3 Wildcats in Top 25 at Big 12 Championship
Oct. 27, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas-- The Kansas State cross country teams participated in the Big 12 Championships on Saturday at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course. K-State's women's team placed sixth in the 6K by scoring 168 points while the Wildcat men placed eighth in the 8K scoring 233 points.
The No. 2-ranked Iowa State women defended their championship from last season and won the meet with 34 points. No. 21 Oklahoma State finished second by scoring 81 points and No. 14 Texas placed third with a total of 87 points.
Individually, three Wildcat women had strong performances. Sophomore Laura Galvan, freshman Mary Frances Donnelly and sophomore Erika Schiller each placed in the top 25. Galvan finished 11th with a time of 21:00.6, Donnelly placed 23rd with a time of 21:41.2 and Schiller crossed the line in 21:42.5 to finish 25th for the Wildcats.
Galvan and Donnelly had two additional accomplishments from their performances. By running a time of 21:41.2, Donnelly set a new personal best. Also, Galvan's finish in the Top 15 placed her on the All-Big 12 Team for the first time in her career.
Coach Michael Smith said he was pleased with how Galvan and Schiller ran individually.
"Galvan and Schiller were aggressive but lost a few points because they faded at the end," Smith said. "I told them to get into the hunt and that is what they did. Both improved significantly from last season. Galvan finished 42nd last season to this season finishing 11th while Schiller finished 79th last year to finishing 25th this season. Although they had higher hopes, they carried us to a good finish."
In her second Big 12 Championship race, Galvan said she believes she gained valuable experience this time around.
"I learned a lot from this meet. I just need to work harder with my finish at the end of races. Today went much better than last year," Galvan said. "Now I feel I need to train harder. If I keep training harder and stay healthy, I will be able to compete at the highest level."
The performance of Donnelly and the team overall also impressed Smith.
"This is the best race Donnelly's ran in her career and that helped us a lot," Smith said. "What we did today shows a lot about the women and how they executed. The Midwest Regional Championships are in two weeks and I expect us to have a strong showing there. I'm very happy for the women.
The way they competed made it a very good day for us. They are young but they all showed a competitive fire. We ran better today as a team than we have all year."
No. 1 Oklahoma State won the men's Big 12 Championships for the fifth straight year by scoring 24 points. The nation's top men's team also placed seven runners in the top 20, including five top 10 finishers and three top five. Individually, Kenny Kithuka from Texas Tech earned his fifth first-place finish in five races, winning the meet with a time of 22:52.8. No. 7 Texas placed second by scoring 56 points and No. 6 Oklahoma placed third by scoring 62 points.
Fernando Roman had the top finish for the Wildcat men, placing 51st with a time of 25:48.3; and with the eight-place team finish Smith was not as pleased with the men's performance in comparison to the women.
"The men's team had a poor showing," Smith said. I was disappointed in the way they performed today."
The Wildcats are back in action in two weeks when they head to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on November 9. The regional meet will be hosted by Missouri State in Springfield and will give the Wildcats the opportunity to quality for the NCAA Championships.
Men's Team Results: