SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Kansas State track and field team continued a busy offseason with current and former athletes, as well as staff, competing at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
Highlighting the weekend for the Wildcats were current volunteer assistant coaches Erik Kynard and Amanda Bingson, who took home titles in the high jump and hammer throw, respectively.
Kynard cleared 2.35m/7-08.50 en route to his third career USA high jump title. The former Wildcat All-American shined on the national stage, as he was the only athlete to clear the bar at both 2.31m/7-07.00 and 2.35m — both on his second attempt at each height. Kynard attempted to go for a personal best and U.S. record clearance of 2.41m/7-10.75, but was unsuccessful in three tries.
For Kynard, the title completed the indoor/outdoor season sweep at USAs, as he captured the indoor title this past February in Albuquerque, NM. He’s now won the high jump title in three straight national championship meets dating back to last June as well.
The Toledo, Ohio, native’s latest effort also adds to an impressive 2014 campaign that included him matching his personal best height cleared of 2.37m/7-09.25 at a Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar this past May. Kynard is currently ranked No. 4 in the world in the men’s high jump.
Joining the Wildcat staff this past season, volunteer assistant throws coach and former UNLV Rebel Bingson captured first-place in the women’s hammer throw. The American record holder in the event with a personal best mark of 75.73m/248-05, Bingson nearly eclipsed her PR, as she finished with a final throw of 75.07m/246-03. She was the only thrower out of the field of 18 to eclipse 75 meters with second place going to Nike’s Jessica Cosby Toruga, who finished at 71.72m/235-04.
Coached by K-State throws coach Greg Watson, Bingson has now won the USA hammer throw title for a second straight season.
Several current Wildcats also made their first appearances at the meet. Donning K-State purple for perhaps the last time, senior Devin Dick took eighth-place in the men’s decathlon. The Hutchinson native held down second-place after day one competition in the multi with a first day point total of 4,073 points. He would finish the multi-event with a final tally of 7,434 points — the second-largest output of his career.
The All-American’s performance was highlighted, in particular, by personal best showings in the 100-meter dash and shot put.
Sophomore Devin Field wrapped up the outdoor season with 11th-place finishes in both the long and triple jump.
Lastly, Erica Twiss led an eventful weekend, competing in the both the 100 and 400 hurdles, as well as the long jump. On the track, Twiss took 18th overall in the 100 hurdles in a time of 13.80 seconds, while she qualified for the 400 hurdles semifinals with a 15th-place finish in the preliminaries in a time of 58.75 seconds. Twiss did not compete in the event’s semifinal heats.
In the long jump, the Carrollton, Texas, native finished 14th with her final mark of 5.81m/19-00.75 coming on her first of three attempts in the event. Twiss will compete for K-State in the upcoming indoor season.
With the USA Championships concluded, focus for K-State Track and Field now shifts to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Ore., where a select few Wildcats are expected to compete.