Kansas Men Qualify for NCAA Championships
Nov. 11, 2006
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. –
The University of Kansas men’s cross country team qualified for the 2006 NCAA Championships after placing second at the NCAA Midwest Regionals Saturday at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. Reigning Big 12 champion junior Colby Wissel led the way for the squad, registering an eighth-place in the 10k race in a time of 30:59.5, and earning all-region recognition for the second-consecutive year.
Wissel was joined at the all-region level by fellow junior Paul Hefferon, who placed 10th, and seniors Benson Chesang, who placed 14th and Erik Sloan, who placed 24th. Hefferon completed the race in 31:02.3, Chesang finished in 31:18.3 and Sloan finished in 31:33.6. Senior Matt French rounded out Kansas’ top-five performers, placing 32nd (31:59.6), respectively.
The KU men finished with a score of 88 points, 16 behind region champion Oklahoma State. The squad’s second-place finish, among 21 competing teams, marks the team’s best result at the NCAA Midwest Regionals since 1991, when the team also finished second. The team now moves on to compete against the nation’s finest at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 20. Last season, the team placed 12th at the championships, its best result at the event since 1989, when it finished 10th.
On the women’s side, the team placed 12th among the 23 competitors and was led by juniors Lisa Morrisey, who placed 60th, and Melissa O’Rourke, who placed 61st. Morrisey, who was also the team’s top finisher at the Big 12 Championships, completed the 6k race in 22:42.9 while O’Rourke ran a season-best 6k race of 22:45.4.
Freshman Kellie Schneider finished third on the team, 74th overall, in a time of 23:00.2. Junior Alicia McGregor and freshman Lauren Bonds rounded out the squad’s top-five finishers, placing 80th (23:06.5) and 84th (23:12.6), respectively. The women’s team will now have to wait and see if they earn an at-large bid to compete in the NCAA Championships.