Following the college outdoor track and field season, the USTFCCCA announced its All-America teams on Tuesday. Three members of the Kansas State track and field teams made the list for their shining performances at the NCAA Championship last week.
Junior Erik Kynard and senior Mantas Silkauskas earned first team honors from the USTFCCCA for finishing in the top eight of their respective events. Senior Ryann Krais finished 14th in the heptathlon to make the women’s second team.
Kynard successfully defended his title in the men’s high jump as he cleared 7-08.00 (2.34 meters), which ranked second in the world at the time Thursday night. Two more world class athletes have jumped 7-09.00 (2.36m) on Saturday at the adidas Grand Prix in New York City to rank Kynard fourth in the world entering the USA Olympic Trials.
With his All-America certificate, Kynard now owns a total of six, receiving the honor every indoor and outdoor season he has been a Wildcat. It also keeps K-State’s streak of 10 straight years with an All-American in the men’s outdoor high jump alive. His title was the fourth in the last six years for K-State as well.
Silkauskas is the first All-American for the men’s team in the long jump since 1991 when Charles Armstead finished 11th. The Lithuanian claimed seventh place to earn two points toward the men’s team overall score when he leapt 25-04.50. His jump also ranks sixth in school history. He is the first Wildcat to finish in the top eight since Olympian Kenny Harrison finished second in 1988.
Krais ends her career with a total of seven All-America certificates after earning a total of five in her two years at K-State. She finished 14th in the heptathlon with her total score of 5,516 points. Her second team selection tallies the fifth overall All-America performance by a Wildcat in the heptathlon.
Five other Wildcats are listed as honorable mention for reaching the NCAA Championship site. Tomas Kirielius and Kyle Wait on the men’s team and Boglarka Bozzay, Jacquelyne Leffler and Mairead Murphy for the women. Kirielius finished 18th in the decathlon while Wait missed his three attempts in the pole vault. Bozzay took 21st in the 800 meters. Leffler finished 19th in the discus and Murphy was 19th in the heptathlon.
The Big 12 Conference is again well-represented on the All-America teams. Only the SEC fared better than the Big 12 and the men’s side and the Pac-12 on the women’s. The Big 12 tallied 36 members on the men’s first team and 47 for the women. The SEC men combined for 68 first team selections, and the Pac-12 women had one more than the Big 12.
First team honors are awarded to student-athletes who earn any portion of a team point at the national championship, or reach a final with eight entrants. Second team status is given to athletes whose final standing in their respective event is from ninth through 16th. Those who participated at the final site of the championship but did not place 16th or higher are listed as honorable mention for the award.