Kynard qualifies for high jump finals

By Jelani Yancey

Kansas State junior Erik Kynard kept his Olympic dreams alive on Saturday, finishing tied for first in high jump at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Kynard reached a height of 7-1   3/4, leaving him tied with four others for Monday’s men’s high jump final.

The junior is currently tied with Jamie Nieto, Jesse Williams and Jim Dilling heading into the competition.

Senior heptahlete Ryann Krais won’t compete until the final weekend of competition, next weekend in Eugene.

Freshman high jumper Alyx Treasure will be looking to secure a spot on the Canadien team this week, as the Canadien Trials will be held in Calgary June 27-30. Treasure is ranked No. 2 among high jumpers in Canada.

Kynard leapt a new school record at the NCAA Championships as he is the first Wildcat to clear 7-08.00 (2.34m). His mark also broke the Drake Stadium record in a dramatic high jump competition that saw the Wildcat and three-time NCAA champion Derek Drouin battle.

Krais won the Big 12 title in the heptathlon and also indoors in the pentathlon. At the NCAA meet, she finished 14th outdoors and fifth indoors. She has seen success in TrackTown USA, where she finished second at the 2011 USA Championship in the heptathlon. Last year, Krais scored 6,030 points to finish second and narrowly miss a spot on Team USA for the IAAF World Championships.

Treasure is one of the most decorated young athletes from Canada. She won the Canadian Junior Championship last season and then stepped up to compete against older competition and finished fifth at the Canadian Championship. She finished fifth at the Big 12 outdoor meet this season as a freshman and won the indoor crown. She enters the Canadian Track and Field Trials ranked No. 2 at 6-00.50 (1.84m).

One former Wildcat will be in Eugene scouting the action for Team USA. All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up both indoor and outdoor, Gwen Wentland-Mikinski is a member of the USA Track and Field coaching staff for this year’s Olympic Games. She will serve as the women’s assistant coach for jumps.

Two other former Wildcats will be competing for a spot on the team as well. Amy Mortimer looks to qualify in the 1,500 meters. She will run the qualifying round on June 28. Olympian Christian Smith will be running the 800 meters, hoping to make the team again after a dramatic diving finish to qualify in 2008.

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