July 20, 2012
MONTE CARLO, Monaco – One week before the opening ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics, the Samsung Diamond League held the Herculis meet in Monaco and some of the biggest names in track and field were there. Kansas State junior high jumper Erik Kynard was at the Herculis meet to compete against some of the world’s best and came away in fourth place as he prepares for the Olympics.
Kynard was one of 10 in the field jumping in Monaco, nine of which will compete at the Olympics on August 5. The Toledo, Ohio native cleared 2.30 meters (7-06.50) on his first attempt and finished in fourth place. A miss on his first attempt at 2.26 meters (7-05.00) kept him from tying for third with Indiana’s Derek Drouin. Kynard and Drouin battled it out at the NCAA Championship in June with Kynard getting the victory.
K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto was on hand to coach Kynard and fellow Team USA jumpers Jesse Williams and Jamie Nieto.
Williams claimed first place with his clearance of 2.33 meters (7-07.75). He won based on misses as second place went to Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain. Grabarz also cleared 2.33 meters but had two misses at an earlier height. With the victory, Williams also increases his lead in the Diamond League standings to four points.
Nieto struggled at 2.22 meters (7-03.25), clearing it on his third attempt. He then elected to pass 2.26 meters in an attempt to preserve energy and move up the standings with a clearance at 2.30. Nieto could not clear 2.30 and finished in a tie for ninth place.
The trio of American jumpers will now head back to London for training before the Olympic Games start next week. The qualifying round of the high jump is set to start at approximately 1 p.m. Central on August 5. The final is slated for August 7.