Wildcats Travel to Lawrence for Big 12 Championships

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State cross country teams will head to Lawrence, Kan., to compete in the 2006 Big 12 Championships on Friday, Oct. 27. The races, held at Rim Rock Farm, will begin at 10 a.m., with the women’s 6K event followed by the men’s 8K race at 11 a.m.


The K-State men will look to build off of last season’s eighth-place conference finish, while the women will try to jump up from their 10th place finish a year ago.


The women’s team comes off of great individual performances at the Chile Pepper Invitational two weeks ago, where all of the Wildcat harriers set personal-best marks in the 6K event. According to head coach Michael Smith, the women are looking forward to the upcoming race.


“Right now, we are as good as we can be with our lineup,” said Smith. “(The K-State women) are fit and have been training at the level they need to be at. Liliani Mendez, who has been leading us all season, is a top-10 contender I think that anyone in the conference would want her on their team. After Mendez, our next two runners have been improving rapidly.”


On the men’s side, sophomore Colin Swaney will look to add to his impressive 2006 campaign. Swaney has led the Wildcats in four of their five events this season, and comes off of a 62nd place finish at the Chile Pepper Invitational turning in a 10K-time of 30:59.4.


K-State will visit Rim Rock Farm for the second time this season, as they competed there on Sept. 2 at the Bob Timmons Invitational. The men’s team finished third at Rim Rock in the first race of the season, while the women finished fourth. Smith says that seeing the course prior to the Big 12 Championships could prove to be beneficial.


“Rim Rock is a very difficult course,” said Smith. “All of our runners have seen it at either the beginning of the season or during high school, as many of our runners are from Kansas. The course won’t be as intimidating if you have seen it before. If you look at a course for the first time just a day before you run it, it can be very intimidating.”


Results from the Big 12 Championships will be posted at www.k-statesports.com when they become available.