Oct. 2, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The K-State cross country team continues action this Saturday with the Rim Rock Invitational in Lawrence, Kan. Last season, the Wildcat men finished ninth in the 8K and the women finished seventh in the 6K. The women will race first at 9 a.m., followed by the men at 10 a.m.
Head coach Michael Smith said that the Rim Rock Invitational will be the first of many important races that the Wildcats will begin to compete in.
"If your team can make the NCAA meet, then this past race, this weekend and every following race counts towards the NCAA meet," Smith said. "Who you beat and who you lose to matters. It is important that we compete to the best of our abilities, we will put our full line-up out there and our intentions are to be as good as we possibly can be."
The Wildcats will compete against a variety of D-1 schools such as No. 16 Michigan, host school Kansas, Rice, UMKC, as well as Division II and Community College runners.
Smith, in particular, is interested in how well the women will compete with No. 16 Wolverines.
"The reality is that I think that we are pretty good, but we are going to find out how good we are going up against a team like Michigan," Smith said.
Junior Laura Galvan, winner of already two Big 12 Runner of the Week awards this season, is hoping she can produce yet another strong performance for her team and continue her solid start to the season.
"I am really excited and motivated for this Saturday's meet," Galvan said. "I think I have a good chance to win the meet and I want to go for the win."
Smith, who has been impressed with how well the freshmen have performed so far this season, is looking for freshman and back-to-back top-10 finisher Morgan Wedekind to step up this weekend.
"This is the first race where it is not assumed that they will finish in the top-10," Smith said. "I am hoping that they run like they have been running and that they try to get in the top-10. I think Morgan will do it. She is pretty good at competing and will just run until she drops."
Junior Erika Schiller knows what the freshmen girls are capable of.
"We have so much talent in the younger girls," Schiller said. "I think this weekend will give them the chance to show people what they can do, especially Morgan. She is very aggressive and she has so much to give. This weekend will just show that we not only have talent in the older girls, but with the younger girls as well."
Smith also hopes to see much improvement from the men's team since the Woody Greeno Invitational.
"They need to compete a lot better than last time," Smith said. "Last time they were running around and looking around, they just need to race. My hope is that they show more competitive instincts and compete better."
The Rim Rock Invitational will be the first race for senior Fernando Roman who had not competed in the previous two meets due to injury.
Following Saturday's race, the Wildcats take a week off before heading to Terre Haute, Ind., for the Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 19. This meet traditionally brings a very strong field for a pre-run of the course hosting the NCAA Championship.