The collegiate track and field season may be over, but the excitement is just beginning for elite athletes in the world of track and field.
K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto is headed to Des Moines, Iowa for this year’s USA Championships to coach three athletes, as former Wildcats Erik Kynard and Ryann Krais are eyeing their first USA titles, and volunteer assistant coach Bettie Wade also is looking to earn her first gold medal at the national championship meet.
Kynard hopes to keep Rovelto’s streak going, as an athlete coached by the Wildcats head coach has won the men’s high jump title at the USATF Championships each of the last three years. Kynard would be the the first former Wildcat to win a USA Championship since Nathan Leeper went back-to-back in 2002 and 2001.
Kynard will jump Sunday at 1:45 p.m. from Drake Stadium.
The women’s heptathlon got started Thursday with Krais and Wade both hoping to make Team USA for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow later this summer. Last year at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Wade finished fourth and Krais was 10th. Two years ago, Krais finished second with a score of 6,030 points, but was not selected to participate at the World Championships as her score was not the qualifying A-standard.
Future Wildcat high jumper Rachel Proteau will be competing in both the junior (under-20) and senior high jump. She is the No. 1-ranked high school jumper in the nation this year and will join the Wildcats in the fall.