Ryann Krais was like any other high school senior, looking for that opportunity to compete at the highest level while finding a few extra benefits on the side.
Krais, a standout performer at Methacoton High School in Eagleville, Pa, was a three-time Nike National Pentathlon champion and a 2008 USA Track and Field Junior Heptathlon champion. The senior also finished second in the heptathlon and women’s 400-meter hurdles at the 2007 USATF Junior Championships.
After two years at UCLA to start her college career, Krais realized that she was looking for a little bit more from her collegiate track experience.
“Throughout the recruiting process, I wasn’t looking for necessarily the right things,” Krais said. “I was looking for the good weather and the history was what was important to me. I realized after two years at UCLA, just because some things that you think are going to be perfect, doesn’t mean that it’s the right match for you.”
The senior consulted Team USA for guidance in the process and found out that Manhattan might be a place she could finish her career on a high note.
“One of the sports psychologists that I had met through USA track and field recommended that I talk to coach [Cliff] Rovelto,” Krais said. “I was using him as just a reference originally for places to spend my last two years of eligibility and through that I thought, ‘how could I not come to K-State?’ Coach knows what he’s doing, he knows how to write a program for a heptathlete.”
The decision paid off for Krais as she went on to win the NCAA Championship in the heptathlon, tallying 5,961 points. She also won the event at the USA Championships last summer with a score of 6,030.
During this indoor season, Krais won the individual title in the women’s pentathlon in the Big 12 Conference meet, while finishing fifth in the NCAA indoor championships.
After a strong fall of conditioning and training, Krais had to endure a tough start to the winter months, which put her behind on her preferred schedule.
Rovelto says that Krais has taken the setbacks in stride and has accepted the challenges and done well despite them.
“Ryann is such a team player, she’s going to do whatever she’s asked to do to help the team,” Rovelto said. “She’s a critical part of just about any relay we put together. In that, she’s going to be pretty busy over the next couple weekends.”
Now wrapping up her senior season, the Pennsylvania native will be heading to the Penn Relays this weekend to compete in front of her friends and family for the first time since her freshman season at UCLA.
“This is my first year heading their as a part of Kansas State,” Krais said. “I got to go there my freshman year and I don’t know if I was really prepared as an athlete then. I’m excited to wear K-State proudly in front of my high school team and all of my friends and family back home.”