AMES, Iowa — For the third time time this season, the Kansas State track and field team is in Cyclone country — this time for the Big 12 Indoor Championships.
Beginning Friday at Iowa State’s Lied Recreational Center, the Texas men and the Kansas women will look to defend last season’s Big 12 championships.
The K-State men scored a school-record 96 points and finished third a year ago, led by two individual champions — Erik Kynard and Jharyl Bowry — who took home titles in the high jump and long jump, respectively. It was the men’s best finish since 2004 when they were second.
K-State’s women were seventh with 41 points.
This season, K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto expects as wide open and competitive meet as ever.
“After Texas, you basically got three or four schools on the men’s side and three or four schools on the women’s side that are all going to bounce around between second and fifth,” Rovelto said. “And then there are a few others a little bit further back, but it’s going to be hard for them to get into the mix.”
Rovelto said, in particular, the K-State women’s team has great potential to make some serious noise at this season’s conference championship.
“For the women, there’s potential, because we’re going to ask a lot of a few athletes,” Rovelto said. “If they can pull it off, I think there is potential for us to get high enough to put us in the hunt to be second.
“At the start of the year, looking at the conference and looking at what we have on the women’s team, I would have not thought that we would be going into this weekend with any shot of being in the top-three, let alone doing it.”
The K-State women haven’t finished in the top three of the league meet since 2004.
Rovelto said much of the men’s success this weekend will rely on the athletes succeeding in the high-risk events.
“So much for us depends on those events that are high risk like the high jump, pole vault,” he said. “Those could be really big events and that’s where we could also lose some ground. If we go big in those two evens, it changes a lot.”
The Big 12 meet is set to start at 10 a.m. Friday with the women’s pentathlon.