Jayhawks Look to Qualify For Nationals at Midwest Regional

Nov. 6, 2007


Cross Country, which hasn’t competed since the Big 12 Championships, will compete in its most important meet of the season on Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Midwest Regional Championships in <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Peoria, Ill. The men will look to match last year’s second-place finish and return to the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year. The women, who last qualified for nationals in 1994 when they placed 18th, will try to better last year’s finish of 12th. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Senior Colby Wissel, fresh off his All-Big 12 performance, and senior Paul Hefferon will try to pace the men’s team to a spot at Nationals. Last season, the duo placed in the top 10 and four Jayhawks were in the top 24. Along with Wissel and Hefferon, only senior Patrick McGowan remains from last year’s Regional team.

Senior Lisa Morrisey was the top finisher for the women last year placing 60th. Five runners that competed at last year’s meet will run on Saturday. Sophomore Lauren Bonds, who has been bettering her times meet-by-meet from last year, will look to finish higher than her 84th place in 2006.

Thirty-one (31) teams earn berths to the NCAA Championships, which will be run in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, Nov. 19. The top two teams from each of the nine regions automatically qualify for the Championships. Another 13 at-large teams will be added to the field and announced on Monday, Nov. 12. In addition, four individual competitors from each region, who are not part of qualifying teams, will also earn their way into the Championships field. These individuals must finish in the top 25 at the regional championship to qualify. Additionally, the NCAA committee will choose two individuals at large.

The top 25 runners will be awarded all-region status. Both teams will be running against some of the top ranked teams in the country. Oklahoma State, Minnesota and Tulsa men are ranked in the top 30 and Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska are the top women’s teams.

The men will run their first 10K of the year with the women running their normal 6K race. The meet is hosted by BradleyUniversity and is held at Newman Golf Course. The men’s race will begin at 11 a.m. and the women get underway at 12:15 p.m.

Latest Regional Rankings

Men: 1.Oklahoma State, 2.Minnesota, 3.Tulsa, 4.Iowa State, 5.Illinois, 6.Southern Illinois, 7.Missouri, 8.Kansas, 9.Illinois State, 10.Oklahoma, 11.Iowa, 12.Nebraska, 13.Creighton, 14.Loyola (Ill.), 15.Drake

Women: 1.Minnesota, 2.Illinois, 3.Iowa, 4.Nebraska, 5.Wichita State, 6.Tulsa, 7.Oklahoma State, 8.Missouri State, 9.Oklahoma, 10.Iowa State, 11.Missouri, 12.Northwestern, 13.Northern Iowa, 14.Illinois State, 15.Kansas