Kansas State junior Erik Kynard successfully defended his NCAA high jump championship on Wednesday evening in Des Moines, clearing a personal-best 7 feet, 8 inches.
Kynard, a three-time Big 12 champion, won a back-and-forth battle over Indiana’s Derek Drouin, a junior who topped out at 7-7.
“It was a good competition all the way to the end. I had a miss at 2.20 (meters) and two at 2.28,” Kynard said. “I haven’t been jumped that often this season. Some people think, ‘Oh, he’s hurt,’ but I know where I’m at. I was bummed I missed the bar at 2.20. After I missed, I couldn’t let myself get down. I just had to will myself over the bar.”
Kynard need three attempts to clear 7-5 3/4 and was behind Drouin and Florida’s Dwight Barbiasz, who made it on their first tries. But Kinnard made 7-7 on his first try and 7-8 on his first.
After one miss at 7-8, Drouin passed on his next two and tried unsuccessfully twice at 7-9 1/4 to be eliminated.
Kynard missed two tries at 7-9 1/4, then missed at 7-9 3/4, which would’ve tied the 23-year-old meet record of Louisiana-Lafayette’s Hollis Conway.
“To (get a personal record) and win, that’s all you can ask,” K-State coach Cliff Rovelto said. “It was a great high jump competition. I honestly thought watching Derek jump, that it would take 2.37 on the first attempt for Erik to win after he got down two misses.”
Barbiasz finished third at 7-5 3/4.
WSU’s Tuliamuk second — Wichita State junior Aliphine Tuliamuk finished second in the women’s 10,000 meters at the NCAA track and field championships on Thursday night in Des Moines.
Tuliamuk ran a time of 32 minutes, 45.43 seconds to earn All-America honors for the sixth time, most of any Shocker woman. Texas A&M’s Natosha Rogers won the race with a time of 32:41.63. California’s Deborah Maier finished third at 32:47.20.
Tuliamuk will run the 5,000 on Saturday at Drake Stadium. A year ago, she finished fifth in the 10,000 and eighth in the 5,000 at the NCAA meet.
• The day’s biggest disappointment for WSU came in the men’s 110 hurdles, where neither Lawson Montgomery nor Todd McKown advanced to Saturday’s final. Montgomery finished 13th with a time of 13.79 seconds. McKown placed 16th at 13.84 seconds.
• WSU’s Brett Trudo finished 11th in the javelin with a throw of 233 feet, 10 inches. Iowa’s Matt Byers, from East, finished 10th at 237-6.
• Linday Vollmer of Kansas is in 17th place in the heptathlon with 3,286 points after the first day. Ryann Krais of Kansas State is in 18th with 3,269 points. WSU’s Tanya Friesen is in 23rd with 3,059 points. The event ends today with the long jump, javelin and 800.
• WSU’s Tomas Cotter placed 17th in the semifinals of the men’s steeplechase and failed to advance. Cotter ran a time of 8:49.85.
• WSU’s J’Lynn Ledesma competes in the women’s high jump today.
• The KU women are in second place through two days of events with 14 points. Francine Simpson (fourth) and Andrea Geubelle (sixth) earned All-America status in the long jump, while Alena Krechyk became an All-American after a sixth-place finish in the hammer throw.