Wildcats Return to Familiar Territory

TiAra Walpool

April 5, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Two track and field facilities will be fresh in the minds of the Kansas State Wildcats this weekend when they split up to compete at the Sun Angel Track Classic and the ESU Relays. K-State has competed in outdoor meets already this season hosted by Arizona State and Emporia State, so the Wildcats should not be uncomfortable with the atmosphere, making for an exciting meet against strong competition.

K-State will send its distance runners and women’s combined events athletes to the Sun Angel Classic. After competing in a heptathlon last week at the Jim Click Shootout, the combined program will be participating in a handful of events and relays. The Wildcat throwers will again be at ESU on Saturday along with men’s combined events program and sprinters. Action in Arizona gets underway on Thursday with high school events. Collegiate events begin Friday afternoon with the hammer throw and running events start at 7 p.m. under the lights of Sun Angel Stadium. Running finals and the remainder of the field events are slated for Saturday afternoon. Action in Emporia starts at 11 a.m. Saturday with the hammer throw and will conclude with the 4x400 at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Multis Make Splash at Shootout
With the women’s multi program on display at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz., the Kansas State Wildcats did not disappoint with senior Ryann Krais leading the way with a fourth-place finish and placing higher than any collegiate athlete in the field. Krais scored 5,694 points over the two days of action in the heptathlon to trail only three professional athletes.

K-State’s newcomers all put together strong performances as well for the Wildcats with senior transfer Mairead Murphy claiming sixth place with 5,315 points. Junior college transfer Richelle Farley was not far behind with 5,077 points and a 10th-place finish. Freshman Joslyn Barnes took advantage of her strong jumping abilities to finish 12th with her point total of 5,021 points. Murphy, Farley and Barnes all cracked the school’s top 10 performance list with Krais already holding the No. 2 spot in K-State history from last season. Murphy’s score ranks fifth in school history as Farley now stands in eighth and Barnes in 10th to make the 5,000-point mark the goal for any Wildcat to make the list.

In addition to the Wildcats who cracked the school’s top 10 list, freshman Sarah Kolmer also scored big with 4,988 points to stand 11th on the list and take 13th place at the meet. Sophomores Erica Twiss and Julia Zeiner took 18th and 19th place, respectively

High Jumpers Thrive at Texas Relays
Junior Erik Kynard won the men’s high jump with his leap of 7-03.00 (2.21 meters) at the 85th Annual Texas Relays. He bested a pair of jumpers from Indiana in Darius King and Derek Drouin. King finished third at the NCAA Indoor Championship, and Drouin swept the 2010 high jump titles and won indoors in 2011 before redshirting outdoor last year and indoor this year. Kynard elected to raise the bar to 7-05.25 (2.27m) but missed all three of his attempts at the height.

For the women, freshman Alyx Treasure was the top collegiate in the field as she finished second to four-time Olympian Amy Acuff. Treasure and Acuff both cleared 6-00.50 (1.84 meters). Acuff went on to jump 6-04.75 to win the competition. Treasure bested Kentucky’s Terri-Ann Grant and a group of jumpers from the Texas Longhorns.

Both high jump events featured a number of athletes who competed recently at the NCAA Indoor Championship with Kynard and Treasure each jumping better than their competitors who bested them there.

K-State Dominates ESU Open
The Wildcats sent a large group to compete at the ESU Open and came away victorious in 11 of the 17 events they were entered. K-State’s victories at Emporia were highlighted by a sweep of the 100 meters. Senior Martynas Jurgilas won the men’s race with his time of 10.43 seconds in his first meet of the outdoor season. Kim Haberman had strong day for the Wildcats as she won the women’s 100 meters in 12.17 seconds. She also won the women’s long jump with a big leap of 19-02.00 to miss her personal record by six inches in her first jump of the season.

Freshman Sophia Alonso continued to make an impact for the team in her first season wearing purple as she won the 200 meters, clocking in at 24.62 seconds. She also ran the opening leg of the women’s 4x100 relay that claimed another victory. Alonso teamed up with Haberman, Edina Brooks and Cenarda Jackson to defeat Emporia State by nearly four-tenths of a second. Jackson was one of the Wildcats to take home second place as she finished close behind Haberman in the 100. K-State’s domination came with wins in: 4x400, 400 hurdles, high jump, pole vault, hammer throw and shot put.

Wildcats Move Up to No. 15 in USTFCCCA Top 25
After the first few weeks of the outdoor track and field season, the Kansas State women have made an impact on the national scene and moved up four spots in the latest USTFCCCA Rankings. The organization updated its rankings for the first time after putting a preseason list together two weeks ago. This week’s rankings now include marks from this season, and K-State is moving up.

The Wildcat women opened the outdoor season at No. 19 on the preseason list with senior Ryann Krais ranked among the nation’s best in four different events. This week, K-State climbs four spots to No. 15 thanks to the efforts by Boglarka Bozzay, Alyx Treasure and Mairead Murphy. Bozzay is now ranked in the 1,500 meters after her run ASU Invitational. Treasure made a strong outdoor debut, leaping 1-.84 meters to rank second in the nation this season and seventh overall taking into account some of last year’s marks still being used in the rankings formula. Murphy finished sixth at the Jim Click Shootout in the heptathlon with her score of 5,315 and is ranked 23rd in the event.

Bozzay is still among the best in the 800 meters along with fifth-year senior Sydney Messick in the 10,000. Martina Tresch is in the top 10 in the steeplechase and fifth-year senior TiAra Walpool is one of the top triple jumpers. Sophomore Julia Zeiner gives K-State three athletes ranked in the heptathlon.

The men’s team drops three spots to No. 36 this week. Erik Kynard remains No. 1 in the high jump while Mantas Silkauskas is ranked in the decathlon and 110 hurdles. Two sprinters are also on the list in the respective events, and a trio of throwers also are contributing to the ranking for the men’s team.

The USTFCCCA Rankings use marks from the 2011 NCAA season that are better than any marks from the current season to determine the rankings with a point system basked on ranking and mark within each event. The next two weeks will continue to use data from last season, at which point marks from only this season will be used to create a more accurate assessment of the top teams in the NCAA.

Big 12 Among Top Conferences in Nation
The Big 12 Conference is known across the country as one of the top leagues in the nation with its exposure in football and basketball, but track and field is yet another sport the Big 12 can hang with the best. In this week’s USTFCCCA Rankings six men’s teams and seven women’s teams are ranked in the Top 25. Three of those men’s teams are in the Top 10 while the women boast an impressive half of the Top 10. All seven of the women’s teams that are ranked are No. 17 or higher.

Three schools (Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech) have both their men’s and women’s programs in the Top 10. Baylor, Kansas and Oklahoma join those schools with having both teams in the Top 25. A number of Big 12 programs are knocking on the door to the Top 25 as well. With the strength of its men’s distance program, Oklahoma State is on the verge at No. 27, and K-State is at No. 36. Iowa State’s women are also No. 27 thanks to their strong distance program to put the Cyclones near elite status.

Only the SEC (7) has more teams in the Top 25 than the Big 12 does. Four of those teams are in the Top 10 with the Pac-12 (2) and the ACC (1) completing the Top 10. No other conference has more teams in the Top 25 than the Big 12 women. The Pac-12 is close behind with five and has two more in the Top 35.

Taking every team in the Big 12 into account as the USFTCCCA ranks every teams, the Big 12 men’s average ranking is 30.5. The Big 12 women combine to average 22.3. Of the other power conferences in track and field, the Pac-12 is closest to the Big 12 with a men’s average ranking of 27.3 and a women’s ranking of 35.8.