Wildcats Eye USA Championships in Iowa

Jeffrey Julmis

June 21, 2010

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State track and field may be finished with collegiate competition, but the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are set for this week in Des Moines, Iowa, and a total of 11 Wildcats will be in action. Six current Wildcats will be competing along with two former 'Cats. Assistant coach Tom Pappas will participate in the decathlon and volunteer coaches Bettie Wade and Kasey Hill will take on the field in the heptathlon. Action begins Wednesday with junior heptathlon and decathlon and goes through Sunday.

Spots for the USA Junior National Team will be on the line in Des Moines with the IAAF Junior World Championships being held in Canada in July. The top two individuals in each event will be eligible to compete for Team USA if their marks meet the qualifying standard. Four Wildcats will be competing in the Junior events with freshman Erik Kynard in the high jump on Thursday morning and freshman Lauren Garrott in the 400 meter hurdles Friday afternoon. Redshirt freshmen Ryan Hershberger and Kyle Hanson will be in competition as well. Hershberger will be in the ring for the shot put and discus both on Thursday while Hanson will run the 1,500M Friday.

Fresh off his All-America performance at the NCAA Championship, Jeffrey Julmis will run in the 110 meter hurdles. Julmis broke the school record twice in his first year at K-State improving the time to 13.59 seconds at the NCAA West Regional. He ran 13.61 in the final at the NCAA meet. The first round of the hurdles is slated for Saturday afternoon with the semifinals and final on Sunday.

Ali Pistora is set to throw the javelin Friday night for K-State after she just missed out on her second straight NCAA Championship appearance finishing 13th at the NCAA West Regional - the top 12 advanced. Pistora's best throw of the season came at Tulsa Duels when she measured 159-05 to finish second. She also finished fourth at the Big 12 Championship which saw four athletes qualify for the NCAA Championship.

Two former Wildcats will be in action with thrower Loren Groves competing in the women's hammer throw and Amy Mortimer running the 1,500M. Groves graduated last year and competed unattached this year at a number of meets and is throwing her best in two years. During her career at K-State, Groves set the school record, won a Big 12 title and was a two-time All-American in the hammer throw. Mortimer is one of the most decorated distance runners in K-State history. She still holds the school record in the 1,500M and 5,000M. She won two Big 12 titles in the 1,500M and one in the 5,000M while at K-State. She also was a three-time oudoor All-American.

Pappas will be competing in the decathlon as he looks to continue training for a possible fourth Olympic appearance in 2012 in London. Pappas, Wade and Hill all will be in action Thursday and Friday.

Fans can follow the action online through www.usatf.org and watch on television. TV times are set for Friday through Sunday on ESPN and NBC. Tickets are also on sale through USATF's site with all-session passes for $100. Individual day tickets are available as well with a price scale.

Trio of Wildcats Earn All-America StatusFollowing the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship, the Kansas State Wildcats were named to the USTFCCCA All-America Team. Senior Beverly Ramos completed the triple dip earning All-America in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in her final season at K-State. She was joined on the All-America Team by freshman high jumper Erik Kynard and hurdler Jeffrey Julmis.

Ramos finished 10th in the women's 5,000M to receive the honor while Julmis crossed the line in the 110 meter hurdles in 13.61 seconds to finish fifth. Kynard cleared 7-01.50 to finish sixth and earn an outdoor All-America certificate to go with his indoor honor.

Julmis is the first hurdler to be named All-American since 1997, and Kynard kept a streak of eight straight years with a Wildcat receiving All-America status in the high jump.

- k-statesports.com -