Jayhawks Place Ninth, 23rd at Roy Griak Invitational

Sept. 23, 2006

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Juniors Colby Wissel and Paul Hefferon scored top-20 finishes to guide the University of Kansas men’s cross country team to a ninth-place finish at the 2006 Roy Griak Invitational. The women’s squad placed 23rd in the 31-team field, a three place improvement from its performance in 2005.

Wissel, the Big 12 Runner of the Week for Sept. 13, ran the challenging 8k race in a time of 24:54 to take 10th place. Hefferon, the winner of the 2006 Bob Timmons Invitational, followed closely on his heels, finishing in a time of 25:05 for 16th place. Senior Benson Chesang, in his first race of the year, placed 44th in a time of 25:45. Seniors Erik Sloan and Tyler Kelly rounded out the top-5 finishers for the Jayhawks, placing 109th and 135th respectively. Josh McDougal, of Liberty University, won the race in a time of 24:15.

“We need to keep training hard with the intention of performing our best at the end of the season,” Sloan said. “Unfortunately, this race was a rude awakening for the competition we will face for the rest of the season.”

“But I also think this race has given the team a spark again. I think our performance today will bring the group together and give us direction for the rest of the season.”

Juniors Lisa Morrisey and Melissa O’Rourke paced the women’s squad, placing 100th and 114th in the 5k race. Morrisey improved by nearly 30 seconds from her performance at the event last season. Junior Alicia McGregor, who placed 121st, finished third on the team in a time of 23:35, an improvement of nearly a minute from last season.

Freshmen Lauren Bonds and Kellie Schneider, competing in their first event of season for the Jayhawks, rounded out the top-five finishers for the women’s team, finishing 143rd and 157th respectively. Stephanie Rothstein, of UC Santa Barbara, won the women’s race in a time of 21:13.

“This meet always brings good competition,” Morrisey said. “The team has the potential to do better, even though a lot of the team posted new personal records. I think we’ll be much better once we’re on the same page.”

Head Coach Stanley Redwine echoed the sentiments of his two upperclassmen.

“Our expectations were to do better,” Redwine said. “This was not a great meet for us, but we will train better and compete better in the future. On the women’s side, our front runners did a great job. We just need to work on the gap between our one and five runners and we’ll be a great team.”

“For the men, they’ll be better next time. We need to compete to our potential. Colby Wissel gave excellent effort and Paul Hefferon gave us two performers in the top 20. We just need to develop and compete better as a team.”

The Jayhawks have a three-week layoff until they return to the course Oct. 14 in Terre Haute, Ind., for the NCAA Pre-Nationals.