K-State faces off against Big Ten Powerhouses

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State Cross Country heads to Iowa City, Iowa this Saturday to compete in the Big Ten Preview at Ashton Cross Country Course. For the first time this season, K-State teams will compete at regular championship distances; with a 6K competition beginning at 8 a.m. for the women and a 8K competition beginning at 8:45 a.m. for the men. 

On the women's side, K-State is set to compete against the top women's team in the country, No. 1 Michigan, along with Wisconsin, Northwestern and host Iowa. The last time K-State met Michigan in competition, senior Laura Galvan placed 45th at the NCAA Championship, breaking the K-State 6K record and finishing in front of all Wolverine runners.

After strong performances in their first meet of the season, Galvan and sophomore Morgan Wedekind look to build on their early success.

"I'm excited to see all the competition that we haven't come up against," Wedekind said. "To see where the best is, that's just something to look to and work for. I think it will be a good experience to see where we have to be in the future."

Head coach Mike Smith views this meet as more preparation for his young women's team.

"Our freshmen are really coming along and that could be a big difference," said Smith. "It is still very early and we want to be as good as possible by November. This is a step along the way and this is valuable preparation for the Big 12 Championship meet."

As the men look to improve on the season, Smith is hopeful the team will compete at the high level he has seen in training.

"We are running against Wisconsin, a perennial powerhouse in cross country, and Michigan, the Big Ten champions from last year," Smith said. "We have to be realistic and focus on doing our best. If we stay within ourselves and run our race then we will make some improvements and we will be satisfied with that."

Action for the Wildcats at Ashton Cross Country Course will begin at 8 a.m. and continue through the afternoon. For up-to-the-minute K-State updates, follow @kstate_gameday under #KStateXC.