Kansas Opens Season with Victories at Rim Rock Farm
Sept. 5, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas cross country had a strong start to the 2009 season, as both the men’s and women’s teams won the annual Bob Timmons Classic at Rim Rock Farm, Saturday, Sept. 5.
“Both teams did an excellent job today,” said assistant coach Michael Whittlesey. “We talked a lot about working as a team and executing that team running on both the men’s and women’s sides, and I think they were able to find each other throughout the race, stick together and really do a good job.”
Despite the absence of their top two runners in Lauren Bonds and Amanda Miller, the KU women’s team finished 1-2 in the race, while placing three others in the top 10. Sophomore Rebeka Stowe led the pack and captured the win with a career-best 5K time of 18:42.29. Stowe also set a 5K course record for Rim Rock Farm, which was previously held by teammate Bonds.
“We have a sense of pride with this meet because it’s our only home meet,” said Stowe. “We know we have to step it up and really win this one. It’s a good way to start off the season.”
Kara Windisch finished just seconds behind Stowe to take second place, also in a career-best 5K time of 18:45.37.
“Our frontrunners Rebeka Stowe and Kara Windisch did a great job working together,” said Whittlesey. “Had they not worked together, they might not have been able to go 1-2 because the girl from Butler CC looked really strong, but in unison we are much stronger than we are as individuals.”
The Jayhawks had several freshmen turn in solid times in their first collegiate race.
Lawrence native Kyra Kilwein finished third on the team and fourth overall in a 5K time of 19:28.44. Kilwein is familiar with the course, having competed at Rim Rock several times in high school.
“I knew how to plan for this race and run the course, which helped me a lot today,” said Kilwein.
“Kyra started back from the lead pack a little, but she kept her composure and kept her focus and ended up passing people for a great finish,” said Whittlesey. “She is a great competitor and her experience on this course helps her in that she knows what to expect, but she has been having great work outs and I was expecting her to be right up there.”
Freshmen Kathleen Thompson and Allie Marquis also finished among the top 10, crossing the finish in 19:32.54 and 19:42.12, respectively. Thompson captured fifth overall, while Marquis was seventh.
The men’s team saw similar success, as they had five runners place in the top 10. Similar to the 2008 race, sophomore Donny Wasinger paced the men, finishing first on the team and third overall with a 6K time of 19:24.13.
“With our first race, we were really trying to get into the team mentality,” said Wasinger. “We want to race together for the first part of the course, try to keep the guys in the back up with us and run as a pack.”
Freshman David Roberts had a dominating performance in his first race in the Crimson and Blue. The Mulvane, Kan. native was the No. 2 KU finisher and placed fifth overall, clocking in at 19:34.44.
Bret Imgrund, competing in his final home race of his career, finished sixth with a 6K time of 19:35.71. He was followed by sophomore Zach Zarda, who crossed the finish line in dramatic fashion, as he pushed passed a runner from Garden City CC in the final seconds to take seventh with a time of 19:38.58.
“I was sort of `dogging-it’ at the end, just trying to get the race over with, but then I heard people yelling that there was someone coming on, so I looked over my shoulder and he was right there next to me, so I really had to just put it into, what we call, bull-mode,” said Zarda.
Austin Bussing placed ninth with a 6K time of 19:39.37, followed by Nick Caprario, who finished 11th in 19:52.56, and Kaleb Humphreys who ran a 19:55.47 to take 12th place.
The Jayhawks will get a preview of the Big 12 Championship course when they travel to Columbia, Mo. for the Missouri Cross Country Challenge on Sept. 12.