Kansas Cross Country Heads to ISU Pre-Nationals

Oct. 16, 2008

ISU Pre-Nationals Meet Notes

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a successful first three races, the Kansas cross country teams head to Terre Haute, Ind., Saturday for the ISU Pre-Nationals, their final race before the Big 12 Championships (Nov. 1).

“The team has been progressing really well,” Kansas head coach Stanley Redwine said. “At this point, we’re coming in looking to compete as a total team. Some of the mistakes that we made in the previous meets, one person ran well, one person didn’t, so we’re trying to put a total team effort together. We want to have everyone run well on the same day. It’s the meet before our Big 12 competition so we need to be getting ready to compete.”

The Pre-Nationals is by far the largest field the Jayhawks have faced this season, as teams are looking to get a feel for the LaVern Gibson Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center, the same course that the NCAA Championships are run on in November. There are six different races at the Pre-Nationals, including the Women’s 6,000 Meter Blue Race, the Men’s 8,000 Meter Blue Race, the Women’s 6,000 Meter White Race, the Men’s 8,000 Meter White Race, the Women’s 6,000 Meter Open Race and the Men’s 8,000 Meter Open Race.

“It’s really good on a national scale,” Redwine explained. “We’re going to be racing people that we haven’t raced before. It’s going to be a larger meet for our athletes. More importantly, it’s the quality of competition that prepares them for the Big 12 Championships.”

The story of the KU women’s team thus far this season has been junior Lauren Bonds. The junior from Hutchinson, Kan., won the individual title in the first two meets (Bob Timmons Classic and Missouri XC Challenge), and came away with a ninth-place finish at the competitive OSU Cowboy Jamboree. Bonds’ performance at the Missouri XC Challenge earned her Big 12 Runner of the Week honors, making her the first KU women’s runner in school history to take home the award.

Joining Bonds this weekend in Terre Haute will be senior Megan James, juniors Alison Knoll and Cassi Sokol, sophomores Amanda Miller, Kaitlyn Coen and Riley Wertenberger, and freshmen Rebeka Stowe, Kara Windisch, Laura Nightengale, Amanda Akin and Lindsay Schaefer.

The Jayhawk men have been balanced at the top throughout the season, and they will look to have success from top to bottom in Terre Haute. Senior Brock Ternes, juniors Bret Imgrund, Isaiah Shirlen and Levi Huseman, sophomores Nick Caprario and Dan Van Orsdel, and freshmen Austin Bussing, Donny Wasinger, Zach Zarda, Kaleb Humphreys, Sam Bird and Clay Schneider all look to make an impact this weekend as member of the KU men’s team.

The Kansas women will compete in the 41-team Women’s 6,000 Meter Blue Race, while the KU men will run in the 40-team Men’s 8,000 Meter White Race.

Competing against the Jayhawk women in the Blue Race are Air Force, Arizona, Auburn, BYU, Central Michigan, Charlotte, Cornell, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Illinois State, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Miami/Ohio, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, NC State, New Mexico, Oakland, Ohio, Oklahoma State, Penn, Providence, Rice, South Carolina, Stanford, UC-Santa Barbara, Utah State, Villanova, Washington State, Washington, Weber State and Wisconsin.

Opponents of the KU men in the White Race include Air Force, Arizona State, Auburn, BYU, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Colorado, Colorado State, Columbia, Cornell, Eastern Michigan, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana, Indiana State, Iona, Iowa State, Kansas State, Liberty, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Morehead State, Oakland, Penn, Purdue, Stanford, Texas, Tulsa, UC-Davis, UC-Santa Barbara, UCLA, UTEP, Virginia, Washington and Western Kentucky.

“We don’t have to be perfect,” Redwine said. “But we have to go in with an attitude to be successful.”