Cross Country Set for Big 12 Championship

MANHATTAN, Kan. -The K-State Cross Country team is back in action this weekend for the Big 12 Championship at Rim Rock Farm Cross Country Course in Lawrence, Kansas. The women will run the 6K race at 10 a.m. and the men will follow in the 8K race at 11 a.m.

 

The women's team, currently ranked No. 7 in the Midwest Region, will look to continue its strong showings at the Big 12 Championships. Last year saw the women's team tie for fifth with Baylor, the first top-five finish in conference competition since 2001, where they placed fourth. 

 

Head coach Ryun Godfrey views the success as a great accomplishment for the women's team. 

 

"The Midwest Region is a difficult region," Godfrey said. "To move up to seventh was pretty great. It is a good thing to be recognized like that. The Big 12 is obviously a pretty tough conference as well, we are probably about the fifth best team on paper, but I am hoping we move up and get third or fourth."

 

Competition this weekend will be tough, as four women's teams from the Big 12 are ranked in the USTFCCCA Top-30 this season. Iowa State ranks the highest among those teams at No. 6, with West Virginia following closely behind at No. 9 and Oklahoma State and Baylor sitting at No. 21 and No. 28, respectively.

 

Laura Galvan, who finished a team-best sixth at the conference championships last year, will be looked upon to lead the team along with standout sophomore Morgan Wedekind.

 

"I'm just excited," said Wedekind, who notched a first-place finish at the J.K. Gold Duals Classic earlier this season. "I love racing and I know the other girls love to race, too. We are feeling pretty confident with our group of girls and we are just going to go run really hard."

 

The short trek to Lawrence, Kansas may also prove beneficial for the Wildcats, as most runners are familiar with Rim Rock Farm Cross Country Course.

 

"I like the fact that we are in Lawrence," Wedekind said. "We are close to home so we don't have to worry about traveling for hours. We have all seen the course, so we know what to expect - even the freshmen have run at Rim Rock [in high school], so I feel that it puts us at an advantage."

 

On the men's side, the Wildcats will look to build upon an eighth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship last season - Ryan Hershner paced the men's team that year, finishing 55th. 

 

"We always try and gear our season to be ready for the big meets at the end," Godfrey said. "That is what is upon us so we are excited and feel like we are at a good position; we are excited to just let it happen."

 

For more information on this weekend's conference championship meet, visit www.k-statesports.com.