Busy Week Ahead for K-State Track & Field

Boglarka Bozzay

April 18, 2012

Kansas Relays Central -- Live Results

Mt. SAC Relays -- Live Video -- Collegiate/Elite Heat Sheets

Cal State LA Twilight Open -- Heat Sheets

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State Wildcats will again split up for a series of meets this week as the track and field team will be in Lawrence for the 85th Kansas Relays and in California for three different competitions. Action is set to start for the Wildcats on Thursday at the Kansas Relays, Mt. SAC Relays and  Cal State LA Twilight Open. Action will continue at Kansas and Mt. SAC all weekend, with a small group heading to the Long Beach Invitational hosted by Cerritos College on Saturday as well.

K-State will be sending a larger group than in years past to the Mt. SAC Relays with a strong meet set to be on hand again. The meet traditionally brings in some of the top talent for the distance events with special invitational and Olympic Development heats. The Wildcats will have some of their athletes competing in those elite events in addition to bringing their top sprinters and jumpers this year.

At the 85th Kansas Relays, the Wildcats will again take their top throwers to the competition. A large group is set to take on the field in the hammer throw on both the men’s and women’s side and a number of those throwers will also take part in the shot put and discus. The men’s javelin group will also be in action. K-State’s pole vaulters will be competing to go head-to-head with some of the top vaulters in the region, including athletes from Nebraska and KU, which traditionally have strong vault programs. The Wildcats will see their intermediate hurdlers in action and the remainder of the sprinters not competing in California. K-State mid-distance runners not in California also will be running at the Kansas Relays.

This year’s Kansas Relays has again brought in some of the nation’s top professional runners for invitational heats. There will also be special invitational long jump and shot put competitions held in the street downtown similar to last year. The shot put competition features current No. 1 in the world Adam Nelson and former NCAA champion Ryan Whiting and will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire Streets. The long jump will be Thursday evening and highlight multiple female athletes ranked in the Top 10 in the world, including Janay DeLoach and Funmi Jimoh.

The men’s pole vault will feature former Olympic gold medalist Nick Hysong and welcome back former NCAA champions as well. Former Olympians will run in the women’s 400 meters and the men’s 400 meter hurdle invitational. Bronze medalist Bershawn “Batman” Jackson is set to run as he eyes the gold at this year’s Olympic Games.

Fans can catch all the action at the Kansas Relays with multiple ticket options available. Tickets can be purchased for just $10 with youth/senior tickets at just $5. A family pack is available for $20 that offers two adult tickets and two youth tickets. Live results will be available online provided by deltatiming.com. Live streaming also will be at kuathletics.com. The Mt. SAC Relays will also have live streaming and results available at its website mtsacrelays.com.

Wildcats Battle Elements in Texas, Wichita
The Kansas State track and field team battled the high winds at two different meets as the Wildcats came home with six victories. The Wildcats traveled to the UTEP Invitational in Texas and the K.T. Woodman Classic in Wichita and high winds dominated the events and in El Paso a sandstorm made things more difficult for the athletes as winds of more than 50 miles per hour made for an interesting day at the track.

In El Paso, mutli event specialist Richelle Farley ran a fast time in the women’s 100 meter hurdles at 13.86 but with a strong trail wind of 2.6 meters per second to finish third for the Wildcats. Erica Twiss also ran fast coming in sixth place at 14.12 seconds. The tandem of Samantha McKnight, Farley, TiAra Walpool and Twiss finished sixth in the 4x100 relay with a time of 47 seconds flat, marking the second-fastest time of the season by the Wildcats in the event.

In the field events in El Paso, freshman high jumper Alyx Treasure cleared 5-09.75 (1.77m) to take first place. To keep the strong finishes coming in the triple jump fifth-year senior TiAra Walpool leapt 40-09.75 (12.44m) to finish third. The poor conditions affected the men’s high jump as defending NCAA outdoor champion Erik Kynard finished first at just 7-01.75 (2.18m).
K-State also shined in the sprints at the UTEP Invitational despite the high winds with Martynas Juriglas winning the men’s 100 meters at 10.27 seconds. Carlos Rodriguez finished fourth in 10.40. In another sprinting event, senior Mantas Silkauskas clocked in at 13.88 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles to take first place. His time was at a legal wind advantage to mark his fastest time of the season in the event. Silkauskas teamed up with Rodriguez, Grant Loescher and Jurgilas to finish second in the 4x100 relay in 40.30 seconds

At the Woodman Classic, high winds also dominated the scene. The strong storms that hit the state of Kansas were able to avoid Wichita and the meet was able to be completed with high winds creating most of the problems. Jacquelyene Leffler was able the throw 158-09 (48.39m) in the discus to finished third with a new personal best in the event. Senior Chelsie Bonds took third place for the women’s squad in the hammer throw with her toss of 173-03 (52.80m). In the sprinting events, Dane Steen clocked in at 10.84 seconds but it was also wind-aided. He finished 19 for the meet. He also ran 21.89 seconds in the 200 meters but also with another wind-aided time.

Freshman Chris Campbell ran hard for the Wildcats in the 400 meters taking home a fourth-place finish. He clocked in at 48.38 seconds with a strong head wind over the last 100 meters of the race. The 400 meter hurdles was a good event for the Wildcats at the Woodman Classic with Franciso Colomar winning the men’s race at 53.38 seconds. Luke Hibbeler also claimed sixth for the men. Sophomore Angela Hart finished third in the women’s 400 meter hurdles with her time of 1:05.10.
Sophomore Kyle Wait kept going strong in the pole vault finishing second with his clearance of 16-10.75 (5.15m). Cameron Savage also came in fifth for the Wildcats going over the bar at 16-00.75 (4.90m). Decathlete Devi n Dick also cleared the same height as Savage but finished sixth based on misses.

In the throwing events the Wildcats again made a statement with sophomore Ryan Hershberger performing well in multiple events. He finished second in the shot put with his mark of 53-10.25 (16.41m). He also won the men’s discus throw later in the day with a toss of 169-02 (51.56m) to post his best throw of the season.

Wildcats Hold Steady in USTFCCCA Rankings
The Kansas State women continue to make an impact on the national scene and remain among the top teams. This week the Wildcats held their spot in the latest USTFCCCA Rankings at No. 17. They join seven other Big 12 Conference teams in the Top 25.

The Wildcat women opened the outdoor season at No. 19 on the preseason list with senior Ryann Krais ranked among the notion’s best in a number of events. K-State climbed four spots to No. 15 earlier in the season and now stand at No. 17 midway through the season. K-State has athletes ranked in the top 10 in five events.

Martina Tresch is in the top 10 in the steeplechase at No. 7. Senior TiAra Walpool also is ranked No. 7 in the triple jump as the Wildcats have depth in the jumping events. Freshman high jumper Alyx Treasure is No. 8 and senior Kim Haberman No. 34 in the long jump. Another strength is the multi program, with Mairead Murphy and Julia Zeiner joining Krais on the heptathlon list. Krais is ranked third and also second in the 400 meter hurdles. Senior Boglarka Bozzay is still among the best in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters.

The men’s team held steady at No. 34 this week. Erik Kynard dropped to No. 2 in the high jump after a big jump from Ricky Robertson of Ole Miss two weeks ago. Mantas Silkauskas is ranked in the decathlon and 110 hurdles. Sprinter Martynas Jurgilas is ranked in the 200 and is joined on the men’s 4x100 relay team by Silkauskas, Carlos Rodriguez and Grant Loescher. Decathlete Tomas Kirielius is among the best in the javelin, and Tomaz Bogovic is ranked in the hammer throw. Sophomore Kyle Wait cracked the list two weeks after becoming the second Wildcat to clear 17 feet in the pole vault.

The USTFCCCA Rankings use marks from this season as well as marks from 2011 that are better than any marks from the current season to determine the rankings with a point system based on ranking and mark within each event. This week’s rankings are the final rankings to use data from last season. Next week, point marks from only this season will be used to create a more accurate assessment of the top teams in the NCAA this year.

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 five of the Top 11. All seven of the women’s teams that are ranked are No. 17 or higher with Iowa State dropping one spot to No. 26 this week.

Three schools (Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech) have both their men’s and women’s programs in the Top 10. Baylor and Oklahoma join those schools with having both teams in the Top 25 with the Kansas men falling out to No. 26. A number of Big 12 programs have been knocking on the door to the Top 25 all season. With the strength of its men’s distance program, Oklahoma State bumped KU out jumping from No. 27 to No. 24 this week.

Only the SEC (7) has more men’s teams in the Top 25 than the Big 12 does. Four of those teams are in the Top 10 with the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten each with one to complete the Top 10. No other conference has more teams in the Top 25 than the Big 12 women. The SEC is next with six while the Pac-12 has five.

Taking every team in the Big 12 into account as the USFTCCCA ranks every team, the Big 12 men’s average ranking is 26.7. The Big 12 women combine to average 23.1. 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 28.6 and a women’s ranking of 43.7.