NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships are next week, and three K-State Wildcats are currently on the bubble to qualify. Those three Wildcats are headed to the Arkansas Final Qualifier on Friday in an effort to improve their best marks of the season and rank in the top 16 in their respective events to qualify for the championship meet.
Newcomers Jharyl Bowry and Zack Riley along with junior Kyle Wait will head to Randal Tyson Track Center where the meet is slated to start at noon Friday. These Wildcats will be up against many athletes attempting to do the exact same thing they are – to improve and qualify for the NCAA Championship.
K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto has long argued the NCAA indoor championship meet is the most difficult meet in the world to qualify for. Unlike outdoors, there is no regional meet to serve as initial qualifying and the field at the championship site is limited to 16 athletes and not 24.
Qualifying this year is even more difficult. In the past, more than 16 athletes could qualify in an event if there was a tie at the cut-off mark. This year, an athlete’s second best performance will be counted toward a tiebreaker to cut the field down to only 16 per event and 12 relays.
Athletes across the nation will be at last chance meets or final qualifiers. Should Bowry, Riley and/or Wait qualify for the NCAA Championship, they will be familiar with the facility and jumping surface as Arkansas is playing host to the championship as well next week. Bowry (long jump) and Riley (high jump) are set to compete at 2 p.m. Friday. Wait will be in the pole vault at 6 p.m.