NCAA Championships Await Kansas Men's Cross Country
Nov. 17, 2006
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For the second-straight year, the University of Kansas men’s cross country team will make the journey to Terre Haute, Ind., to take on the nation’s elite distance programs at the 10k NCAA Cross Country Championships Monday. Although last year’s 12th-place finish, its best since 1989, was a great feat, the sentiment surrounding the team this year is a team finish inside the top 10, an accomplishment that has not been reached since the 1965 squad placed sixth nationally.
“We have a veteran team and it is not that we overlooked any of the earlier meets, we just had our expectations higher this year,” junior Colby Wissel, the reigning Big 12 champion said. “It’s been our goal all year not to just to get to nationals, but to do well there.”
“We want to peak at the NCAA and have a great performance there,” head coach Stanley Redwine added. “The team has gotten better at every meet this year and we’re looking forward to having a great finish. If we can get three guys in the top 40 and the other two guys to place near 100, we could place in the top 10.”
The odds look good for the team, as it comes to the event fresh off a second-place performance at the NCAA Midwest Regionals, its best finish at the event since 1991. Four Jayhawks earned all-region recognition for their performances, led by Wissel who placed eighth in the 10k event in a time of 30:59.5. Fellow Junior Paul Hefferon finished closely on his heels, placing 10th in 31:02.3. He was followed by seniors Benson Chesang (14th, 31:18.3) and Erik Sloan (24th, 31:33.6). Matt French, a senior from Howell, Mich., was the team’s fifth finisher, placing 32nd in a time of 31:56.6.
The team currently sits at No. 17 in the national rankings, though Redwine acknowledges that the ranking means little come race day.
“The challenges are going to be within the athletes against the other teams,” he said.
The men’s 10k race starts at 12:15 p.m. from LaVern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Ind. Stay tuned to kuathletics.com for results as soon as they become available.