May 7, 2012
This feature appeared in the Monday edition of the K-State Sports Extra.
By Mark Janssen
The question put to Kansas State director of track and field Cliff Rovelto was simple: Why should fans make a point to attend the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at the Wildcats' R.V. Christian Track?
And, Rovelto's answer was just as simple: "I think in virtually every single event, you will have someone who is a serious candidate to make our (U.S.), or somebody's, Olympic team. That's in every single event. If that doesn't make you want to come, I'm not sure what would."
Starting at noon on Friday with the heptathlon/decathlon events, the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Championships will be staged on the K-State track for the first time since 2005. Start time on Saturday will be 10:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
"The last poll I saw had the Big 12 women ranked first in the country and the men second," said Rovelto of the quality of track and field in the conference. "Honestly, year-in and year-out, the Big 12 is as good as any other conference in the nation."
In recent years K-State has put $1.4 million into its track complex, which includes a new locker room, an 8-lane Rekortan track and seating for up to 3,000 fans.
"I think the last time we hosted we had 2,500 for an attendance, which is as high as I've seen for Big 12 events," said Rovelto. "Kansas is a good track and field state. It's very health on the high school level, and there's good fan support."
And of the K-State facility, Rovelto added, "This facility is conducive to quality performances. The seating makes for a positive atmosphere, and there were some great performances the last time we hosted. This track lends itself to really good performance. It's a fast facility."
It was in the 2005 Big 12 Championship meet that 14 R.V. Christian Track records were broken at the facility that first opened its doors in 1973.
This year Rovelto said, "The sprints will be outstanding. You'll see more than one 10.0-something times. The sprinters in this league are just amazing. If there's a breeze, you could see a time of 9-point-something. The last time we hosted it took a 1:47 just to qualify to the finals in the 800 meters."
Among the K-Staters contending for a Gold-Silver-Bronze medal include: Erik Kynard in the high jump, Ryann Krais in the heptathlon as student-athletes ranking first in the Big 12; Tomaz Bogovic in the hammer, TiAra Walpool in the triple jump, Alyx Treasure in the high jump and Boglarka Bozzay in the 800, who rank second in the Big 12; and, Tomas Kirielius in the javelin, who ranks third.
With the NCAA Championship coming up in early-June, followed by the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials later in June, Rovelto says to be a player in those classic meets, athletes are already competing at an elite level.
"If you're going to have a chance to place in those events, you're really running at a high level right now," said Rovelto. "Elite athletes are going to be more relaxed at a meet like this because they'll be running against guys that are 10.2 or 10.3 (in the 100) as opposed to the trials where they will be in a field that has 9.8 guys. This week they'll be more relaxed, which helps to run fast."
MEN: 2. Texas A&M, 10. Texas Tech, 12. Texas, 20. Oklahoma, 23. Kansas
WOMEN: 1. Texas, 5. Kansas, 6. Texas A&M; 9. Texas Tech; 15. Oklahoma; 20. Iowa State; 22. Baylor, 25. Kansas State
TOP 10 WILDCATS IN THE BIG 12
100 - Martynas Jurgilas, 6th, 10.30
800 - Armando Del Valle, 9th, 1:49.79
100-Hurdles - Mantas Silkauskas, 6th, 13.92; Tarique Hill, 9th, 14.19
400-Hurdles - Franciso Colomar, 9th, 52.70
3000 Steeplechase - Fernando Roman, 9th, 9:09.37
4 x 100 Relay - K-State, 5th, 39.86
4 x 400 Relay - K-State, 8th, 3:15.52
High Jump - Erik Kynard, 1st, 7-3
Pole Vault - Kyle Wait, 5th, 17-1
Long Jump - Devin Dick, 6th, 24-5 ½
Shot Put - Ryan Hershberger, 7th, 58-2
Hammer - Tomaz Bogovic, 2nd, 199-1
Javelin - Tomas Kirielius, 3rd, 226-0; Ivan Hartung, 6th, 219-8; Cory Boulanger, 9th, 216-0
800 - Boglarka Bozzay, 2nd, 2:04.50
1500--Boglarka Bozzay, 5th, 4:20.28
10,000 - Sydney Messick, 6th, 35:04.22; Sarah Swenson, 7th, 40:01.26
100-Hurdles - Richelle Farley, 6th, 13.68; Mairead Murphy, 7th, 13.75; Ryann Krais, 9th, 13.91
400-Hurdles - Ryann Krais, 8th, 58.23; Erica Twiss, 10th, 59.97
3000 Steeplechase - Erika Schiller, 6th, 10:57.21
4 x 100 Relay - K-State, 7th, 45.91
4 x 400 Relay - K-State, 7th, 3:40.54
High Jump - Alyx Treasure, 2nd, 6-0 ½
Long Jump - Kim Haberman, 5th, 20-5 ¼
Triple Jump - TiAra Walpool, 2nd, 42-10 ¾; Kim Haberman, 7th, 39-3 ¼
Discus - Jessica Carter, 9th, 166-10; Jacquelyne Leffler, 10th, 164-8
Heptathlon - Ryann Krais, 1st, 5694; Mairead Murphy, 4th, 5315; Richelle Farley, 8th, 5077; Joslyn Barnes, 10th, 5021
BIG 12 START TIMES (Final Events)
FRIDAY: 12-7:15 p.m. - Heptathlon, Decathlon, Javelin, Hammer, 10,000
SATURDAY: 10:30 a.m.-7:05 p.m. - Heptathlon, Decathlon, Long Jump, Shot Put, Women's Pole Vault, Track Prelims
SUNDAY: 1-6:40 p.m. - All other finals: 1 p.m. Field Events; 3 p.m. Track Events
All-Session Prices (3 days) --$20 Adults; $10 Youth & Senior Citizens (65)
Single-Session -- $10 Adults; $5 Youth & Senior Citizens (65)
All-session tickets are now available through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office. Purchase online or call the Ticket Office at (800) 221-CATS. All tickets are good for general admission access to the R.V. Christian Track Complex.