Wildcats Look for Strong Finish at Midwest Regionals

MANHATTAN, Kan.-  The Kansas State cross country teams will finish out their regular fall season this Saturday at the Midwest Regional Championships, held in Falcon Heights, Minn., at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. The women’s 6K race will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the men’s 10K event at 12:15.


The women’s team will once again look to sophomore Liliani Mendez after claiming All-Big 12 honors at the Big 12 Conference meet on Oct. 27. Mendez finished 15th at the Big 12 meet with a time of 21:47.48 on the 6K course.


“On our women’s side, I would expect us to perform better than we have,” said head coach Michael Smith. “We will have a strong runner out in front in Liliani Mendez. That’s always better for your team to have that person towards the front of the pack.”


The Wildcat men will look to a spectrum of young runners Saturday, as three different harriers have run in K-State’s top spot throughout the fall season. Colin Swaney, Alex Umberger, and Kory Cool have each held the No.1 spot.


“Our men have been running well and training well,” said Smith. “I think we’re still looking for that one race where everyone can put together their best race on the same day. Hopefully we can accomplish that this weekend.”


This will only be the second 10K race for the Wildcat men this season. K-State previously participated in the Chile Pepper Invitational 10K event, where they took home a 24th-place finish. Colin Swaney was the Wildcats front-runner that day with a time of 30:59.4.


The Wildcats should be familiar with the course this weekend after competing on the same course back on Sept. 23 at the Roy Griak Invitational. The K-State women placed 20th as a team at the Griak, while the men took home a 30th-place finish.


Upon qualification, the Wildcats would compete at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 20, in Terre Haute, Indiana. The two top teams from each of the nine regions will automatically qualify for the NCAA meet. Along with them, 13 at-large teams will be announced along with four individual competitors from each region who were not part of the qualifying teams.


Results from the Midwest Regionals will be posted at www.k-statesports.com on Sunday, Nov. 12.