump is junior college transfer Zack Riley. He won the NJCAA Championship with a leap of 2.26 meters (7-05.00) to make K-State the only school to have two high jumpers ranked in the top 10 and to have cleared 7-05.00.

Big 12 champion pole vaulter Kyle Wait entered the outdoor season ranked No. 18 but he shot up the rankings this week after posting a new PR that ranks eighth in the NCAA this season and puts him ninth in the USTFCCCA rankings.

Carlos Rodriguez is ranked in three different events. His times from the 100 and 200 meters last year put him on the list in those events and he also ran a leg of the 4x100 last year that is currently No. 21.

The Wildcats have three rankings in the throws with Ryan Hershberger in the shot put and Tomas Kirielius and Ivan Hartung in the javelin. Kirielius along with Devin Dick give K-State two Wildcats ranked in the decathlon.

K-State’s women have eight individuals ranked for a total of 10 individual events plus the 4x100 relay. Richelle Farley and Jacquelyne Leffler are each ranked in two events.

The Wildcats have a total of four rankings in the throwing events for the women with Leffler ranked in the discus and hammer throw, and three in the heptathlon. Three rankings are in the top 15 in their respective event.

Big 12 Presence Felt in Top 25
The Big 12 Conference has long been a force in track and field; and after the league performed well at the NCAA Indoor Championship, the league is well-represented in the USTFCCCA Rankings for outdoor.

The Kansas women were the preseason No. 1 for outdoors after taking second place indoors and hold that spot this week. The Texas Longhorns come in at No. 6 to give the women two in the top 10. Texas Tech (13) and Baylor (14) make it four in the top 15 and Iowa State climbs up to No. 17 this week into the Top 25. Oklahoma’s women were big movers this week up 10 spots to No. 33.

Both the men and women have six teams in the Top 25 with Texas leading the men at No. 5. Texas Tech (14) and Oklahoma (15) give the conference three in the top 15, and K-State climbs three spots to No. 20. Baylor (23) joins the Top 25 this week, moving up five spots and Oklahoma State falls to the No. 25 spot. KU (26) and Iowa State (31) are just outside the Top 25 for the men, and TCU stands at No. 37 to put the entire conference on the men’s side ranked in the top 40. West Virginia does not field a men’s track and field team.

Oklahoma State’s women are looking to move into the Top 25 with its strong distance program currently at No. 31, and TCU stands No. 37 to put eight of the 10 teams in the Top 40.

Kynard Remains on Bowerman Watch List
The USTFCCCA announced its Post-Indoor Bowerman Watch List on Wednesday and the list of 10 student-athletes up for college track and field’s biggest award includes Kansas State high jumper Erik Kynard. Kynard was on the initial Preseason Watch List and again following conference championship meets. His third-place finish at the NCAA Championship last week and his season-high jump of 2.33 meters (7-07.75) at the KSU Open keep him on the list now.

The Post-Indoor Bowerman Trophy Watch List includes a total of nine NCAA titles won by the honorees. Four athletes also moved onto the list after strong performances at the NCAA Championship in Arkansas.

Kynard currently holds the No. 2 jump in the NCAA this season at 2.33 meters (7-07.75). That mark was a new KSU Open meet record, tied his own school record and tied the Ahearn Field House facility record. At the NCAA Championship, Kynard cleared 2.29 meters (7-06.00) to finish third based on misses. It was the deepest field seen in the high jump in some time as seven jumpers cleared 2.26 meters (7-05.00).