`Cats Ready for Midwest Regional

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State Cross Country is back in action this Friday, competing in the Midwest Regional Championship hosted by Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois at the Newman Golf Course. The women's 6K race will take place at noon, while the men's 8K race is set to begin at 1 p.m.

The regional championship hosts 30 schools as a chance to compete at the NCAA Championships held in Terre Haute, Indiana. At-large bids and teams placing first and second at the regional meet punch their ticket to NCAA's, while individual competitors are also able to advance to the championships as the top four individuals who are not on a qualifying team will move on.

"It's a really tough region," said head coach Ryun Godfrey. "Usually there are four teams that qualify out of our region, sometimes up to five teams."

Last season, saw the Wildcats finish 13th with 317 points at the Midwest Regional.  Senior Laura Galvan, led the Wildcats in a time of 20:54.20 to earn her a 16th place finish. During the 2012 season, Galvan earned her way, individually, to the NCAA Championships after finishing seventh in the Midwest Regional, in a time of 20:45.72.

This season, the women enter the race as the eighth seed in the Midwest Region. Four other Big 12 universities will be represented at the Midwest Regional including: Kansas, Iowa State - the reigning Big 12 Champions, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. 

Sophomore Morgan Wedekind and Galvan are anticipated to be the front runners for the Wildcats once again this season. 

"Every meet I go out and do my best," Wedekind said. "Our mentality is to just perform at the best level that we can. If you get all up in the name of the race then it can psyche you out."

For the men, 30 teams will also compete in the 8K race and the four Big 12 teams will be represented, including the reigning men's Big 12 Champions Oklahoma State. 

"The only difference from this meet to the Big 12's is the size," Godfrey said. "You have to get out in front or else you can get lost in the shuffle a little bit. It is important for our fifth, sixth and seventh runners to not get too concerned if they see so many people in front of them, because you can still be having a great race with a lot of people behind you."

Following Friday's race, teams representing the NCAA Championship will be announced on Sunday. For more information on the Midwest Regional visit www.ustfccca.org.