Wildcats Seek Elite Status at Championship

MANHATTAN, Kan. - A small contingency of Wildcats head to Eugene, Ore., to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship this week looking to show Kansas State can compete on the national level and is an elite program. Five Wildcats - three men and two women - will wear Purple for K-State and all are among the best in the nation in their respective events. The championship is set to begin Wednesday from Hayward Field in Track Town USA with the heptathlon, four field events and semifinals in a number of running events.

Junior Moritz Cleve is currently ranked 14th this season in the decathlon but has proven he is among the most talented decathletes in the world finishing third at last year's NCAA Championship and earning a special invitation from his native Germany to compete at the IAAF World Championships last year finishing 27th. He fill face one of the most talented fields in the entire championship meet as Oregon's Ashton Eaton looks to pull the combined events sweep after setting a world record in the heptathlon during the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Senior Beverly Ramos looks to close her career at K-State as an All-American in three sports after earning the honor during cross country season and indoor track. She enters the 5,000 meters ranked fifth in the nation with her best time of 15:51.82. Ramos will face some familiar faces in the race with Iowa State's Lisa Koll ranked No. 1. The Cyclones also have Semehar Tesfaye in the field, and Oklahoma and Texas also have a runner in the 5,000M.

Three new Wildcats have their sights set on making an impact on the program at the national level in just their first seasons with K-State. Junior college transfer Jeffrey Julmis has set the school record in the 110 meter hurdles this season and surpassed the time again at the NCAA West Regional clocking a wind-aided 13.59 seconds. He enters the competition ranked fourth in the nation from an elite sprinting conference as he is third among Big 12 Conference runners.

Erik Kynard has kept K-State's name near the top of the list of high jumpers after the graduation of eight-time All-American and three-time NCAA Champion Scott Sellers. High Jumper U is still intact with Kynard ranked third in the nation this season as a true freshman out of Toledo, Ohio. His highest jump of the season of 7-04.50 came at the Jim Click Shootout in Arizona where he faced Nebraska's Paul Hamilton and Arizona's Edgar Rivera-Morales, who are both in the field and ranked 10th in the nation.

Freshman Martina Tresch came to K-State from Switzerland this fall and has already put her name on the top line of the record book. She broke Ramos' school record in the 3,000M steeplechase at the Big 12 Championship clocking 10:04.27 to finish third in the rain. Tresch shattered the record by more than 11 seconds as Ramos broke her own record from two years ago earlier in the season. Tresch enters the championship meet ranked eighth in the nation with a number of familiar foes to race against. She has seen five of the competitors twice apiece on the track.

Last season, the men's team finished 13th overall with just two athletes scoring points as Sellers won the high jump and Cleve finished third in the decathlon. With Cleve returning and Kynard ranked among the nation's best in the jump, the addition of Julmis in the hurdles could put K-State among the elite programs at the championship meet once again. Following an 11th-place finish at the Big 12 Championship, head coach Cliff Rovelto said his men's team could finish 11th at the national meet if the top Wildcats perform as expected at the NCAA Championship.

The women's team finished 64th with Loren Groves scoring two points in the hammer throw last year. Rovelto is hoping the women can finish better in 2010 with just two athletes competing as compared to four in five events last season considering Ramos' and Tresch's placement on the national rankings.

The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship will be available in multiple formats for fans to follow at home. The meet will be streamed live online at www.ncaa.com every day, except for when it is slated to be live on television. Live television times are slotted for Friday from 7-9 p.m. on CBS College and on Saturday from 12-2 p.m. on CBS. Tickets are available through www.goducks.com with a number of price options for all-session passes and single-day tickets with general admission and reserved seating available as well as youth and senior citizen discounts.

Top Wildcats Advance Beyond Regional Meet

The Kansas State Wildcats left the NCAA West Regional with four advancing to the NCAA Championship meet to join decathlete Moritz Cleve. Jeffrey Julmis and Erik Kynard, Jr. each moved on in the 110 meter hurdles and high jump, respectively; and the pair of Beverly Ramos and Martina Tresch advanced in the 5,000M and 3,000M steeplechase.

K-State had a total of 18 Wildcats compete at the regional meet with a few just missing the mark to move on to the national championship. The Top 12 finishers in each event moved on to the NCAA Championship, and Ali Pistora and Eric Thomas each finished 13th in their events. Pistora, who moved onto the national meet last season by one centimeter at the Midwest Regional, was just shy of moving on again this year, and Thomas missed out on a repeat performance at the NCAA Championship as well.

Cory Boulanger finished 14th in the men's javelin with Tomas Kirielius right behind him. Balazs Baji came in 15th in the 110M hurdles, and Jack Sachse also finished 15th in the 800M to just miss on sending a Wildcat to the NCAA meet in the event a second straight year. Freshman sensation and Big 12 Champion Sara Stoakes finished 18th in the women's 800M to miss out on sending a female to the championship in the event.

- k-statesports.com -