Cats Look For Strong Showing at Pre-NCAA

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in their last non-championship event, Saturday Oct. 18, 2008 in Terre Haute, Ind. at the Pre-NCAA Invitational. The women will run in the 6K blue race which starts at 10:00 a.m. CT. Following the women will the be the men’s 8K white race beginning at 11:50 a.m..

 

The event is hosted by Indiana State University and will be run on The LaVern Gibson Course. Eighty-six women’s teams and 82 men’s teams will compete Saturday at the Pre-National race. This race is the same location the NCAA Championships will take place so each team will look to gather a good showing on the championship course.

 

The women will look to measure themselves up against the best teams in the country, as the race is set to host 23 of the top 30 ranked teams in the country according to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. This will be the most competitive race the Wildcats have competed in this year and it is just the beginning as championship season approaches.

 

“It is important for us to run in quality races because that is what the Big 12 is,” said head coach Michael Smith. “This conference is strong from top to bottom just like this race will be in Terre Haute.”

 

The women have been very competitive throughout the year earning an eighth ranked regional position. The Wildcats started off the season with a first place finish in Augusta, Kan. after defeating the host team Wichita State by a 19-point margin. Continuing their success the Wildcats finished second at the Woody Greeno Invitational, falling to Nebraska by just four points. The last time out, at the Cowboy Jamboree, the Cats competed in their toughest competition of the season thus far and took home fifth place in Stillwater, Okla.

 

A big contribution to the success of the wildcats has been junior Beverly Ramos. Ramos has finished first in each of the Wildcat’s first three events. She started her season off with a first place finish of nearly 30 seconds head of the second place finisher at the J.K. Gold Classic and at the Woody Greeno meet in Lincoln. Though winning the first two races quite convincingly, Ramos knew going into the Cowboy Jamboree she would have to run a very good race to win. Stalling in third place until the 200 meter mark Ramos took first and didn’t look back crossing the finish line with a course record and another first place finish with a time of 20:30.

 

Senior Alex Umberger will look to lead a young men’s team against stiff competition this weekend. Umberger has been a consistent top performer for the Wildcats his entire career at K-State finishing as the top runner for the Wildcats in eight of his last ten races.

 

The men’s team will look for improvement after starting the season off with a first place finish in Augusta before falling to a 12th place finish in Lincoln.

 

Results will be posted at www.k-statesports.com as soon as they become available.