April 23, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. - One of the biggest track and field meets in the nation is less than three weeks away, and it will be hosted right here in Manhattan by the Kansas State Wildcats. Tickets are on sale now for the 2012 Big 12 Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships to be held May 11-13 at R.V. Christian Track Complex.
Fans can purchase tickets through the K-State Ticket Office in person or by calling 1-800-221-2287. Tickets can also be purchased online at kstatesports.com/tickets. There are multiple options for tickets with single session tickets starting at $10 for adults. Youth and senior tickets are only $5. There is an all-session pass available for $20 for adults and just $10 for youth and senior citizens.
Group rates are also available for groups of 12 or more. Group rates come out to only $4 per person. Fans interested in group tickets must contact Adam Prough at 785-532-6650 to purchase them.
The meet will feature more than 500 student-athletes competing in 22 events to claim the team championships. With 2012 being an Olympic year, a number of the athletes in action will be eyeing their best marks in order to qualify for the nation's Olympic Trials later this summer in hopes of representing their homeland in London.
"This will be an extremely competitive meet with some of the best athletes in not only the nation but the world," said K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto. "You will see a good number of the athletes competing here at Big 12's later this summer at the Olympics. Every year the Big 12 meet is one of the best in the nation, and I expect this year to be even better with so many of these athletes having Olympic dreams."
The Big 12 Conference is known across the country as one of the top leagues for football and basketball, but track and field is where the conference is No. 1. Six of the Big 12's men's teams are currently ranked in the USTFCCCA Top 25. Only the SEC has more with seven. The women are tops in the nation with seven currently ranked in the Top 25 and another just outside at No. 27. Five of those women's teams are ranked No. 11 or higher. The Big 12 men boast three Top 10 teams.
K-State is among those top teams on the women's side. The Wildcat women are ranked No. 17 and have been as high as No. 15 this season. Senior Ryann Krais is the defending NCAA champion in the heptathlon and also finished third in the 400 meter hurdles. K-State's men have returning NCAA champion Erik Kynard in the high jump and are standing at No. 34 currently.
With so many of the nation's top teams coming to Manhattan to compete, it will provide fans the chance to see the best of the best in action against each other.
"We are excited to showcase our university, community and most importantly our student-athletes with such a high-profile event like the Big 12 Track and Field Championships," K-State Director of Athletics John Currie said. "With 2012 being an Olympic year, this is a unique opportunity for us as an institution to host an event that will feature numerous future Olympians, and we are excited to welcome the coaches, student-athletes and fans from all Big 12 schools and across the region to Manhattan and K-State."
R.V. Christian Track Complex has been undergoing renovations all year to add more seating, storage and aesthetics to the facility, and the conference meet will be the first chance for fans to see the upgrades. New permanent seating has been installed on the east side and fencing and benches have been added in the south end near the flag poles. Additional shot put rings are currently under construction, and new signage was designed and installed last week.
"I cannot stress enough how big this meet will be in terms of the level of competition," Rovelto said. "With so many quality teams in this conference, the conference championship serves almost as a mini national championship. This is a meet any sports fans would not want to miss."