K-State women 34th at track championship

By The Mercury

NAMPA, Idaho — Seniors Ryann Krais and Boglarka Bozzay provided the Kansas State women’s track and field team with the best performances of the weekend for the Wildcats with each scoring points toward the team total and competing closely with the best in the nation at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Krais finished fifth in the pentathlon with a new personal-best score of 4,142 points, while Bozzay finished sixth in the 800 meters, scoring three points.

With seven points, the K-State women finished in a tie for 34th overall in the team standings, while the men’s team scored just 4.5 points to finish 44th.

The men came into the championship meet ranked No. 16 in the nation and the women were No. 41.

With seven points scored, the Wildcat women posted their highest total since 2005 when they scored 15.5 points and finished in 14th place. This year’s 34th-place finish is the best since that 2005 team. For the men, the four points is the fewest since not scoring in 2010 when three Wildcats failed to finish in the top eight of their respective events.

It was an unlucky start to the day for the Wildcats Saturday, as Mantas Silkauskas clipped the third hurdle after an injury in the 60-meter hurdles portion of the heptathlon. He was unable to recover and ran through the fourth hurdle and did not finish the event, resulting in not scoring any points toward his total. With the DNF, Silkauskas withdrew from the remainder of the competition.

The mood quickly turned for K-State, as senior Ryann Krais ran her fastest time of the season in the hurdles to start the pentathlon in 8.60 seconds and seventh place. She backed that up with her best high jump of the year at 5-07.75 (1.72 meters). That brought her point total up to 1,874 through the first two events and moved her up to sixth place with three events remaining.

Krais would continue to put up her best marks of the season, as she would go on to score a new personal best 4,142 points to rank alone in third in K-State history.

Krais continued her strong pentathlon going in the third event, as she posted a personal best in the shot put. Her new best mark of 39-06.00 (12.04m) gave her 664 points and brought her three-event total up to 2,538. The distance was not enough to make up ground on the leader board as she remained in sixth but positioned to make a move.

Again, Krais posted her best mark of the season in an event with her jumping 18-07.25 (5.67m) in the long jump. The mark was just 2 centimeters shy of her personal record set during her time at UCLA. Krais went on to run 2:17.74 in the 800 meters.

Bozzay again was the last Wildcat to compete on Saturday and she crossed the line in 2:06.00. She held with the leaders for the first 400 meters of the race, running just a few meters behind the pace in fourth place. Then, the eventual champion Nachelle Mackie from BYU picked up the pace and increased her lead on the rest of the pack.

Mackie finished in 2:03.30, which is the fastest time in the NCAA this season. With Bozzay’s finish and scoring points for the Wildcats, it marked the first time since 2005 the women’s team has scored in the 800. Lysaira Roman-Del Valle finished fourth.

K-State high jumper Erik Kynard entered the championship meet as the No. 1 collegiate jumper in the nation, but Kynard struggled on the fourth bar of the competition as he failed to clear 7-03.75 (2.23m). He cleared the first there bars of the meet with ease but missed on his first attempt at 7-03.75. He continued to struggle after Arizona’s Nick Ross cleared the bar on his first attempt after taking two to clear the previous height.

Kynard missed his next opportunity and failed his third after Florida’s Dwight Barbiasz cleared on his third attempt. Indiana’s Darius King also cleared on his third attempt, but no one could clear 7-05.00, giving Ross the title.

The Florida men had a target on their backs coming into the meet, and they did not back down as the Gators won their third straight NCAA indoor title. The Gators scored 52 points and won a total of three individual events. Oregon’s women also won their third straight title, scoring 49 points to hold off the Kansas Jayhawks by 19 points.

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