Wildcats Head to Wichita for K.T. Woodman Classic

Tarique Hill

April 11, 2013

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State Track and Field will stay close to home this week as the Wildcats travel south to the K.T. Woodman Classic hosted by Wichita State. Action starts Friday evening with distance events and the javelin with the remainder of events slated to start Saturday morning. The Wildcats will have student-athletes in action in nearly every event this weekend as the Big 12 Championship is less than a month away.

The meet will bring teams from across the region at the NCAA Division I and II levels as well as junior colleges and some from the NAIA ranks. Following a weekend in Arizona where the Wildcats posted a handful of marks that ranked among the best in school history, the team will be looking to build off those performances this weekend at Cessna Stadium.

Fans can watch the action live online with a webcast available at goshockers.com. Live results will also be available at halfmiletiming.com and updates can be found on K-State's live events Twitter account @kstate_gameday. Wichita State should also have updates on @WichitaSt_TFXC.

Men's Track & Field Ranked No. 20
The outdoor track and field season is starting to heat up with about a month until conference championships begin and the K-State men are ranked in the Top 25 by the latest USTFCCCA  Rankings. The Wildcats hold steady at No. 20 this week after climbing three spots a week ago. Three men are currently ranked in the top 10 in their respective events. The women slipped one spot to No. 49 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 jumpers 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 last week after posting a new PR at the Texas Relays that ranks eighth in the NCAA this season and puts him ninth in the USTFCCCA rankings.

Carlos Rodriguez is ranked in three different events. He has posted new PR's in the 100 and 200 meters to put him on the list in those events and he also ran a leg of the 4x100 that is currently No. 41.

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 and freshman Reinis Kregers give K-State three Wildcats ranked in the top 25 in decathlon.

K-State's women have eight individuals ranked for a total of 10 individual events plus the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. Richelle Farley and Jacquelyne Leffler are each ranked in two events.

The Wildcats have a total of four women ranked in the heptathlon. They are the only school with four athletes ranked in the top 50 in the 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 again this week. The Texas Longhorns come in at No. 7 to give the women two in the top 10. Texas Tech (14) and Iowa State (15) make it four in the top 15 and Baylor (19)  falls five spots. Oklahoma's women slipped on spot to No. 24 for six in the Top 25.

The men have five teams in the Top 25 with Texas leading at No. 5. Texas Tech (14), Oklahoma (15) and K-State (20) all hold steady this week. Baylor (24) dropped one spot, and Oklahoma State (27) fell two spots out of the Top 25 this week. KU (28) and Iowa State (31) remain just outside the Top 25 for the men, and TCU stands at No. 40 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. 38 to put eight of the 10 teams in the Top 40.

Kynard Remains on Bowerman Watch List
The USTFCCCA announced its updated Bowerman Watch List for April on Wednesday and the list of 10 student-athletes up for college track and field's biggest award still includes Kansas State high jumper Erik Kynard. Kynard was on the initial Preseason Watch List and again in each update throughout indoor season and now on the second outdoor update. His third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championship and his season-high jump of 2.33 meters (7-07.75) at the KSU Open keep him on the list now. He has an outdoor best just of 2.27 meters (7-05.25) so far this year.

The Bowerman Watch List includes a number of individual NCAA titles won by the honorees, including eight during this indoor season alone.

Rodriguez Rolls at Jim Click Shootout
Sophomore sprinter Carlos Rodriguez is running hard so far this outdoor season as he is fresh off three stellar performances at the Jim Click Shootout where he posted two new personal records and broke a school record. Rodriguez finished second in both the 100 and 200 meters to tally those PR's. His time of 20.72 seconds into a strong headwind broke the school record for the 200 meters and ranks No. 8 in the nation this season. His 100 time of 10.39 is 25th in the NCAA this year and he ran a leg on the 4x100 relay that is 21st in the nation with a time of 40.18.

Overall for the Wildcats at the meet, K-State took on a number of ranked teams in a team scored meet. Both the men and women came away in third place over the three days of action that included a combined events competition.

Combined Events Display Depth in Arizona
Kansas State has sent its combined events group to the Jim Click Shootout the last few years and come away with strong performances every time. This year was more of the same with Tomas Kirielius and Reinis Kregers finishing second and third overall as the top collegiate athletes in the field.  Their scores of 7,505 and 7,343 points, respectively, puts them both in the top 10 in the NCAA so far this season and in position to potentially qualify for the NCAA Championship.

On the women's side, Erica Twiss posted a new PR with a score of 5,348 points to rank sixth in school history and 12th this season in the NCAA. Sophomore Sarah Kolmer finished eighth with a new personal best score that ranks 10th in school history with fellow sophomore Joslyn Barnes right behind her in ninth place in a deep field.