June 21, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa – Kansas State volunteer assistant coach Bettie Wade finished fourth at the Olympic Trials last year and missed a spot on Team USA for the Olympics. This year she will get to wear the red, white and blue as she finished second at the USA Championships in the heptathlon and qualified for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow later this summer.
Wade finished the seven events over two days with a total score of 6,018 points to finish in second place behind Sharon Day, who posted a world-leading score of 6,550 points.
“I am extremely excited. This is what this whole year has been about,” Wade said of going to the World Championships. “I’m just happy I was able to kind of put things together this week and qualify. Now Moscow, that is what I have been concentrating on this year and I’m excited that I’m in.”
Wade found herself in a solid position following the first day of action Thursday with 3,656 points through the first four events. She used strong performances in the long jump and the 800 meters on Friday to hold her spot and finish second.
Heading into the final event, Wade was ahead of Erica Bougard and needed to run a time close to her personal best to hold off the sophomore from Mississippi State. Wade ran 2:17.68 in the 800 for her second-fastest time in the event and kept Bougard from grabbing silver.
This will be Wade’s second Team USA appearance at the World Championships after finishing 24th in 2009 following her senior year of college at Michigan. She then, moved to Manhattan to begin training with K-State Coach Cliff Rovelto in his post-collegiate group.
Also competing at the USA Championships was former Wildcat Ryann Krais. After struggling with an injury last year, she is back to full strength and finished in fourth place with a total of 5,957 points. Krais was hovering behind the leaders in eighth place heading into the final event but was not far behind in point total. She was close enough to make a move as she was the best 800 meter runner in the field.
Krais ran a new personal best time of 2:08.74 to close the heptathlon strong and shoot up the standings. Her final score of 5,957 points was only 33 points behind Bougard in third place as she narrowly missed making the world championship squad.
“I was happy with three events. A heptathlon goes like that where you’re going to be happy with some and disappointed with others. My goal today was to go out and compete, and I did. I just didn’t put things totally together on my javelin,” Krais said. “You can point to anything and say that’s what made the difference. I’m a little disappointed.”
Still, Krais was pleased with how she felt during the competition and believes she is making progress after her off-year in 2012 and ready to move on to her next meet.
“I had a really good past couple weeks of training, which says a lot about Coach Rovelto and his plan to get his athletes peaking at the right time,” Krais said. “I’m glad to be where I’m at with a coach that I can really put my trust in.”
Rovelto said he was pleased with how Wade and Krais both competed, especially considering some injuries they have each battled recently.
“They both did a nice job of competing. Bettie has had some issues with an Achilles for a few weeks and wasn’t as sharp as we would have hoped,” Rovelto said. “Ryann did pretty much what I thought given her stress fracture this winter and the lost time this winter. It looks like we are getting back on track. I was proud of both of them and the way they competed.”
The second day of action started off strong for Wade as she posted a long jump of 6.06 meters (19-10.75) to score 868 points and finish fifth in the event. Krais had her best mark in the event for some time with her best jump last season being only 5.69 meters.
Following the long jump Wade stood in third place, slipping one spot, and Krais fell two down to 10th heading into the javelin competition. Krais made up some ground in the javelin with a toss of 39.90 meters (130-11).
On Thursday, Wade posted the No. 2 mark in the high jump and then the third-best throw in the shot put to move up the standings after finishing 10th in the 100 meter hurdles to open the competition. Wade then slipped a bit in the 200 meters to end the first day of action with a time of 24.95 seconds to come in 13th.
Krais was off the pace in the hurdles to start the heptathlon as well, running 13.76 to stand 12th. She responded by finishing third in the high jump before taking seventh in the shot put. Krais closed Day One with a time of 24.98 seconds in the 200.
Wade and Krais will now turn their attention to more competitions this summer. The World Championships for Wade are slated for August 10-18 in Moscow with the heptathlon starting on August 12. Krais will continue competing this summer and should receive an invitation to the Thorpe Cup when the top Americans and Germans not at the World Championships will face each other in a USA vs. Germany decathlon and heptathlon. Krais finished 10th in the Thorpe Cup last year and took second in 2011 and 2010.
On a lighter note, a recent change in Wade’s diet has made a difference in her performance, she said. She feels better in training and competing after going Gluten-free about a month ago.
“I made sure I stayed in a hotel where I had a complete kitchen so I actually cooked all of my food before I came here, so it did not affect me at all. I’ve been doing it for about a month, and my abs are kinda showing. That’s actually the only reason I did it was so I could be lean for this meet,” Wade joked. “But I actually think it’s going really well. I have more energy, and I look better so I’ll take it. I think I’m going to continue it.”
One future Wildcat was in action earlier in the meet as incoming freshman Rachel Proteau was competing in the junior women’s high jump. The Oregon state champ, cleared a height of 1.80 meters (5-10.75) to win the competition. She also will compete in the senior women’s high jump on Saturday.