K-State Track and Field Head Coach Cliff Rovelto along with former Wildcat heptathlete Ryann Krais will join Team USA’s best in the combined events as they face off against Germany in the annual Thorpe Cup. Held this year in Marburg, Germany, the Thorpe Cup pits each country’s best in the decathlon and heptathlon in a two day competition starting this Saturday, July 26, and continuing through July 27.
Rovelto will serve as head coach of the women’s heptathletes, a roster compromised of seven individuals, including the aforementioned Krais. It will be his ninth appearance on the international stage for Team USA and first since the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Head coach of the Wildcats for 23 seasons, Rovelto is a Level II combined events instructor, and is one of two coaches in the U.S. to coach multiple combined event athletes to over 8,000 points in the decathlon and 6,000 points in the heptathlon. This will be the first of two Team USA appearances for Rovelto this year, as he will also serve as head coach of the men’s high jumpers at the Continental Cup in mid-September.
Joining Rovelto on staff this weekend as an assistant coach will be by Vanderbilt’s Lori Shepard.
For Krais, the former Wildcat All-American and heptathlon national champion makes her fourth-straight appearance in the international competition. Krais holds a heptathlon personal best of 6,030 points and has competed twice this season in the event, including a most recent 12th-place finish at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. Her career best performance at the Thorpe Cup came in 2010 when she finished second overall behind only Bettie Wade, also a Rovelto-coached athlete.
Competing alongside Krais for Team USA will be Erica Bougaard, Breanna Leslie, Heather Miller, Barbara Nwaba, Allison Reaser and Sami Spenner.
Overall men’s and women’s team winners are determined by adding together the top five men’s and top three women’s scores of each respective country. Live results, if available, will be posted on http://www.k-statesports.com under K-State Track and Field’s schedule page. Updates can also be found by following @kstate_gameday under #KStateTF.