Wildcats Prepare for Big 12 Championships

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State men's and women's cross country teams are set to compete in the Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday. Missouri will host the championships for the second time, having also hosted in 2002. The starting gun for the men's 8K race will go off at 10 a.m., followed by the women's 6K race at 11 a.m. The races will be run at the A.L. Gustin Golf Course.

This year's championships can expect strong competition as four men's teams and four women's teams are in the top 30 of the latest USTFCCCA Coaches Poll. No. 3 Oklahoma State leads the way for the men, followed by No. 4 Colorado, No. 20 Oklahoma and No. 23 Iowa State. For the women, No. 3 Colorado, No. 14 Texas Tech, No. 19 Iowa State and No. 26 Baylor placed in the poll.

The Wildcat women will look for senior Beverly Ramos to continue her success after placing first overall in two of the three meets in which she has competed this season. Among a field of 249 runners, Ramos is coming off of a sixth-place finish at the Pre-NCAA Invitational on October 17th. Junior Sydney Messick, who has finished in the top-five in three of four meets this season, will lead the charge of the women's supporting cast behind Ramos.

On the men's side, the young Wildcats hope to continue to improve and better their 11th-place conference finish last season. Sophomore Armando Del Valle looks to power the men after finishing first among his teammates in two meets this season, including a second-place overall finish at the Missouri State Classic in September.

Women's Last Three Years
Year     Finish              Top Finisher                            Site
2008     6th (158)           Beverly Ramos (4, 20:46.80)      Ames, Iowa
2007     12th (257)          Liliani Mendez (13, 21:36.39)      Lubbock, Texas
2006     12th (290)          Liliani Mendez (15, 21:47.48)      Lawrence, Kan.

Men's Last Three Years
Year     Finish              Top Finisher                            Site
2008     11th (355)          Danny Schneider (57, 26:13.43)  Ames, Iowa
2007     11th (318)          Alex Umberger (43, 26:12.55)     Lubbock, Texas
2006     12th (331)          Alex Umberger (64, 26:27.30)     Lawrence, Kan.

Results will be posted at www.kstatesports.com as soon as they become available.