AUSTIN, Texas — Thursday marked the start of the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds from Mike A. Myers Stadium and the Kansas State track and field team has 11 Wildcats in action.
One of those Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Championship in two weeks and two more advanced to quarterfinals in their respective running events with a shot at punching their ticket to Drake.
The preliminary rounds saw senior Mantas Silkauskas leap 25-07.25 (7.80m) in the men’s long jump to finish sixth and claim a spot in the field at the NCAA Championship.
Silkauskas posted his mark on his first attempt and after his next two jumps were high enough in the standings to pass his next three attempts in the final to rest and still ensure his place at the championship site in two weeks.
K-State has two mid-distance runners competing this week in Austin, and both advanced through the first round of the 800 meters.
Armando Del Valle received an at-large bid to the quarterfinals as one of the fastest times outside of automatic qualifiers. He finished fourth in his heat with a time of 1:50.91. Boglarka Bozzay finished second in her heat to receive an automatic bid to the quarterfinals today. She clocked in at 2:07.75.
In other running events, the pair of Franciso Colomar and Erica Twiss missed out on advancing to the quarterfinals in the 400-meter hurdles. Colomar finished 36th in the men’s competition with his time of 53.13, and Twiss claimed 30th in 1:00.77 in her first postseason experience.
Two Wildcats were looking to move on in the men’s 100 meters, but both also came up short. Carlos Rodriguez crossed the line in 10.44 seconds to finish fourth in his heat. That time was not fast enough to get one of the spots in the quarterfinals, missing out by .001 of a second in 28th place.
Senior Martynas Jurgilas was hoping to return to the NCAA Championship after finishing 22nd last year. This year he finished 38th at the West Preliminary Rounds with his time of 10.56 seconds.
Four other Wildcats were in action in field events on Thursday and none were able to advance to the championship site along with Silkauskas.
Senior Cory Boulanger closed his career at K-State with a 23rd-place finish in the javelin. He posted a throw of 206-09 to tie his third-best throw of the season.
Another senior was hoping to keep her career alive in the women’s long jump, and Kim Haberman came up just short as well finishing 32nd. She leapt 19-01.50 to finish 11th in the third flight in her first NCAA Preliminary Round debut.
In the shot put, Jacquelyne Leffler finished 31st with her toss of 48-07.25 in her first NCAA postseason experience. She also will be competing in the discus today.
Sophomore Ryan Hershberger was in action in the men’s shot put, and he came away in 30th place in his first NCAA postseason competition as well. He posted a mark of 55-10.25 to miss advancing to the NCAA Championship.
Action was to resume today at 11 a.m. beginning with women’s discus. K-State was to have two Wildcats competing in that event and have two more in other field events, in addition to four in the hurdles.