Track and field to face Big 12 teams in Iowa


The K-State track and field team will face arguably its biggest challenge of the season this weekend when it squares off against the conference’s best at the Big 12 indoor championship meet in Ames, Iowa.

The Wildcats, who have combined for eight NCAA provisional qualifying marks in 2009-10, will face stiff competition from top to bottom as the Big 12 features five men’s squads and three women’s squads ranked in the top 25. Several K-State competitors will see their first conference tournament action, but a number of athletes are looking to build off solid performances in the 2009 championships.

One of those athletes, junior combined athlete Moritz Cleve, will look to defend his league title in the men’s heptathlon. The native of Germany narrowly missed a K-State record when he captured the event title. Sophomore Manas Silkauskas will join Cleve after placing seventh in the conference meet during his first collegiate season.

One key athlete looking to make a big first impression is junior hurdler Jeffrey Julmis. Julmis, who transferred to K-State from Cloud County Community College, ranks in the top 10 nationally and has been near the top of the Big 12 leaderboard for a good portion of the season.

The Wildcats will also look to fill the shoes of 2009 seniors Scott Sellers and Lauren Groves. The former standouts were perennial All-Americans in the high jump and weight throw, respectively, and several current athletes could build on that tradition. True freshman jumper Erik Kynard Jr. has enjoyed a solid rookie campaign and currently owns the ninth highest jump in the country, while sophomore Chelsie Bonds was named the Big 12 Athlete of the Week after recording a provisional mark at the KSU Open on Feb. 20.

The one-day meet, which will take place at Iowa State’s Leid Recreation Athletic Facility, begins Saturday morning with the women’s pentathlon and men’s heptathlon. There is no live broadcast of the action, but live statistics will be available on