Kansas State’s Ryann Krais didn’t start off the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships the way she wanted to Friday night. But the defending NCAA Outdoor champion made up for lost ground Saturday afternoon at R.V. Christian Track.
Krais went into Saturday fourth in points in the heptathlon, but finished the day the as the champion.
Krais defeated Texas Tech senior Precious Nwokey by 61 points with a grand-total of 5,661 points.
“(Friday) was a little bit of a disappointment,” Krais said. “But after that you have to look back and change your goals a little bit. It went from trying to score the initial points that I had set out to try and get to win, so, I had to come out today and not worry about points and to just be a competitor.”
K-State track and field head coach Cliff Rovelto was proud of the way the former UCLA transfer turned her meet around.
“She struggled a little bit (Friday) and certainly wasn’t in a good frame of mind when she left (that night),” he said. “I thought she bounced back really well.
“The long jump was solid, the javelin was really good and in the 800, I thought she ran a really sound race. I thought it was her best 800 of the year.”
Krais was third in the long jump with a distance of 5.69 meters and was second in the javelin with a throw of 134-feet-3-inches. Other highlights included a third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.78. Krais was second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.28, which was the last of the seven heptathlon events and secured her the championship.
Shortly after taking the winner’s stand and the gold medal, though, Krais wasn’t finished.
Krais competed in the 400-meter hurdles in a stand alone event and finished eighth, which qualified her for today’s finals in the event.
“For her to come back (from the heptathlon) and to come back and make the finals (for the 400 hurdles), that’s hard to do,” Rovelto said.