KU Cross Country Heads to Ames for Midwest Regionals

Meet Notes

The Kansas men’s pack will look to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006.
NCAA Midwest Regionals
Times Noon/1:15 p.m.
Location Ames, Iowa
Course Iowa St. Cross Country Couse
Distances Men – 10K | Women – 6K
Homepage Cyclones.com
Follow @KansasXC
Results NCAA.com
Box Draws Men | Women

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a two-week layoff, the Kansas cross country teams will compete in their most important meet of the season on Friday, Nov. 15 at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Ames, Iowa. The men’s teams will look to return to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006, while the women, who last qualified for nationals in 1994, will try to better last year’s 13th-place finish.
The Jayhawk men will see an experienced core travel to Ames this week, four of which who will be competing in their third regional meet. Senior Josh Munsch turned in a career and all-conference performance with his 13th-place finish at the Big 12 Championships two weeks ago in leading his team to a 6th-place finish. The senior will try to assure that the race will not be his last in a Kansas cross country uniform and will hope to be Kansas’ top finisher for the third time this year.
Juniors Evan Landes, James Wilson and Reid Buchanan will hope to join Munsch as part of the Jayhawks’ lead pack. Each have been among the KU’s top-four finishers in their three outings this year and will be among the most experienced pack this year, as each will be running in their third regional race. Freshman Tyler Yunk, who has been a consistent finisher at the top of the men’s pack, rounds out KU’s squad in Ames.
The men will have one new obstacle to face Friday, which they have yet to encounter in 2013. The group will be competing at the 10K distance for the first time this year, which is quite a change after running 8K races for the majority of the year. The starting gun for the 6.25 mile race is slated to go off at 1:15 p.m.
The KU women will send a young, but talented, group to the Regional as only two of those running this week’s race have competed in at least one Midwest Championship meet. Sophomore Hannah Richardson has been the women’s leader in three meets this year and is a candidate to garner all-region honors for the first time in her KU career.
Making their regional debuts will be twins, Malika and Nashia Baker, who have both come on strong late in their freshman campaigns. High finishes from the Lansing, Kan., natives will be a necessity if the Jayhawks want an opportunity to grab one of the coveted at-large bids for the NCAA Championships
Senior Natalie Becker will race in her final regional meet with hopes to extend her team’s season to Nationals. She has been in the Jayhawks’ top four all year and has been a key leader for the team that boasts 13 freshmen. That leadership will once again need to be on display as she, Richardson and the Bakers will be joined by three freshmen running in their first regional championship race.
Thirty-one teams earn berths to the NCAA Championships, which will be run in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 23. 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 Saturday, Nov. 16. 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.
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