A month ago, Erik Kynard thought he had jumped in Ahearn Fieldhouse for the final time.
However, after what he felt was a “terrible” performance in last week’s Don Kirby Collegiate Invite in Albuquerque, N.M., the senior decided he could use more practice before the upcoming Big 12 and the NCAA competitions.
Kynard competed in typical fashion Saturday at the KSU Open at Ahearn Fieldhouse — with his striped socks and all. The Olympic silver medalist tied his own K-State record with a jump of 2.33 meters (7-07.75). The jump also tied the facility record and set a new meet record for the KSU Open.
“The meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I was terrible,” Kynard said about last weekend where he jumped 2.28 meters (7-05.75) and still finished first. “I jumped relatively high, so that was OK, but technically terrible. I needed the practice.
“It’s easier to practice when I stand in here in front of the fans than when I’m by myself.”
With Saturday’s jump, Kynard moved into first in the NCAAs this season.
After securing the meet victory, Kynard went back to work when it was announced he would attempt to set a new collegiate record of 2.38 meters (7-09.75).
Despite the energy, Kynard missed on all three attempts, barely clipping the bar on his last.
“I had some great attempts at the NCAA record,” he said. “If I had had my last attempt first, I would have made it. But it’s always good to go into the national championships ranked No. 1.”
Kynard will jump again at the Big 12 Indoor Championships Feb. 22-23 in Ames, Iowa.
“I’m just looking to win,” Kynard said. “I’m always jumping for first place — records come afterwards.”
If he doesn’t reach his goal to break the indoor record in the Big 12, Kynard will have one more chance in the NCAA Indoor Championships March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.
“(Jumping 2.38) is definitely a goal and I think it’s obtainable as you saw in here today,” Kynard said. “So, it was definitely close, and I think I’ll take it down.”