Jayhawks to Get a Taste of Nationals in Terre Haute

Oct. 11, 2007


Following a week away from competition, the University of Kansas Cross Country teams will resume their season at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. on Oct. 13. The men toe the line at 10:40 a.m. with the women starting at 11:55 a.m.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Last time out the squads took part in the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational. The men, led by Colby Wissel and Paul Hefferon’s top 20 finishes, placed 13th out of 23 teams in the Gold Division. Competing in the same division on the women’s side, the Jayhawks showed improvement from a year ago by placing 16th out of 26 teams.

In last year’s Pre-Nationals meet, Hefferon and Wissel paced the men’s team, as they placed 13th and 14th respectively on route to a sixth place finish. The women competed in the open division placing second and were led by Lisa Morrisey’s 20th place performance. Alicia McGregor and Lauren Bonds were the other returning runners to score points for the Jayhawks.

“I think we’ll surprise some people,” Hefferon said. “I think Colby and I can get into the top 10, we finished around 13th last year, so top 10 would be good.”

This meet is designed to allow teams the chance to compete on the same course that the NCAA Championships will be held. This will mark the fifth time in the last six years that Indiana State has hosted the meet. Hefferon likes the course that he, along with Wissel, will run for the sixth time in his career, the most of any course.

“I really like it,” Hefferon said. “I feel like it plays to my strengths. It’s got some rolling hills and I’m able to grind and get out hard, but I’m able to maintain it. Then I can really push hard towards the finish. That is what I usually have success in.”

The field of teams is ginormous and will include many nationally renowned schools as 27 of the 85 men’s teams are ranked and of the 81 squads entered for the women’s race, 22 are ranked.

There are four main races taking place at the Wabash Valley Sports Center. The KU men are assigned to the 8K White Race and the women to the 6K White Race. There are 13 teams ranked in the 40 team Men’s White Race and 11 teams are ranked in the 38 team Women’s White Race.

Results from this weekend’s race can be found at www.gosycamores.com or at www.kuathletics.com.

10:40 a.m. Men’s 8K White Race: Arizona State, Belmont, Cal Poly, Coastal Carolina, Colorado, Cornell, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana State, Kansas, Lamar, Liberty, Marquette, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Montana, NC State, Notre Dame, Oakland, Ohio U., Penn, Princeton, Providence, Southern Illinois, Southern Utah, Stanford, Syracuse, UC-Santa Barbara, Utah State, UTEP, William & Mary, Western Kentucky, Washington State, Weber State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Yale. (40)

11:55 a.m. Women’s 6K White Race: Arizona, Arizona State, Ball State, Baylor, Belmont, BYU, Colorado, Duquesne, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kent State, Liberty, Louisville, Michigan, Montana, Morehead State, Notre Dame, Oakland, Ohio U., Portland, Princeton, Providence, Purdue, Stony Brook, UAB, UCLA, UNLV, William & Mary, Western Kentucky, Washington, Weber State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wyoming, Yale. (38)