Cross Country Quotes from Fall Sports Media Day

Aug. 22, 2006


KU cross country had coach Stanley Redwine, senior Benson Chesang and junior Lisa Morrisey all spoke at the Fall Sports Media Day Tuesday at Hadl Auditorium. The team begins its season Sept. 2 at the Bob Timmons Invitational at Rim Rock Farm. Also, KU will host the 2006 Big 12 Cross Country Championships on Oct. 27, also at Rim Rock Farm. The event marks the first Big 12 Championship hosted by KU.

Stanley Redwine
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach

Opening Statement:
“We are very excited about this year. Our goal is to win the Big 12 Championship at our home course, Rim Rock Farm on October 27. We were definitely fortunate last year that on the men’s side we finished third with Benson Chesang winning the Big 12 Championship. He has won the Big 12 title the past two years and hopes to this year as well. With the men, we want to go back to the NCAA Championship. Last year, we finished 12th, but our goal this year is to finish higher, both at the NCAA and Big 12 Championships. To reach that goal, we must stay healthy. We return five of our seven runners in the NCAA meet last year so we do have some experience here. The runners are very excited and now they know that it can be done.

On the women’s side, we have nine new freshmen. We have a young team. Last year we finished eighth in the Big 12 which was tied for our second-best Big 12 showing, but eighth is not good enough. We are looking to get better. The team is young and excited. We have just been doing base work so we do not know exactly where the team is at yet. We have our home meet on Sept. 2. We have a couple of returners on the women’s side that will help the younger athletes. As long as we are healthy, we are going to be okay.”

On the freshmen women:
“They are just going to go out and do their best and that is all we are going to ask them to do. We just want them to do their best. After the first meet, we will then be able to correct their mistakes and go on from there.”

On what makes Benson Chesang a Big 12 champion:
“His desire. He wants to win. He’s a very good competitor. He believes in himself and believes it can be done. It won’t be easy, but Benson loves the competition and he will go out and do a good job.

On the returning men:
“They are more experienced, at this point they have trained a little bit more over the summer but that does not equate with better performance. The best way to do it is to have a meet. Because they have experience they will be more seasoned, but it is about meet competition. It is not about practice.”

On having the Big 12 Championships at Rim Rock Farm:
“There is no better course in the nation than our home facility here so it is really exciting for me, the fans, and the history of KU cross country to have a very good product. This is a great opportunity for everyone to come out and see us. We need that hometown support. The course is in top notch shape right now, so we are excited.”

Benson Chesang, Senior Cross Country Runner
On returning runners:
“We return so many guys and we have some strong freshmen coming in.”

On having the Big 12 Championships at Rim Rock Farm:
“It means a lot to us. The best thing is that we get to stay home and don’t have to travel. It is always good to run on your home course.”

On being a senior:
“I’ve been in this business a while now so I know what I’m used to. I’m smarter now. The more experience you have, the better off you are.”

On the pressure of winning a third consecutive Big 12 Championship:
“That’s a lot of pressure. First of all because I’m at home so I’ll have to perform well. I’ll have to try hard to win for a third time.”

On being the guy to beat:
“You can tell at meets by the way the runners and coaches are looking at you. Everybody is thinking, `I really have to get this guy.'”

Lisa Morrisey, Junior Cross Country Runner
On being familiar with Rim Rock Farm:
“About half of the girls on the team are from Kansas and the high school state meet is at Rim Rock, so a lot of us have run there before. I think we are ready for it.”

On increasing their finish at the conference meet:
“We should get better because it’s our course, so we always have the advantage. We know when and where we need to penetrate and where the hills are and what we need to work on. It should be a huge team advantage.”

On being the leader of the team:
“I am more of a leader by example. We do have three seniors on the team and some juniors. We are all the leaders and all really good friends. The freshmen look up to the older runners so in a way I am a leader.”