DES MOINES, Iowa — Entering the third day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the Kansas State Wildcats had some ground to make up in the heptathlon.
Defending champion Ryann Krais entered the day in 18th place in a field that proved to be highly competitive as the group’s score were tightly packed.
Krais fell back slightly to 19th after being forced to post a safe jump on her third attempt in the long jump.
Fellow senior Mairead Murphy started the final day of the heptathlon in 22nd place and moved up to 20th as she posted a new personal best in the long jump by one centimeter.
Murphy followed that with another PR in the javelin, but dropped one spot to 21st heading into the final event. Krais was just short of her PR in the javelin and posted the sixth best throw of the competition to move into 16th place.
In the final event of the heptathlon, Krais ran a strong, steady pace to post her fastest time of the season and finish third. She clocked in at 2:13.55, shaving nearly half a second off her best time this year. That time scored more than 900 points for a total of 5,516 points.
With that total, Krais catapulted herself into 14th place. Murphy ran 2:21.72 to score an even 800 points and post a score of 5,211 points. The senior transfer finished 19th in her NCAA Championship debut.
Making his debut at the NCAA Championship was Big 12 pole vault champion Kyle Wait. The sophomore had the pole slip out of his hand as he planted it into the box on his first attempt. After that, he struggled to get his momentum to carry him into the pit and over the bar and missed his next two attempts at the opening height of 5.00 meters (16-04.75).
K-State finished its action on Friday with no Wildcats competing on Saturday.
The women’s team failed to score any points this season with four student-athletes in the field. The men scored 12 points with Erik Kynard’s victory in the high jump and the seventh-place finish from Mantas Silkauskas to finish 23rd as a team. It’s the second straight season in which the Wildcats finished in the Top 25.