Wildcats Continue Busy Summer on Track

Erik Kynard

July 25, 2013

MANHATTAN, Kan. – For some current and former Wildcats the track and field season has continued on into summer and the biggest meet of the year is still to come. Two meets this weekend with feature two former Wildcats with one here in the United States and another in London.

High jumper Erik Kynard returns to where he won his silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics as he is set to compete in the next Diamond League meet. Kynard is currently in third place in the Diamond League standings with three second-place finishes, including his last performance on July 4 when he leapt to a new personal best of 2.37 meters (7-09.25) to finish second.

Kynard is set to compete on Friday from London at 8:09 p.m. London time, 2:09 p.m. Central. He will be up against a strong field that includes the only two competitors to jump higher than him this year. World-leading Bohdan Bondarenko from the Ukraine cleared 2.41 meters (7-10.75) on July 4 to defeat Kynard, and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar jumped 2.40 (7-10.50) at the Prefontaine Classic in June to hold off Kynard.

Fans can find links to live results and other coverage online at diamondleague-london.com. This will be Kynard’s last competition before heading to Moscow, Russia for the 2013 IAAF World Championships which begin August 10.

Former Wildcat Ryann Krais just missed out on qualifying for the World Championships in the heptathlon and she will compete this weekend in the Thorpe Cup. The 2011 NCAA champion has represented Team USA in the annual USA vs. Germany combined events meet multiple times and is ready to compete again in San Diego.

Thorpe Cup begins at 2 p.m. Central on Saturday from Chula Vista, Calif., with day two of action starting at 1 p.m. Krais and a group of former and current college stars will be taking on some of the top heptathletes from Germany.

It has been a busy summer for some current Wildcats on the track and field team as well.

Sprinter Carlos Rodriguez swept the 100 and 200 meter titles at the Puerto Rican National Championships. He had the misfortune of running into a strong headwind and his times were not fast enough to hit the A or B Standard to qualify for the IAAF World Championships. Rodriguez would go on and finish 13th at the CAC Games in the 100 meters and 12th in the 200.

Heptathlete Merryl Mbeng put together her best performance yet during a meet in her native France in early June. Mbeng posted marks that were season-bests in all seven events, three of which remain personal bests after another competition. Those seven marks resulted in a new personal best score of 5,518 points to rank fourth in K-State history. Mbeng also competed at the European Combined Events Cup in late June in Estonia and finished 19th with a score of 5,430 points while she closed the meet with a personal best time in the 800 meters.

Former distance runner Beverly Ramos also has been busy this summer. Ramos qualified for the World Championships in May when she finished sixth at the Diamond League Adidas Grand Prix in New York. Her time of 9:43.28 meets the B Standard and was just shy of hitting the A Standard. Ramos is set to compete in Moscow on the first day of the meet. Her time in the steeplechase ranks 41st in the world this year.

In a tune-up meet, Ramos ran a flat 3,000 meters on July 14 in Kortrijk and crossed in a new Puerto Rican national record of 8:59.90, 16th in the world this year. She will run another steeplechase competition on Saturday in Belgium and run a 1,500 meters race on August 3 before heading to Moscow on August 6.

Olympian Jeffrey Julmis has continued his training in Manhattan and recently won gold at the CAC Games in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 13.83 seconds. His season best time of 13.67 on July 5 in Mexico was not enough to reach the B Standard this year and represent Haiti at the World Championships.