KU Cross Country to Meet Nation's Elite in Wisconsin
LAWRENCE, Kan. â€“ After strong outings the last two weekends, the Kansas cross country teams will travel to Madison, Wis., on Friday, Oct. 12 to compete in the 2012 Wisconsin adidas Invitational. The Jayhawks will face their largest field and toughest competition thus far in the season, as 81 teams, including 29 of the nation’s top 30 teams on both the men’s and women’s sides, are scheduled to compete.
â€œWe’re looking to beat a lot of good teams on Friday,â€ KU assistant coach Michael Whittlesey said. â€œWe need to start gathering as many points as we can for the NCAA meets. It will be an extremely packed field at Wisconsin so it’s important we race with a very level head and be calm but also aggressive.â€
The Jayhawk men’s team will be led by senior Donny Wasinger who led the team to a first-place finish two weeks ago at the Rim Rock Classic. Others expected to join Wasinger at the top of the men’s pack are senior Josh Baden and sophomores Reid Buchanan, Evan Landes and James Wilson.
â€œPractice has been going very well,â€ Whittlesey explained. â€œI expect the men’s team to continue the success they saw at the Rim Rock meet. It’s critical to our success to have a small gap like we did two weeks ago.â€
Other runners hoping to score for the KU men’s team will be seniors Eric Dyson, Kaman Schneider, junior Josh Munsch and freshman Gabe Gonzalez.
The KU women’s team will be led by senior Kyra Kilwein and junior Natalie Becker, who each have won a race for the Jayhawks this year. The women’s team’s success, however, will be dependent on the collective pack which will also include seniors Tessa Turcotte and Kathleen Thompson, sophomore Liza Tauscher and freshman Hannah Richardson.
â€œOn the women’s side we need to continue to close our gap and keep getting Natalie Becker back into the swing of things,â€ said Whittlesey. â€œSome of our other athletes have gotten a lot more fit and a lot healthier since the last meet. We’re hoping our spread from one to five will be very tight on Friday.â€
Also competing at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course will be sophomores Ragan Allen and Madison Moser as well as freshman Sara Seiwald.
Friday’s event will give the Jayhawks their first test against a large and harshly competitive field this season. The coaches are hoping the veteran runners on both teams will be able to use their valuable experience from meets of this caliber in previous seasons, which they will apply to the meet in Madison this weekend.
â€œThe athletes who have run in this meet before will really help us because they know how to maintain that calm attitude and know where to be position-wise,â€ Whittlesey concluded. â€œThe number of runners in a small area is gigantic so it will be about which team stays aggressive but stays controlled. I think the veterans know how to do that, but now it’s just about executing.â€
The women’s 6K is set to begin at noon, while the men’s 8k will kick-off at 12:40 p.m. Log on to kuathletics.com for complete results and a recap of the day’s events.
The Jayhawks have two weeks off to prepare the Big 12 Championships, which take place on Oct. 27 in Austin, Texas. The women will kick off the event with their 6K race, which is set to start at 11 a.m., while the men’s 8K will begin at noon.
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