Nov. 13, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The K-State cross country team continues action this Friday with the NCAA Midwest Region Championships in Ames, Iowa. Last season, the Wildcat men finished 21st and the women finished 19th. The men will race first at 12 p.m., followed by the women at 1:15 p.m.
The Wildcats look to build off of last Saturday's race at the Big 12 Championships where the women's team finished in the top-5 for the first time since 2001. Head Coach Michael Smith will expect for senior Martina Tresch and junior Laura Galvan to lead the way for K-State.
"I think that they are pleased that they performed the way we thought they could," Smith said. "I also get a sense of that they are not completely satisfied. It gives them a different perspective and it also helps fuel the fire for Friday's meet."
Smith expects leadership out of Galvan and Tresch, both of whom are top-10 finishers in previous Midwest Regional Championships. Galvan finished seventh while the team finished 19th in 2012 at Missouri State Cross Country Course in Springfield, Mo. and Tresch finished eighth with the team finishing in 14th in 2011 at Northern Illinois course in DeKalb, Ill.
"I think Laura and Martina both have a chance to qualify for the individual meet," Smith said. "They are looking to build off of our Big 12 performance, I think we can and I expect them to do that."
The Wildcats' toughest matchups will be against No. 7 Iowa State, No. 16 Minnesota, and previously ranked Oklahoma State. On the men's side they go up against No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 13 Tulsa, No. 24 Iowa State, and previously ranked Oklahoma. K-State would have to finish in the top-2 at the Midwest Region's or be selected as one of 13 at-large teams to qualify as a team for the NCAA Championships.
K-State who comes into the Midwest Region as the ninth-best team in the region hopes to come out and perform as well as they have trained. Smith believes if they do so, this race could be special.
"All year we have felt that we are better than what we have ran and we are now running at the level that we expect to run at," Smith said. "Our expectation for us is once again is to run the way we have trained and then we will run to our potential in the race. That should put us in a more competitive position than we have been in the last few years."
Galvan, who is coming off of a career-best sixth place finish at the Big 12 Championships, is looking to continue the momentum from her last race.
"I am really excited to go and compete at this meet, Galvan said. "I am just excited that the training is now paying off. I have done pretty well at these last two meets and I am just ready to see what I can do."
On the men's side, consistency has been key, but it has been missing of late. While the men are hoping to qualify for the NCAA meet, Smith hopes this meet will provide good experience for the freshmen.
"We are young, developmental and running our first 10K of the year, which is 2K more than they run in usual races," Smith said. "We are hopeful that our young guys have measured up to the level that they have trained. If they do that, then it will be a good experience for them and it will be a good building block for the future."
Following Friday's race, the Wildcats will learn their fate for the NCAA Championships on Sunday. The final race of the 2013 cross country season takes place the following Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.