Aug 13, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Former K-State student-athlete and high jumper Erik Kynard qualified for the high jump final in the 14th IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Moscow earlier today. Kynard's final jump of 2.26 meters (7-05.00) tied for second-highest among all participants in the qualifying round and he was the only American to qualify for the final.
Kynard qualified for the World Championships in June when he became the first Wildcat to win a high jump title at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a mark of 2.28 meters (7-05.75).
For Kynard, it is his second straight appearance in the World Outdoor Championships and his first ever qualification for an event final. His previous appearance, in the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, Korea, ended with him narrowly missing on qualifying for the medal round with a final jump of 2.28 meters (7-05.75).
Kynard will look to become the latest former student-athlete from K-State to medal at the World Championships this coming Thursday. Former NCAA Champion in the heptathlon, Austra Skujyte, was the last Wildcat to accomplish this feat, finishing with a bronze medal in the pentathlon at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
Competition for gold will be tough as the high jump final pool of 12 includes the only two competitors to have a higher jump than Kynard's personal best this year (2.37/7.09-25) in Ukraine's Bohdan Bondarenko (2.41/7-10.75) and Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim (2.40/7-10.50).
Fans can find links to live results and other coverage online at iaaf.org.
Kynard wasn't the only former Wildcat to participate in this year's Worlds as former All-American and current K-State track and field volunteer assistant Beverly Ramos competed in her second straight Outdoor Worlds in the women's 3,000 meters steeplechase. Ramos' time of 9 minutes, 49.60 seconds, was not good enough to qualify for the final, but was a strong finish to a year that included her setting a new Puerto Rican national record of 8:59.90 on July 14 in Kortrijk.
Two current K-State assistants to this year's track and field squad also made appearances in Moscow this year. Heptathlete and volunteer assistant coach Bettie Wade made her first appearance in the Outdoor Worlds since the 2009 Championships in Berlin, competing in the heptathlon. Wade, who finished second in the heptathlon at the USA Championships, finished with 5,768 points - 27th overall.
Newly appointed volunteer assistant and thrower Amanda Bingson will be making her debut at the Outdoor Worlds in the hammer throw qualifier tomorrow. The current American record holder in the hammer throw at 75.73 meters (248-05.00), Bingson is coached by newly-hired K-State throws coach Greg Watson.
Canadian hurdler Jessica Zelinka, who trains with K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto, will also be competing in Moscow. Zelinka is scheduled to run in the women's 100 meter hurdles heats on Friday.