Kansas Cross Country Set for Big 12 Championships

Oct. 30, 2008

2008 Big 12 Cross Country Championships
Date: Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008
Location: Ames, Iowa
Start Time: Women: 10 a.m. CDT; Men: 11 a.m. CDT
Course: ISU Cross Country Course
Distances: Men: 8K; Women: 6K
Host: Iowa State University

Kansas Big 12 Championships Meet Notes

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After four regular season meets, the Kansas Jayhawks begin postseason action Saturday, Nov. 1, as they head to Ames, Iowa, for the 2008 Big 12 Cross Country Championships. Both the men’s and women’s teams have one victory under their belts this season to go along with 14 individual top-15 finishes apiece, and they are looking for more success this weekend at the Iowa State Cross Country Course.

“We want our athletes to continue to do well and progress,” head coach Stanley Redwine said. “The last competition we had (ISU Pre-Nationals) showed us that we definitely need to step it up in some areas. I think we’ve improved since then, and hopefully we can show that we’ve done that and continue to get better.”

Lauren Bonds has had a breakout junior season for Kansas, compiling two individual championships and a ninth-place finish in four meets. The Hutchinson, Kan., product earned Big 12 Runner of the Week honors for the week of Sep. 13 after her victory at the Missouri Cross Country Challenge. Bonds has been the No. 1 finisher for KU in every meet this year and will look to lead the Jayhawks on Saturday.

“I think our team is really ready to run well,” Bonds said. “It’s the race we key up for every year. I think it’s going to go really well. I think we’re all going to come together, everyone’s been looking really good in workouts.”

Joining Bonds on the women’s team will be senior Megan James, juniors Alison Knoll and Kellie Schneider, sophomore Amanda Miller and freshmen Kara Windisch, Laura Nightengale, Lindsay Schaefer and Rebeka Stowe.

Miller has also been a force for Kansas this season. The Overland Park, Kan., native has been the No. 2 runner for the Jayhawk women in every race, including a runner-up finish at the Bob Timmons Classic and a fifth-place finish at the Missouri Cross Country Challenge.

For the Kansas men, there has been a variety of runners vying for the top spots. Through four races, three different Jayhawk men (Donny Wasinger, Bret Imgrund, and Zach Zarda) have finished as the No. 1 runner on the team.

Wasinger has been most impressive for Kansas thus far this season. The freshman from Winona, Minn., finished fifth at the Bob Timmons Classic, tied with Imgrund for the top KU finish at the OSU Cowboy Jamboree, and led the Jayhawks at the ISU Pre-Nationals two weeks ago.

“Our expectations are to go out and run to our full potential, as opposed to our last meet where I didn’t feel like we did,” Wasinger said. “Our biggest goal is for everyone on the team to have their best race, especially at this point in the year.”

Imgrund, a junior from Shawnee, Kan., has two top-15 finishes for Kansas, and Zarda has two top 10s this season. Zarda, a freshman also hailing from Shawnee, Kan., was named Big 12 Runner of the Week after his sixth-place finish at the Missouri Cross Country Challenge Sept. 13.

“We’re just trying to go out there and race hard,” Imgrund said. “There are a couple teams in our group, in the back half of the conference that we know we can beat if we race well, work hard and come together as a team. So that’s our goal for this weekend.”

Senior Brock Ternes, junior Isaiah Shirlen, sophomores Nick Caprario and Dan Van Orsdel, as well as freshmen Sam Bird and Kaleb Humphreys make up the rest of the Kansas men’s roster this weekend in Ames.

The KU men finished seventh at last year’s Big 12 Championships in Lubbock, Texas, while the women placed 11th. The highest-ever finish for the Jayhawk men at the Big 12 Championships is third (2005 and 2006), while the best showing for the KU women came in 2002 in Columbia, Mo., where they placed sixth.

“I always want us to do well, always want to do better,” Redwine said. “The expectation is to do our very best. We want the athletes to go out and compete and do their best. If they do that, I don’t know exactly what place that will be, but our goal is to win. You never go into a competition expecting anything less out of the athletes.”

Action from Ames begins Saturday at 10 a.m. CT with the women’s 6K race, and wraps up with the men’s 8K race, scheduled for an 11 a.m. CT start.