Wildcats Head for Two Legendary Meets
Wildcats Head for Two Legendary Meets
April 25, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State Wildcats are set to take on some of the nation’s and world’s best athletes at two of the longest running and most prestigious track and field meets in America. A large group of the team is headed for the 103rd Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, and a small group of sprinters and jumpers from the women’s team is set for the 118th Penn Relays, which have been running since 1895.
It will be a homecoming for K-State heptathlon champion Ryann Krais. The native of Eagleville, Pa., just outside Philadelphia is headed to Penn Relays. Krais first ran at Penn Relays when she was in seventh grade and she is bringing some of her heptathlon and relay teammates with her to wear the Purple and White.
Krais will compete in the 400 meter hurdles against some of the top collegiate runners in the event. It will be a large field in the event with more than 80 entrants set for Thursday morning. She also will run in the 100 meter hurdles along with newcomers Richelle Farley and Mairead Murphy. That trio will also team up with Erica Twiss to run the rare and exciting shuttle hurdles on Friday afternoon. Jumpers Ti’Ara Walpool and Kim Haberman will be up against strong competition as well. Walpool will be in the triple jump championship with Haberman entered in the college long jump. Freshman Sarah Kolmer completes the list of Wildcats going to Penn Relays and will help in the 4x400 and sprint medley relays.
The Penn Relays is one of the largest meets of the year and welcomes some of the top athletes in the world. Members of the Jamaican national team have made it an annual stop on their competition schedule. Three of the members of Jamaica’s silver medal winning 4x100 team will be running in a special USA vs. The World race that will also feature Team USA’s top sprinters as well as Great Britain. The men’s races will also be loaded with talent at Penn Relays. The meet is credited with helping grow interest in the relay races and the sport in general. Attendance at Franklin Field seats more than 50,000 fans and a packed house is not an unfamiliar site at the meet.
K-State will be sending 16 Wildcats to Iowa for the Drake Relays. Last season, the Wildcats saw success winning the women’s 4x800 relay. This year they will attempt to win the men’s 4x800 while alo competing in a number of field events.
The group of Jacob Davies, Armando Del Valle, Kyle Hanson and Logan Smith will attempt to win one of Drake Relays’ most anticipated distance relays. Some of them will also compete in the open 800. Boglarka Bozzay will not be defending her 4x800 title but will be looking to win the open 800 this time around after posting a new personal best time last weekend. She also is slated to run the 1,500. The men’s distance runners will join up with freshman sprinter Chris Campbell for the men’s distance medley as well. A small group of women’s distance runners will also take to the track for the Wildcats.
The Wildcat throwers will be in action at Drake with senior Cory Boulanger looking to build off his strong showing last week at Kansas Relays. Jacquelyne Leffler will be in the shot put and discus on Friday, and sophomore Ryan Hershberger is taking on the field in the men’s shot. Tomaz Bogovic rounds out the throwers in the hammer throw, and sophomore Kyle Wait will be in the pole vault. Tarique Hill is K-State’s only short sprinter competing as he is set for the 110 meter hurdles.
Both meets offer multiple ticket options with single day passes and all sessions. Live results will be available at each meet’s homepage online. Live video also is available from both meets for a fee at their home sites.
Wildcats Women Ranked by USTFCCCA
The Kansas State women continue to make an impact on the national scene and remain among the top teams. This week the Wildcats fell a few spots down to No. 23. 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. 23 with just two weeks before the conference championship. K-State has athletes ranked in the top 10 in four events.
This week’s rankings are the first to take only marks from this season into account, except for the combined events. Teams made big moves both up and down the rankings. One of the biggest drops among the top teams was Southern California falling from No. 4 to No. 24.
K-State’s women in the top 10 of their events are seniors Boglarka Bozzay (800m), Ti’Ara Walpool (TJ) and Ryann Krais (heptathlon). Freshman Alyx Treasure (HJ) joins them among the elite in their events. Bozzay also is ranked in the 1,500 and Krais is among the top in the 400 hurdles. Senior Kim Haberman is looking to qualify for the NCAA West Regional in the long jump standing at No. 23, and Mairead Murphy is No. 27 in the heptathlon. The women’s 4x400 relay team also is among the best.
The men’s team fell to No. 52 this week. Erik Kynard dropped to No. 8 in the high jump to mark K-State’s only Top 10 ranking. Sprinter Carlos Rodriguez is ranked in the 200 and Mantas Silkauskas also is in the 110 meter hurdles. The pair of runners represent half of the 4x100 team that is No. 15 on the list. Four athletes are ranked No. 40 or higher in their respective field events.
K-State Competes in Four Meets in Four Days
Kansas State headed west to compete in three different meets while another smaller group stayed close to home for the 85th Kansas Relays. In all, the Wildcats came home with two wins and three runner-up finishes. The two wins came at the Cal State LA Twilight Open with the women claiming the 4x100 and Ryann Krais won the 400 hurdles.
At the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays, the women’s heptathlon group joined up to finish second in the shuttle hurdles with a new school record time of 55.29 seconds. Carlos Rodriguez took second in the 100 meters at the Cal State LA Twilight Open. Boglarka Bozzay posted a new personal best time in the 800 meters at Mt. SAC after struggling the night before in the 1,500. She finished sixth in the 800 up against some of the nation’s top runners, including some post-collegiate runners.
The heptathlon group ran fast in the open 100 hurdles at the Beach Invite with Richelle Farley moving up to fifth in school history as she finished seventh at Mt. SAC in 13.68 seconds. Mairead Murphy also moved up the list to No. 7 at 13.75 seconds.
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 five men’s teams and eight 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 15.
Two schools (Texas, Texas A&M) have both their men’s and women’s programs in the Top 10 with Texas Tech nearly joining that group as the Lady Raiders are No. 11. Kansas and Oklahoma join those schools with having both teams in the Top 25. Baylor’s men are just outside the Top 25 this week at No. 28.
Only the SEC (7) has more men’s teams in the Top 25 than the Big 12 does. Three of those teams are in the Top 10. No other conference has more teams in the Top 25 than the Big 12 women. The SEC and Pac-12 are next with five apiece. Taking every team in the Big 12 into account as the USTFCCCA ranks every team, the Big 12 men’s average ranking is 27.0. The Big 12 women combine to average 23.2.