K-State has had some unbelievable athletes in the program’s history. Darren Sproles, Mitch Richmond, Shalee Lehning and Nataly Korobkova are some of the greatest to represent the Wildcats in athletics.
This trend continued on Saturday, as Erik Kynard won the Big 12 outdoor high jump with a mark of 7-06.50, becoming the first person to ever win the outdoor high jump title in three consecutive seasons.
Last summer, during the 2012 Olympics, Kynard was on the biggest stage of his career — not only was he representing his school, he was also representing the United States. He went on to get a silver medal in the high jump, grabbing the fourth olympic silver medal in the history of K-State track.
With all of this newly acquired fame, some thought Kynard would lose focus on the upcoming season, but he has done the complete opposite. This is a very impressive feat, according to head coach Cliff Rovelto, who could not be more proud of his senior jumper.
“It is very difficult to maintain the level of performance he has all year,” Rovelto said. “He’s handled himself, competition and training very well. All his hard work is paying off for him. I’m very proud of him.”
Kynard holds the school record in the indoor high jump at 7-07.75, as well as the outdoor record of 7-08.00.
So how dominant has Kynard truly been during his time at K-State? In his last 20 meets, he has gotten first 18 times, with one second place as well as one third.
In 2012 at Drake Stadium and then again this year at Ahearn Field House, Kynard has set the record at the school’s facility. He has been named an All-American seven times, and he will be looking to earn number eight as he prepares for the NCAA West Preliminary rounds as well as the NCAA outdoor championship starting on June 5 in Eugene, Ore.
Kynard will surely being moving on to the professional ranks in track, as he prepares to compete for the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Kynard will perform in the events as one of, if not the, best athletes to ever call themselves a Wildcat.
Mark Kern is a senior in print journalism. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.