EUGENE, Ore. – The second day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships saw more history being made by the Kansas State Wildcats. After Kyle Wait finished seventh in the pole vault on Wednesday, junior college transfer Jharyl Bowry finished seventh in the long jump, marking the first time in school history the men’s team has scored points in the long jump in back-to-back seasons.
Senior Tomas Kirielius closed his career strong with a new personal record in the decathlon to finish 14th, in what was the deepest and most competitive decathlon in NCAA history as six athletes scored at least 8,000 points.
Before both of those exciting finishes for K-State, Martina Tresch advanced to the championship final in the 3,000 meter steeplechase chase.
Bowry made his NCAA Championship debut as a Wildcat and the junior college nation champion came up huge for the Wildcats to put more points on the board. Bowry posted a long jump of 7.83 meters (25-8.25) and move into fifth place on his second attempt. He slipped down to seventh as more jumps were taken, but he managed to hold onto that No. 7 spot and score two points for the men’s team.
The Canadian was pleased with finishing in the top eight but believes he could have jumped farther due to a sloppy landing. Despite the new season-high jump and his spot on the podium, Bowry said he will be using seventh place as a motivator for next season.
“I feel like I could have done a lot better. It was kind of a downer that I started out fifth and got knocked down and couldn’t improve on my other jumps, but I have nothing to complain about. I am definitely blessed and a lot of people would love to be in my position,” Bowry said. “I guarantee that next year I will be back here, and hopefully we can bring some more people to this NCAA meet and really show people what we can do.”
With Bowry making his way to the podium and finishing seventh, it marked the first time in school history the K-State men’s team has scored points in back-to-back years in the long jump as Mantas Silkauskas finished seventh last year as well.
“I think what is impressive about Jharyl and some of the other guys that came in mid-year is to come in at mid-year and just get to this meet is pretty remarkable,” K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto said. “To get here and then to score is really outstanding. Jharyl has struggled with some physical issues, but he hung in there and he did well.”
Bowry’s jump also was the longest of his career by one centimeter but it cannot count as it was wind-aided.
Kirielius entered the day in 13th place after the first five events of the decathlon and posting three personal records on the first day. He continued where he left off as he posted another PR to open the second day of action in the 110 meter hurdles. Kirielius crossed the line in 14.86 seconds to shed nearly three-tenths off his previous fastest time. That time helped his score but it did not move him up the standings as he remained in 13th heading into the discus.
In the discus, Kirielius posted a strong throw that was a little short of his PR for the event. He took sixth in the event with a toss of 45.68 meters (136-03). Despite his strong throw, he was unable to move up in the standings, remaining in 13th place, but he did close the gap on the athletes in the top 10 heading into the pole vault.
Kirielius made the pole vault his fifth PR in eight events of the decathlon as he cleared 4.40 meters (14-5.25), tying his previous best set earlier this season at the Jim Click Shootout in Arizona. He then would post the No. 3 throw in the javelin with a toss of 60.64 meters (198-11). That throw moved him into 12th place heading into the final event with an opportunity to move up and post a new personal best score overall in the decathlon.
There was a lot on the line for the entire field of the decathlon going into the final event. Eight of the competitors were on pace to possibly score 8,000 points overall, a significant threshold in the event.
With so many athletes pushing for significant scores, meet officials elected to run the final event as one heat so all 21 athletes could use positioning in the race to help push their times. That decision worked as Duke’s Curtis Beach came close the world record for a 1,500 meter run in a decathlon and six athletes finished with scores of 8,000 points or higher – the most in NCAA history.
Kirielius ran a PR time in the 1,500 as he crossed the line in 4:51.48. That shaved more than nine seconds off his previous best time and gave him a point total of 7,700 points for a new PR as well. His score of 7,700 points put him in 14th place for the meet and ranks sixth in school history.
“Tomas did a good job and had almost a 200-point PR, and you can’t ask for more than that,” Rovelto said. “He competed all the way through. From my perspective I am very pleased with that because he said this is probably the last decathlon he does in his life and it is nice to end knowing you gave it your all.”
In the steeplechase, Tresch advanced to Saturday’s final with a strong run and will attempt to improve on her 10th-place finish from 2011.
Tresch was hovering behind the leaders in her heat with a pack of four runners holding onto spots No. 4-7. With approximately 900 meters to go, Tresch made her move. Following the water jump and heading to the line with two laps to go. She charged by three runners into fourth place and held that spot while gaining ground on the top three runners. She crossed the line in 10:06.52 and finished fourth for an automatic spot in the final.
“Martina ran well. She looked strong to me,” Rovelto said. “Sometimes you qualify through and you wonder what are you gonna do when you get there. To me it looked like she will be ok. She looked like she will be able to come back and run well in a couple of days.”
The Wildcats will only have one athlete in action on Friday as high jumper Erik Kynard looks to defend his title. Kynard will be in a battle with Indiana’s Derek Drouin in an event being highly touted among members of the track and field media as one of the top events to watch as the Olympic medalists will go head-to-head one more time as collegiate athletes. The high jump is set to start at 3:20 p.m. PT.
Action begins overall at 12:30 p.m. with the start of day two of the heptathlon. The first field event is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. and running events are slated for 4:30 p.m.
Fans can watch the meet on ESPNU beginning at 4:30 p.m. with espn3.com also providing live coverage online. The day’s earlier events can be seen on pac-12.com via Pac-12 Live Stream. Coverage can also be followed on social media on K-State’s @kstate_gameday Twitter handle. Entire meet coverage will be available on @NCAA and @USTFCCCA on Twitter. Live results will also be provided at flashresults.com.
14. Thomas Kirielius, 7700 pts
Event Mark Pts Note
110m Hurdles: 14.86 867 PR, 10th school history in decathlon
Discus 45.68m/136-03 781
Pole Vault 4.40m/14-5.25 731 PR
Javelin 60.64m/198-11 747
1500m 4:51.48 610 PR
Day 2 Total 3736
Day 1 Total 3964
Total 7700 PR, 6th school history
Men’s Long Jump
7. Jharyl Bowry, 7.83m/25-8.25 – 2 team pts – 1st time K-State has scored in event in back-to-back years
Women’s Steeplechase Semifinals
8. Martina Tresch, 10:06.52 – Advances to Final