Wildcats Take on Four Meets this Week

Tarique Hill

April 17, 2013

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Kansas Relays: Central Page | Live Results | Heat Sheets | Tickets

Mt. SAC Relays: Central Page | Live Webcast | Live Results | Heat Sheets

Twitter Accounts: @kstate_gameday | @KU_Relays | @FloTrack (covering Mt. SAC Relays)

Kansas State Track and Field will spread across the country this week with the Wildcats competing in four different meets for a busy week of action. The Wildcats will keep a small group of athletes nearby at the Kansas Relays while a good portion of the team is headed to the West Coast for three separate meets.

The top meet on the docket out west will be the Mt. SAC Relays. Traditionally, one of the strongest meets on this week of the schedule, the Mt. SAC Relays will feature some of the top teams and athletes in the nation. One event that will be highlighted is the men’s invitational elite high jump where four Olympians will compete in the field. K-State’s silver medalist Erik Kynard will be up against some familiar foes from the London Olympic Games while also taking on some of the other top collegians in the event today. USA Olympic Trials bronze medalist Nick Ross from Arizona is competing unattached in the field, and two more jumpers from the NCAA Indoor Championship are set to compete. One other professional of note is Dusty Jonas. The former Nebraska Cornhusker is back from an ankle injury after missing the Olympic Trials last year and has already cleared 2.25 meters outdoors and jumped 2.34 indoors in February.

While on the West Coast, K-State will also compete at the Cal State L.A. Twilight Open as well as the Beach Invitational hosted by Long Beach State. The Wildcats are sending their top sprinters, jumpers and distance runners to the meets in California. Mt. SAC has a long history of being one of the top meets for distance runners each year and this year the Wildcats look to have solid performances again at the meet.

The Mt. SAC Relays will be webcast live online by FloTrack.org. Live results will be available Thursday through Saturday at mtsacrelays.com. FloTrack will also be tweeting from Mt. SAC Relays on @FloTrack Twitter account. Live results will not be available at the Cal State L.A. Twilight Open on Thursday or the Beach Invitational on Saturday.

This year’s Kansas Relays will be the last time the historic meet is held at Memorial Stadium. A ground breaking ceremony was held Tuesday for a new facility at KU that will incorporate track, softball and soccer. Tickets for the Kansas Relays are available for just $10 to adults and $5 for youth and seniors. A family plan is available for only $20 that includes two adult tickets and two youth tickets. Children under the age of five are admitted for free. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office at Memorial Stadium. Paid parking also is available west of the stadium or in the parking garage next to the student union.

Fans can get updates on K-State by following the live events Twitter handle @kstate_gameday. Hashtags will also provide some assistance for fans. The following hashtags will be in use over the weekend by various Twitter accounts: #KStateTF, #MtSAC, #kurelays13.

K-State Wins Seven Events in Windy Wichita
The Wildcats battled windy conditions at the K.T. Woodman Classic but came away from the meet hosted by Wichita State with seven victories. Those wins were spread out across the relays, throws and jumps. The women’s 4x100 and 4x400 relays tallied wins and K-State won both the men’s and women’s shot put as Dani Winters posted the No. 5 toss in school history for her victory. Cameron Savage moved into third in school history winning the men’s pole vault, and Jharyl Bowry won the long jump.  Sonia Gaskin claimed the 400 meters as well.

Men’s Track & Field Ranked No. 21
The outdoor track and field season is starting to heat up with about two weeks until the Big 12 Conference Championships and the K-State men are ranked in the Top 25 by the latest USTFCCCA  Rankings. The Wildcats slipped one spot to No. 21 this week after climbing three spots two weeks ago. Three men are currently ranked in the top 10 in their respective events. The women slipped five spots to No. 54 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 with 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 two weeks ago 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. 23.

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 26th or higher in the decathlon.

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

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 with championship season fast approaching 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 hold steady at No. 7 to give the women two in the top 10. Texas Tech (15), Iowa State (16) and Baylor (17) make it five in the top 20. Oklahoma’s women stay at No. 24 for six in the Top 25.

The men also have six teams in the Top 25 with Texas leading at No. 6. Texas Tech (16) and Oklahoma (17) both slip two spots and K-State (21) and Baylor (25) each drop one. Oklahoma State climbs into the Top 25 this week at No. 23, up four spots. KU (27) and Iowa State (33) remain just outside the Top 25 for the men, and TCU stands at No. 41 to put the entire conference on the men’s side ranked in the top 50. West Virginia does not field a men’s track and field team.

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.