K-State Earns At-Large Bid for NCAA Championship

Sydney Messick

Nov. 14, 2010

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State women’s cross country team received an at-large bid to run at the NCAA Championship for the first team appearance since 2000. The race will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., on November 22nd where the Wildcats participated in the Pre-National Invitational earlier this season.

After finishing fifth overall at the Midwest Regional Championships on Saturday, the team heard the official announcement Sunday afternoon, and head coach Michael Smith said it was an exciting moment on the bus when the team received word of the at-large bid.

“All year I felt like we were an NCAA caliber team. That was never really reflected in the rankings but we knew that was what we were,” Smith said. “On the bus ride back from the regional we watched a live Flotrack NCAA selection show and they had us as the last team in the meet. The moment Kansas State popped up on the screen it was bedlam on the bus. We were screaming and yelling so loud that I think we scared the bus driver.”

In their last team appearance at the NCAA Championship in 2000, the Wildcats finished 10th led by Amy Mortimer as she claimed sixth individually to earn All-America honors. Last season, Beverly Ramos competed as an individual finishing 33rd to become the ninth cross country All-American in K-State history.

This year’s team is led by both experience and youth with upper and lowerclassmen making a major impact. Senior Sydney Messick said she looks to finish her career with a bang at K-State.

“It is incredible, we put in a lot of work and now it is showing. It is unbelievable,” Messick said. “I want to do well for my last race and show that we are a strong team.”

Freshman Avery Clifton is excited for the opportunity to compete at a high level event early in her career.

“I always hoped that I would get to compete at the NCAA meet during my career at K-State and getting to do it as a freshman is awesome. Just knowing that we made it is incredible,” said Clifton.

The Wildcats will have one week before they travel back to familiar territory in Terre Haute, where they finished 10th overall at the Pre-National Invitational.