Wildcats Host Ward Haylett Invitational Saturday

Mercedes Perry

May 4, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State Wildcats close out the regular season on Saturday when they host the Ward Haylett Invitational at R.V. Christian Track. Action is set to start at 10 a.m. with field events and running events begin at 1 p.m. The Wildcats will take on athletes from across the region, including Big 12 Conference rival Nebraska. Fans can see the action free of charge on Saturday as the Wildcats prepare for the Big 12 Championships next week in Norman, Okla.

Exciting action in the throwing events will get the day started leading up to the 4x400 to close the day. K-State’s Erik Kynard will also be competing in the high jump after posting the No. 1 mark in the NCAA so far this season at 7-7.00 while finishing second at the Drake Relays last week to Olympian Dusty Jonas. K-State’s mid-distance runners will be on the track as well getting one more race under their legs before Big 12’s. K-State also will put its sprinters in the blocks for a full day of Wildcats action.

Fans unable to attend the meet can follow the action online with live results at tickertiming.com. Updates will also be posted on the Twitter feed @kstate_gameday.

K-State Women Continue to Climb Top 25
K-State’s women made another big push this week in the USTFCCCA Rankings climbing all the way to No. 16 in the nation. Over the last two weeks the women’s squad has jumped 17 spots moving from No. 33 to No. 25 last week and now just missing the top 15 in the latest rankings out on Tuesday. The women have made their move up the rankings with strong performances from Ali Pistora, Ryann Krais and Nina Kokot over the past two weeks.

At the Drake Relays, Krais dominated the 400 hurdles again getting the winning and breaking the school record for a second straight week. Krais clocked in at 56.62 seconds to shed nearly half a second off her previous best time and to move into fifth in the NCAA this season. She also holds the No. 2 score this season in the heptathlon after finishing second at the Texas Relays and is ranked No. 4 overall taking high scores from last season into account for other athletes.

Also, leaping her way near the top of her event was Kokot at Drake Relays. Kokot won the women’s long jump with her leap of 21-02.50 is now second in the nation behind only Nebraska’s Mara Griva. The mark would be long enough for a new K-State record, but it was wind-aided and not eligible.

Two weeks ago at the Kansas Relays, Pistora set a new PR in the javelin with her toss of 170-11 to rank sixth in the nation. The mark was tops in the Big 12 this season briefly as Oklahoma’s Brittany Borman inched by the following day at another meet.  

In addition to Kokot, Krais and Pistora ranking in the top 10 in their four events combined, the Wildcats also have three more athletes in the top 50. Martina Tresch stands 16th in the women’s steeplechase, while TiAra Walpool moved to 24th in the triple jump. Boglarka Bozzay completes the list of Wildcat women as she is ranked in the 800 meters.

The Big 12 Conference dominates the women’s rankings with a total of nine teams in the Top 25 to again show the league is the deepest in the nation. Eight of those nine teams are all in the Top 16, including four in the Top 10. Texas A&M (2), Oklahoma (6), Texas (9), Baylor (10), Texas Tech (11), Nebraska (14), Colorado (15) and Kansas (25) are the other Big 12 women’s teams in the Top 25.

The Kansas State men moved up three spots to No. 32 this week after falling to No. 35 last week. The Wildcats have a total of nine marks scored in the rankings formula. The rankings place student-athletes according to their best marks this season and marks from multi-events last year also allowed to count toward the performance list.

High jumper Erik Kynard is alone at No. 1 again after leaping 7-7.00 at the Drake Relays. He raised the bar 1.25 inches from his previous best. Mantas Silkauskas joins him in the Top 10 in his respective event currently ranked seventh in the decathlon.

Moritz Cleve is now 22nd in the decathlon based on last year’s top performance. Jeffrey Julmis stands 26th in the 110 meter hurdles along with Silkauskas at 32nd. Martynas Jurgilas is ranked in both the 100 and 200 meters, Tomaz Bogovic (hammer throw) and Cory Boulanger (javelin) give K-State a pair of throwers in the rankings.

The Big 12 is again one of the top conferences with seven teams ranked in the Top 25 on the men’s side. Texas A&M (1), Texas Tech (5), Texas (6) and Nebraska (8) give the men four teams in the Top 10. Baylor (13), Oklahoma (14) and Kansas (18) round out the men for the Big 12 in the Top 25.

Kynard Earns Big 12 Athlete of the Week
Kansas State high jumper Erik Kynard was again recognized by the Big 12 Conference on Tuesday being selected as the male Athlete of the Week for his NCAA-leading performance at the 102nd Drake Relays. Kynard was one of two collegiate student-athletes to be selected to compete in a special invitational high jump and he jumped the leading height of the meet and the NCAA this season while finishing second.

Kynard leapt 7-7.00 on his way to finishing second behind former Nebraska star and 2008 Olympian Dusty Jonas. Kynard finished second behind Jonas since he took more attempts to clear the height than Jonas. Both jumpers then missed all three attempts at the next height.

With his jump of 7-7.00, Kynard raises the bar for the competition 1.25 inches as he was tied with Arizona’s Edgar Rivera-Morales at 7-5.75 prior to this weekend. Mississippi’s Ricky Robertson was the other collegiate athlete in the special invite high jump with Kynard, and he jumped 7-5.75.

Kynard’s mark also ties him for second in K-State history trailing only three-time NCAA champion Scott Sellers. This is Kynard’s second Big 12 Male Athlete of the Week honor this season after claiming one during indoor season as well.

Records Fall at Drake Relays
The Wildcats came to the 102nd Drake Relays with the intent of posting strong numbers and one particular school record in their crosshairs. That record fell on during the exciting Relays Under the Lights portion of the prestigious meet with the tandem of Sara Stoakes, Meghan Heuer, Ryann Krais and Boglarka Bozzay shattering the previous record in the 4x800 meter relay en route to winning the competition.

K-State crossed the finish line in 8:34.81 to win the competition holding off a charge by the Minnesota Golden Gophers on the final lap to claim the win. K-State’s previous best in the rarely seen 4x800 was held by the grouping of Deb Pihl, Sherry Thomas, Janell LeValley and Wanda Trent set in 1981 with a time of 8:45.10. K-State assistant coach Michael Smith said earlier this week he and his sights set on breaking the record this week with three of his own distance runners on the relay team to go with combined events specialist Krais. That record fell with ease as Bozzay pulled away from Minnesota running the final 400 meters in 61.3 seconds to win by more than two seconds. Krais had arguably the most impressive leg of the race by far running her split in 2:07.1 to hand the baton to Bozzay with a slight lead over Minnesota, Nebraska and Baylor.

The following day at the meet, Krais broke her own school record in the women’s 400 meter hurdles clocking in at 56.62 seconds winning in a tight race. Krais held off Iowa State’s Kianna Elahi in her heat to get the win as she has been dominating the event all season.

Nina Kokot went on to win the women’s long jump with her impressive jump of 21-02.50 to fly past the field. The mark would have been a new school record if not for the wind as it was just above the allowable limit to be considered wind-aided and is not eligible. She faced a strong field with some of the top jumpers in the NCAA this season at Drake.

K-State Improves at Nebraska Open
The Wildcats sent a small group to the Nebraska Open this year and many of them came away with new personal bests and victories. K-State came away with three wins on the day and some performances that rank among the best in school history.

Kim Haberman claimed the women’s 100 meters while Gus Vazquez-Milan won the men’s 400. Vazquez-Milan teamed up with Moritz Cleve, Franciso Colomar and Luke Hibbeler to win the 4x400 relay as well.

Colomar and Hibbeler each posted PRs in the 400 hurdles finishing second and third. Colomar’s time of 52.28 also ranks ninth in school history.

Wildcats Wow Crowd at Kansas Relays
A number of Wildcats impressed at the 84th Kansas Relays at Memorial Stadium, but none more than Ryann Krais and Ali Pistora as the two combined for three of K-State’s five wins at the meet.

Krais pulled the double-dip winning the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles in commanding fashion. Krais pulled away from the field over the final two hurdles in the 100 to claim the victory with the time of 13.63 seconds. She then went on to dominate the 400 hurdles as well. After winning her preliminary heat by nearly four seconds, Krais went on to win the final by more than two seconds clocking in with a new school record of 57.04 seconds. She also ranks eighth in the NCAA this season.

Pistora battled with KU’s Heather Bergmann in the javelin as the two separated themselves from the rest of the competition early. Bergmann posted a throw bigger than Pistora’s personal record on her third throw of the competition only to see Pistora surpass immediately after. Pistora then went on to post an even bigger mark on her fourth attempt to win the event with her toss of 170-11. The mark ranks second in school history and was tops in the Big 12 this season at the time. Pistora now stands sixth in the NCAA in the javelin.

The Wildcats also tallied a win in the men’s 4x100 relay. The tandem of Mantas Silkauskas, Jeffrey Julmis, Jason Coniglio and Martynas Jurgilas ran an impressive time of 40.55 in the preliminaries and followed it with 40.60 in the final to get the win. Also getting a win for K-State was distance runner Mitch Loring. He claimed the men’s 1,500 meters clocking in at 3:57.61 for a new personal best.