June 11, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Kansas State Wildcats teamed up to do something they have not done in 12 years this week at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Both the men's and women's teams finished in the top 25 with the men scoring 16 points for a tie in 16th place. The women tallied 19 points and came in 13th.
The last time both teams finished in the Top 25 was 1999 when both teams tied for 24th. It also marks the first time ever that both K-State track and field teams have finished in the Top 20 in the same year.
"As far as the team placings go, first of all, it says this group of kids performed at a very high level and obviously prepared well," K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto said. "This is a very good group of competitors as each of the scorers placed equal to or above what they were ranked coming into this meet.
"Our kids have made it a habit to place high at the championship than we were ranked going in and that is a tribute to their ability to rise to the challenge," Rovelto said. "We are very proud of them."
Jeffrey Julmis helped the Wildcat men secure a spot among the elite teams in the nation with his fourth-place finish in the 110 meter hurdles in a dramatic race. Julmis came in ranked 10th in the event and qualified for the final with the fifth-fastest time in the semifinals. He crossed the line in a blazing fast time of 13.38 seconds in the final to improve his placement by one spot from a year ago and score four points for the team. The time would break his own school record of 13.50 set in the semifinals, but it cannot count as it was ran downwind with an illegal win.
The hurdle race was full of excitement with a pair of runners taking spills and LSU's Barrett Nugent winning in 13.28 seconds. Texas Tech's Omo Osaghae tripped over a hurdle early in the race and was able to recover but finished seventh. Osaghae entered the meet ranked No. 2 in the event. Cincinnati's Terence Somerville also tripped over a hurdle in the lane next to Julmis, but it did not affect him.
"Jeff did a super job. Windy or not, 13.3 is fast," Rovelto said. "I felt he was capable of 13.3 in this meet, and as has become customary with him, he gets it done. I feel Jeff is one of the best competitors I've been around in my career, and I'm old."
In the women's steeplechase, Martina Tresch hovered around 12th place for the first half of the race before making a move to surpass a pair of runners and finish 10th for the Wildcats. She improved by six spots from last year's NCAA Championship but could not catch up to the crowd and finish in the top eight to score points for the women's team effort crossing the line in 10:15.70.
The 13th place finish for the women's team is the highest since finishing 16th in 2001 with 16 points. In 2002, the women's team claimed fifth with 30 points. The men's 16th-place finish is their best performance since two years ago in Arkansas when Moritz Cleve and Scott Sellers combined for 16 points to finish 13th.
Entering the championship meet, K-State was one of 14 schools to have both its men's and women's programs ranked in the USTFCCCA Top 25. Of those teams, 10 had both teams maintain that status. K-State also is in elite company as one of nine programs to have both teams in the top 20.
The Big 12 Conference again put its power on display at the meet with the Texas A&M Aggies winning both the men's and women's team titles for the third straight year outdoors. It is the first-ever double three-peat in NCAA track history. Along with K-State, two more Big 12 schools had elite finishes with the Texas men claiming 12th and women eighth. Kansas had its men finish 18th and the women were 23rd.
10th: Martina Tresch, 10:15.70
4th: Jeffrey Julmis, 13.38 (5 team points)
T-16th: 16 points
13th: 19 points
Big 12 Finishes: men/women
Iowa State: 46/44
Kansas State: 16/13
Oklahoma State: --/34
Texas A&M: 1/1
Texas Tech: 9/54