MANHATTAN, Kan. – Five Kansas State Wildcats competed at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend in Arkansas and all five came away All-Americans as the USTFCCCA announced its official All-America Teams on Monday.
A total of 288 men and 266 women received All-America honors from the USTFCCCA. The Big 12 was again one of the top conferences with a total of 35 women named to the first team, trailing only the 54 from the SEC.
Erik Kynard received his fourth All-America certificate for indoor track and field as he finished in third place with a jump of 2.29 meters (7-06.00) to earn first team status. K-State has now had a men’s All-American in the indoor high jump 10 consecutive years.
Merryl Mbeng also earned first team status for the women as she finished in sixth place in the pentathlon with her final score of 4,178 points. Mbeng posted PRs in four of the five events and her score ranks second in school history. This marks the third straight year a Wildcat has earned first team All-America in the pentathlon.
Pole vaulter Kyle Wait, heptathlete Devin Dick and sprinter Carlos Rodriguez all were named to the second team for the men.
Wait finished ninth in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.40 meters (17-08.50) to just miss finishing in the top eight and making the first team. He is the first All-American for the men’s team in the pole vault indoors since Doug Lytle won the NCAA Championship in 1982.
Dick tied for 14th in the heptathlon with his score of 5,386 points. After an awkward landing into the mat during the pole vault portion of the heptathlon and straining his neck, Dick came back to finish the competition in the 1,000 meters and ensure he would finish the meet and lock up at second team All-America certificate.
Rodriguez finished 14th in the 200 meters with a time of 21.44 seconds and is the first member of the men’s team to be named an All-American indoors in the event in school history.
First team honors were given to athletes who placed in the top eight at the championship meet or were a member of an eight-person final. Second team honors were earned by athletes who finished between ninth and 16th place. In addition, 11 men and nine women received honorable mention honors.
K-State already transitions into outdoor season this week as the Wildcats head to Tempe, Ariz., for two meets over spring break. The Wildcats will open with the Baldy Castillo Invitational hosted by Arizona State this weekend. The team will remain in Tempe for practices next week and then compete at the ASU Invitational.