Kansas Cross Country Sweeps Bob Timmons Invitational

Sept. 2, 2006


The University of Kansas cross country teams swept the 2006 Bob Timmons Invitational for the second consecutive season. Juniors Paul Hefferon and Colby Wissel finished first and second in the men’s race, while junior Melissa O’Rourke was the Jayhawk women’s top finisher in sixth place.

The women’s team scored 59 points in the 6k race, edging out second-place Grinnell College by 14 points. O’Rourke (23:14.51) was followed by senior Laura Major (12th,23:23.95), junior Lisa Morrisey (15th, 23:37.26), junior Alicia McGregor (17th, 23:54.48) and junior Hayley Harbert (19th, 24:32.07). Several Kansas freshmen, running unattached, also competed in the event and were led by Lauren Bonds, who placed seventh (23:15.04). Junior Faithy Kamangila, of Oral Roberts University, won the women’s competition, finishing in 21:48.54.

“I am excited about the way our team competed,” head coach Stanley Redwine said. “Melissa O’Rourke did an excellent job and I am very excited about how the freshmen ran today. It was a great way to start the season.”

“The race was a good learning experience,” O’Rourke said. “We all got to see what the Big 12 Championships is going to be like.”

The men’s team dominated the 8k race, placing five runners in the top 10 as it scored 26 points. Hefferon’s victory marked the first of his career, as the Overland Park, Kan., native finished in a time of 25:38.95. Wissel, the 2005 Bob Timmons Invitational champion, followed right on his heels in a time of 25:39.19. The pair was followed by senior Erik Sloan (fourth, 26:16.99), junior Patrick McGowan (ninth, 26:39.26) and senior Tyler Kelly (10th, 26:41.61). As with the women’s team, several freshmen men ran unattached, led by Bret Imgrund, who placed 14th (27:05.69).

“The men’s team gave a total team effort today,” Redwine said. “I thought everyone competed well, from Paul and Colby, to Patrick and Tyler.”

“It was definitely important to give a good effort today. Winning was just icing on the cake,” Hefferon said.

For its next meet, the teams head to Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 8 to compete in the Kansas State Wildcat Invitational. Stay tuned to kuathletics.com for the results.

For the women’s complete results, click here. For the men’s complete results, click here.

Quotes from the Bob Timmons Invitational:

Faithy Kaminagila, Oral Roberts University, first place, 21:48
On the race:
“It was nice and the course was hard. It is such a nice day, so to run in the twenty-one’s was not too bad.”

On the course:
“It’s the hardest course I’ve ever ran on. Nationals is not like this. I was at Nationals my freshman year, but it is not hard like this. The hill by the finish is the hardest because your legs are not fresh, so you really feel it.”

Melissa O’Rourke, Kansas, seventh place, 23:14
On the race:
“It was really good. The race was a good learning experience and we all got to see what the Big 12 Championship is going to be like.”

On the hardest part of Rim Rock Farm:
“It would definitely have to be Billy Mills Hill, because you still have 600 meters after you get to the top.”

On what to look forward to this season:
“I look forward to see how the freshmen are going to do. We have such a young team, but they are all really talented. It is going to be good because we can all run together in a pack and build off of each other.”

Paul Hefferon, Kansas, first place, 25:38
On the team success:
“Coming off the success we had last year and bringing back all five runners who scored at the national meet, we have pretty lofty goals this year. We talked about our goals throughout practice and throughout the summer.”

On getting off to a good start:
“It was definitely important to give a good effort today. Winning was icing on the cake. Our goal was more to work on our team dynamics and get a feel of where we are at especially since we are hosting Big 12’s. That is obviously a very important meet for us. It’s good to know that we are strong and in shape. We have been training very hard lately so we were definitely not very fresh coming in to this race. Our goal is all the way through November. It’s nice to be running well now, but we are not worried about what happens until then. This is just a step along the way.”

On running as a pack:
“The optimal goal was to have all five of us all the way through the finish. We just worked together. Later in the year we want to make sure we are communicating with each other. We were just trying to give a hard effort. Colby (Wissel) and I weren’t letting up at all. Everyone wanted to see where they were at today. It’s just so much easier to run with all the other guys right there with you. It saves energy and allows you to have a much better race the rest of the way.”

Head Coach Stanley Redwine:
On the men’s race:
“It was a total team effort. Hefferon and Wissel did a good job as the one and two runners. More importantly than that we had guys like Patrick McGowan who competed well in order to be in the top five.”